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How To Take Care Of Your Prized Lingerie

Plus-sized, medium-sized, petite, or somewhere in between, one thing most women have in common is that we love our lingerie! No, I'm not suggesting that every woman out there is a collector of specialized bedroom garments, but I do think most of us like to have at least a few on hand, whether for special occasions or just to feel a little sexier now and then. The problem is, unless you do happen to be a connoisseur used to handling a large collection of delicate lingerie, you might not be aware of some of the specific care that they require. I know there was a time when I wasn't! I used to shred up and stretch out these sorts of clothes as quickly as I could buy them!

For that reason, I took some time to do my research on the topic, and I've since come up with a set of golden rules for how to take care of lingerie. So here are four of those rules, along with some others' perspectives on the importance of these steps.

Hand Wash Whenever Possible

This is probably the most general, all-encompassing lingerie care tip out there. It even came up in an "everything you need to know" lingerie guide at Style Caster - meaning, they really only had one little blurb about how to wash these types of garments, and this is the one they chose. Basically, while there are definitely a few lingerie pieces you can probably get away with washing in a machine, there are so many delicate fabrics and designs that it's probably best to just do it by hand if you're able to spare the time. Plus, if you're on the larger side, this helps eliminate the risk of lengthy straps and things of that nature getting all tangled up and twisted in the wash!

Mind Your Fabric

As I just mentioned, you'll find that there are some fabrics you can get away with machine washing, if you're super determined to machine wash, while others are more delicate. Keeping this in mind will ultimately lead you to the most effective care methods, and therefore your longest-lasting lingerie! Adam & Eve's page on lingerie care has become a really helpful tool for me in this regard, because it basically has a rundown of all the different fabrics you're likely to come across - cotton, rayon, silk, sheer, etc. - and how best to care for each type.

Don't Hang Dry! (Or Machine Dry)

"Don't machine dry" is some of the most common advice you'll find when researching how to care for lingerie, and I absolutely support it. It's bad for the fabrics more often than not, it's bad for the delicacy of the pieces, it can lead to shrinkage, it can tangle up straps, it can affect the shape of bra cups, etc., etc. Just don't do it! But I'm stunned at how often I see this advice immediately followed by the idea of hang drying. In my opinion, this is a mistake. Huffington Post's rules for washing bras at least went so far as to say hang or lay garments out on a towel to dry, and I'd strongly advise the latter. Why? Because hang drying can stretch your clothes out (and if you're in the plus-sized category this is something you already have to worry about a bit too much!). It makes perfect sense, right? If you hang a bra up, moisture is going to seep down to the lower cup, which will then be heavier, effectively putting a small weight on one end of your bra while it hang dries. Hmm....

Pay Attention To The Tags

This is another tip you'll find in a lot of places, and while it's sort of common sense, it's still worth reiterating. If you're just wondering what a specific piece of lingerie requires in the care department, the tag usually has the answer. Design Mom's 7 secrets to caring for unmentionables - incidentally probably my favorite lingerie care guide out there - has the fun little suggestion of keeping notes of your different garments' tags, or even keeping the tags themselves in a little jar (if you, like so many of us, have a habit of cutting them off of bras and other pieces). This is basically like keeping an instruction manual for your individual bits of clothing.

That should just about do it! Enjoy your squeaky clean, un-stretched, long-lasting lingerie!

*This was a post bought to you by Adam and Eve.

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