Free US returns and exchanges Close
Shinesty Image

How Many Pairs Of Underwear Should I Have? Don't Worry, It's Less Than You Think.

by Nate Charny

Let’s Talk About Underwear

Underwear: Every day we let it rub against our most delicate parts for hours, yet there’s so much we never learned about it. So today, like a parent awkwardly giving you the sex talk, we going to answer all the questions you didn’t even know you had about underwear.

  • How many pairs of underwear should I have?
  • How long does underwear last?
  • How often should you buy new underwear?
  • What should I do with my old underwear?
  • This all sounds so complicated. Can’t someone just handle all this for me?

How many pairs of underwear should I have?

Definitely at least one pair. But experts recommend owning a 3 week supply of around 20 pairs of underwear. This maintains a balance between closet space and frequency of doing laundry. So, do you own 20 pairs of underwear? And let me be specific: 20 USABLE pairs of underwear. I know we all still have relics from high school at the bottom of our underwear drawer, but realistically those things are never coming out of retirement.

At a minimum, experts recommend owning at least a 1 week supply of underwear. Personally, I find that a little ambiguous. Is it 7 pairs? What if I wear a pair for 2 days then turn it inside out for another 2? Not all of us have the underwear budget of Elon Musk. Personally, I rely on the formula “Days in between when you do laundry + 1” because, remember, you’re gonna need to have a pair on while you’re actually doing the laundry. Unless you can find a really laid back laundromat that’s cool with it. And actually let’s up that from +1 to +2 because honestly you’re gonna procrastinate for a day before you actually get around to doing laundry.

how many pairs of underwear should you own

How long does underwear last?

According to one doctor, "From a health perspective, there is no need to throw out your underwear every six to nine months, provided you're wearing a fresh pair every day and you're washing them in a hot water wash after every wear." Of course, that answer doesn’t apply to everybody. If you’re a dad, the lifespan of a pair of underwear is forever. As long as a single thread remains, that’s a functional pair of underwear for a dad.

There’s been a lot of buzz on the internet lately about replacing all your underwear every 6 months. But is that really necessary? As a company that sells underwear, we say yes, absolutely. To really be safe you should probably replace your entire underwear collection every few hours. But if you insist on listening to experts instead of retailers, the actual recommendation from doctors is to replace your underwear whenever they get damaged or become too tight. Which is why I replace my underwear after Thanksgiving dinner and again after Thanksgiving dessert.

How often should you buy new underwear?

This goes hand in hand with the previous question, but it’s still worth getting all the answers out in the open. Every time you throw out underwear, you should buy a new pair. This ensures you’ll always have a well-stocked underwear drawer.

You may be asking, “What if I throw out 2 pairs of underwear? Should I still buy just 1 new pair?” This can be tempting, but you’re playing a dangerous game, and when you lose this game your bare crotch will be chafing against denim all day. You always want to be hovering around that 30 pair number. So for every pair you get rid of, it’s a good idea to buy a new pair. And the crucial word in that sentence is “buy.” Don’t steal underwear. Not from a store, not from a stranger, not from your lover after an intimate encounter. Underwear doesn’t grow on trees (unless you’re Adam & Eve wearing leaves as underwear, but that’s different since money hadn’t been invented yet) and the people who make underwear need money for things like food, shelter, and underwear of their own. So please, pay for your underwear.

A great way to take the stressful ordeal of constantly checking and replacing your underwear inventory is to get a monthly underwear subscription from Shinesty, But more on that later. Or if you don’t want to wait until later, just click on these links: Men’s Subscription, Women’s Subscription, & Couple’s Subscription.

What should I do with my old underwear?

In today’s culture of fast fashion and income inequality, this question is more important than ever. Again, if you’re a dad, you can skip this section because it doesn’t apply to you. Your underwear will at some point just disintegrate into the wind as if it were getting blipped by Thanos. But for everyone else, there are some good options.

  1. Throw them in the trash. This is not ideal and doesn’t really do anyone any good. But we’re listing all options, so there you go.
  2. Hand-me-downs. Do you have a relative who’s slightly younger than you? They probably worship the ground you walk on because you seem so cool, which means they’d cherish any old clothes or underwear you throw their way.
  3. Clothing donation centers. If you don’t have someone looking for hand-me-downs, this is the next best option. Donating your underwear to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other charitable organizations is a great way to prolong the life of the product while giving you the peace of mind of knowing your old clothes are going to someone who needs them. Or to a hipster ironically shopping in thrift stores.
  4. Fabric recycling. If your underwear is past the point of no return where you wouldn’t want another human being to wear them, consider donating them to a fabric recycling organization. Your underwear will no longer be underwear, but it will gain a second life as a new item made of fabric.
  5. Sell to perverts. There’s more than one story of people putting themselves through college by selling their used underwear to creepy dudes online. We’re not here to judge people’s fetishes, so if you’re comfortable with sending a stranger your underwear, knowing that he’ll then have your home address, then go for it.
what to do with old underwear

This all sounds so complicated. Can’t someone just handle all this for me? Absolutely! We’re all busy people and who needs the extra chore of counting every pair of underwear they own each morning? We at Shinesty are here to help. Remember earlier when I mentioned monthly underwear subscriptions? Well I’m mentioning them again! We’ll send you a fresh pair of underwear every month ensuring you never run out. We’ve got a ton of cuts to choose from, so try a few and discover one that works for your body.

And to help you take life a little less seriously (I mean you’re spending your free time reading a blog on underwear maintenance for Pete’s sake) we offer a wide variety of prints to choose from, ranging from plain, to patterned, to funny, to raunchy, to X-rated. Here’s a link to the Men’s X-rated underwear prints section and Women’s X-rated underwear prints section because we all know those are the ones you want to see.

So don’t make replenishing your underwear a chore. Have some fun with it with a monthly underwear subscription from Shinesty OR purchase underwear any of the other options we've talked about. I mean I don't know how much more we can say.

shop mens underwear

Stay Weird and Buy New Undies