Underwear Spending May Surprise

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As reported by WalletPop, a British retailer’s study of male shoppers’ underwear buying habits yielded some unusual results.

Among them, the fact that “male shoppers don't buy their own underwear until they reach the ripe old age of 19.” Before that most crucial rite of passage, Mum buys the underwear. Really.

Also: “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.” By age 23, underwear acquisitions taper off sharply, picking up again between the ages of 38 and 40.

According to the study results, this weird fluctuation in purchasing habits is explained by the motivation to “lure a potential mate.” (Around age 38, for example, underwear buys increase since “men who have been through a divorce [are] getting back in the dating game”—and they need to be armed with impressive underwear to do that, apparently).

As a guy, I don’t quite know what to make of this study: I’ve been buying my own skivvies for a while now, and as far as I can tell my purchasing patterns don’t correlate to any relationships. But at least I now have some solid ammo for the next time a female friend swoons unnecessarily over a British guy. “I’ve heard his mom buys his boxers,” I’ll tell her, shaking my head somberly. “It’s science.”

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