Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Lace underwear that rips to shreds in the wash is a huge bummer! In a perfect world, every pair can stand up to the meanest, nastiest public laundromats. In reality, most fall apart somewhere between the rinse and spin cycles.
After much crowdsourcing (an all-staff email) and a thorough investigation (into my underwear drawer), I landed on five brands that do a pretty good job of keeping their shape.
Oh, and for when it is time to wash them, here’s some crucial intel on how to do it right.
Billed as “the world’s most comfortable thong,” Hanky Panky’s Original Rise ($20) comes in a million colors and includes plus sizes. And they stretch — a lot. The lace is on the thin side, though, which makes it more susceptible to laundromat wear and tear, so you’re going to want to hand wash these. But! The reinforcement of cotton underneath the lace on the front panel keeps tears to just the band.
One of the brand’s signature styles is the Never Say Never ($26) thong, which you can get a lot of life out of if you’re careful (yeah, you have to hand-wash these, too). Since these are lace all over (instead of just the band), rips from the dryer are going to happen everywhere. Which is a very not-good look.
This relatively new brand uses bamboo cotton, which must be weaved with magic because the lace on the waistbands I own don’t have a single rip in them, despite being exclusively washed in a laundromat, and often. Try the Chrystie thong ($15) and the Prince briefs ($16).
The lace thongs from Out From Under — the Urban Outfitters intimates brand — are surprisingly good and really do hold up, despite the lace being pretty thin. The best part is they’re only $8 (or five for $25) and come in a ton of colors, so you can throw these in the machine without having to pay a bunch of money to replace them if need be.
It’s an obvious choice, but Gap Body really does make A+ underwear. The lace is a little bit tighter and less delicate than some other brands out there, which seems to help their longevity. Try the lace bikini ($12.50, or three pairs for $9 each).