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The Secret Life of Underwear

No matter what you call them – panties, drawers, underpants, bloomers, briefs, etc. – we all (well, except for those few of us who prefer to go “au natural”) need them…Women and men are very different when it comes to undergarments. Years ago I heard a comedian talking about how he could wear a pair of boxers 4 different ways before he had to throw it in the laundry pile…uh, no. Just no. I HOPE that I don’t know any women who share this philosophy. Please don’t tell me if you do.

You can NEVER have too many panties! But realistically, how much underwear do we need? I think at the very least, one should have enough underwear to last for at least 2 weeks without doing laundry. If you only do laundry once a month, then you should have about 30 pairs. I know it may sound like a lot, but it’s really not so much once the days start passing. And generally, I find that women need more underwear than men. Guys like a particular style, such as boxers or briefs, and usually stick to it. Women often wear more than one style and like to have a decent selection of each so that no matter what the occasion, they are well prepared.

“But realistically, how much underwear do we need? I think at the very least, one should have enough underwear to last for at least 2 weeks without doing laundry.”

Amy Friedman

Didn’t our mothers always tell us to be sure to wear clean underwear in case something happened to us and we had to go to the hospital? And underpants with holes in them are just as bad as “not fresh” underwear, you know. As some of you are aware, I’m also a personal trainer. Years ago, I was conducting a fitness evaluation on a female client which involved waist measurements. She didn’t want the waistband of her shorts to throw off the measurement, so she pulled them down a little. Underneath, she had the holiest underwear I had ever seen. We were both mortified. Needless to say, I chastised her mightily and she came to the store the next day to replace them. But imagine what would have happened, g-d forbid, if she had been trapped under a tree with those panties on. She would have been so embarrassed. I’m sure there are plenty of you who have a favorite pair or two that really need to be discarded. If you are too attached to let go of them cold turkey, move them to the back of your drawer for a little while and wear them on weekends if you want, or for yard work. But after that, it will be time to retire them for good.

Not to get too personal or anything, but I have 2 panty drawers (2 full panty drawers). Years ago there was a storm that left me without power for almost two weeks. After 3 days without power, I was a little antsy. After 10 days with no washing machine, I really started to panic. What if I run out of underwear??? Now truly, this is a near impossibility. I may run out of my FAVORITE underwear…but run out of undies completely? No. I think I probably have more underwear than most people. After all, it’s my business. I’m something of a panties expert, if you will…a connoisseur. I like to try all the different underwear I get for the store, so that when people ask about a particular type, I can give an educated opinion. But like everyone, I have my favorites, and my drawers reflect this. I’ll use a basketball analogy to explain. You have your starters and your benchwarmers. You always go for your starters first. They’re the best. My starters drawer got a little full, so that’s why I had to appropriate the second drawer and reorganize a bit. Starters in the front, benchwarmers in the back. Your benchwarmers are good enough to be on the team, but they don’t get as much play time because they aren’t quite as good. So you keep ‘em around just in case something happens to the starters, like they’re all in the laundry at the same time.

My mother used to laugh at me when we would go on buying trips and she saw how many pairs of panties I would bring. I always take twice as many pairs as I’ll need. I just don’t like to take chances. She would remind me that I could do laundry in the sink if I needed to, but I find great comfort in having plenty of undies available, and it’s not like they take up a lot of room in the suitcase. Years ago, a customer who normally wears really nice underwear told me that when she travels, she takes cheap Jockeys from Target and just throws them away after she wears them. She doesn’t like to bring home dirty underwear. I was dumbfounded when I heard this. It’s sort of brilliant, but it would never work for me. I’m uncomfortable enough when I travel…different place, different bed, different schedule…I don’t want to have to adjust to different underwear, also. My favorite underwear is very comforting to me; I like to have it around, and I like to make sure that I have a starters drawer wherever I am.

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