Friday, October 28, 2016

GAP Stripe Stretch Trunks

Gap is a large American retail chain that makes cheap clothing for both sexes. Due to their widespread distribution, I thought Gap underwear would make a good contribution to my upcoming comparison post on underwear from the sort of brands typically found in shopping malls. Compared to my previous entry, the American Eagle AEO Mesh Panel 9” Trunk, this item lacks the quality of materials and construction, but the fit is not quite as sloppy.

Materials and construction: The Stripe Stretch Trunks are composed of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which is a very typical fabric blend for this type of item. There’s nothing particularly unusual about the Stripe Stretch Trunks. It does contain what could be considered a “pouch,” with an area around the crotch surrounded by a seam for support, but the extra space allotted within is minimal. The Stripe Stretch Trunks do not seem to have good longevity; when I took them out of the dryer the first time, the waistband was sealed shut like Velcro, and multiple loose threads had appeared throughout the garment, and the long tag on the left side had been almost entirely torn off. On the whole, I do not get the impression that this item is of significantly better quality than the Hanes or Jockey underwear you could get in multipacks. 2/10 

Comfort and usability: While the waistband is decent, there is little elastic in the leg holes and the overall fit is not baggy, but reasonably loose fitting. This quality made them wearable, but hardly worthy of recommendation. 3/10

Aesthetics: The trunks really do embody Gap’s aesthetic, which seems reasonable enough. 6/10

Overall rating: 4/10

Big enough? No.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

American Eagle AEO Mesh Panel 9" Flex Trunk

American Eagle Outfitters is an American fashion company. Founded in 1977, it is popular among teenagers and young adults, and close to 1,000 dedicated retail outlets exist to sell American Eagle products. Due to its popularity and ease of access, I decided to review one of the company’s underwear items as the first post in my investigation into what the underwear from shopping mall brands had to offer. My reaction on this bizarre item is recorded below. 

Materials and construction: The materials are listed as 88% polyester and 12% elastane (spandex). The Flex Trunk is a perplexing mix of good quality materials and great construction quality with an awful, dysfunctional design. For an item that is ostensibly made for athletics (which boasts of “moisture-wicking”material and “breathable mesh”), this garment is very hot. In fact, it is hotter than most of the thermal underwear I’ve worn. The “mesh panels,” which are a thick material that stretches across the sides and between the legs, does very little to make the boxers breathable, and just give them a vaguely abrasive feel against the legs. The item also isn’t anatomically correct. 2/10 

Comfort and usability: Not only is the Flex Trunk anatomically incorrect, but it also isn’t stretchy enough to compensate. As a result, it just smashes your package against your hips, if not in a different direction. The best quality of the item is that the elastic in the leg holes holds them in place throughout the day, so the Flex Trunk does not ride up at all. 2/10

Aesthetics: The waistband looks sharp and distinct, but the dark green pattern contrasted with black highlights looks blurry and dull. 3/10

Overall rating: 2/10

Big enough? No. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Saxx 24-Seven Boxer Brief

Saxx is a Canadian men’s clothing company that specializes in underwear. Started in 2006, the company stresses innovation and comfort. Unlike most other varieties of anatomically correct men’s underwear, Saxx’s underwear items contain internal pouches, which have a number of advantages and disadvantages that are discussed below, but the overall package leaves a good impression. 

Materials and construction: The main fabric in the 24-Seven Boxer Brief is cotton (95% cotton and 5% spandex). It has the feature I’ve alluded to earlier, which I’ve deemed an “internal pouch”: Space allotted to the genitals, holding them in place with structures inside the underwear, rather than away from the body like most pouches. In this item, this is accomplished by two long strips of thin mesh-like fabric that separate the genitals from the legs. This works both for comfort and reducing sweat. The design can be said to be form fitting, but doesn’t sit as close to the body as many pairs of men’s underwear. There’s a fly, but it isn’t wide enough to be usable. Overall, the innovation is impressive, even if there are some imperfections that I discuss below. 8/10 

Comfort and usability: The internal pouch stretches from your hips to between your legs, creating a space that is close to your body, rather than letting you hang farther away. This is comfortable most of the time, but I sometimes experienced the discomfort of feeling my testicles squeezed between my legs, and had to rearrange. The overall fit is good, and the boxer briefs felt deceptively loose while still staying in place throughout the day and not bunching up in my pants. There is a slight contradiction between the pouch’s ability to prevent sweating and the warmth of the fabric; for this reason, I’ve found it great for winter days when I’m wearing many layers outside, but might feel sweaty when I come inside. Saxx is also a good choice if you’re worried about your bulge showing through your pants.  7/10 

Aesthetics: Saxx focuses on comfort and practicality, not appearance, and I don’t hold that against them. 5/10

Overall rating: 7/10

Big enough? Yes, but you might have to readjust occasionally.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Andrew Christian Trophy Boy Brief

Andrew Christian is an underwear company whose Trophy Boy line has excellent, large pouches. Their frequent changes in inventory make it confusing to simply refer to the name of an item, and the item in this review seems to be going on sale to be discontinued already. (Since I like to keep and wear my underwear a while before posting a review, I can rarely keep up with Andrew Christian’s current lineup.) Nonetheless, it represents a number of improvements over some past Trophy Boy offerings from the company, and I thought they were worth mentioning in a review. 

Materials and construction: The item is 97% rayon and 3% spandex, which is a standard blend for Andrew Christian. It’s constructed in much the same way as many AC Trophy Boy briefs are, with the exception of two changes. First, this has been designed without the tag in the back that older AC items used to have. This is always a good thing. The other change is in the waistband. Some of the older waistbands from the brand (especially those with a shiny/glittery appearance) fell apart quite quickly after being washed a few times. This item held is holding up rather well, although the thin material should be handled with some care. 8/10 

Comfort and usability: The Trophy Boy underwear line is definitely among the most comfortable varieties of underwear on the market today. The pouch is both large and stretchy, and will accommodate however much space you need. While it doesn’t feel restrictive at all, it is still supportive, and will keep you consistently in the same position as you sit, stand, walk, and even jump. Since the pouch lets your package hang close to your thighs, this is probably not a good item for running, and seems to be more geared towards leisure than athletics. The thin material breathes well, which makes it ideally suited for warmer weather. Also, keep in mind that this underwear will not hide your bulge under your pants. 7/10 

Aesthetics: If you’ve read many of my posts, you might realize that the waistband is the same as the first item I reviewed. It looks good, and matches with the blue body and black elastic around the leg holes.  8/10

Overall rating: 8/10

Big enough? Yes.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Diesel Jack Striped Brief

Diesel is an Italian fashion company best known for their denim. Their men’s underwear is of a higher caliber than most underwear offered by general fashion companies. I’ve tried three pairs of Diesel underwear, and the fit between these three seems to be all over the place. The Jack Striped Brief is the first brief I’ve tried from the company, and offers a very different fit from the Kory Boxer Briefs

Materials and construction: The material is listed as 95% cotton and 5% elastane (spandex). It’s a rather boxy shape, and unlike the boxer briefs I originally reviewed, cut quite close to the body. The design is anatomically correct, although it doesn’t offer a particularly big pouch. (The pouch’s overall fit is similar to a smaller version of the Jor Speed Cotton Retro Brief.) The cotton/spandex blend is fairly stretchy all around, but the material has two layers around the pouch. The waistband is taut and the leg holes are reasonably stable. There’s a very long tag in the back, which is always a minus. The stitching seems good. 6/10

Comfort and usability: It took me a while to decide whether I should deem this item as “Big enough” or not. Sometimes, during days in which I spent most of my time sitting, it seemed tolerably comfortable. Other times, I would spend long periods walking and find it quite uncomfortable. I usually air-dry all of my underwear, but after accidentally putting this into the dryer once, it shrank substantially. I no longer find it tolerable to wear. In terms of other qualities, by keeping everything close to the hips, this pair will prevent an obvious visual bulge in your pants, and the material breathes pretty well. 5/10
Aesthetics: This is aesthetically quite brutish. The shape is too boxy, and the stripes have a slightly fuzzy and indistinct appearance.  The crisp logo on the waistband looks good, though. 2/10

Overall rating: 4/10

Big enough: No.

Too Tight to Review 5: Diesel Hero Fresh and Bright Cotton Modal Trunk

The “Too Tight To Review” series covers the pairs of underwear I’ve tried on that I couldn’t wear long enough to give a fair review. If I can’t keep a pair on for at least the length of the day, I’ll leave a few brief thoughts rather than a full review.

Diesel is a company I’ve reviewed here before. Their men’s underwear is varied in terms of fit, and some of the styles are quite comfortable. When I got the Hero Fresh and Bright Cotton Modal Trunk, I was hopeful about the fit. Many of the most comfortable pairs of underwear I’ve purchased are made of modal fabric, which is stretchy and soft, and this item is composed of 57% cotton, 38% modal and 5% elastane (spandex). Unlike the similar fabric blend found in the BOSS HUGO BOSS Cotton Modal Mini Brief, the fabric in this Diesel offering is thicker, tougher, and more rubbery. The item is well made, and fits over the hips and glutes impressively. The problem is that it is not anatomically correct to any significant degree, and the stretchiness of the fabric is not enough to accommodate the genitals comfortably. As soon as I put it on, I felt very uncomfortable, and couldn’t manage to rearrange it in a way that made it wearable. This experience was a disappointment, but not enough for me to discard my generally positive opinion of Diesel.