Although it may not seem like a big deal, continuing to wear the same pair of old, worn out underwear can lead to embarrassing problems that you may not notice, but others will. Luckily, knowing when to swap out your undies is pretty easy to figure out, you just have to know what to look for.
Below, you'll learn all you need to know about when to buy new underwear, other important FAQs surrounding the subject, what to look for when shopping for when buying underwear, how often you should buy new pairs, and how to make them last.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN TO BUY NEW UNDERWEAR?
Determining whether your old pairs of underwear needs replacing really comes down to six factors; if they're starting to loosen, littered with stubborn stains, riddled with holes and tears, certain elements are frayed, and if the fabric is starting to thin.
If your worn-out trusty pair briefs or boxers have become stretched-out and aren't as secure as they once were, it's time to throw 'em in the trash. Wearing stretched-out old underwear may feel comfortably familiar, but it's nothing like a secure, tight fit from new underwear.
You may think that you're the only person who notices when you wear stained underwear, but trust me - partners in intimate moments notice, too. The trouble is they can't tell if it's a new stain or old one; either way, they'll think it's nasty.
This is an obvious factor, but often overlooked; if there are any undies in your underwear drawer that even have small holes, they gotta go. Holes could also be a sign that your underwear is starting to smell, something you won't notice since you're used to your body odor, but others certainly will.
Tears can come from cheap fabric, washing on a heavy cycle, using a dryer, or simply from time. Regardless, tears don't get smaller and can suddenly go explode into a huge rip from one poorly timed bend in any given personal or professional setting. No thank you!
FRAYED SEAMS AND WAISTBAND
Although you may notice a fray on the back of your waistband before putting it on, you won't notice if the fray is sticking out from your clothing. On the surface, nobody will be able to notice frayed seams; but you certainly will when it's sticking into your groin all day long, and others around you will probably notice your constant itching and scratching as a result.
Thin or Transparent Appearance
Even the best pair of underwear can start to feel thin or look transparent over time, and noticing this effect can save you from future uncomfortable and unfortunate events. Signs of thinning or transparency, also called sheering, is the precursor to holes and tears. A quick test for this is holding a pair of old underwear up to a light. If you can see what's behind them, this is a sign that they need replacing.
Now that we've covered the telltale signs of knowing when to replace your underwear, let's quickly cover some other questions around this subject.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU BUY UNDERWEAR?
There really is no one-all-be-all answer to to the expiration date of underwear; it depends on the quality of the pair in question, how they've been washed and dried, and how heavily they were used. A general rule that most experts agree upon is that an average pair of underwear should be replaced every two to three months where higher end brands can last anywhere from five to seven months.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T REPLACE YOUR UNDERWEAR?
No matter how heavy or frequently you wash your underwear, bacteria will accumulate in areas with higher exposure to moisture and can damage your health. Continuing to wear the same underwear loaded with bacteria can result in foul odor, skin irritation and infection risk, chafing, and in some extreme cases, urinary tract and yeast infections. Big no!
WHEN SHOULD YOU THROW OUT OLD UNDERWEAR?
If your underwear has any one of the six signs listed above, or if they're starting to smell, the time has come to replace underwear for a fresh pair. If you're a thrifty person who likes to upcycle, old underwear can also be used as cleaning rags and can even be composted if made exclusively from plant-based materials.
01 | Comfortable Materials
The first and most obvious factor is a comfortable wear, so let's go over which fabrics to avoid and which boxer briefs are best for different lifestyles.
First, you'll want to avoid anything made with synthetic fabrics like polyamide seeing as it's known for poor breathability and tendency to gather static electricity. Also, if a pair is made mostly out of polyester, keep browsing. When not properly paired with other materials, polyester holds stank and is a poor choice for those sensitive skin.
For those who suffer from chafing issues and sensitive skin, you can't go wrong with cotton undies, it's hypoallergenic properties and ability to absorb sweat will prevent irritation in sensitive areas.
02 | Seams
Generally, you'll find that underwear has either overlocked seams or flatlock seams when shopping around for a new pair of underwear. Overlocked are generally the standard for underwear and most other clothing, but that doesn't mean it's good; after a small amount of wears, these seams start to fray and can lead to irritation, chafing, and even bleeding.
Flatlock seams are thin, flat, soft, more secure, and last longer than overlocked. This style also reduces the risk of irritation and chafing to provide a much more comfortable wearing experience.
03 | WAISTBAND
When it comes to waistbands, you'll want to look for two key factors; material and width. The best materials is a nylon elastic waistband, and the width should be at least 2"; this combination results in a soft feel that doesn't roll. Be sure to keep an eye on this seeing as most brands have a width of 1-1.25".
04 | Customer Reviews
If someone goes through the effort to leave a review about underwear, you'll know that the product is either really good or really bad. Before you buy new underwear, be sure to take a moment to read the reviews of the individual pairs as well as the reviews of the company itself.
HOW TO MAKE UNDERWEAR LAST
Even the best pair of undies can wear out prematurely if not cared for properly, so once you finally decide on a new pair, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging instead of throwing them in with jeans.
When it comes to washing your underwear in a washing machine, it's best to wash your underwear separately from other apparel on a delicate cycle using cold water and detergent without bleach. (Do not wash with hot water) You can hand wash with detergent too, but nobody really has time for that; you can wash them in a washing machine if you follow those steps.
When drying them, let them air dry instead of tossing them in a dryer. The high levels of heat can lead to premature shrinking, fading, and fraying.
For a more complete guide to proper wash and care tips, head to our Care Guide.
IT'S TIME TO UPGRADE
If you're like most guys, chances are your underwear drawer is stuffed with more pairs that need to be replaced than new pairs; if you notice it, others probably do, too.
Do your personal and professional life a favor by upgrading to Drawlz, premium underwear for a reasonable price with excellent customer service and hundreds of five star reviews.
If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.
Thanks for reading,