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In which our writer moans about men's underwear, the buying of. - helen-louise
In which our writer moans about men's underwear, the buying of.
I have been looking online for underpants for Richard for 3.5 hours now, and still not found anything suitable.

The Safe-for-Work part:
The reason I'm looking for pants is that his current ones are all full of holes. I am generally of the opinion that everyday underpants should have three, or at most, four holes. His have more than that.

The problems are as follows:
(1) Richard likes "briefs" or "slips". He does not like Y-fronts, "boxer briefs", "trunks", or boxer shorts. He certainly doesn't like the strange underwear I've found that is "like going commando" (link only borderline safe for work).

(2) Richard likes pants with a small, comfortable waistband. Not one of the ginormous pieces of elastic, over an inch thick, which seem to be fashionable these days. It is almost impossible to find "briefs" or "slips" with what I consider to be a normal waistband!

(3) Richard doesn't want words all around his belly. Seriously, what is the deal with that? It's one thing having DIESEL or AUSSIEBUM stitched around your waistband, but quite another to have CALVIN KLEIN. I just don't get what sort of man would want another man's name on his underpants. (Who isn't his boyfriend. I could understand in a cutesy sort of way if someone walked around with his partner's name on his knickers*). Richard is easily confused in the morning, and if I gave him pants with another man's name in large letters, he might forget his own name! So far I have found Calvin Klein, Andrew Christian, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani, Olaf Benz, Joe Snyder, Bruno Banani, Alexander McQueen, James Tudor and - bizarrely, Björn Borg. And it seems to be the same Björn Borg who used to be a tennis player, as one of the designs is called Grand Slam. And they are really, hideously ugly, eye-melting fabric choices. (More eye-melting fabrics can be found at Ginch Gonch, but at least you wouldn't mistake that for your own name.)

I have joked about getting (making?) him pants that say WUZZIE along the waistband.

(4) You know how there are "big and tall" men's shops? I wish there were also "short and skinny" shops! Some men's underwear has a smallest size of 32". Richard has a 28" waist, bordering on 29" now he actually has some muscle.

So far I have looked in Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Burton, Next, Muji, New Look (I didn't even know they did men's stuff), Uniqlo, TopMan, Sock Shop (!), American Apparel, and a load of online retailers. (Many of whom seem to specialise in alarming undies for wearing in "interesting" clubs or the type of gay cruise that happens on a boat, with no normal everyday knickers on offer). I have found some awesome environmentally-friendly/10% goes to charity pants, but in the wrong styles. Also Pants to Poverty, in the wrong styles.

Frustrated. Who'd've thought shopping for such an average-shaped person as Richard would be difficult?

Gayest Underwear Ever:
So far it's a toss-up between American Apparel's Legalise Gay and Joe Snyder's Rainbow Pride. Though the whole of bum-chums is decidedly happy. I find some of it relatively tasteful, however.

Also ANDREW CHRISTIAN offers a choice of "Flashback Enhancement Bum Lift" and "Show-it Enhancement Front" briefs. Though even Marks and Spencer are getting in on that act. Frightening.

Terrifying male underwear, not even SLIGHTLY work-safe:
TEENY pouch which covers almost nothing (yet appears tasteful in comparison to some others that I found later).

HIDEOUS underwear (but with not completely unattractive model)

Gregg Homme KILT THING. I quote "The pleated kilt skirt attaches to the front of the black elasticated waistband keeping your Loch Ness Monster’s identity hidden (just about)." AARGH!

Gregg Homme Fire Crotchless briefs (to appreciate this beauty, you have to see the big pictures, one and two).

Gregg Homme X-rated Maximiser briefs (dear gods).

Apart from those three delights, Gregg Homme does actually do some nice, sexy underwear for boy-shaped people, one of which I might consider buying for Richard for "special times" - but I still haven't found any practical, everyday pants!

And a couple of irc logs:
[00:22] <astra> BJORN BORG now has his name on underwear.
[00:23] <astra> they are really, hideously ugly, eye-melting fabrics
[00:26] <HoopyCat> the underwear or the "worf, data, ensign warmbody, transporter room 2... we'll take those robotic laser-pigs out" red shirt?
[00:26] <astra> no, the red shirt is just fine
[00:26] <HoopyCat>: oh good
[00:27] <astra>: http://www.bjornborg.com/
[00:27] <HoopyCat> hideous URLs, too
[00:28] <HoopyCat> what the hell is it with designer underwear manufacturers and horrible URLs with all these ? and & and number things hanging out?
[00:28] <HoopyCat> i'm not going to buy underwear from someone who can't even keep a langId=-1 tucked away out of sight

[01:05] <HoopyCat> i buy jeans at the thrift store
[01:05] <HoopyCat> men who have sex with men are in a high-risk group for fashion, but i seem to have not been infected
[01:05] <astra> lol!
[01:06] <astra> you mean you DON'T want to wear undies like this? http://www.deadgoodundies.com/apparel/joe-snyder-rainbow-pride-shining-capri-07-brief.html?aff=por
[01:06] <HoopyCat> who would see it?
[01:07] <HoopyCat> it'd also not go through the laundry very well, i fear
[01:07] <astra> hehehehe
[01:07] <astra> are you SURE you're not secretly a lesbian? it would make more sense ;)
[01:07] <HoopyCat> it's possible
[01:08] <HoopyCat> i live with two cats and a butch electrician

* Richard also insists that men don't wear knickers, they are only for women. I am Confused because I thought "knickers" was short for "knickerbockers", and hence any kind of ass-covering could be referred to as knickers. Especially if it doesn't have its own special name like boxer shorts. Opinions?

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23 comments or Leave a comment
geminigirl From: geminigirl Date: 26th October 2010 04:02 (UTC) (Link)
Is he still in the States? Might I suggest a trip to someplace like Target to see if they have something suitable? I'm thinking that what you describe as Richard's preference seems to match up with what my father likes to wear when he exercises, and I know he purchases them at Target.
baratron From: baratron Date: 26th October 2010 23:32 (UTC) (Link)
Those actually look quite good. Unsure where I'm going to get them from, though... (You CAN get Hanes and Fruit of the Loom stuff here, but only in cash & carry-type places, not normal shops afaik).

I don't quite understand why it should be so difficult to buy everyday underwear here!
trinker From: trinker Date: 26th October 2010 23:46 (UTC) (Link)
Vexingly, they're only available in black and white in the UK, evidently:

What, they couldn't manage the transition between color and colour?!

(I knew about the Hanes because I had a partner years ago who would *only* wear those.)

We need a TAPF for you. (I wonder if anyone is going from the U.S. to your vicinity anytime soon who could deliver them?)
From: marnanel Date: 26th October 2010 05:49 (UTC) (Link)
*giggling at HC*

The argument from etymology is rarely a strong one: at least in my idiolect, "knickers" are women's underwear despite the fact that "knickerbockers" are not.
brian1789 From: brian1789 Date: 26th October 2010 07:05 (UTC) (Link)
Hanes from Target? Or Land's End? (my own preference are their solid black boxers...)
memevector From: memevector Date: 26th October 2010 08:19 (UTC) (Link)
[00:28] i'm not going to buy underwear from someone who can't even keep a langId=-1 tucked away out of sight


thank you both for that little gem :-)
emperor From: emperor Date: 26th October 2010 09:41 (UTC) (Link)
Have you tried BHS?

[wait, #soc.bi is still going?]
veryfineredwine From: veryfineredwine Date: 26th October 2010 10:23 (UTC) (Link)
Yes. Feel free to drop in.
ailbhe From: ailbhe Date: 2nd November 2010 19:14 (UTC) (Link)
BHS is where we got something similar for Rob a few years ago, their size adult-men's-small was about right for his 30" waist.
From: artremis Date: 26th October 2010 11:08 (UTC) (Link)
Have you tried men's Sloggi?

I grew up with knickers being a unisex words but soon discovered other people don't agree and may get silly at the mention of boy-shape-people wearing knickers- i think it has regional variations
baratron From: baratron Date: 26th October 2010 23:23 (UTC) (Link)
I have! Men's Sloggi have two problems:
1) All but one style have the thick waistband that he doesn't like.
2) They are only available in white and black. Richard generally likes multicoloured underwear. Makes it easier for him to remember if he's changed them or not when he's in his brain-dead morning state!
polyfrog From: polyfrog Date: 26th October 2010 12:53 (UTC) (Link)
I agree that the waistband is key. For me that means elastic that is about 1cm wide (narrower and I feel like someone is garroting my loins) and completely covered by fabric.

Interestingly, my favorite underwear did come from M&S, actually. It's hard to tell from pictures, and been a few years (so who knows if the cuts and styles are the same), but they seem to be the same as these cotton slips.
(Deleted comment)
baratron From: baratron Date: 26th October 2010 23:28 (UTC) (Link)
Ahh, the problem with those ones is that they only come in black and white. (See above comment).

I found these at Marks & Spencer, but I'm unsure whether the legs might be cut too high (another thing he moans about).
polyfrog From: polyfrog Date: 27th October 2010 05:19 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't realize that was a criteria. The ones I have (which are as I say from several years ago and no longer listed on their web page) came in a pack of 4 and only one pair was white; the rest are muted blue and red, and grey.
baratron From: baratron Date: 27th October 2010 15:31 (UTC) (Link)
I know. I didn't actually specify that in the post because, y'know, there was enough ARGH already!

Another issue is the location of seams - R doesn't like pants with a seam down the willy :) Quite a lot of briefs put the seam there instead of having two seams, one either side...
epi_lj From: epi_lj Date: 26th October 2010 14:36 (UTC) (Link)
I have to say that I'm delighted that Fruit of the Loom has started shortening their name on their underwear. I own several pairs of underwear that have "FTL" emblazoned on the elastic, which I *always* read as "Faster Than Light". It's kind of like sci-fi nerd superhero underwear. "Mister Gaeta, spin up the FTL underpants!"
jinian From: jinian Date: 26th October 2010 16:16 (UTC) (Link)
Yes! I love that.
xlerb From: xlerb Date: 26th October 2010 16:05 (UTC) (Link)
…robotic laser-pigs. Yes. One day I will have robotic laser-pigs of my very own! MUAHAHAHA! I mean, um.

<HoopyCat> men who have sex with men are in a high-risk group for fashion, but i seem to have not been infected

<3 <3 <3 and I may need to steal this line.
From: ext_221050 Date: 27th October 2010 13:41 (UTC) (Link)

Red shirt context

If you're wondering about the red shirt thing, it is in the context of this shirt (which I happen to be wearing today, since I won't be able to wear it next Tuesday):


-HoopyCat (how hard will LJ mangle my identity on this post?)
rhialto From: rhialto Date: 27th October 2010 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
All those horrible models of underpants seem very useless at keeping one's privates inside. And why are they calling them junk? They're magnificent!
From: (Anonymous) Date: 9th February 2011 21:03 (UTC) (Link)


I really love underwear myself. Not in any perverted way or so, but I like to spend time on finding what's right for me and own many, many pairs.

I have to say that I had a good laugh clicking on all your urls and to see what you found on your quest. I didn't find anything that I would wear myself. Björn Borg is a very hot brand here in Scandinavia, but I simply hate it. They are so incredibly ugly, not even mentioning the lousy fit. The other day I saw a guy in a shop bending over, exposing at least 10 inches of his Björn Borgs. It can be a total turn-off, no matter who is wearing them.

Good luck! :D

Best wishes,
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