It was when I was packing for the Christmas trip to my parents' that I made my first resolution for 2017: must sort out knicker drawer. As I stuffed handfuls of pants into my wheelie suitcase, I suddenly noticed how manky they were. Faded, holey, greige in places and old – so very old. I spotted one pair which had been through at least two house moves with me. Gross. Why had I held on to these knackered pants for so long? Who knows? But I bet I’m not the only one.
The start of a new year is a natural time for renewal – out with the old, in with the new – but where a total wardrobe declutter feels like a headache, a knicker-drawer sort-out is achievable. Here’s my guide.
Chuck out pants with holes in or any that pre-date the Kardashians.
Separate out the ones where the waistband has turned a funny grey colour from the wash. Keep up to three pairs (for emergencies) and put these at the back of your drawer. Bin the rest.
Get rid of any that chafe, rub, pinch, have gone baggy, saggy, creep up your bum or you simply don't like. Life is too short for unsatisfactory pants.
Subsidise newly revamped knicker drawer with lovely new knickers – the fun bit.
If you are a full-brief wearer, then Marks & Spencer’s Rio All Over Lace Low Rise Bikini Knickers, £6, are brilliant. They offer good coverage, the soft lace is both comfortable and pretty, and the heart shape makes your bum look perkier than usual. In the next couple of months, look out for the Flexifit four-way-stretch knickers which are being re-released in breathable modal and promise to be M&S' most comfortable pants yet. They will come in briefs, thongs and shorts.
If cotton is your game, then try Petit Bateau’s light cotton pants, which come in a set of three. Typically £22.50, they are currently on sale for £15.75 and come in a choice of colours. I am also a fan of Cheek Frills, a London-based brand who make big knicks from eco-friendly, super-soft modal. They come with a lacy trim, in loads of colours and have the option of personalisation (if you fancy pants with your name on them). It's also worth looking at GAP for their pretty super soft lace shorty, £7.
For thong wearers, you need to check out American underwear brand Hanky Panky, who make the most comfortable thong on the planet. Made from stretchy cotton-mix lace, the signature stretch low-rise thong refuses to chafe, stays exactly where it should and gives zero VPL. I can also recommend the stretch-lace boy shorts, which excel in the comfort department and look really pretty. The instructions say to handwash, but I throw mine on a delicate spin without any repercussions.
These aren’t cheap – £32 for the shorts and £20 for the thong (although you can currently get the white or black thong on Amazon for £12 and the shorts for £29 at Figleaves) – however, considering that you’ll probably keep them for another five years, cost per wear they just about stack up.