Our friends at Condé Nast Traveler have tackled all the big packing questions: Should you roll or fold your clothes in your suitcase? What do pilots know about packing that we don't? And how do you pack for a week with only 10 items of clothing? But still, there's one major issue you may not think about when you're filling your suitcase: how to properly pack your underwear. To find out if we’ve been doing it all wrong, we tapped Jennifer Zuccarini, frequent flier and founder of luxury lingerie brand Fleur du Mal, to get her tips on taking care of your unmentionables.
Pick Your Outfits—Then Your Underwear
“In a practical sense, the biggest mistake people make overall is that they don’t consider undergarments for the specific outfits they’re bringing,” she tells Condé Nast Traveler. “The worst thing is when you’ve brought a new dress for a trip and it just sits in your bag because you forgot to pack the right bra.”
Socks Go in Your Bra—Not Your Shoes
“For more structured bras, you should roll up socks and pack them inside the cups to keep their shape. Fold the bra in half so the cups are stacked, and stuff the one side with a sock, " she says. “This way, you can make the most of the space in your luggage and also protect your undergarments.”
Know Your Essentials
It’s always hard to condense your wardrobe when traveling, and it's even harder to make sure you have underwear for every situation. So Zuccarini recommends packing matching sets of bras and panties with a range of coverage, like strapless and thongs to comfier everyday undergarments. Her go-tos? “I always pack a black lace bra and panty like our Charlotte lace longline bra and simple black seamless lace panties, a nude strapless bra, a jersey thong in tan, and a pair of silicone breast petals,” she says. This ensures you’re not only comfortable but covered, whether you’re in jeans, lighter-colored clothes, or a backless number.
Always Pack Tissue Paper
“If lingerie is very delicate, you may want to choose to layer in between tissue paper,” she says. This keeps the fine fabric from getting worn out or wrinkled.
Have Travel-Size Delicates Wash on Hand
“Packing travel-size delicates wash minimizes the amount of lingerie to bring on the trip,” she says. “The Laundress makes these travel packets that are perfect for taking care of your underwear on the go.” Hand wash your delicates in the sink before you go to sleep and then lay them out or hang to dry. In a pinch? You can bring your lingerie in the shower with you and use a little shampoo to wash the pieces. Lightly press the lingerie between two towels and then hang it in the shower or lay it flat to dry. “Be conscious of shampoos with color to them (e.g. blue or pink) when washing white undergarments," she says. “It’s also better to use cold water so color doesn’t run.”
Keep Lingerie Separate
Packing lingerie in different bags is important for a number of reasons. “I pack mine in structured mesh bags so it’s separate and easy to find,” Zuccarini says. “Lingerie is made with delicate fabrics that could get snagged on a zipper or something else in your bag, so it’s key to keep it separate from the rest of your clothing.”
More from Condé Nast Traveler: