Silk. Lace. Nylon. Beaded. U-cut. Demi. Full. Shelf. Padded. Convertible. Backless. Halter. Sexy. Athletic.
Time and again, we've been advised that impeccable style starts with investing in the fundamentals—perfect fit, confidence from comfort and adequate support from the right lingerie. How can elegance be delivered with visible straps and bunching pads that can be seen through an otherwise beautifully crafted silk blouse?
To prolong the life of your trusted undergarments, here's a quick guide to help a busy city girl care for her bras without borrowing too much time from a packed schedule:
1. Read care labels.
As you know, different occasions require different brassieres. A classic halter top demands a seamless strapless bra that is expectedly made from material different from a lacey number meant for show so en vogue in 2013. Instead of mindlessly throwing your intimates en masse into your washer, take the time to understand the instructions printed by manufacturers to make the most out of each piece that has been with you through thick and thin throughout the day.
2. Soften your touch.
If you decide not to be bothered to meticulously sort your undergarments before doing your laundry, consider buying yourself a gentle detergent and hand wash your bras. A tried and tested liquid detergent readily available in your neighborhood grocery store is Perwoll, which offers a wide array of variants—from general use (pink) to color-safe for black items (black) and brightening for whites (white).
Remember to hook each bra together to avoid snagging with other items in your laundry, and to sort and wash dark colors separately from lights and whites. For each batch, bathe your lingerie under cold to lukewarm water, then soak in a tub of lukewarm water and gentle (preferably liquid) detergent. Soak your intimates for about fifteen minutes, then rub your laundry with your fingertips (think butter and flour). Rinse under cold water to remove all traces of soap.
Remember not to wring your bras to avoid ruining their shape and weakening the integrity of the pads and wires. To remove excess water, press sections gently between the palms of your hands. Another option is to place them on a flat towel and cover with another towel to easily sandwich them and gently press (like making a panini). Hang dry using multiple/tiered hangers and away from direct sunlight to avoid harming colors.
3. Discover the delicate cycle.
If you must use your washing machine (l’horreur!), remember to fasten the hooks of each bra and place them in a lingerie bag or a small wash (mesh) bag. With gentle liquid detergent and cold water, wash using the machine’s delicate cycle and in small batches of like colors. Dry as you would after hand washing and opt not to use the dryer to avoid shrinking your bra.
4. Store smartly and pack separately.
The most meticulous of us swear by packing cubes and rolling clothes, among other tips, to maximize luggage space, minimize wrinkling of fabrics, and allow you to take exquisite #ootd shots without having to drag around a clothes steamer. For your intimates, a brassiere case that preserves the shape of your undergarments is indispensable. Head to the countless department stores and nifty bazaars that bedeck the metro for stocks to dazzle.
On a daily basis, keep those secret numbers in a drawer dedicated to lingerie, keeping brassieres upright (as if worn by an invisible version of yourself) and lined one after the other, being guided by the mold of the cups. Another option is t hang them by their straps in tiered hangers, finding their home amidst your favorite feminine blouses.
5. Don't get too attached.
Even with due care and mindfulness, your intimates are bound to meet their demise, especially since they work hard day in day out. Every three months, check whether your brassieres need to be retired, keeping an eye out for overstretched shoulder straps, deformed pads, crooked wires and imperfect fit. Make sure to keep your undergarments in faithful rotation to avoid overusing certain pieces and keeping the rest bored.
And that is that. Easy peasy practical tips for the everyday fashionista looking to face the world with the best version of herself, keeping secret her sexy support system in tow and perfect care.
Images from giphy.com