At the beginning of the summer, I told you about my love of socks, and delved specifically into the Happy Socks brand. The problem for a lot of folks is nice socks can be expensive. A pair of Happy Socks will usually run you around $12. The good news is there a few less expensive alternatives that I’ve tried and have worked out well.
So here they are, three places for your to get your sock collection started on the cheap:
- Nice Laundry — I actually came across the folks on Facebook. If you’re anything like me you totally tune out all the ads Facebook tries to push in front of your face, but when I saw an ad for this brand I was intrigued. They offer 6-pair packs in several different styles for $39, which when it comes to high-quality socks is a stead. Probably my favorite part about this company is that they give you the option to send in old pairs to be recycled. As you might have figured out from my post on PACT, I have bit of green streak, so I thought this concept was awesome.
- MeUndies — my boyfriend has been fond of the underwear from MeUndies, so at one point when he was getting a few new pair,s I figured I’d try out their socks as well. They offer a similar option to Nice Laundry—selling 6-packs for $40 in addition to single pairs for $10. If you sign up for subscription, you get $2 off each pair. If you’re looking to totally change out what you have, or start fresh, they also offer a 10-pair pack for $100.
- H&M — I’ve long been a fan or H&M as a great source for cheap, stylish looks. Their socks are no exception. They sell 2- and 5-pair packs in a variety of colors both online and in stores. Though the brand has a reputation for garments falling apart relatively easily, I haven’t had this problem with most of those socks I’ve gotten from them. If there’s an H&M store near year, I would recommend checking there first over the website. I’ve found that they tend to have wider selection in store than online.
What did I miss? I know all of you out there aren’t sock fans, but to those of you who are: where did you go to get your collection started? Tell us in the comments.
A few months back, I told you about an awesome brand I discovered called PACT. In that post I mentioned that I found the brand through a flash sale website called Gilt.com. What is a flash sale site, you may ask? Basically, they are websites that offer great deals that only last for a limited time. Oftentimes they also only offer a limited stock of each item in each size.
That might sound a little disappointing, but in my experience sites like Gilt are a great way to get the underwear at huge discounts. Most of the time you’ll see styles at discounts that range between 30 and 60 percent.
There are a bunch of these sites out there, but the two I’ve found to be the most helpful are Gilt and JackThreads. On both, you’ll tend to see the bigger names, designer brands like 2xist, Diesel, Calvin Klein, etc., but Gilt often features more specialty brands like PACT or Mosmann (an awesome brand from Australia).
A few of tips to keep in mind when you’re using these sites:
- Use the wait list feature–these sites try to make you think that things will become unavailable fast. They do sometimes, but sometimes they don’t. You can add stuff to your wait list and see if it’s still available later. If a particular item becomes unavailable, the site will send you an email if it does become available again.
- Keep an eye on those emails–yes constant email communications from brands can be irritating, but they key to these sites is getting things quick and the emails will let you know when you’re favorite brands are aviaible or will be shortly
- Check out the mobile app–I’ve found especially with Gilt, you’ll often get special mobile sale that’s “just for you” and will be customized to the things you buy, look at or wait list the most, i.e. underwear
Have you used a site like Gilt before? What was your experience? Tell us about in the comments!
If I was excited to try to the PPU Boxers I reviewed last month, I was thrilled to try out the Baskit just /b/ briefs from the moment they came in the mail. I once had a a Baskit jock that I absolutely loved, but it got lost in a move and I never replaced it. I was eager to try something new from the brand, though to be honest, I wasn’t too sure about the high cut hips. The just /b/ brief is available in three color combinations: Black/Red, Bubblegum (read: pink)/Grey and Bright Blue (read: aqua)/Navy. Baskit also makes the same style in a low-rise trunk in the same three color combos. I tried the black/red brief.
My review day was slightly more active than my normal routine. I drove 45 minutes to work, went on a site visit about an hour-and-a-half away (so that’s total 4 hours in the car), was out in the hot sun for about two hours while on the site visit, did several hours of work in the office in the afternoon and evening and then went out with friends for several hours after that. I planned a less active day than that, but considering how long my day ended up being, the diversity of activities I was engaged in and how held well this pair held up, I think that they would be perfect for just about any kind of day.
I got a size small (S), and Baskit says guys with waists between 28 and 30 inches should feel comfortable with that. This pair fit like a glove, so I would suggest people get the size that Baskit recommends for them.
More than anything else, I loved the fit of this pair. It was absolutely perfect. I’ve worn several pairs of high-rise style briefs and none have fit quite right until these. They’ve always squeeze my butt a bit too much and seemed to sit oddly on my hips. I didn’t feel any of that with this pair. I also felt a lot of support with this pair, but not in a uncomfortable or constricting way. I haven’t found many pairs that accomplish that feat. Also, I really liked the material this pair was made of. Baskit says its 90% Micro Modal and %10 Elastane. I’m not quite sure that means, but whatever it is it works. The pair was soft and breathable against my skin at the same time.
I’d rate the design about average. The cut is great: sporty, slightly sexy and super comfortable. But I’m not a bit fan of the waistband, the wide stripes on the side or the red/black color combination. That being said, I really like the pictures I’ve seen of the pink/grey version. To sum up:
- The fit was amazing. There’s no comparison to any other high-rise brief I’ve tried
- The material is both soft and breathable
- Not the biggest fan of the color selection
- I’d take the tag off the waistband and maybe go with one of the other two color choices
And here are my ratings:
- Daily Fit — 10
- Sizing — 10
- Construction/Materials — 10
- Styling — 7
- Daily Performance — 9
- Overall — 9.2
This pair was furnished for review by Baskit.
I was really excited to review the PPU 1319 Boxers I got as soon as I got them in the mail. I’m not usually one for mesh, but I was excited to try them out and see what I thought. When I signed on to write for UNB, I told myself that I would try new things, and I saw this as the perfect opportunity. I wasn’t disappointed. I’m usually not thrilled by white, but the sexy style intrigued me right away. I haven’t tried any other PPU styles before, but had heard really good things. This style is also available in black with a black waistband.
My day for this review was a little more active than usual. I started with an hour bus ride to work, a full day of work, an hour bus ride home, a bunch of errands all around town and an evening run. I think the fact that they held up so well for this active of day then they would hold up normally. I don’t think these would work well for a lounging around day, mostly because there is so little to them.
I got a size medium, which is generally a size up than I normally take, but it ended up working out great for me. PPU says that this size is for people with waists between 32 and 24 inches. The pair are true to size and the sizing is based on American standards.
Overall, I really liked the feel of this pair. It felt like I was wearing nothing, but not in an uncomfortable, I’m-going-commando-right-now way. They were so soft, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what I was expecting. I’d say the look was average. I really like the portions that are mesh, but don’t really like the parts that are “solid.” If it was up to me, I would have changed the solid portions so that they were actually solid and didn’t have such weird patterns. I thought they were cheesy.
So the verdict is in. I made it through my first mesh review pair, I am alive and I’m actually happy with what I ended up with. If you are afraid of trying something that might be a sexier than you would usually go for, DO IT. You might (and probably will be) pleasantly surprised. To sum up:
- The fit was fabulous. Keep in mind that I got a size larger than I normally take, but I think if you stick with your regular size you should be good.
- Though the look is “sexy,” the material is super soft, and comfortable for your average day at work.
- I love the red trim and waistband against the white. Looks great!
- The pattern on the solid parts of the pair isn’t the best
And here are my ratings:
- Daily Fit — 8
- Sizing — 8
- Construction/Materials — 10
- Styling — 7
- Daily Performance — 9
- Overall — 8.4
This pair was furnished for review by PPU.
When I first received my pair of Pikane Biologic Piping Briefs in the mail, I wasn’t so sure about what I saw. They appeared way too small for my size, used a strange combination of colors and felt a little bit weird. I hadn’t tried any other pairs by the brand, and heard good things, so I figured I’d give them a whirl. This particular style comes in three colors–I tried the purple/grey combination.
Before writing this review, I wore the pair for a fairly normal day for me. I rode the bus 45 minutes to work, sat in my office working all day long and then wore them as my pajamas for a night’s sleep. Though I didn’t really have an “active day,” I think this pair would hold up really well regardless of what you’re doing, because the material was so lightweight and comfortable.
I have a 29-inch waist and got a size small. I found the pair to be true-to-size, but definitely on the smaller/tighter end of the scale. They’re also fairly stretchy. The sizing is Columbian..
Overall, I really liked the feel of this pair against my skin, which really surprised me. They’re 100% polyester and I almost never go with that. The material was extremely breathable. My heritage leans heavy on the Italian side, so I can sweat profusely on a typical day. I didn’t experience any of that with these. They also fit surprisingly well–not too tight as I had initially thought they would be when I received them. I think the look is what could use the most improvement. Though the purple-gray combination definitely grew on me, I found both the pattern and the waistband to be a bit cheesy.
Though I initially thought that this pair wasn’t for me, after about 24 hours of wear, I was presently surprised–the fit was perfect, the material comfortable and the look fair. They also passed the boyfriend test–I showed them to him at the end of the day and he thought they were great. To sum up:
- The fit might run a bit small for some folks, but overall Pikante’s Biologic Piping Briefs are true-to-size
- The material makes this pair a great choice for any type of day–active, average or just lounging around
- The waistband for me was a little to cheesy. I’d like to see them remove the pepper that makes the ‘i” little guy that makes the “t” in Pikante. I saw on their website that they offer several styles with different waistbands
- The design / cut was a little too sexy for my personal taste
And here are my ratings:
- Daily Fit — A
- Sizing — A
- Construction/Materials — A-
- Styling — B
- Daily Performance — A
- Overall — B+
Clever furnished this pair for review.
Remember that time, maybe not too long ago, when you thought buying nice underwear wasn’t worth it? Now that you’ve tried the good stuff, you’ll never go back, right?
That’s how I felt about socks maybe six months ago. Since then, my attitude has totally changed, just like it did about underwear about six years ago. And I think after you take the plunge, you’ll feel the same way.
So you’re probably wondering, what brand changed my attitude? The answer is Happy Socks. I had just finished working a freelance job, heard a rave review from a friend and figured I’d give the brand a whirl since I had a little bit of extra cash. I feel in love instantly. I work in a fairly conservative office environment, and I’ve found that I can use socks like these to add a touch of color and fun to the everyday drab. The images below two of my favorites–the stripe half and optic designs.
Designed in Sweden and manufactured in Turkey, Happy Socks offer the best comfort out there in addition to their cute, fun style. The brand prides itself on quality above all else, and I’ve found their claims to be true. I love the pairs that I have, and since I’m wearing them all the time, I’m washing them all the time. Despite that fact, I haven’t had any problems with shrinking or fading.
If the $12 a piece price tag makes you a cringe you a bit, have no fear. Of the five or so pairs I currently own, I’ve only a bought a few straight from the manufacturer. I’ve regularly seen the brand on eBay and on flash sale sites like Gilt.com at steep discounts. Check them out!
Chances are you’ve heard of TOMS Shoes. The company revolutionized how people think about charity and corporate social responsibility by donating a pair of shoes to a person in a developing country for every pair of shoes it sold in the developed world. PACT is underwear’s answer to TOMS.
On its website, the company describes itself as a “movement disguised as a clothing company.” It has three basic principles: good design, good fabric and good cause.
Each season, the company features lines of underwear and socks that were inspired by good causes. It then uses some of the proceeds from its sales to support optimistic and solution-oriented projects for social good around the world. Some of the group’s past projects have included providing electricity development in Haiti and supporting the Sierra Club’s “Campuses Beyond Coal” movement. You can see the full list here.
But let’s step back for a second to the first two principles. When PACT says good design, they mean it. The designs are simple, but cute; they’re mostly solid or simple-patterned bodies with solid-colored waistbands. It was actually the designs that first attracted me to the brand. I was perusing a few flash deal sites, as I often do, and I noticed a pair of boxer briefs for $10. I had a bit of extra cash, so I gave them a try and was pleasantly surprised.
That brings me to what impressed me about the brand most, its good fabrics. The pair I got was super soft, and has remained so even after several washes in just a few weeks. That spectacular softness comes from special care. From the field to the shelf, the company is meticulous about using clean and responsible practices. All the cotton used is organic and fair-trade, every factory is sweat-shop free and the packaging is printed with vegetable-based inks in a wind-powered facility.
So in short if you’re looking for good underwear made of great materials that supports an even greater cause, check out PACT today. You won’t regret it.
NOTE: Introducing UNB JD “I’m the newest member of the Men’s Underwear News Briefs team. I’m a 20-something Yankee transplant living in the South, and in the coming weeks and months I’ll be bringing you tips on where to find cute underwear on the cheap, updates from the some hottest brands you love, a review or two and much, more.”