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When it comes to underwear, it can be difficult to find the perfect pair—you know, those undies that fit and look like a dream. In fact, once you realize that style and comfort are completely compatible, you won’t ever want to let your precious undies go. The very idea of throwing away your favorite pair of dainty lace briefs can be heartbreaking. 

So,  how long should you keep underwear? Do you need to replace it regularly? When it comes to the bottoms we can’t live without, the length of time is actually a personal choice. 

Keep reading to learn exactly what goes into the decision to toss or keep, the signs you should throw out your underwear, and other details on how to maintain these undergarments. 

Underwear Habits 101

When it comes to underwear practices, the truth is that people have vastly different methods. While some swear by replacing their underwear every six months, others keep the same pair for multiple years.1 

So how do you know what’s right for you? Ultimately, go with your comfort level as a measure of what to do. Most experts agree that there is no specific timeline for your underwear as long as you wash them as instructed.2 That being said, it can be important to check for fit regularly to make sure your old underwear still sits right and gives you enough breathing room. 

Still not sure? Switching out your undies after a year can function as a good rule of thumb, but  consider the following examples which illustrate just how diverse underwear habits can be: 

  • You might be able to keep a prized lingerie set that you wear very infrequently for half a decade or longer3 
  • On the other hand, you might want to replace a pair of cotton undies you wear to the gym multiple times a week after just nine months3
  • You’ll know it’s time to replace your go-to lacy thong with a fresh pair after two years when the elastic band wears out 
  • If you get a new pair of seamless briefs that don’t fit quite right, you might choose to retire them after fewer than ten wears 

As you can see, it depends on your taste, your habits, and of course, the undies themselves.

 

Find pleasure in the small things! Shop our intimates now!

 

The Deal Breakers

Underwear might keep nicely over time, but it’s important to remember things change—both your underwear and you. You may have to upgrade your undies collection and say goodbye to that strappy thong if you notice one of the following telltale signs. 

Wear and Tear

Even more than regular pieces of clothing, your underwear is subject to aging over time due to the delicate nature of its materials. Some underwear could be made of organic cotton or lace, fading and pilling can leave previously elegant briefs with something wanting. But more importantly, it’s definitely time to switch out your old undies for new underwear if you notice they’re:

  • Too roomy – Baggy jackets and billowy pants may be in, but loose underwear is never in style. If you notice that your undies have taken on a baggy shape, are bunching at the bottom more than usual, or have a distorted form when laid flat, it might be time to gracefully retire your trusty briefs.4 
  • Too frayed – Underwear with loose stitching or briefs that are ripping at the seams will have a hard time maintaining its original shape and providing adequate support. How much the fraying will affect you depends on the design. Ripped seams on a thong may be more detrimental than on a pair of briefs with more stitching overall to compensate. 
  • Too stiff – On the other hand, if you haven’t worn your lucky panties in some time and pull them out crumpled behind your socks, you might find that the elastic band has lost its bounce. This can happen if you don’t stretch the band of your underwear regularly, for example, by wearing it, ultimately leading to uncomfortable, tight underwear.4

Lack of Fit

If you’ve ever bought a pair of bottoms that were the perfect fit only to discover that everything felt off a few months later, you’re not alone. When you’re wearing a pair of panties only occasionally, you might very well find that the fit has shifted over time. This can become a problem if your underwear is too tight, which can lead to irritation or chafing.5 

Signs that your undies aren’t giving you breathing room include: 

  • An elastic band that digs into your hips or leaves red marks 
  • A thong strap that constantly pulls in the back and makes it difficult to sit down
  • Any pain or discomfort in the front or around the thighs

When it comes to checking the fit of your underwear collection, it can be helpful to plan ahead and test your undies out regularly before you’re down to your last pair of your best underwear. When you’ve forgotten to do laundry or if you’ve been on the road lately and don’t have any clean underwear, the last thing you want is to have to resort to that itty bitty thong last worn three years ago and now lacking stretch. 

Try to following to stick to a fitting routine: 

  • Leave a sticky note in your underwear drawer with the most recent fitting date and try those undies on every three months 
  • Tack on your underwear fitting to your regular bra fitting so that you won’t have to plan a separate time 
  • Remember to check for fit particularly when there has been a change, such as a permanent weight shift or the suspicion your underwear has shrunk in the wash—it happens! 

Making Your Underwear Last

Whether you’re a lingerie or women's underwear connoisseur treating yourself to an eyecatching, trendy set or an excited newcomer to the world of high-end intimates hoping to find that perfectly classic, elegant pair of briefs, you’ll understand the importance of taking care of your investment. Follow these steps to ensure the longevity of your precious undies. 

Rotate through Your Drawer

Sometimes, taking care of underwear can seem like a Catch-22. Don’t wear your lace thongs enough and the elastic breaks. Wear your go-to briefs too much and the fabric fades.

How do you find that perfect balance between wearing and washing to keep your underwear looking new? 

Rather than going for the same five pairs of underwear out of habit, try cycling through all the underwear in your drawer. To do so in a systematic way, you’ll want to make sure you’re organized. Consider the following tips and tricks for arranging your drawer: 

  • Lay your underwear flat – While it’s common to fold your underwear in half, stack those undies on top of one another, or just shove all of them in the drawer haphazardly, take a moment to lay your panties flat in a staggered fashion. That way, you’ll be able to see all the available pairs at once, making it less likely that you’ll forget to wear some of them. 
  • Put the recently worn in the back – Rather than stacking the recently worn pairs in the front of your underwear drawer, put those briefs in the back and bring new ones center stage. By doing this, you won’t have to spend energy keeping track of which pairs you’ve worn already and which ones need to get a little more love. 
  • Embrace the spring cleaning – To maintain a shipshape underwear drawer, find a regular time, semi-annually or annually, to review your collection. Set aside the pairs of briefs you’re not wearing often, especially if they’re uncomfortable or ill-fitting. By cleaning out your drawer, you can also make room for that new pair of undies you’ve been eyeing! 

Arrange Your Collection by Occasion

Sometimes, you know exactly what pair of underwear you want—perhaps that lux emerald thong that makes you feel ready for anything. From G string vs. thong to lace underwear, there is a variety of different undergarments available to you. But other times, you might spend minimal effort on your underwear choice, just going with whatever you see first. 

Rather than leaving your selection of undies up to fate, you can organize your undergarments by occasion to ensure an even number of wears across your drawer. Consider these examples of how to split up your collection: 

  • Designate a portion of your seamless briefs and cotton underwear specifically to be worn with your professional outfits. 
  • Opt for lacey briefs and colorful, strappy thongs as the standard for social events, such as girls’ night, a weekend getaway, or a date.  
  • Categorize your cotton panties as your uniform when you’re on the move, heading to the gym, or running errands. 

The beauty of this is that you won’t end up wearing your sparkling white tulle briefs on your morning run, protecting the delicate fabric from sweat and stains. Likewise, having different underwear styles allows you to set aside opportunities to put on those fancier bottoms when you need them. 

Gooseberry: Soft, Unstructured Intimates that Keep You Dreaming 

Looking for the perfect pair of undies? Why not start with the classic Oh So Sweet Triangle Black Briefs—sexy and timeless at the same time. They’re sure to become a staple in your collection. Or add a pop of color with the Full On Glam thong in stunning emerald or a dazzling red

Whatever your style, our high-end intimates strike that delicate balance between boldness and elegance. Our expertly crafted lingerie draws inspiration from both the glamor of French fashion houses and the wildness of Bali beaches, seamlessly mixing the old and the new. Shop Gooseberry to experience the thrill yourself. 


Sources: 

  1. Today. Popular TikTok suggests replacing underwear every 6 to 9 months. Here's what doctors say. https://www.today.com/health/experts-say-no-need-replace-underwear-every-6-9-months-t212666 
  2. Health. How Often Should You Get New Underwear? The Answer Isn't So Clear-Cut. https://www.health.com/condition/sexual-health/how-often-should-you-get-new-underwear 
  3. Independent. This Is How Often You Should Actually Replace Your Underwear. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/experts-research-google-e-coli-b1841251.html 
  4. Huff Post. How Often You Should Buy New Underwear Depends On 2 Key Factors.  ​https://www.huffpost.com/entry/underwear-washing-life-span_n_5ae72885e4b02baed1bca53d 
  5. Health. 5 Things in Your Closet You Need to Throw Away Now (Your Underwear, for Starters). https://www.health.com/style/when-to-toss-basics