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Should you deep six those old briefs? Probably. Here's why

Are you hanging onto an ancient pair of briefs? Are they threadbare, saggy, or just plain out of style? Wondering if it’s time to finally let them go? 

Many women hold onto undies that are practically antique for reasons that are sometimes quite sensible, sometimes mysterious, and sometimes hard to pin down. However, much like leftovers in the back of the fridge, once you start to wonder whether your old briefs are past their expiration date, the answer is most likely yes.

As with any major life change, though, it can help ease the fear of transition if you understand why you’re hanging onto them in the first place. This can help you understand the role these aging undies have played in your wardrobe and your life, and smooth the path forward as you prepare to replace them. 

Here, then, are just some of the reasons cited by real women clinging to underwear more fit for an archaeological dig than actual wearing - and some handy tips to ease the stress of letting go.

They feel irreplaceable

Maybe you really like briefs, but assume you’ll never find a decent replacement since they’re so old-fashioned. Surprise! There are many great reasons why women like this underwear cut - that’s why they’re coming back in fashion, much like high-rise jeans. Once disparaged as unattractive “granny panties,” many young women are rediscovering a style known for comfort - and the flattering way they highlight your natural curves. 

You’ll now find many chic modern brands offering briefs in splashy and sophisticated colors and indulgent fabrics - see Tommy John’s Second Skin Brief and great-for-travel, feather-light Air Mesh Brief. The cut pays homage to a cut associated with retro pin-up glamor (especially in high-waisted styles), while serving contemporary women’s desire for full-coverage comfort and security at the same time. 

They symbolize comfort and security

Lots of women hang onto stretched-out, thinning old panties the way many people, both men and women, hold onto old t-shirts. They’re familiar, and also super-soft from so many wears and washes, providing a sense of comfort on both psychological and physical levels. 

But the truth is underwear aren’t like old broken-in tees: because they rely on stretch to fit properly, they don’t age well after a certain point. Instead, they get saggy and stretched-out and lose their elasticity. This can make them bunch uncomfortably - and in unsightly ways, too - under your clothing. Thinning fabric can make elastic chafe against your skin. And lower-quality fabrics often pill or fuzz in unsightly ways with many washes. Briefs especially may be prone to sagging and bunching if they’re ancient, because their more generous cut includes a larger quantity of fabric.

Think about it: are those old briefs really as cozy on your body as you think they are? Or are they just pleasantly familiar? Maybe it’s time to thank them for their trusty service and send them into a well-deserved retirement. 

And if you’re looking for a replacement, Tommy John’s got you covered. For luxe softness and comfort right from Day 1 - no “breaking-in” period required - look to panties in our Second Skin fabric collection. With silky soft, micro modal fabric that will never pill or fuzz, you won’t regret making the switch.

They don’t need adjustment

Briefs provide ample coverage in front and back, with waistbands and leg openings at or very close to your body’s natural creases. This makes them very comfortable to wear when you’re moving, and less likely than skimpier styles to move around or migrate to places where they might cause discomfort or show through clothing. 

If you’ve relied on briefs to dodge the risk of wedgies and other problems associated with migrating fabric, there’s a chance your ideas of fit and function come from lower-quality brands with poorer performance caused by less-than-precise design. 

All of Tommy John’s underwear offerings - ranging from our Women's High-Rise Brief to our Women’s Cheeky to our Women’s Thong, and beyond - are designed first and foremost to stay put, comfortably, with No Adjustment Needed. We accomplish this through doting attention to the three Fs - fabric, fit and function - to create panties that work for real women, hour after hour, day after day. 

Think your commitment to comfort means you’ll always be a briefs gal? That’s cool, we love briefs too. But we guarantee all of our underwear cuts are just as comfy as our briefs - and likely even comfier than those old ones you’ve been clinging to for too long. 

So go ahead, hold us to our word. Try out a boyshort, cheeky, or even a thong. Take them out for a test-drive. And if you aren’t 100% thrilled with your first purchase, our Best Pair Guarantee means you can return them risk-free within 30 days - that’s right, even after wearing them.