Let’s Do This: Underwear Overhaul

Make that lingerie drawer look brand spankin’ new


“Atrocious” is an awful word to describe a woman’s underwear drawer, but it’s true: they so often are. Typically relegated to the smallest pullout space in the dresser because we assume our sweaters and sweatpants are the only clothes that need room to breathe, the underwear drawer becomes a catch-all for the misunderstood and miscellaneous — socks without mates, a foldable hairbrush, excess straps and envelopes to remind us of addresses that correspond with letters we’ve long ago trashed. We’re all hoarders when it comes to our underwear drawers. We’re even worse when it comes to our actual underwear.

More than any other item of clothing, underwear is saved for just-in-case moments. What if we need…

A white thong for white jeans

A blue thong for blue jeans (the kind where the dye comes off on everything)

A full brief with a high waist for days when something else needs to suck us in

Red lace in the case of something festive

Black lining for lazy day six of our periods

And so on.

The problem is that this habit of doomsday prepping our underwear drawers means we’re always stocked but rarely ready. When the time comes for that red lace number, we remember that actually, it has a giant hole. Anything white is not really white any longer, black has become faded navy and that which sparkled, ruffled or tied up with bows now looks/feels/is sad.


Step 1: Trash any ‘dwears you wouldn’t loan. Even if you wouldn’t ever actually loan them, pretend you had to. Now trash the ones you wouldn’t. (Or recycle them for your own use as dust rags.)

Step 2: Now get rid of the ones that don’t make you feel like running around nearly-naked the moment you put them on. Once the drawer is empty save for enough pairs to get you through to your refresh purchase, line it in pretty paper. I’m telling you, this will make your drawer feel special again.

Step 3: Credit card city. Start small — buy few pairs each paycheck, even, but consider this an investment in the future of your nether region.

Step 4: Do check off the basics according to your preference and wardrobe.

Step 5: And then, once your base is back, add in a few for fun. Make them absolutely impractical. Impractical may as well be the opposite of atrocious.

Featuring underwear from Hello Beautiful and Pansy with tanks and tees from Petit Bateau. Follow our guest models Shelby Macklin and Lesley Admana on Instagram @shelbymacklin and @lesleyadmana. Styled by Elizabeth Tamkin, photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


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