Upscale Underwear…For Men?

More than a few women are inclined toward the purchase and use of special underwear: nicer stuff, frillier stuff, sexier stuff. Personally, The Curmudgeon has never seen the value of sexy women’s underwear, first because the women he encounters in his everyday life don’t routinely show him their unmentionables and second, those who do he’s already decided are sexy and if the underwear is really sexy the first thing he’s going to want to do is remove it anyway, but some women persist in the acquisition of “nicer” underwear.

fruitBut guys? Pu-leeze. Give us a set of Fruit of the Looms and most of us will wear them until they disintegrate.

And then maybe for another year.

Or two.

That’s why The Curmudgeon was surprised while listening to the radio before bed recently when he heard an advertisement for a company calling itself “Tommy John” that offered ridiculous statements about how men dress and why they need to step up their underwear game.

The next morning, as he was putting on his own BVDs, The Curmudgeon recalled the ad and went to his computer to check out Tommy John. (Not to be confused, by the way, with the former major league baseball pitcher of the same name who is best known for having a surgical procedure named after him.)

Sure enough, Tommy John sells expensive skivvies: boxer briefs for $31 (in multiple colors and patterns), “trunks” (The Curmudgeon has never heard that word used to describe undies) for $29, briefs for $27, undershirts ranging in price from $35 to $40, socks that average about $16 a pair, and more.

$31 for boy bloomers? $27 for tightie-whities? All that money for simple…drawers?

Those are some pretty pricey under-duds. Boxers for $31? The Curmudgeon can only recall a few times in his life he spent $31 for pants, not to mention underpants. $40 for a t-shirt? Other than a gift certificate his father once gave him for custom-made shirts, he’s never spent $40 for a shirt in his life.

Here’s the “story” the company’s web site offers for its reason for being:

Tom Patterson faced this reality every day. As a medical device salesman confined to a suit as he traveled from meeting to meeting, he couldn’t get through the day without his undershirts, underwear and socks bunching, pinching and sagging.

“Fixing things” doesn’t mean tugging at your crotch or pulling up your socks again. It means finding a solution to this age-old problem, once and for all. It means understanding how men move, combining innovative fabric technologies and tweaking the fit down to the placement of the last stitch. Tom made this task his mission. 

That’s why he quit his job and started Tommy John. With the support of his wife, Erin, a local tailor and a small team of designers, Tom re-imagined the fit, feel and function of man’s most fundamental layers. He built and patented new features from scratch. The result? Shirts that stay tucked, socks that stay up and underwear that keeps everything in place, whichever way a man moves.

It takes an awfully big shovel to hoist crap on that kind of scale, doesn’t it? Either that or the poor guy’s literally got his panties in a bunch.

Mr. Patterson’s sad tale notwithstanding, The Curmudgeon doesn’t have any of these problems. He buys off-the-shelf stuff, on sale and inexpensive, and it never rides up on him, never bunches, never wanders into, er, cracks or crevices. Maybe Tom Patterson has some…anatomical issues?

Short of providing a pleasurable massage action, The Curmudgeon can’t imagine what could possible make a pair of briefs worth $27, and as long as the store brand at Kohl’s costs $16 for four pair (or is it pairs?), he has no intention of finding out.

Well, it takes all kinds, but The Curmudgeon is not…one of those kinds. If any of you have a Tommy John experience, though, he’d love to hear about it.

On second thought, scratch that. He’d really rather not.

REALLY rather not.





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