(New to the “Wash Your Drawers Wednesday” series? Here’s the first post.)

It’s an unfortunate reality we all face at some point: You’ve worn that comfortable, cozy pair of underwear for years, but then one day … something doesn’t feel quite right.

You might wear that pair a few times, but a nagging question keeps cropping up: Is it time to replace my underwear?

Much like abstract art, there’s no one right answer. In this case, there are actually several right answers for when to replace your underwear, and we’ve outlined them below. Rather than waiting until there’s more hole than underwear, here are five signs it’s time to find a new pair.

The Waistband Loses Its Stretchiness

Your elastic waistband should fit comfortably but snugly around your waist, and it should move with your body throughout the day. One good rule of thumb: The less you feel and notice your waistband throughout the day, the better it’s working.

Maybe the waistband doesn’t stretch quite so far anymore, or perhaps it feels a little loose around the waist. If you notice either of these issues, it’s time to think about a new pair.

They’re Ripped

They don’t need to look like Swiss cheese for you to throw an old pair out, but there’s not a lot to love about ripped underwear. It doesn’t fit well, pinches your body, and only leads to bigger problems the more you wear it. Save yourself trouble in the future by throwing away that old pair today.

Your Underwear Starts to Shrink

LUX Drift Brief by Jack AdamsNo, you haven’t gained weight over the past few months. Over time, cotton underwear can shrink noticeably, causing discomfort and requiring uneasy (and occasionally embarrassing) adjustments. Sometimes, it shrinks if you wash with hot water or dry with high heat; other times, the shrinkage is a byproduct of having been washed a few (dozen) times.

Whatever the case, keep an eye out for ill-fitting underwear. If it starts to ride up areas where it shouldn’t, throw it out and find something new.

Our LUX Drift Briefs, for instance, are made from a Lenzing MicroModal fabric that resists shrinkage, fading, pilling, and more.

They’re Stained

Real talk: There’s no easy way to discuss this unfortunate reality. Things happen—whether it’s a washing machine mishap or … well, you know—and that’s usually a good sign it’s time to throw out your old pair.

You Can’t Remember Buying Them

Athletica Briefs by Jack AdamsIf you look at your underwear and don’t recall when you purchased a pair … that’s a pretty good sign it’s overdue for replacement. That’s not to say old underwear can’t feel good, but it generally doesn’t have the same lifespan of a years-old, snug sweater.

If you’re looking to swap your old pair for something newer, more comfortable, and just a bit sexier, we’re partial to the Athletica Collection by Jack Adams. The trunks and briefs are made with a vintage pique fabric that keeps you cool, and it sports a sexy pattern and cut that accentuate your body.

(Featured image by Ryan McGuide / Pixabay)

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