How to Store Bras and Lingerie

Opening up a beautifully organized drawer of lingerie each morning can be one of life’s small pleasures. Here’s how to straighten out a tangled mass of straps, hooks, and unmatched fabrics.

Photo by Levi Brown

Step 1: Out With the Old

Your first job is to take all your underwear and dump it out on the bed. Why? Because before you can organize, you need to do some winnowing. But editing underwear is easy because you have to deal with only two piles: things to keep and things to throw away. No maybes. No maybe-it’ll-come-back-in-fashions. No giveaways. Please. (The Salvation Army will thank you.)
First cull: Anything you really wouldn’t want to be hit by a truck while wearing. Gray things that used to be white; anything ratty, ripped, stained, or spotted with holes. “Are you not good enough to wear good panties?” asks New York lingerie designer Leigh Bantivoglio.
With that same I’m-worth-it mentality, take a hard look at what’s left and pitch it if:

  • You haven’t worn it in a year (there must be a reason).
  • The color has faded.
  • The seams are beginning to come undone.
  • The elastic is going—or gone.
  • The underwires have lost their original shape or are poking through the fabric, which happens when a bra has been thrown into the washing machine—sans lingerie bag—too many times.
  • It doesn’t fit properly anymore. Weight fluctuates, especially when you are pregnant.
  • It didn’t fit properly to begin with.
  • It’s uncomfortable—divest yourself of bras that ride up and thongs that dig in. (Thong tip: Cotton mesh is less likely to gouge than nylon. Try Cosabella, On Gossamer, Hanky Panky, or Calvin Klein.)