Men only buy underwear to impress women


Finally, a survey confirms what women may have suspected all along: Dudes only drop dough on drawers when they're searching for a mate. A British retailer conducted a study which found that male shoppers don't buy their own underwear until they reach the ripe old age of 19. Who keeps them stocked in skivvies before that? Mom.

Seriously, guys? Doesn't that get a little embarrassing, oh, roughly around the time you outgrow cartoon-emblazoned Underoos? Teen girls begin buying their own undergarments at around 13 years old, the study found. (Anyone who wants another bit of "girls mature faster" ammo, there you go.)

At 19, young men go on a boxer-and-brief buying binge, buying up to 31 pairs a year for the next four years of their life. What's behind this sudden urge for unmentionables? According to the survey's authors, they're stocking up on skivvies to lure a potential mate. Whether or not designer underpants lead to Ms. Right may be up for debate, but it's interesting to note that underwear purchases by men start tapering off at around the age of 23 and continue that downward trajectory for the next decade. This indicates, the researchers say, that men are settling down into partnerships and turning over the task of underwear-buying to the women in their lives once again.

The study also picked up on midlife-crisis impulses. Between the ages of 38 and 40, the rate at which men buy underpants picks up; the researchers say this is due to men who have been through a divorce getting back in the dating game. The flirtation with underwear this time around is more -- ahem --brief; it begins to taper off when men are around 40 and drops off almost entirely shortly thereafter. By the time men are 44, most of them abandon underwear-shopping entirely.

Readers, who buys the boxers in your house? Is it a woman's job, or are American men are more in touch with their underwear purchases than their British counterparts?

Originally published