Giving Underwear Advice from an Underwear Authority
Now, I want to start with a clarification. One of my previous posts was about buying underwear for a friend, you can find it on the website. This piece is different in a few key ways. First, when buying pairs for friends you have a bit more freedom as to what to buy because it is your money that is being spent. Although as pointed out in the piece there are still points and thoughts to consider regardless. Second, buying for someone else can be much more about you than them. Not to make it sound selfish but it’s true. We give a little bit of ourselves with every gift and you do get to take into consideration your opinions or wishes more so in that case. However, with advice, it should be much more about them. Personalized as best as possible.
Giving advice always is a bit tricky. On the site I write a lot of reviews and reviews, to me, are much easier than advice because it is a more straightforward. As Walter Cronkite would say, “And that’s way it is,” type of a piece. Advice needs to be precise for an individual and it much more than about one pair. It throws open the entire Underworld universe for possibilities. Yikes!
Yet we must never shirk away from giving the advice when it comes to underwear because we always want to encourage the discussion and the community of underwear enthusiasm. If someone has come to you for advice on underwear it is a badge of honor. They respect your opinion, thoughts and underwear knowledge. It may also have been a difficult or even awkward thing for them to ask you about. So we must be excited that they did! When you aren’t used to talking, writing, or thinking about underwear as much as some of us it can feel awkward.
So let’s give some advice:
Ask the person what type of underwear he generally wears or is looking to buy. Remember, it’s his underwear and his money so we need guidelines! Getting a sense of his cut preference and perhaps brands he generally wears can help give you a sense of direction.
If a friend asked me for advice and he says that he generally wears trunks and more generic ones at that. Say Jockey or Hanes (both perfectly valid brands btw. I wear Jockey athletic trunks almost exclusively for my workouts) then you have a taste for where you might direct them. Perhaps Private Structure would be good for their trunk needs. Very classic yet very well made and often in fun colors. If that doesn’t suit them then maybe PUMP! For a bit more of an adventurous trunk (be careful on sizing, PUMP! Can tend to run a bit small).
Range of Acceptance:
Okay so I am borrowing this term from my old argumentation/debate days but I think it applies. You’ve figured out what he usually wears, style and brand. Now let’s figure out what he would wear. Perhaps, as stated above, our friend usually wears trunks but would he be amenable to wearing briefs? Not to say that we’ll start him out in a bikini but maybe a nice hip brief. Here is where you can push but not too hard. Try to see if expanding his comfort zone is possible or if it will just result in never worn underwear.
If you’re going to suggest a new cut, totally valid, think a bit strategically. A good way to go about it might be to recommend a brand that does his original cut. In addition to the new cut that you’re advising. This way if he eventually didn’t care for the new or different cut he may have discovered a new favorite brand in the meantime! Still a win.
Keep it simple:
You have no idea how hard it was to not write ‘stupid’ after that. It’s just automatic. But yes, keep it simple. Give him freedom in what you recommend. Direct them to a particular brand with recommendations on cut. Don’t get overly specific unless he really just wants one pin pointed pair. “Have you looked at N2N’s new briefs? They might be a good place to start.” A recommendation like that gives them so many more options and so much more freedom then, “You should get the <insert pair here>.” That type of suggestion leaves them with only a Yes/No type of response.
Keeping is simple like that also allows for him to navigate the murky world of pricing. Let’s face it, some people just will never be comfortable paying over $20 for a pair of underwear and leaving them with more open advice allows them to price shop in a focused area.
Speaking of Pricing:
Many of the folks who might ask you for advice (as just mentioned) do not, would not pay as much as perhaps you or I would on underwear. For me, it’s just part of my life’s budget and I make do with that. Not so much for others. So. Directing them to, “Try looking at Baskit on Tuesdays for their $12 deals, they make a good, solid brief,” can help them be more comfortable spending the money as well. Remember the sales sections! (write that on my tombstone one day, please).
The overall and most important thing is, of course, to think about the person. Your advice might set them on a path of incredible underwear bliss for a lifetime. Inform yourself, find his range, and keep things simple.
All of this was brought on when a friend just recently asked me for advice on buying new underwear. I also immediately told him a new brand that I am falling more and more for (what up Teamm8!). I realized that he would be much more comfortable with options. So I stopped myself and thought it through a bit more. He is a fairly classic guy who really just wants a comfortable, solid pair of underwear that he might throw on for a day at work or a special occasion.
Eventually I arrived at telling him, “For briefs, you might want to try looking at Garcon Model. If you’re feeling more trunks, Jack Adams or PUMP! might be fun ones to try”. For other friends I would have other recommendations but for him, these ones all just felt right. I have previously recommended to friends, JOR briefs, Andrew Christian briefs, N2N thongs, Nasty Pig jockstraps, BumChum trunks, and a whole lot more.