Exerpts from Adam Campbell of Men's Health
"Up until a month ago, I had never put much thought into underwear—except that, as a rule, it shouldn’t be white and is ideally purchased in packs of two for $20 (or less).
But while multi-packs are the only approach that many guys know—and have always worked fine for me—I discovered a way to give my package a red-carpet experience.
Over the summer, I had been listening to Howard Stern rave about his new Tommy John underwear. He said he had tried a pair, discovered they were like wearing nothing at all, and then purchased a “case” of them. I appreciated Howard’s opinion on the topic, since years before he had enlightened me to the illogicality of wearing the aforementioned white underpants.
I’m a bit of Stern Superfan, but I also recognize that Howard is the master of “live” commercials, which often use his personal experience with a product to create a powerful endorsement. Is he really a believer in the product, or is it just a paid promotion? By my cynical nature, I tend to assume the latter.
But given Howard’s ridiculously high enthusiasm for Tommy John—and my need for some new underwear—I decided to order a pair of boxer briefs. Specifically, the “Second Skin Trunk.” Price: $29.
They were as good as Howard had advertised. The thin, silky fabric—which is 90% micro modal and 10% spandex—is indeed like wearing nothing. I would liken it more to the feel of women’s undergarments (not that I’ve tried them myself) than my now “thick feeling” 100% cotton boxer briefs. What’s even better is the “contour pouch” that holds your junk comfortably in place, eliminating the risk of a moose knuckle. Why have I been buying underwear without that feature for, uh, 43 years?
The bonus is the innovative “Quick Draw Fly.” If you think you wouldn’t care about this feature—which is a horizontal opening instead of the ubiquitous vertical style—I’d say you should save your judgment until you try it. It’s such an obvious, but missed improvement that it’s sort of genius. I was totally sold on Tommy John, and ordered 7 more pair.
Yes, they were 3 times more expensive than what I had worn previously. But women have long invested in high-quality, comfortable undergarments. And as Men’s Health fashion director Brian Boye told me, “You can wear a good pair of underwear for years.”
This is where it gets interesting (and maybe a little weird). When I told Brian—an actual underwear expert—about my new passion for Tommy John, he said, “If you like those, you’ve got to try SAXX.”
“Try what?” I asked.
He handed me a pair of SAXX brand boxer briefs that the company had sent him to test. He then assured me he hadn’t yet put them to the test, and that they were mine to try. (I still washed them on “hot” before wearing.)
This particular pair of SAXX was from their “Fiesta” line. Cool looking, but not quite as silky soft as my Tommy Johns. I gave them a shot.
The verdict: Awesome. Turns out, SAXX also had a pouch—what they call an “articulated front pouch.” But here’s where they beat Tommy John in my personal underwars: They didn’t ride up my leg.
Despite all the benefits of the Tommy John underwear I bought, they would bunch up when I sat down—just like my cotton boxer briefs. The SAXX stayed in place. (It’s worth noting that the ride factor may be a moot point if your preference is the traditional low-cut brief, which I didn't try.)
After a couple of wears, I was a convert, despite the fact that they weren’t as close to wearing nothing as the Tommy Johns. But then I made a discovery on the SAXX website: The Fiestas—which are mostly cotton mixed with 5% spandex—were only the fourth-softest underwear in the company’s product line.
To see what I was missing, I ordered the “Blacksheep” and “Vibe” styles—#2 and #3 on the SAXX Softness Scale—for $39.95 and $31.95, respectively.
Jackpot. Both of these rival the softness of Tommy John, but without the ride factor. And I haven’t even tried “Platinum,” their softest style. Now if you think that spending $30 to $40 on a pair of underwear is stupid, I totally get it. I used to think that, too. But you can always do what I did: Order one pair, and see if the experience is worth it to you.
Are SAXX the world’s best boxer briefs? I don’t know, but they’re certainly the best I’ve ever tried. SAXX’s slogan is: “Life Changing Underwear.” Which is ridiculous. Except that it’s kind of true.
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