Underwear retailers have their work cut out for them if they want to convince men to buy new pants, according to a new study by menswear brand Jacamo.
The study, conducted on 2,000 adult men in the UK, found that the average man’s pant collection is four years old.
More disturbing results revealed that a tenth of the nation own a pants collection that’s over 10 years old and over half the UK male population is wearing underclothes so old they’ve got holes in or have lost their elastic.
While it’s reassuring to know that a clean majority of the nation washes their underpants after each wear (78%), one in ten wear their pants up to seven times without washing them.
Owning 13 pairs in total, the average UK man buys new pants once every six months, spends an average of £20.75 a year on them, tends to opt for a classic black pair of cotton boxer shorts and will stick to the wear necessities in bed by going commando, according to Jacamo.
While most men simply choose their underwear based on comfort, 6% are influenced by what their girlfriend or partner prefers, or what’s easiest to access in the drawer each morning.
The occasion also affects what style of underpants men wear. One in three (37%) men will change their pants if they think they’re going to get lucky on a date, almost half (41%) don a special pair for a night out and one in ten will adapt their choice if they have an important business meeting at work.
Regionally, Scots are most likely to wear a thong, men in East Anglia are most likely to wear Y-fronts and blokes in the East Midlands are most likely to wear trunks. The northern Irish are the dirtiest with one in ten wearing their pants four times before washing them, while Geordies buy new pants most frequently with 6% splashing out on new pairs once a month – they’re also most likely to own a pair of novelty pants with one in three (37%) confessing to enjoying cartoon adorned kecks.
The research reveals that there’s a clear evolution of pant choices during life – starting out in younger years with Y-fronts or briefs, evolving into boxer shorts from the ages of 20-50 and then returning back to Y-fronts after 60.
Jenni Bamford from Jacamo said: “Our study has uncovered a distinct sniff of laziness when it comes to men in the UK and their underwear habits. Uncovering the dirty secrets of the nation’s drawers may have revealed some less-than-ideal underwear habits but in revealing the fact that smelly pants is one of women’s top turnoffs, we’re hoping it’ll encourage men to think again when they pick up the same pair of boxers for another use next time.”