This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Men's Underwear Sales Show Bulge in the Economy

NEW YORK (MainStreet)--An uptick in men's underwear sales bodes well for the economy at large--given the suggestion that men have enough disposable income to buy an item they don't often update. Though 2012 men's apparel sales rose a meager 1% to $57 billion, underwear sales shot up 13%, according to NPD group. Even former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan has used this economic indicator to take the temperature of the economy.

"Around the recession in 2008, things were more basic oriented, not fashion oriented," said Michael Kleinmann, editor-in-chief of The Underwear Expert. "Underwear was more multi-pack-oriented, more about value items."

Also see: 5 Ways to Save Money in the Beer Boom

From August 2007 to August 2008, underwear sales fell 27% at online retailers, 8% at department stores, and 6% at national retail chains, according to DNR. Sales at discount retailers increased 8% over the same period in an indication that men were penny-pinching on their briefs. A May 2008 Kelton Research survey of 1,001 adults found that 26% of respondents wear underwear that is five or more years old, with 11% wearing underwear that is 10 or more years old. These are inevitably the jankity boxers, those that have lost their elasticity or no longer fit.

Now with the economy plumped up, companies are being more adventurous with their undies to meet the purchasing demand.

"The brands that are launching now are not launching black, white and gray underwear," Kleinmann said. "They're launching in color or have some special style."

Also see: Forget Buying A Single-Family Home: Purchase an Apartment Complex

Though Hanes, Fruit of the Loom and Jockey have dominated the market, there are more options. Fabrication has become more advanced, as well, with performance materials like in C-In2's Grip featuring moisture-wicking properties to absorb sweat from the body and transfer it to the side of the fabric away from the skin. The emergence of more fashion-forward brands like 2-xist also indicates the available variety in briefs for men.

Emporio Armani's selection of David Beckham as a spokesperson has heralded in the fashionable appeal of fitted men's briefs beyond the standard Hanes Michael Jordan hawked. The mainstream appeal of fashionable briefs reached further heights in February when model Matthew Terry did a Super Bowl underwear ad for Calvin Klein.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs