womens black lace bra on white paper

Experts share their tips on how to make your underwear last, from washing it in the shower to wearing it often.

Jane Birkin’s mother was the one who suggested that: “When there’s nothing left, all you have to do is put on silk underwear and begin reading Proust.”

This sentiment rings true after 18 months worth of stay-at home orders. However, I’m certain I’m not alone in thinking that silk underwear could be replaced with soft-waisted trousers and Proust with news headlines.

Silk underwear, delicate bras, and lingerie must be taken care of in any case. Here are some tips from experts on how to do it.

womens black lace bra on white paper

Wash your undies frequently, ideally by hand

Araks Yeramyan is the creative director at Araks. She recommends that you take your underwear and bra to the shower after each use. She says that rinsing bras after each use increases the durability of the elastic as sweat and salt can cause it to wear down over time. She recommends using natural soaps or shampoos like Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap. This soap is safe for both men and women. After washing, rinse off the water.

Bondi Wash chief executive Belinda Everingham also suggests handwashing delicates, but her advice is more traditional. Fill a sink or bucket with warm water, and then add detergent to the water while it is running. Next, dip your delicates in the soapy water. After swishing for a while, rinse them under cold water.

Everingham suggests handwashing if possible. To prevent bra hooks from catching on other items, you can wash them on delicate cycles and place them in a bag. She says that delicate fabrics can have sensitive fibres and may be damaged by the detergent they use.

She advises against detergents that contain synthetic enzymes or optical brightnesseners. Instead, she recommends a liquid detergent with pH neutral labeling for delicate fabrics.

Do not dry them in the dryer

Underwear and bras should not be dried in the dryer. Kate Nixon, creative director of Kat the label recommends placing your underwear and bras on a towel in the shade.

She says, “This will ensure that trims and elastics last in your garment for a long time.” You can also hang delicate items, such as a cotton short, on a clothes horse in shade.

Bras that fit well can last longer

Yeramyan states that bras with a nonstretch central gore, the area between the cups, have the best fit.

She recommends you choose high-quality bras with a little stretch to mold to your body and provide the correct support. Quality can also be measured by the type of stitching used – “What’s best? A zig-zag stitch.”

Yeramyan suggests trying on a bra and a T-shirt when determining the fit. Yeramyan also recommends that you don’t let the cups fall out and that the band across the back of your body should be parallel to the ground. This is even when your arms are lifted. You should adjust the straps to allow you to slide two fingers under them.

It’s time to change it

Nixon suggests mixing up your lingerie and underwear so that you don’t have a lot of handwashing. Nixon suggests having “a mix of delicate lace bras and simple cotton-style underwear that can be washed again and again.”

Everingham recommends choosing natural fibres like silk, linen, and cotton. They will last longer if they are properly cared for. These fibres are more resistant to stains and less likely to yellow over time.

Yeramyan believes that most women wear their favorite bra for several days. Because elastic takes time to adjust between wears, she recommends bras be worn in rotation. Elastic has a shelf-life regardless of what you do. However, the more you care for your elastic, the longer it will last.

Do not leave them hanging

It’s tempting for bras to be left hanging on doors knobs and chairs, but it is important to properly store them. Nixon says storage is not something to be taken lightly. “How you store delicate lace bras inside your drawer is very important.”

You should remove the bra clasps before you place the item. If you have one, you can also place it in a mesh laundry bag inside the drawer. This ensures that no bra clasp can attach to delicate fabric and cause it to rip while you are searching for an item.