Whether you’re a go-get-‘em boss lady or a lazy girl fo’ life, one thing’s for certain: High-maintenance threads are a bona fide bummer. Which is exactly why dry-clean-only duds have more or less been banned from your wardrobe at this point (with the exception of velvet anything — swoon), though, to your own credit, you’ve managed to become a hand-washing master. Taking care of your clothes can have a huge impact on how long they last — and that goes for your lingerie too. The stuff doesn’t come cheap, and you could be wearing down your dainty duds a lot faster than necessary. To keep your bras and underwear looking and feeling their best, follow these incredibly easy tips.
1. Don’t over wash. Floreat Leela Lace Bodysuit ($78): Much like your favorite pair of jeans, you don’t need to wash your bras after every wear (obviously, different rules apply for underwear). Doing so can lead to premature wear and tear and damage the bra’s shape, structure and support. Rotate your bras, alternating between a few different options to prolong life and give them ample time to reshape. During periods of warm weather, where you’re sweating more than usual, wash your bras every 3-4 wears. After every 5-7 wears should cover it the rest of the year.
2. Hand wash or bust. Free People Elle Underwire Bra ($119): Hand washing is a lot easier than you think, and it’s the only way you should be washing your lingerie — especially underwire bras. Fill the sink or a basin with lukewarm water and a capful of a delicate washing detergent and soak your bras and underwear, occasionally giving them a swirl to loosen any dirt or grime, for about 45 minutes to an hour. Short on time or patience? Put bras and underwear in a special lingerie bag or a pillowcase and wash in the machine using cold water on the hand-wash cycle.
3. Ditch the dryer. L’Agent Kaity Tanga Brief ($50): Whether you hand wash or enlist the help of the washing machine (and remember — cold water and delicate cycle only!), wring out excess water once finished, reshape and lay flat to dry. If you don’t have a drying rack on hand, use hangers to hang your lingerie. Solid surfaces are a no-go. NEVER under any circumstance dry with a tumble dryer. The heat can break down the elasticity, ultimately making for ill-fitting garments.
4. Stow your bras neatly. Calvin Klein Lace Balconette Bra ($62): Sure — tossing your bra into your drawers is easy, but you won’t be doing them any favors. Arranging them so that the cups are neatly stacked on top of each other allows them to maintain their shape better and prevents awkward lines.
5. Hang ’em up. Free People Lace Bodysuit ($38): While it’s not realistic for everyone, if you have a bit of extra closet space to work with, hang up your most coveted pieces to keep them in pristine condition.
6. Alternate between bras. Skivvies by For Love & Lemons Loucette Demi Bra ($118): We all have our go-to bras that we rock on the regular, but the reality is that by wearing the same one all day errday, you speed up the wear-and-tear process and wind up with a slightly saggy bra. It’s best to have a few different options on hand and rotate between them to allow the elastics and the bra’s overall shape to recover.
7. Know when to let go. Victoria’s Secret Lace Back No-Show Cheekster ($11): Surprise! Like any other piece of clothing in your closet, bras don’t last forever. How often you need to replace your bra really depends on your cup size and how much support you need. Smaller cup sizes can go longer without needing replacements, but on average, plan to invest in a few new bras every 18-24 months.
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