Well, we’re about to become very close friends … because today we’re talking all about …
Panties! Undies! Knickers! Unmentionables! Man, there are so many cutesy nicknames for underwear, and I really wasn’t sure which one is the most socially acceptable, so I just sprinkled ’em all throughout. Prepare yourself and enjoy.
We’ll chat about how I organize my panty drawer, what exactly is in it (including the no-show bra I wear under camisoles and white tops), and how to set up a super simple care routine for your undies.
But before we get into all that, let’s back up a little.
We’ve all had a bad experience with uncomfortable underwear, right?
When we’re having to fidget, keep straps up, and keep things in their proper place, it’s hard to feel comfortable or confident.
But without those distractions, we can put ’em on, forget about ’em, and just enjoy the people we’re with.
Letting my uncomfortable underwear distract me from life is not something I’m okay with. So I’ve been working to create the most useful, comfortable panty drawer ever. As you might remember from my Summer Style Series post, my goal was to finish the process this summer. Now I can say I successfully did it!
Here’s how I started:
First, I made a list of three non-negotiable traits I needed in my unmentionables:
- COMFORTABLE / This absolutely comes first. No poking, prodding, riding up, or itching allowed. And I learned that comfort doesn’t have to mean expensive. I tried out a few pricey bras, thinking they’d be better because they cost more. But, nope, they were as uncomfortable as they come. I’ve learned that, for me, comfort means soft, stretchy fabric + no underwire + pullover style, like a sports bra (AKA no hooks in the back).
- PRACTICAL / Since I don’t have much in the way of bras and undies, they need to cover a wide range of possible needs. So that means strategic choices like neutral colors and smooth cup bras that can be worn under anything.
- MAKE ME FEEL BEAUTIFUL / I don’t want to reserve feeling beautiful for those times when I pull out my extra special lingerie — I want to feel beautiful in my everyday essentials. So I looked and looked until I found everyday undies that did just that. For me, I feel most beautiful in a longline bra that fits almost like a crop top and feels a little sporty.
Once I had my list, I committed to only buying a piece if it met all three traits.
It was slow going at first — very slow going. It seemed next to impossible to find all three traits in one single piece.
But! To me, it’s not about having an extensive collection of underwear — it’s about having a handful of the right pieces. Since I keep a pretty minimal panty drawer, I really only needed to find one or two perfect pieces.
And eventually, I did.
Ready to get down to specifics? Welcome inside my closet — or at least my panty drawer.
HOW I ORGANIZE MY UNDERTHINGS
Right off the bat, you’re probably thinking this drawer looks a little too minimal to be true. Where are the sports bras and special lingerie?
Excellent question. See, I organize my things a little differently.
I used to hear that the best way to organize was to put like items with like items. Such as, putting all bras together, simply because they are all bras.
But a few years ago, I abandoned that idea and started organizing things based on where I’d need them. For example, I keep my sports bras in the same drawer as my workout clothes. That way, when I’m getting dressed for a workout, I only need to open one drawer.
I also keep lounge bralettes in my pajama drawer so that when I’m getting comfy at night, I only need to open one drawer.
What about special lingerie? I hang them on a little hook right next to my closet door — placing them in such a visible spot reminds me to wear them often (and it pretties up my closet a bit too).
So, since sports bras, lounge bralettes, and special lingerie all have a place, all that’s left in my underwear drawer is my everyday essentials. It speeds up the process of picking out underwear each morning. Plus the drawer just looks nice and clean and clutter free, just how I like it.
Like I mentioned before, in my non-negotiable traits list, comfort comes first.
In fact, I’m so stubborn about comfort that I’ve been known to take an exacto knife to bras to cut out the underwire and boning. The black bra you see in the very back of my drawer used to have underwire — until I cut it out last year. I also did it to an old swimsuit just a few weeks ago. It works exceptionally well, if you want to try it.
But then, this summer, I found my perfect bra! A soft, wireless bra with plenty of support and a bit of lift, too! (Here’s a racerback version too and a plunge version with a little less lift) No more cutting wires out of bras for this girl!
I have three total: one nude bra and two black bras (black is my favorite color to wear underneath — it makes me feel beautiful).
The nude bra you see in the front of my drawer is my no-show nude strapless bra — this is the one you’ve all been asking about!
The combo of a nude color and smooth cups means it works in just about any situation I could possibly need. It’s what I wear underneath my white silk cami and any other light tops.
There’s also something about the shape of this bra that stays put. I’ve been wearing this shape for years, even though it’s hard to find. I’m not sure if there’s a technical name for it, but the cups just come up a little higher on the sides. Balconette or demi style strapless bras fall right down on me, but this shape never moves. I love it.
Fit tip: For me, I’ve found that this bra works best when worn a little lower on the ribcage. If you’re trying it out, test out a few spots up and down your ribcage until you find where it sits most comfortably.
Even though this bra has underwire it’s quite comfortable — no poking and no scratching. However, I might still end up cutting out the wires. Old habits.
And I still have my eye out for a comfortable, wireless strapless bra that stays put. I recently tried this wireless strapless bra — sadly, it didn’t work for my girls, but it might work for you if you’ve got a little more going on up top.
Moving on to panties … my ultimate favs are Patagonia thongs (hooray, no panty lines!) and sport hipsters (hooray, ultimate comfort!). They’re all black and they’re all the same. Boring? Not to me. I love black and I love the way I feel in black.
For me, the Patagonia makes the perfect undies. They’re soft but they stay put. Plus they’re tagless, they’re eco-friendly and made of recycled fibers, and they’ve got moisture wicking technology built in.
To fold or not to fold? Honestly, I don’t fold my undies and I don’t feel the slightest bit bad about it — sorry Marie Kondo. Since all of my panties are the same, I know exactly what I’m grabbing and I don’t need to organize them any more than tossing them into two separate bins — thongs on the right and hipsters on the left.
One last note about panties: I’m curious, have any of you tried THINX period panties? My sister-in-law just told me about them the other day — supposedly they can replace tampons or pads. Could this be true? If you’ve tried ’em, let us know in the comments if they work. Pretty please.
Sexy is different for all of us and I want to live in a world where we each feel free to embrace our own version of sexy.
The truth is, sure my everyday undies are plain, but there’s something about that no-frills, black longline bra that makes me feel fun and beautiful. Simple and sporty is my version of sexy and I’m finally just embracing it, instead of trying to fit myself into someone else’s definition of sexy.
I do, however, enjoy a good shake up every now and then, so I have a few lacy pieces that I love — like this tie front bralette that’s made in the USA. While I’m an fierce editor of my closet, I keep pretty lingerie forever even if I haven’t worn it in a long time. It’s fun to have a stash to draw from when I feel like mixing it up.
I want my underthings to last a long, long time, so I regularly hand wash them in the bathroom sink with this delicate wash. (And here’s another delicate wash that’s also a great option and only $10.)
I keep things simple and just wash one of my bras when I notice it needs it. First, I let it soak in the bathroom sink for a little while. Then the next time I walk in the bathroom, I hand wash it for about 30 seconds, then hang it over the bathtub to let it dry. No big deal.
A FEW ORGANIZING TIPS
– Try reserving your panty drawer for your everyday panties and bras only — no socks or other little things allowed.
– When it comes to everyday bras + undies, edit ruthlessly. Keep only pieces that are comfortable, practical, and make you feel sexy — your version of sexy.
– If you’re looking for a new organization system, try what I do: keep everyday bras in one drawer, sports bras with your workout gear, and lounge bras with your PJs.
– Drawer organizers go a long way in the panty drawer, but there’s no need to go overboard. Just two or three little bins should do. Try cardboard boxes or these IKEA cubes — they’re what I use.
– Create a special, visible place for your pretty lingerie. Hang them on a hook in your closet so they are on display. Seeing them regularly will remind you to grab them often.
– Set yourself up for success by preparing your washing station. Keep delicate wash in your bathroom drawer and designate a spot where you can hang things to dry — the towel rack in your shower should work nicely. Another good option, that a few of you have been asking about, is the drying rack I have in my Instagram photos.
I’ve found that these tips work well for me, but feel free to take or leave ’em. We’re all different and it’s all about finding what works for you.
Do you have a different approach to organizing your panty drawer? I’d love to hear about it!