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Men, it's Time to Change Underwear

Posted on 05 September 2013

Studies Show Most Of Us Don’t Change Undies Often Enough!

Okay fellas, let's be honest. How often do you change your underwear? Don't worry. This is just between us boys. We won't tell your mother or your wife or your significant other. But it's still a serious question. If you're a Body Aware customer, that means you're probably very fashion-conscious and keep up with current trends in men's underwear. And, we like to think, more fastidious in your personal grooming habits than, ahem, some guys. Unfortunately, a batch of recent studies has confirmed some of the worst stereotypes about men and their skivvies. Maybe this doesn't apply to you (and certainly not to ME), but we're all getting tarred by this brush. Specifically, coincidental studies conducted by various fashion industry groups all arrived at the same conclusion: men don't change their underwear often enough and, in general, show little interest in under-there hygiene.

A 2012 study by the British market research firm Mintel found that 22% of guys don't change their underwear daily, and concluded that there is "a distinct whiff of laziness among men" to blame. It gets worse. In May of this year, the UK retailer Marks & Spencer did a poll and found that one-third of men admit to changing only every two-to-three days, and one in 40 wore the same pair "as long as he can". (Only 10% of women said they didn't change every day.) On the plus side, M&S found that one out of every seven men claim they will wear their partner's undies if they can't find a clean pair, which we should get some points for ingenuity. This kind of retailer research sounds a bit self-serving, but unfortunately it's been backed up time and time again. In 2011, Clorox conducted a study that showed one-in-eight guys will wear underwear two or three times before washing them. And that half of men admit to using the "smell test" to determine if their drawers are still wearable (which should get us some points for bravery, right?) The Australian brand Bonds issued a study suggesting 32% of men will wear the same pair of underwear at least two days in a row. And a 2008 consumer survey found that 9% of men admit to having a pair of underwear that's at least 10 years old (points for frugality?).

There are lots of sound academic reasons to explain this rather disgusting behavior among those guys who are skewing the poll results and giving the rest of us a bad reputation. Most men weren't raised to do their own laundry, and pick up the practice late in life and often begrudgingly. And most guys don't even do their own underwear buying except in their late teens and twenties, when underwear is both cool and often highly visible. As a result, where their undies are concerned, too many guys go through life with a kind of frat boy mentality ... ignoring hygiene and, in a general sense, the whole concept of personal responsibility when it comes to their own fashion choices.

We know there are plenty of style-conscious gents who don't deserve this sullied reputation, but to those of you still stuck in the underwear dark ages, here's a few basic tips:

  • Yes, you must change your underwear at least once day, no quibbling.
  • Changing more than once a day is also recommended if you've been to the gym or are heading out on a date.
  • Many guys have a twice-a-day rule: one pair for daytime, and a fresh pair for bedtime.
  • Never keep your underwear for more than a year. The elastic stretches, colors fade, and you will look like a hobo.
  • If your underwear is stained throw it out immediately or you will look like a hobo's poorer cousin.
  • Remember that variety is the spice of everything in life, including underwear. You should have at least a dozen pairs, in differing styles and colors, and for different occasions. Don't be afraid to let your freak flag fly.

Finally, let's all take a lesson from this brave guy. His name is Mark McIntyre and back in 2010 he undertook the most disgusting charity project ever: spending 25 days at home in his underwear, with cameras following him 24/7. The point of it all was to raise money for testicular cancer research, as Mark was a survivor. The underwear brand Stanfield's agreed to give him $1 for every Facebook "like" and he eventually generated over a million website views and raised $52,000. Even more important, though, was this paradigm-shifting fact: he remembered to wear a fresh new pair every day.

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