Brief Grief

Underwear. Bunching, riding, chafing, constricting, ill-fitting underwear


Standing slightly over six feet tall and weighing in at a modest 162 pounds, I have never considered myself a freak of nature.
Bill Blass begs to differ.
Oh, it seemed like a good idea at the time. There I was, mulling over the racks of boring white Fruit of the Loom underwear when my eyes happened upon the bold, bright prints in the fashion section. Always the sucker for the visually interesting, I decided it was time to dole out the extra cash and live a little.
Hmmm, let's see. What size should I get? Well, regularly I'm a small, so that should about do it. Unsuspectingly, I picked out a particularly colorful set, paid for it and went home.
All right then, there I am with this box of briefs and nothing to do but watch the news, so I figure I'll try them on.
In case you've never bought designer underwear, you usually get three pairs tightly rolled up into separate little underwear burritos. As a result, the first task must be to straighten them back out again.
This accomplished, I hold them up and look at them. Yes, they are bright, even cheery, but something is definitely wrong.
The word small springs to mind.
Much, much too small.
Perhaps, I think, trying desperately to allay my fears, they're made of some amazingly stretchy fabric.
I try them on.
They are definitely not made of some amazingly stretchy fabric. In fact, they are made of a fairly tight weave cotton with just enough Lycra to pay lip service to the idea of form fitting. They not only don't fit, they hurt.
Maybe medium would be better. Since most places do not make a point of accepting used underwear, I'll be buying another box. Not that it does me any good. They don't fit either.
All right, large then. Nope, not a chance.
Since I have not as of yet been able to find a pair of extra large designer underwear I cannot say for certain that they shouldn't fit. I suspect, however, that even if I could find a pair I would run into the same problem because at some point the issue is not one of fabric, but of design.
Not one pair of designer underwear I have tried on has made any concessions to male anatomy. Castrattos would be uncomfortable in these things.
Now I am well aware that fashion is about appearance, not comfort. But at some point it would seem that the latter should take precedence. For me that point is my underwear.
It's not as though anyone sees them. I have never gotten a job because of them and I don't honestly see myself applying for a position where snazzy yellow bikini briefs would help me successfully navigate the interview process.
Besides, while there are many things that I want from my clothing, reduced sperm count and dull testicular aching are not among them.
Still, this experience has explained much about the fashion industry that I didn't previously understand. Like why high-end clothing designers speak and walk the way they do. Why male models are incessantly pouting and why people at fashion shows look as if something terrible may happen at any moment.
It's all due to underwear. Bunching, riding, chaffing, constricting, ill-fitting underwear.
Since I've never aspired to be a fashion designer and I'm not a particularly good pouter, I guess it's back to the not-so tighty whities for me.

Jeremy Hanna is a health physicist who lives and works in Columbia.

© Copyright by POINT, 1996
Last modified 4/6/96