Break on through to the other side...
You've been thunderstruck...

I just made you say "underwear"...

Why is buying underwear so damn difficult?

As a guy, I have a natural aversion to clothes shopping. It's pretty much just par for the course; or so I've been led to believe.

But, shopping for underwear is, by far, the worst aspect of an already detestable chore.

A couple months ago, Neil at Citizen of the Month, wrote about the difficulties he had deciding amongst tight whities, boxers, and boxer briefs. He was a bit perplexed. Which offer the best comfort, the best protection, the best coverage, and the best breathability and freedom for "the boys"?

Well, Neil, I hate to have to break this to you, but choosing amongst these three styles is the least of your worries. Disheartening? Sure. But it's a fact that you must face; and the sooner you do so, the better off you'll be.

Even though you may now have decided which style you like (for me, it's boxer briefs), you are now relegated to the task of choosing both the make and model.

Say whaaaa?!?!

Okay, think of it in terms of car shopping... choosing amongst an SUV, sedan, and sports car is akin to the tighty whitey/boxer/boxer brief decision that has already been made. But now that you have chosen "sports car," you must choose the maker such as Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet, etc. (Hanes, BVD, Fruit of the Loom, etc.) as well as a model such as Mustang, Charger, Corvette, etc. (Comfort, Comfort Flex, Classic, etc.). Oh, and "etc." is no exaggeration, let me tell you. There are far too many "models" for our own good.

But the difference between car and underwear shopping lies in the fact that you can test drive a car. Such a privilege does not exist with your underwear. Oh no. And, yes, I understand and agree fully with the rationale behind this decision. But it doesn't mean it sucks any less.

Comfort is of the utmost importance when dealing with your twig and berries. I'm sure comfort is just as important for women, as well; I only pray the "twig and berries" are removed from the equation. So knowing how your undies are going to fit would be appreciated. As it stands, though, we cannot know until we buy. And underwear is anything but cheap. A single pair can run as low as a couple dollars each to as high as $30 a pair. That's one helluva blind investment.

Trial and error in underwear sampling is a pain in the, well, not the ass so much as the other side. In eight years of donning boxer briefs, I have found a few that I can stand wearing but only one single pair that I truly love. It is the world's greatest pair of underwear. It fits perfectly, it cradles and protects, and the fabric in the legs does not quit (think how socks stretch after being worn for too long); but, at the same time, they are also not stiff and unforgiving like so many others. It's like wearing bicycle shorts... full flexibility and maximum breathability.

Comfortflex_1 As would be expected, of course, I have never found another pair of these beauties.

And, to boot, they're beginning to show their age. The first time I saw an age mark in this pair of undies, I was ready to cry. I was in shock and denial. No! These are supposed to be my indestructibles! The pair I would have until the day I died!

This is clearly not what was meant to happen. The Gods of Crotch Comfort are conspiring against me.

This week, I began a Web search, in earnest, for replacement pairs of my beloved Hanes Comfort Flex and found one seemingly reputable dealer that carries them, Beall's in Florida. They are even Amazon's official third-party supplier of this brand and style. Well, maybe not "official" so much as "only." Sadly, I was actually in a Beall's in Leesburg last September when I was visiting my grandmother. But, underwear shopping was the furthest thing from my mind at that time. Damn!

Now, I find myself debating the purchase. We're talking $15 for two pairs of undies before shipping charges. And, while the online description claims these are the same type, the picture looks very little like the pair I've come to know and love.

Do I? Don't I? Should I bronze this pair in memory of their honorable service?

My head hurts.

And the boys just ain't feelin' the love.

Comments

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Tracy Lynn

Dude, purchase the pair. At worst, you'll have another pair of eh underwear. At best, you'll fall in love all over again.

claire

The key lesson here is when you find any article of clothing you love that much, you should go ahead and buy a whole slew of them.

They have it on the Hanes website here:
http://www.hanes.com/HanesCommerce/en-US/Products/Product+Detail.htm?CS_ProductID=H7598&CS_Category=Men_Underwear_BoxerBriefs&CS_Catalog=HanesCatalog&CatalogNavigationBreadCrumbs=HanesCatalog;men;Men_ByCategory;Men_Underwear;Men_Underwear_BoxerBriefs&CanBuy=True

and there's a store locater thing on the page so maybe you could try that.

Neil

And to learn that women actually JUDGE you on your underwear makes the dilemma even worse. What will she think if I'm wearing "Fruit of the Loom" brand? Has being a man ever been tougher than in 2006? Keep us informed on your purchase!

Karl

Dude, I live in Florida. There's a Bealls within a mile of my house. I'd be perfectly happy to check the situation for you. Not sure about recon photos, though. I don't know that I want people in the local mall seeing me take snapshots of underwear. Small town, dude.

Still, I'm sure I could be easily persuaded to pick you up a few (dozen) pairs and send them to you. Might save you some money. Hey, us guys have to stick together. (I almost said "us guys and our twigs and berries" but that sounded kind of weird.)

Rabbit

I actually rather enjoy underwear shopping. Maybe that's just me.

Good luck.

suze

I'm with Claire. If you find a pair that you like, buy, buy, buy until you have an endless supply.

Good luck with the undies search...

jackt

I can make a pair go for 5 days:
Day 1: regular
Day 2: Backwards
Day 3: Inside out
Day 4: Inside out backwards
Day 5: Commando

SJ

Hah. You men have it easy. At least you get to have only ONE underwear wardrobe. Women have to have THREE: basic everyday chonies, date-night sexy undies and some version of granny panties for when Norman visits.

And then there's bra-shopping! The perfect bra has to provide supreme comfort and support, create luscious cleavage, be invisible under clothes, and look sexy as hell. And as soon as you find it, the manufacturer discontinues it.

Why can't we all just be naked and happy?

Nat

There are some things in life I truly truly love, and the manufacturers have seen fit, that the only time I actually LOVE LOVE something they discontinue it. I kid you not... just to spite me. This time I'm sure it's personal.

Good luck in your quest for happy twigs and berries.

N.

ChickyBabe

Boxer briefs rule! When I blogged my research and verdit on the boxers vs briefs debate, I chose boxer briefs. But not necessarily for comfort's sake! ;)

Elaine

Kevin, we can always count on you for random posts that will make you laugh out loud. I'm at my desk at work shaking because I'm trying not to laugh uncontrollably. I'm gonna go ahead and not comment on this post though because I don't know where to begin

Kevin

Tracy, in love with my underwear? Oh if only...

Claire & Suze, the thing about this particular pair is that it was mispackaged with two other styles in the wrong container. Since then, I was unable to find them in my normal places like Kohl's and Target. Now I think I may have to resort to online sources solely.

Neil, it's a damnable catch 22, isn't it? We wear comfort that looks bad, and we're horrible people. We go uncomfortable and look good, we're golden, but not entirely. WHY? WHY? WHY?

Karl, I'm going to try out a pair and see if it's one and the same. If so, I may drop you a line. That would've sounded weird.

Rabbit, that's definitely just you. Yuck.

jackt, commando is definitely a no go for me. The potential threat is just too much to bear. Zippers are a bitch.

SJ, but at least you can try on bras before buying.

Nat, one can never underestimate the subsequent mental happiness of a contented twig and berries. And, yes, we get a lot of favorite things discontinued as well. Our wedding wine was one such thing.

ChickyBabe, I think that's a link you need to provide us all with so we can cross reference.

Elaine, don't hold it in. You may wind up bursting or spouting fluids through your nose. That would be even worse.

ChickyBabe

Allrighty...

The Research:
http://chickybaberules.blogspot.com/2006/01/boxers-vs-briefs-research.html

The Verdict:
http://chickybaberules.blogspot.com/2006/01/boxers-vs-briefs-verdict.html

The things a ChickyBabe does for mankind... :P

Eve

I'm sorry, I can't even leave a legit comment on this entry, as I'm currently giggling Beavis and Butthead style.

Kevin

ChickyBabe, you have done mankind a great service!

Eve...
Heh heh! Hey Butthead, the Empress thinks you're funny!
Yeah, she thinks I rock! She'd totally do me.
Shut up, Bunghole! You wouldn't know what to do if she did want you!
Yes I would! The ladies love me! Come to Butthead, Empress.

mick

I think you may have been talking about my best friends. The Hanes Classic Comfort Flex cycle style boxer brief. Great comfort and control and the legs go closer to the knee than the boys, no entry or exit flap just a solid panel. Like a wonderful underwear hug. I found a two pair pack at a Big Lots store and fell in love. Hanes does not offer them on the web and Big Lots may never have them again, but your local branch may get them. I found mine about a month ago and have been searching for more since the first day. Good luck i feel your pain.

kapgar

Thanks for the tip! That's them all right. And we have a couple Big Lots near us!

Kit

I'm in the same boat with you on this pair of undies. I've had so much bad luck with Hanes underwear being uncomfortable that I've steered clear of them all together. My local Sam's Club caries a 3pk of a pair of Jockey's that aren't bad, and I've been sticking with those foa a few years now. (Sorry, but I can't remember the style...) But I came across the Hanes Classics Comfort Flex at Big Lots, same as mentioned above. They were only $1.50 per pair so I bought as many as I could find. Sadly I only went home with about 6 pairs. As soon as I tried them on for the first time, I knew these were different. I have to say that they are by far the most comfortable pair of underwear I've ever worn. There's 2 Big Lots near me, and neither of them have had anymore since...
I'd been so unimpressed with the major brands (Hanes, FTL, etc.) for so long, I was starting to concede that the only way I'd get comfortable underwear was to go and spend the money on those expensive pairs that are sold individually at $10+ per pair, but they don't even get all of those right. Champion's got some good stuff, though.
It's so typical that when I finally stumble across a pair of Hanes that I like, they're already discontinued. But then that's consistency for ya. I even thought that maybe, just maybe, Hanes may have gotten better in the years I'd sworn them off and bought a pack of the ComfortSoft. I wish I hadn't.
Amazon seems to have some listed here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AMJ3CE/ref=wl_itt_dp/102-1249146-0159301?%5Fencoding=UTF8&colid=17SOAGCO9EO38&coliid=I1AW49H8XSG4BV&v=glance&n=1036592
It's the same pic you have here in your post, but I'm not sure that's the same pair, as they don't look as long as the pair I'm wearing. I'd be willing to pay more than $10.49 for a 2pk that they're charging, I'm just afraid that what I'll actually end up with will not be the same as what I've got.
Maybe I'll try writing Hanes a letter.

kapgar

I have the same fears about ordering them online. That picture was stolen from Amazon, I believe, because I didn't want to actually photograph my favorite pair. There's only so much that people really want to see on the Web. I've been using Jockey a lot lately since we have a Jockey outlet store near where I live. Decent deals. Nothing spectacular, but enough to keep me happy. Thanks for all the info!

Ann

If anyone comes across a website that sells the Comfort Flex PLEASE post it!! My man LOVES these and I cant find them any where, locally or online. Thank you!

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