Are You Still Wearing The Same Underwear From 5 Years Ago? They May Have “Expired”

I’ll be honest, I still wear the same underwear from when I was 17 (I’m now 25) because… well… they still fit, don’t look dingy and don’t have any holes in them just yet. But I’ve always wondered, should I have thrown them out by now? Am I holding onto something that may have already passed its “best by” date? As it turns out, there’s more to knowing when your underwear is on it’s way out than you would have thought.




How Often Should I Buy New Underwear?

There is no one size fits all method here. To be honest, there are a few factors that you need to consider. However, what is the “general rule” is that you should be buying new panties and bras every six months to a year (YIKES. Bras can be expensive though!). Of course, this depends on how often you use that specific piece. For example, if you’ve only got one bra in your closet, you’re going to find yourself needing to replace that one piece after a month or two. On the other hand, if you’ve got four to five pairs (with variation: sports bras, lace, strapless bras), you can expect to change them after a year. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that you’ve got to keep a sticky note with their “expiry” dates up on your cupboard. No, all you need is to look our for these signs.



Here’s how to know if it’s time to get new underwear…

1. You can’t remember when (or where) you got them

You know on bad weeks, where the laundry hasn’t been done and you’ve got to dig out clean undies – only to find an old pair that you can’t even remember buying? Yeah – those are on their way out. After all, you have no idea how long they’ve been there for and if you can’t remember them – you obviously don’t hold them close to your heart.



2. They look like they’ve been dragged around by a bull.

It’s hard to admit that your favourite pair of panties or your most comfy bra has done it’s time. After all, it may be stretched, faded and holey but it’s your favourite! However, once your underwear stops fitting right, it’s time to say goodbye. Not only that, but it’s also not ideal to keep pairs that are frayed, stained or literally as if someone attacked them with hole punchers. Throw them out and get them replaced!



3. They don’t fit

As much as this seems like common sense, almost EVERYONE is guilty of putting on a pair of ill-fitting panties that haven’t hugged their hips in months. Even if this is due to changes in our bodies – after all, our bodies do change and evolve -, if the glove doesn’t fit, don’t force it. A lot of the time, especially with bras, women aren’t wearing the right sizes. Experts say that a good fitting bra is one that can be worn on the loosest hook. With this, even as the bra stretches over time, you have the option of going up the hooks. And then, once you’re on your final hooks, the straps are stretched to the max and the underwire is poking you (or the edges are frayed) – it’s time for another round of underwear shopping.




4. You’d be embarrassed if someone were to see you wearing them

Hold up your underwear and think about this: for whatever reason you’re undressing in front of someone else (hey, maybe your pants rip or the wind blows a little too strong) and they see you in this pair, would you be glad they saw you in this pair of undies? Or, if they were to fall out of your bag, would you be able to say they’re yours and carry on or would you rather pretend that they’re not yours? If the answer is the latter, THROW. THEM. OUT.



So as excessive as it sounds, it’s important to buy new underwear regularly (at least, every six months). Not only because you want snug, sexy, comfortable pieces but because you’re actually holding onto bacteria. That’s right – let’s not forget that our underwear can carry bacteria. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute, even clean underwear can contain up to 10,000 living bacteria. That’s because – let’s be honest – there are bacteria in the washing machine, there are bacteria in the air, in your drawers and cupboards. About 83 percent of “clean” underwear contains up to 10,000 bacteria. So let’s not allow ourselves to hold onto the past and get. new. underwear.


*Cover image credits: Photo by Uliana Kopanytsia on Unsplash