Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A load of pants

While engaged in riveting conversation with Marcosy the other day we somehow got on to the subject of a survey recently conducted by Debenhams which exposed the mystery behind the undercracker buying habits of the typical British male. Both of us had read the results, and so were well-informed to digest and discuss the outcome.

The key fact of note is that we chaps apparently only buy our own undercrackers within a 17 year window of our lives. No, that does not mean we hoard them until we hit our late teens then coast along in the same old pair of skiddy-strewn Superman pants we've had since we first bid adieu to nappies; what it actually means is that we tend to buy our own between the ages of 19 to 36, but rely on our mums, and later our wives, to pick us out a cracking pair of dashing undies in the periods bookending that magical window of our pant purchasing prime.

This means I have less than five years in which to find myself a woman before I'm left high and dry and and utterly pantless on the shelf.

Although this was the key fact determined by the survey, it was not, however, the most fascinating; no, because that was reserved for this gem:

Underwear buying peaks among males at 23, when they will buy up to 31 pairs annually.

Yes, underwear buyi- wait a minute! Exsqueeze me - what was that!?

Underwear buying peaks among males at 23, when they will buy up to 31 pairs annually.

Thirty-one pairs a year? THIRTY-ONE PAIRS OF PANTS. PER. YEAR?! Believe me, when I first read that fact my eyes popped out on stalks in total amazement like I was Tom tied to a train track watching Jerry pilot a fast-moving locomotive towards me. Thirty-one! Geez. Let's do something I rarely, if ever, do here (or indeed anywhere else if I can help it): some maths.

There are 52 weeks in a year. If I purchased 31 pairs of pants per year, that would equate to one pair just over every one and half weeks. Really? I'm sure I had better things to be doing when I was 23 than perusing the underwear department of the local fashion emporium for the latest pair of Calvin Kleins with a popping neon waistband. Shouldn't they all be out getting hammered and shagging girls?

Not only that, but think of the cost! I'm guessing CKs are the ones most chaps go for (I shan't be conducting a random pant appraisal in the middle of Westfield, funnily enough), and they don't come cheap. OK, let's say they're 15 quid a pop. That's … *furiously counts on fingers and toes* … £465 a year!

(Geez, maths twice in one post. I might need to go lie down in a minute)

Four hundred and sixty five pounds a year. On pants! Outrageous! Shouldn't they be paying of their student debts?! Or, I dunno, saving for their future? It's all very well having some nice supportive boxer briefs when you're 23, but what happens in years to come? The gusset will go and you'll be old, penniless, and with your balls by your ankles before you know it, that's what. You'd have to dispatch your wife to buy you some new ones from Matalan, providing you successfully ensnared one in your youth.

So, 31 pairs a year at a cost of just under £500. I think I've bought four pairs in the last year, and that's only because some of my others outlived their usefulness and went a bit saggy. I would've bid farewell to them with a Viking-style funeral if I hadn't had a nagging feeling that they might explode when I tried to light them. Can't say I didn't get my moneys worth out of them though; forwards, backwards, turn inside out and repeat.

That's over half a week's wear right there. Kids today have got more money than sense, clearly.


the projectivist said...

it totally makes sense to me, Tim.

sure, that might seem like a lot of pants, but what is OBVIOUSLY going on is the simple 'Throw&Go' solution. those lads are wearing the pants, and instead of washing them, they just chuck them out and put on a new pair. it's a known fact that GenYs hate to do laundry.

BEAST said...

***wonders what terrible pants related comment IV is gestating***.
I need to buy new pants , mine a re falling apart :-(

Tim said...

The Projectivist - Well that's not very environmentally friendly, is it? Maybe we need to encourage local councils to set up undercracker recycling facilities!!

Beast - Don't worry, he's probably exploded from all the excitement. As for new pants - buy some!! Just not 31 pairs, unless you're feeling particularly flush.

Inexplicable DeVice said...


Tim said...

Oh get with the times - they went about six months ago!

Tara said...

Whenever someone would ask my dad (who was well past 36) what he wanted for his birthday or Christmas, he'd immediately reply, "Socks and underwear." So thankfully he wasn't just relying on my mom to buy them for him, but his whole family. Merry Christmas!

CyberPete said...

That's a lot of pants! I'm fairly certain I don't even own that many pairs.

I bought my own since I was 20 but do get some for birthdays and Christmas sometimes.

Tim said...

Tara - Did he end up with more than 31 pairs?

Cyberpete - Can you check and let us know?