Monday, November 28, 2016

Express Vintage Star Print Boxer Briefs

Express is a company that makes men’s and women’s clothing. I decided to give their Vintage Star Print Boxer Briefs a try as a part of my investigation on the quality of underwear found in the sort of stores that are commonly found in shopping malls. I was pleasantly surprised about the results. While this isn’t my favorite pair of underwear, it is undoubtedly better than the offerings from American Eagle, Gap or Hollister that I have reviewed for the upcoming comparison post.

Materials and construction: The Express Star Print Boxer Briefs are made out of the typical cotton/spandex blend, and have a moderate length. Right out of the package, there were a few loose threads on the waistband, so I expected them to rapidly deteriorate with washing, but they’ve actually held up well. There’s a fly, and it functions decently, although a larger opening would be better. The elastic around the leg holes is about as good as that in any other pair of underwear that I’ve tried, and this prevents the boxer briefs from riding up. The waistband is also sturdy, so the whole item stays in place well. 7/10

Comfort and usability: There isn’t a pouch on the garment, so it feels too tight to be genuinely comfortable, especially while sitting down. However, since the waistband and the elastic around the leg holes are so secure, this prevents the garment from riding up and becoming more uncomfortable over the course of the day. For people who are comfortable with underwear that doesn’t have a pouch, I’d say this is one example of a pair of underwear that is actually offers a reasonable deal for the price, although better options can be found. 5/10

Aesthetics: Not exactly my style, but it does appeal to the sort of style that Express shoppers would expect. The distorted star pattern would go with distressed jeans. 7/10

Overall rating: 6/10

Big enough? No. 

Hollister Active Classic Trunk

Hollister is a popular American clothing company owned by Abercrombie & Fitch Co. I picked up the Hollister Active Classic Trunk as an item for my upcoming comparative review of mall brands. 

Materials and construction: This item is made of 88% polyester and 12% spandex. The material, which has a rubbery texture, wicks moisture and is not particularly absorbent. The fit is slim. There’s also a long tag on the left side that can be bothersome. It seems like the material would be rather tear-resistant, but, other than that, I can’t think of any reason to recommend this item. 4/10

Comfort and usability: Most of the time, the small canal of space in the center (it would be misleading to call it a pouch) succeeded in keeping everything positioned in the center. Overall, this item just doesn’t have enough room in the crotch. After sitting down for a while, the lack of space gave me a dull ache, and I had to repeatedly rearrange the fit for comfort. 2/10

Aesthetics: When you stretch these things out, the threads of the artificial fabric give a grid-like, pixelated appearance. Unless you’re interested in looking like a Windows 95 frozen screen, I couldn’t recommend this item on aesthetics. 2/10

Overall rating: 3/10

Big enough? No.

Friday, November 4, 2016

PUMP! Underwear Sugar Rush Jock

PUMP! Underwear, formed in 2009, is a Canadian company that produces athletic-themed men’s attire, primarily underwear. The Sugar Rush Jock is composed of 64% nylon, 19% cotton, and 17% spandex. Like most of what the company has to offer, it has an excellent quality of construction and is well designed for its athletic function. (Even the packaging was of impressive quality.) The fit, while still a little troublesome, worked out for me much better than their boxers or brief

I think I should also mention my experience with their customer service as evidence of PUMP!’s status as a great company. After a long wait for my package arriving, I sent them an email about it. They promptly apologized and sent another package, but with a few extra items. This left me with a lasting good impression, and is the best that a customer could expect from customer service.  

Materials and construction: As I mentioned, the construction quality is excellent. The mesh on the pouch is very stretchy, and breathes very well. The taut elastic in the waistband and the slightly more forgiving elastic in the leg straps are well balanced for offering flexibility without relinquishing stability. Unlike the pouches in some jockstraps, where the pouch is designed as a relatively flat piece of fabric, the pouch here is an actual cup, although I’d prefer it to be larger. The only tag on this item is a tiny one on the back. Being washed numerous times, the only significant sign of wear that I can find is the information printed on the inside of the waistband getting harder to read. 9/10 

Comfort and usability: Despite what the company offers in its sizing information, PUMP! Underwear tends to be rather small, so I’d recommend everyone go up one size. I found the pouch very constricting at first, but realized that if I adjusted the elastic on the sides of the pouch to be flat against my body, it became comfortable enough for a workout session, with some adjustment. The pouch keeps everything close to the body, so it shouldn’t form a bulge. It should also be noted that the leg straps stay consistently flat against the legs, which is often not true of jockstraps. All in all, this would be a perfect item for me with a bigger pouch. I suspect a lot of men who do not have trouble finding comfortable underwear would already find it to be the perfect jockstrap. 8/10

Aesthetics: PUMP! Underwear always looks cool. The red, blue and white colors look good together, especially inverted on the inside of the waistband, and the mixed visual textures of the waistband, mesh pouch and straps add to the appeal. 8/10

Overall rating: 8/10

Big enough? The pouch isn’t ideal, but going one size up made this item comfortable enough for a workout session.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Too Tight to Review 6: PUMP! Sugar Rush Jogger

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.

Pump Underwear, as I’ve mentioned before, is a Canadian company that produces workout-themed attire, primarily underwear. The Jogger boxers are a series of boxers that each have two mesh pockets. On the Sugar Rush Jogger, two mesh pockets and a mesh pouch are attached to a cotton blend body. Just like the first PUMP! item I’ve reviewed, the construction quality is absolutely top notch, and the item looks great, too. Unfortunately, the pouch isn’t nearly big enough, so this item isn’t usable for me. (I can't even fully pull it up onto my hips.) If PUMP! ever created underwear with large pouches, they’d probably be my favorite underwear company.