Underwear Thesis: Everlane Review

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Everlane underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

New year, new underwear! I wanted to start off by thanking you for your patience in the last few months. I really did want to share even more  Underwear Thesis reviews, but like… moving, renovating, the holidays, a tree falling on/around our house… it’s been a LOT. So, thank you. Lets move onto the reason you’re here though: my unfiltered thoughts about Everlane underwear! It was really fun to get back into these reviews and really dig into the details of each pair. I hope you enjoy this Everlane underwear review and learn a lot!

My Totally Unfiltered Review of Everlane Underwear

If you’re new to my Underwear Thesis, I encourage you to read these posts before proceeding:

Styles Tried and Price

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Everlane underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Fabric Quality + Details

Grade: B, B-

Yet again, I seem to have found another underwear offering that mimics the Gap body underwear I’ve referenced SO many times in the past: thin cotton jersey fabric, minimal elastic binding at the leg openings and waist, and tagless branding. At first glance the Everlane underwear is fine, a good replica of these iconic styles of yore. But now that I’ve worn them for 3-4 months, I can say with confidence that I don’t love them nearly as much as the old Gap ones.

The fabric is too thin, especially on the pale pink color, which makes them feel really cheap. I know my Auden from Target review isn’t live yet, but when you compare the two brands side-by-side there just isn’t much difference — except for a wide price difference! Everlane’s site says they have a “barely there feel.” This totally tracks. So if you want something really lightweight, you might like these… I just don’t see the fabric lastly longterm, though.

Everlane’s underwear is made of 92% Supima cotton and 8% elastane. Let’s not forget: that bit of elastic is essential to a pair of underwear’s ability to stretch and retain its shape! Supima cotton seems to be the fabric du jour of direct-to-consumer brands like Lunya and Everlane these days. If you’re unfamiliar with it, basically Supima cotton is considered superior and represents less than 1% of the cotton grown in the world (according to Supima.com). Supima fibers tend to be extra-long staple, meaning that it is supposed to be more resilient and stretchable. All good things when it comes to women’s underwear and investing in pairs that will last! I will say that I think brands are using Supima cotton as a way to differentiate themselves from others and tout being special… but if that equals underwear lasting longer, I am totally ok with that!

And then there is the elastic trim, which I can best describe as inconsistent across the different pairs I have. I’m not sure if you can see from the photos, but the elastic on the grey pair is totally warped and doesn’t lay flat. Yet on the black pair, which is the same cut, it does! Every time I wear the grey pair of panties, the waistband reverts back to folded down mode and I hate it. For this reason, I only reach for the black pair and the grey has languished at the bottom of my underwear drawer. The elastic is definitely softer, thinner, and more refined than that of the Pact styles. The gusset is standard issue, open at one end with a basic serged edge… no frills.

Manufacturing Quality

Grade: A-

Both of the Everlane underwear styles I tried feel well made when it comes to the stitching. I noticed quite a few loose threads when I first got them and now as I’ve worn them more (you can see that in the photos as well). But none of the stitching has pulled out or come undone. And just like with Pact, I appreciate that Everlane’s factory used thread for stitching that stretches at the same rate as the rest of the panty!

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Everlane underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Ethical Practices and Sustainability

Grade: C

This is where I really struggled. I’m not a sustainability expert by any means, but after all of the questionable reporting about Everlane’s efforts, I am hesitant to give them anything over a C. I like that they talk about the exact factory that makes the underwear (they call it “radical transparency”), but it also feels very much like a gimmick because of one very important reason:  Everlane does not have any of official, third-party verifications for a truly sustainable, ethical company (nor do their factories!). That means they are not a B Corp, not Fair Trade, and lack certifications from Bluesign or Oeko-tex. I smell green-washing…

On the other hand, I do like that Everlane at least got people to start thinking more and more about shopping sustainably and getting information about the manufacturing process behind the product. They paved the way for brands like Pact to flourish.

Inclusivity

Grade: C

I like that Everlane hires models with curvier body types… some of the time. When you look at the underwear product pages specifically though, all but one model shown is a size S… and the other is a size M. Oh and they are all either white or very light skinned. Where’s the representation of different skin tones?? In terms of their overall product offering being shown on different skintones, that is non-existent. And lastly, Everlane’s sizing is very limited. They offer XXS, XS, S, M, L, and XL and my definition of inclusive sizing is to go up to 5X. They are one of the only brands I’ve reviewed to offer XXS, so at least there’s that…

Washability

Grade: A

Totally great! They wash well, have not pilled, torn or sagged. At first I thought the waistband issue on the grey pair was related to washings, but I’ve also put the black pair in the dryer. My suspicion is that the grey elastic has a slightly different fabric content than the black and that’s why it is behaving different. Usually underwear trim comes as “greige,” meaning that it is un-dyed and the factory can then dye it to match the rest of the panty. But it is also possible that their designers or sourcing team chose grey elastic “off the shelf” that was a close enough match and slightly different than the black.

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Everlane underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Fit & Comfort

Grade: A for high-rise hipster, B for bikini

I know a LOT of you have been asking which pair of underwear I referred to in this post as my yoga pants of underwear… and it’s the black pair of high-rise hipsters in a size M! They are actually very, very comfortable. I like how lightweight they are because I can get that high-waisted fit that I love from Arq, but in a more streamlined fabric. This means they are comfortable to wear with jeans! They aren’t as high-waisted as the Arq pairs, which helps them sit well under pants as well — you can see that in the side-by-side comparison photo.

You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the bikini style much… they are just fine. Nothing really to report on, to be totally honest. But isn’t that the point of underwear? Maybe. When it comes to the bikini, I just didn’t reach for them as often as the high-rise. The coverage that I wanted isn’t there. But on laundry day, they suffice.

Overall thoughts

Grade: B-

I really struggled with this review, to be totally honest. I know there has been a LOT of negative press about Everlane for a while now… but I do actually like these underwear for the most part. I like that they are made of Supima cotton and thus are more resistant to tearing while also being much softer. I am very curious to see how they’ve lasted after a year of wear because the fabric is so lightweight.

The lack of actual sustainability and Fair Trade certification bums me out. It’s like they’ve dipped their toe in, but have not actually committed. And to me, the biggest bummer is the lack of representation of body types and skin tones with their model selection. I consider my body fairly average (I am 35 years old, have not had kids, 5’6 and about 170 pounds, size 29 in jeans usually) and even I feel a little intimated by shopping on Everlane’s site. I don’t always trust that an item will actually look good on me because of the models they’ve chosen. Plus, I find their return process to be obnoxious, so that makes me even less likely to get pieces from them!

As much as I like the high-rise hipster, I probably will not be buying more of them. I’d rather my consumer dollars go to a brand that is truly walking the walk and talking the talk when it comes to sustainability practices and ethical wages.

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Everlane underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

I’m working on getting more underwear reviews live here on the blog, too… with a goal of one per week! There is a LOT of underwear for me to get through in 2021! So far here’s what I’ve published in case you’ve missed any:

What do you think of this Everlane review?? Leave a comment and let me know!

Photography by Jojotastic.