Monday, July 26, 2010


My underwear and socks and slips and socks and tights and stockings and camis have threatened to consume the drawers in my closet. I have 3 of them, drawers that is. They are not large. Nonetheless, don't you suppose they should be large enough to contain one woman's underwear stash?

While we debate that, let me tell you what I spent an afternoon doing.
  • I started by dumping everything from everywhere out on the bed.
  • That traumatized me so I opened a bottle of wine.
  • Next, I reviewed everything to verify it wasn't "finished", which is to say that the elastic and fabric was in good shape. If it didn't pass the test (I'm harsh), it was discarded. Natch, there was practically none of this in the pile.
  • Then, for everything other than bra sets, I considered which items I didn't love for whatever reason. If they were still in packages (stockings) or barely used camis I put them out in the free box on my lawn. (Don't be horrified. I live in downtown TO. We do that here.) Within 20 minutes the box was empty.
  • I pulled out the shapewear I've never worn because I just don't get it. I'm considering offering this up to my blog friends (unless that's totally gross to do) for the cost of shipping. Or maybe even just for free. It's not undies shapewear.
  • I threw out lots of socks I have always found disappointing.
  • Then, I moved on to the bra sets.
You should know that I have many sets which are up to 7 years old - when I really started spending on the lingerie. Like many women, I have been a number of different sizes and shapes and my chest size has changed as a result. Don't misunderstand. My chest is large at any weight. It's just slightly less full (and my back circumference is smaller) at my lower weight. Right now, I am neither at my slimmest nor least slim. I'm closer to the slim me but 5 lbs up from my "cutest skinny weight" - to use abusive magazine lingo.

(On a side note: The part of me that cares about this is at odds with the part of me that just started a new, challenging job and is trying to manage the stress that brings, loves to cook and eat, and doesn't have time to do as much yoga as would be optimal in light of all the sewing she prioritizes. What can I say? You can't have it all.)

Anyway, back to the bras... I vacillate between 2 or 3, very similar sizes depending on where I'm at and the brand of bra I'm wearing. Remember: I only wear stuff that fits perfectly. I will not pillow or swim. In as much as, at whatever size and shape I find myself, I'm convinced it's never going to change in either direction, I've lived long enough to know that either option is possible. Why should I discard the slightly fuller or smaller sets - all in good condition - simply to replace them at a future date. I mean, they don't go out of style. I have good taste. I spent a bomb. And they aren't "over". They've all got stable elastic and the fabric is in excellent condition. I decided I would put them in a separate drawer (one I had to find, which is another story),to await the day I might be happy to see them again.

Then it was time to contend with the remainder, which is to say it was time to have some fun looking at the stuff I love not all wadded up in the back of some dark drawer. I had no idea how to get everything into one drawer at this point, only that I needed one drawer for socks and stockings products, one for camis slips and scarves and that left one for undies in current rotation.

Till it hit me: Why not store my undies like the shops do - with all the bras and undies kept together (bras in front) lined up vertically (underwire tips pointing up, horseshoe curve against the drawer bottom)? They must know something about space saving, no?

So here you go:

In general I've got my neutrals, pinks, blacks and patterns organized by colour. At least they're all visible and I can grab for the bra and undies in one easy motion. I decided not to try and make it perfect - not in real life and not in photos. I spend too much time doing that and it's just not adequately productive, frankly. We all know how the undies refuse to cooperate and stay gorgeously folded, what with all the quick-grabbing that happens in the morning. And srsly, do you think less of me because this isn't utterly perfect? Not so you'll admit it anyhow!

Brief reminder: When you buy sets - at any price range - do what you can to buy at least 2, if not 3 pairs of undies - preferably of different cuts. I know it can really get pricey, but the whole thing will last so much longer, get much better rotation and suit a variety of bottoms.

OK, mega-post over and out. Now pls. do tell how you organize this key element of your wardrobe. How many bras do you own? Damn, how can I be asking this when I haven't even counted the numbers in my wardrobe. That's totally on the agenda!


  1. I have to clean up those sections of my bureau too. But it's too tedious! I keep putting it off. Oh, also and knowing that I have to throw out old stuff and buy new stuff...that also makes me resist.

  2. I organize my bras and panties in this way, too ... though they're all SUPER boring compared to your gorgeous sets! I love the order of nude with nude, cream with cream.

  3. My lingerie drawer just saw your lingerie drawer and it is now mocking me for my obsession with neutrals and my lack of frilly things. Inspiring post.
    Bra count? 8. Underwear? 100.

  4. OMG! I'm jealous now. Look at all that lacy pretty stuff. I seriously only have about 3-4 bras a the moment that fit. The others are just too big to wear or are too worn out. I soooo totally want to clone my Freya that fits so good. It's getting a bit loose too so I'm afraid of doing that. We'll see. I have probably 40 pairs of panties, give or take.

  5. Wow, I only have 3 or 4 bras. But I do always buy matching sets with at least 2, usually 3, pairs of knickers (g-string, bikini, boy-leg, whatever's available). And I organise them by colour - white, nude, red and black is what I've got at the moment. Now I want MORE.

  6. Well, bras and undies are stored the same way as yours and have been for years, except that at the moment I still have a fair sized drawer which is not very full as I haven't restocked until I am convinced that the bra size is stable (and hopefully the undie size too as I get really weird if things don't match.

    Actually right now I have 6 bras that fit (I just bought some) and I usually buy 2 or 3 bottoms for each bra, although 2 of my current sets have only one. And I have 3 undies for each of the two neutral bras. I could easily accumulate more now that my size seems to be stabilizing more or less. Oh, and there is a merry widow in the cami and slip drawer.

    I see the point of different sizes as even though I am post-menopause, there are still weight and minor bra size fluctuations. Before my current drastic size change, I had a 20 years of wearing similar size bras and a lovely collection. In fact there is still a box with about half a dozen la perla sets with size 70 bras that I honestly don't believe I will ever wear again. I can't quite bear to give them up yet.

    And socks and tights have two separate drawers. I know I'm out of control.

  7. How wonderful! I read in In Style that most women own 6 bras, but wear 3 regularly. I bet I own a dozen, but wear 6. Some are yucky and stretched out, and you are inspiring me to clean out my lingerie drawer, too.

    I actually have a lingerie chest - the top drawer for belts, scarves and hosiery, the 2nd for socks, the 3rd for bras, the 4th for undies, and the bottom 2 for sleepwear. Then I have a small chest of drawers for Ts and work out clothes. I color-code my closet, as well. I got a little psycho a few years ago about keeping my duds in order, but I've managed to stick with it! I'm sure you'll be able to as well.

  8. Love the way you put stuff out on the Lawn, I'd love that! Rummage through someones box on my way to the shops!

  9. Congratulations on the new job K! I am officially the worst blog friend ever for not knowing about this.
    I'm sorry but i keep all my bras until the air content outweighs the boob content. Then I go for a fitting xx

  10. I absolutely swear by these organizing thingies:

    This keeps all my stuff organized and untangled. I can see it all at once. I lovelovelove it. :-D

  11. Ms. B: Resistance is futile! And I love the word "bureau".

    Sal: Just think, a new area of gorgeousness for you to branch into!

    Bel: Ha! I still haven't counted, ridiculously. I need to do that...

    Heather: Really, Figleaves is the way to go. Re-buy it when it goes on sale - 2 of them - then clone one and keep the other. A little pricey, but what's a girl to do??

    Tiffany: Good job with the undies! So few people do that...

    Mardel: I'd LOVE to see the La Perla "vintage" :-) It sounds like you have a plan - as always!

    Sewn: Do you suppose, if you had 20 you'd wear 10 in regular rotation? :-) It sure is justification!

    Fab: I'm telling you, it's a great system :-)

    Lisa: No worries, of course! You are a very busy woman in your own right. Which is probably why you wait so long for the replacement frillies. I think it's about time again, yes?

    Amandalee: What a great invention! And site. Thanks for the link.