We reviewed Everlane’s cotton underwear and bras and found them to be seriously comfortable — here’s how they’ve held up over the last 2 years

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It seems to be that women's underwear hasn't actually been designed for women. If the powers-that-be had deigned to make cheap lace comfortable, then you might be able to convince me otherwise — but for a long time (much longer than my lifespan), women have had to adhere to someone else's wish list for their bodies — even when shopping for their most basic garments. (Looking at you, Miracle Bra, and you, corsets). 

It's odd that despite the marketing of men's underwear as comfort first, ie always "the most comfortable pair you'll ever wear," the same can't be said for women. Comfort, for us, is often an add-on of sorts — 'It's XYZ (waist-defining, love-handle-erasing, sexy) — and, also, comfortable!" For most of our underwear options, comfort is an afterthought. 

Why isn't feminine underwear comfortable? Why aren't our garments made for us, when we're the ones who wear them?

Thankfully, women's underwear options appear to be adapting. Indicators of proof include the heavy dips in stock at legacy "XYZ — and, also, comfortable!" stores like Victoria's Secret (because consumers perceive them as "fake"), and skyrocketing sales at more body-positive companies like Aerie (because consumers appreciate that they're "real"). Another indicator was the splash that bra company Thirdlove made when they debuted comfort-first bras that come in half-sizes — acknowledging the natural fact that women's bodies probably have failed to evolve into an A, B, C sizing system on their own.

As of today, you can add the hyper-popular e-commerce brand Everlane to that list. The company has been a cult-favorite since its 2010 debut and has widely been hailed as the startup responsible for base-lining the successful direct-to-consumer fashion model — creating modern basics at the most ethical factories and selling them at transparent prices minus any big retail markup.

As part of its expansion, Everlane turned its attention to tackling the most basic building block of your wardrobe — your underwear.

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The company is doing this with the same characteristically no-nonsense design ethos as they have with the rest of their basics. They focused on the building blocks — investing in premium materials and the most classic of styles and colors — and made the sort of apropos, fashion-forward underwear that you didn't know you were missing. 

It took 40 prototypes, but Everlane's underwear is exactly what you would wish for it to be: extremely comfortable, beautiful, and (in the best way possible) easy to forget that you have on. Plus, they're pretty affordable at $12 a pair.

Kimberley Smith, Everlane's Head of Apparel, told Insider Inc. that the startup set out to launch a collection that was "beautiful, natural, and comfortable" first and foremost. There were cheaply made basics on the market and ornate, overpriced lingerie, but not many options in between. After several trials (and 40 prototypes) the company settled on the lightweight, super soft, and durable Supima cotton for their fabric and loaded more of their budget into details like "really, really nice elastic that doesn't pinch." Next, they labored over the perfect fit — and not just for the size-two frame used for department store mannequins. 

As Everlane's Head of Creative, Alexandra Spunt, put it, it was very important that Everlane represent a range of natural shapes and sizes looking just as beautiful as they are in their first-ever underwear launch.

"For decades, the message from the industry has been: Underwear should make you look sexy. But sexy was defined by incredibly narrow, virtually unattainable terms (that usually involved a tiny waist and a pushup bra). Our message is very different. It's about feeling comfortable in your underwear — and confident in your own skin."

Everlane's underwear will make you feel sexy, but it won't require you to feel chafed, itchy, uncomfortable, or somehow inadequate as a prerequisite first. You can shop the thong, hipster, high-rise hipster, tank bra, three bralettes, four bodysuits, and men's briefs in heather grey, powder pink, white, and black.

Hopefully our insight helps you decide, but, overall, every woman on the Insider Reviews team loved their Everlane underwear. And after one year of owning the Supima cotton pairs, we found that the material was still wonderful to wear, though the styles did show a bit of wear in some instances (few loose threads, iron-on tags partially rubbed off). If you're okay with that for $12 per pair or $9 each for three, then you'll probably be very happy with your purchase.

Shop the new Everlane underwear collection here, and scroll for our personal thoughts:

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Mara Leighton, senior reporter:

This underwear is wonderful. The Supima cotton is extremely comfortable and breathable, and that "really, really nice elastic" is forgettable in the best way. I don't have anything digging into me or any crazy cuts trying to reinvent my midsection with optical illusions. It — bizarrely — really is easier to feel confident and sexy in your own skin when you're not buying underwear that tries to make you feel like you aren't those things already.

I'm normally pretty routine about wearing the "right underwear" under an ensemble — thank you thongs for eliminating panty lines — but the Hipsters were so comfortable that I would just throw on a longer shirt so I didn't have to take them off. You know underwear is great when you're redesigning outfits around it.

One-year testing update: I still love Everlane's cotton underwear. The elastic has held up (I don't hand-wash them), and they're still among my all-time favorite pairs. They have shown some wear with the tags rubbing away over time, but the seams on mine have stayed intact — which is all that really matters to me. 

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Ellen Hoffman, Executive Editor:

After trying the new Tank Bra and various underwear styles for myself, I'm calling this another slam dunk for the San Francisco-based startup. 

The collection is affordable (the underwear styles are all $12, or you can buy three pairs for $27) and so comfortable you forget you're even wearing underwear. All of the underwear styles also look and feel just as timeless and high quality of the rest of Everlane's clothes. The High-Rise Hipster, in particular, is the piece I know I'm going to go back to the site to stock up on in every color. It hugs my body in all the right places, creating a surprisingly flattering fit for a full-coverage silhouette, and the fabric is super soft and thin with just the right amount of stretch. 

One-year testing update: Everlane makes the best high-waisted briefs I own. The High-Rise Hipster isn't the sexiest pair of underwear on the planet, and I don't want it to be. It's comfortable, supportive, and seamless under my clothes (the new ReNew version of the briefs is even more seamless). The cotton pairs I reviewed for this story have held up to frequent washings and their elastic is intact; Everlane says they're machine washable, but I air-dry mine since it's gentler.  

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Malarie Gokey, Deputy Editor:

When I first pulled Everlane's underwear out of its cozy cardboard box, I was skeptical. The fine cotton fabric with subtle elastic accents looked like a normal pair of Hanes underwear you'd buy in a 6-pack — not the kind of underwear you'd pay $12 a pair for. The difference came when I stepped into the underwear. The cotton is super soft and breathable, the elastic is gentle, and they do not ride up or dig in — ever. The Hipster is basically my ideal everyday underwear. It's comfortable and I don't have to adjust it. As for the Thong, I'm categorically opposed to them, and not even Everlane could change my mind.

I'm not exactly built for simple shelf bras. I have a narrow ribcage and a big cup size, so it's virtually impossible to find a shelf bra that can give me the support and coverage I need. My cups either runneth over or the band and straps are so loose that there's no support. I went with a medium in the tank bra because I thought the large would be loose. I was surprised by how well it fit, to be honest, but my cups were definitely overflowing. I would've liked about another two inches of fabric to properly reign the girls in. That said, Everlane's Tank Bra is the sexiest shelf bra I've ever worn, and I loved the soft cotton fabric.

One-year testing update: I still love Everlane's underwear — it's probably the underwear I wear most after Tommy John's. It's comfortable, breathable, and it gets softer with each wash. The elastic hasn't worn out, either. The ReNew underwear collection is a great addition to the underwear line, thanks to its seamless design. Like all seamless underwear I've tried, it does ride up a bit, but it's worth it for the lack of panty lines.

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Connie Chen, senior reporter: 

I own thongs from Target and Urban Outfitters, which have served me well: they're cute, affordable, and mostly comfortable. Everlane's Thong, however, is the first I can say is always comfortable and never bothersome or irritating. It's lightweight and doesn't pinch or squeeze my skin, and though it doesn't come in fun prints or fabrics, I'm fully onboard with the trade-off. This is one piece of clothing you don't want to and shouldn't have to think about throughout the day.

I like the Hipster style for its full, secure coverage and how it hits perfectly at the hips, just as the name promises. Everlane does simple well, and in the underwear collection, there's probably no better example of this than the basic Hipster. I wondered just how much one pair of this style could differ from the next, but in comparing Everlane's to the rest of my underwear drawer, Everlane's comes out on top for softness, just the right amount of stretch, and fit.

One-year testing update: There are a couple of loose threads, and part of the ironed-on tags are coming off. However, the simple style and comfort are reason enough for me to continue wearing the underwear.

Shop the new Everlane underwear collection here, for women and men

Read the original article on Business Insider

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