Expiration dates seem to plague the refrigerator in my house. From milk to jams to sandwich meat, food producers are constantly telling us the “best used by” date to hamburger meats and any other assortment of produce, canned goods, frozen products, and the classic “refrigerate after opening” products that we all use. No doubt, this is to protect our bodies from harmful organism growth that takes place once our food reaches its shelf life. Although underwear doesn’t spoil per se (well, I guess if you are into some really interesting stuff like never washing, it will), I believe undies do have a wear out date.
Because I believe that great undies never go out of style, they obviously can’t spoil like our food. This leads me to lay down a solid definition of “wear-out-date.” Salvatore’s definition of wear-out-date is simple; the point in which your undies need to be thrown in the trash. If you are into super kinky fetish things—this post is not directed at you and what you like. I don’t condemn or condone fetishes, but don’t want to give off the feel that I am putting you down for what you like. My consistent statement about underwear is that YOU have to be comfortable with what YOU like. With that said, let’s get started.
Collecting vs. Hoarding
We’ve all seen the reality T.V. shows detailing how little Ms. So and So from 4th Street has been attempting to take care of dozens of cats in her two bedroom apartment only to find out that her sanitary level is below the cut line. This is an example of hoarding. We’ve also seen the shows where Mr. Antique Man finds all of the cool oil company signs and displays them in a museum like manner for the neighbors and townspeople to gawk at when they visit for the annual Christmas charity dinner. This is called collecting. The major difference in hoarding and collecting boils down to three simple categories: organization of product, recognition of junk, and highlighting every piece within the repertoire in an appropriate manner. Hoarders simply fail to draw the lines and negotiate the obstacle of getting rid of junk. Collectors have a system that allows for max use of the collection. Again, neither one is right. Neither one is wrong. I want to target those of you that are interested in being a superb collector of fine underthings for men. So here goes!
My Determination to Collect and Cull
A couple of years ago, I discovered that I can truly find the perfect fit of underwear if I am diligent in trying new things and search hard for the latest and greatest. I stumbled upon Andrew Christian’s Almost Naked Limited Edition Infinity Line. I purchased two pairs to try out. They both were striped. In fact, I’m wearing one of the briefs as I type this post. This was the first time that I encountered the anatomical pouch. If you’ve read any other of my posts, you know that I’m an anatomical pouch brief fanatic. Why—Simply because this style of pouch and cut of underwear is what I feel most comfortable in and enjoy the most. Could have easily have been thongs or boxer briefs. I just like briefs with anatomical pouches.
This newfound obsession quickly led to a dilemma of sorts. I found myself wearing the same two pairs of underwear over and over again. Because of this, I was washing them daily just so I could enjoy what I was wearing. A few weeks went by and the fabric started wearing out. The other thing I noticed is that I had hundreds of dollars in designer briefs that I no longer enjoyed slipping on. The anatomical briefs and the obsession that ensued was kind of like the first time I experienced the ice cream cones with the chocolate in the bottom. I didn’t want to go back to the plain cones or plain, non-anatomical underwear any more. Andrew Christian briefs are not exactly cheap and I certainly didn’t want to have to get rid of them after a few months of wear because of overuse. I slowly added more to the collection and then had some decisions to make: 1.) What do I do with the rest of the collection? 2.) How do I ensure that I wear everything in the collection? 3.) How do I change my laundry habits to cut down on fabric wear. The answers to these questions have helped me to lengthen the wear out date of my fabulous designer underwear collection (almost exclusively anatomical pouch briefs).
3 Steps to Collecting Well
1.) CULL the COLLECTION
The first step to being an aficionado of fine men’s underwear is to cull the collection. When I stumbled upon the anatomical pouch phenomenon, I went through a few phases of collecting. First, I put all of the non-anatomical pouch briefs into a forgotten drawer that I never used. That’s right, I stopped wearing around 75 pairs of great undies in favor my start up collection of anatomical pouch briefs. I occasionally had to dip in the “no longer wear” pile during emergency laundry situations. Once my anatomical collection got up to around 20 pairs, I started to give away or throw away the briefs that I no longer wore. This was painful, but liberating! The key to this portion of culling is to RID YOURSELF OF WHAT YOU NO LONGER WEAR!
I’d say the other cull that is necessary is to get rid of anything that is dingy, has holes in it, is soiled badly, or has fabric that is beginning to fray. There is nothing worse than dropping your pants at the gym or in the bedroom to reveal designer undies that look like they’ve been run over by a freight train that pooped on them. Many people think that there is no reason to get rid of disgusting undies. After all, no one will ever see them right? What happens if you get in a car wreck and the hot nurse has to cut your pants off? What about when my wife surprises me with a little late night or middle of the day pillow talk (very little talking involved)? You name the surprise situation and I guarantee you that you’d rather have nice serviceable undies as opposed to beat up worn out drawers to put on display. Simply TOSS THE BEAT UP UNDERPANTS!
2.) ORGANIZE THE COLLECTION
If you are like me, for years I just threw my expensive undies in a pile in the drawer. I never new what I had available for wear, where to find it, or how many clean pairs I had left. One day, playing off of my wife’s extremely organized dresser drawers and closet. I took her advice and starting organizing my underwear in a fashion that is easily viewable and accessible. I roll them and stand them waistband up. This allows me to see the brand and the color in one fell swoop. I then place the underwear into three different drawers based on three basic categories: everyday wear, workout wear (sports brief or no side panel just the waistband), and sleep/lounge wear (usually super skimpy, revealing, and low-cut).
How does this help preserve the collection and lengthen wear out date? I’m glad you asked. By organizing in a manner that is easy to access and easy to view, I tend to where a large variety of things. Because I typically go through three pairs of undies a day (workout, all day, and sleep). I need to be able to access all three types quickly without defaulting to whatever is on top of the pile (usually what you just wore and washed lands on top). This causes a less frequent wear time for each individual pair in turn lengthening the wear out date.
3.) WASH THE COLLECTION
That means exactly what it says. I wash the entire collection at one time in one load. Why? I have found that if I force myself to wear every piece in the collection before I wash. I not only wear everything in my dresser. I don’t over wear the colors, patterns, and particular brands that I like the most. The fastest way to destroy your collection is overuse. Fabrics will fray and you will have to cull a whole lot quicker.
The system that I use to do this is simple. I have a laundry bag in the corner of my closest (so my wife doesn’t see it and assume I want to wash). I wear a pair and throw it in the bag. I don’t wash the contents of the bag until I have completely depleted what’s in my dresser. You figured it out. That means that on the nights that I wash, I have ZERO pairs left to choose from to sleep in—SO I GO COMMANDO! I wash overnight. The next morning I roll (fold) the entire collection at one time. It’s my favorite day of the month. I get to see every pair of anatomical briefs that I own at one time. Every color, every pattern, and every awesome waistband is right in front of me for my own viewing pleasure.
This third and final step has been crucial to lengthening the wear out date. The fabrics remain nice and smooth. The colors stay bright. The waistbands stay crisp and sharp. Because I don’t want to buy anything expensive and wear it out in short order. I highly recommend that you systematize your wash process.
To Sum it Up
By reading this post, you, my friend, are on your way to having a collection that all men will envy. Some of you will take my advice and move from being a hoarder to being a collector. I am so in tune with what I like that I don’t even wear a pair if I try them on and they don’t fit just right. In fact, I have six pairs in a bottom drawer that I wasn’t too excited about the pouch. I will be giving them to @UNBTim because he’s a good friend to me and we share the same passion—UNDERWEAR! Collect your underwear like you are collecting vintage baseball cards. Take care of them and put them on display. Don’t keep junk. Always look for the mint condition undies that fit your pearls well. Enjoy your UNDERPANTS.
If you like what you’ve read or have anything to add, feel free to leave comments. At Underwear News Briefs, we enjoy interacting with our readers. You can also follow me on Twitter @manatomicallyme. Thanks for ready. Happy UNDIES!