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Smart women don't collect underwear - they curate it. Here's why

There are numerous self-help professionals making a good living these days by telling us how to chill out. And chilling is actually more of an art than many of us realize - which might be why we struggle with it. 

Whether in the realm of finance, health and wellness, or organizing our endless to-do lists, there are two principles that much self-help advice boils down to: be smart and simplify. Identify your goals, create clear guidelines for how to get there, and then focus on implementing those guidelines to get where you want to go. 

Our lives are so complex and busy that it can sometimes be hard to see the virtues of simplicity, or the areas of our lives that could benefit from it. But the truth is a smarter, simpler approach can help optimize nearly anything - and can even be a real game-changer. 

One of those, it turns out, is the underwear drawer. Here’s how to do it.

The simple beauty of curation

Underwear tends to accumulate in women’s dresser drawers. Why? Well, one reason is that compared to other clothing items, underwear is both affordable and compact: even if you buy a lot of it, it’s unlikely to take up much space in your budget or your bedroom. 

This makes underwear a vulnerable category for impulse purchases. It also means that when the need does arise to create more space in our closets, many women look to purge bigger, bulkier unneeded items: shoes that have seen better days, once-trendy dresses whose fashion moments have faded. 

The result for a lot of women are underwear drawers that resemble kitchen or basement junk drawers: full of practical items in frequent circulation, but also clogged with useless stuff that takes up space and gets in our way - physically and mentally. 

Every woman is familiar with the symptoms of underwear excess: the saggy, baggy, stretched-out “comfort” wear that’s no longer comfortable since it lost its elastic stretch and now bunches up under clothing. And from a style perspective, it’s usually just as dodgy.

There are probably also those “luxury” undies purchased in delusional moments, when you imagined a lifestyle you don’t actually possess: one in which you are willing to sacrifice the most essential comfort around your most intimate anatomy for a super “sexy” look. (It turns out no one looks or feels sexy making frequent panty adjustments.) 

Almost every woman on earth has at some point collected the above underwear offenders and allowed them to freeload space in her dresser without pulling their fair weight in wearability. 

Step one to curation perfection: part ways with unworn panties

Don’t wait until your drawer won’t close to purge these pairs of pointless panties. Do it now. Ridding yourself of useless items is a great way to unburden your mind as well as your storage space. Every time you have to push aside useless stuff, burrowing into a pile of nonsense to get what you want to actually wear, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s a waste of your precious time and energy that is better spent on what really matters. 

Cleaning out your underwear drawer - like cleaning out a kitchen drawer of trendy, fancy kitchen gadgets you never use to cook - is a great way to show respect for the life you really live: one as free of underwear adjustments as it is of, say, melon balls. 

Purging stuff you haven’t used in years is also a way to articulate and implement your current priorities and values and free up brain space for everything else going on in your fascinating life. 

Step two: fill the holes in your underwear wardrobe, thoughtfully.

Look at all that space in your underwear drawer! Don’t you feel more relaxed already? 

Now it’s time to build on the strengths of your collection by thinking about the factors that actually matter. Is there a certain cut that dominates? A fabric that’s so soft it’s irresistible? A go-to pair for date night that never fails to make you feel fabulous? 

And what about your unmet needs? Is there underwear you would use if you had it around for certain outfits or special occasions? Maybe a pair of Tommy John Slip Shorts would replace that antiquated slip you recently pitched. Or perhaps a High Rise Brief is the panty you’ve been missing to wear with a pair of retro-inspired, high-waisted pants.

Before you buy anything, ask yourself: is this a well-designed, comfortable, high-quality piece that I’ll look forward to wearing again and again? Would I happily wear it this week? If the answer is no, it’s not worth the space in your mind or your closet. 

Focus on quality - design, style, craftsmanship, and fabric - over quantity. All your panties should be ones you look forward to wearing, whether it’s an everyday style, or a more special-occasion option. 

The bottom line

If you’ve ever been a regular at a local independent shop - like a hip bookstore, amazing wineseller, or a wonderful ceramic gallery - then you know the power of curation to make your life simpler, smarter and better. Don’t hesitate to apply the same logic to your underwear drawer! You’ll be grateful every time you get dressed.