Underwear comes in many types of style and fabric, from classic cotton, to high performance and delicate lingerie. These intimate pieces of clothing are really worth paying attention to when you buy them.
Underwear is meant to be worn and washed frequently, meaning our briefs and bras have a hard life. Here are our tips on how to choose comfortable and durable underwear and how, with a bit of TLC, you can keep it looking good through many washes.
Most underwear is made from cotton jersey as it remains the most comfortable option, especially for briefs. Some retailers produce cotton underwear with an anti-pilling (anti-bobbling) finish to keep the fabric looking better for longer. Look for sustainable fabric options like organic cotton, Tencel or Modal, all of which are very soft to the skin and breathable. You can also find synthetic options with microfibre fabrics for enhanced breathability, moisture-wicking and softness. Some briefs come in high performance stretch fabric for body sculpting. For bras it is important to check the quality and attachment of the components, including fasteners, rings and sliders.Double (and triple) hook and eye closures enhance their longevity.
Bras are a highly technical product to make, designed to be functional yet comfortable. Bras come in a variety of shapes, but all need to provide the right support for an all-day wear. You should always try on a bra to make sure it is the right fit for you. Bras should be firm around the body, with the centre front (between cups) fitting flat against the chest, and they should have solid adjustable straps. For all underwear, always check the seams on the inside of the garment – they should be flat and smooth to allow comfortable prolonged wear. You can also look for seamless bras or briefs for much improved comfort.
Who cares, wins
Usually the more delicate the fabric is, the more attention it will need for laundering. Whilst the most delicate fabrics might be hand wash only, generally most underwear is machine washable. To ensure it doesn’t get damaged in the washing machine, you can use a lingerie net bag which will keep it protected during washing. Like any clothing, remember to separate whites from colours, and stick to the care label instructions. Fasten bras to ensure the hooks don’t catch on other clothing during the wash.
No bin please
Underwear is the category of clothing that is most binned when it is considered no longer usable. Like all clothing, underwear can be recovered (or repaired) and have a second life, whether it’s reused or recycled. Underwear that has passed its best should be taken to a textile collection point. Bras are actually the most sought after item in second-hand markets!