The good news is: I’ve not had to buy undies for a very long time. The reason is that, when the price is attractive, I like to maximize my savings by… stockpiling… items I frequently use if storage is not an issue. For example, I… stockpiled… a year’s supply of razor cartridges when I found them online at a good price.
Recently, I decided it was time to replenish my stockpile of underwear. The bad news is: I’ve not had to buy undies for a very long time. And since my last purchase, the men’s underwear market has undergone some disconcerting changes, including a paradigm shift.
I recall the great divide that once existed in men’s underwear. In the “briefs or boxers” debate, I was…firmly…in the “briefs” camp.
Now I understand that the “boxer” folks enjoy their…freedom…but I prefer the feeling of protection that briefs provide. I’m also aware that research suggests that the close fit of briefs can have a deleterious effect on sperm quantity and possibly quality.
But at 61 I’m not concerned about my sperm. In fact, I’ve not been concerned about my sperm for at least two decades because I had a vasectomy back then. So my sperm’s status has been a …dead…issue ever since.
Now that I’m back in the market for underwear, it seems that the “boxers or briefs” debate is no more. Briefs appear to have lost because I’ve had a hard time finding them. While the “boxers” crowd is still being served, it appears the “briefs” crowd has been… sullied… by a Frankenstein monstrosity called “boxer briefs.” Say what?
I’m clueless why anyone would want to wear something which has the length of boxers but not their looseness and the closeness of briefs without their being…brief. “Boxer briefs” appear to be the type of compromise that both “boxers” and “briefs” purists can unite in deriding. Like “easy listening heavy metal” music…
Finding a multi-pack of cotton colored briefs at a reasonable price has become a Herculean effort. The local department stores might offer up white briefs (probably for Mormons, Amish and other “traditional” types) but if they have any colored briefs they are “designer” brands at designer prices.
After looking online, I noticed that some of the same department stores (such as Kohl’s) that do not carry multi-pack cotton colored briefs in their stores do have them available online. But then there’s shipping. And “quality” issues…
Online reviews include a segment complaining that “they don’t make briefs the way they used to.” The complaints focus on a “thinner” product and loss of band elasticity after a few months. Some folks pillory Hanes for these…shortcomings. Others pillory Fruit of the Loom on the same account.
I believe them. After all, it is not just underwear that has suffered from “reengineering” for cost reasons. That has happened in just about every aspect of the market. (My 1985 Camry had a padded dash; my 2007 Corolla came with a plastic dash.)
Now if I was a “one percenter” then I’d have no problem paying a double digit price for a pair of designer colored cotton briefs. But I’m a near retiree who’s just looking to address a very basic need at a…. comfortable… price.
So I’ll soon be doing something I rarely do: heading to Wal-Mart. Seems they carry Fruit of the Loom cotton colored multi-packs. But the visit will be…brief.