Trigger warning: you will learn things about my underwear you can never unlearn.
A few days ago, I was putting on a pair of underwear when part of it tore at the seam.
This got me to thinking, because this particular pair of underwear is less than six months old.
Most of my underwear is a lot older.
Let’s just say when I casually mentioned how old my underwear was at a doctor’s appointment, the doctor laughed, assuming I was joking, and said, “I hope not…please tell me that’s not true.”
I pretended I’d been joking all along.
But I wasn’t.
This appointment was about six months ago, and the reason I now possess underwear less than six months old.
And what I was thinking was this:
Sure my old underwear was so worn you could see through it, but in all its (many) years of service, it had never split at the seams.
And as an added bonus, it got a “RRrarr!” from the Missus whenever I changed in front of her.
Sadly (for both my tear-free lifestyle and my love life), at my doctor’s urging, I threw them all away. I didn’t even save a pair for special, romantic occasions. 😦
I also have relatively new socks (as young or younger than the new underwear). They developed holes within a couple of months of wearing them.
My old socks? That predate these new socks by years? Worn thin in a few spots (forming more than one window to my sole), but no actual, stick-a-finger-or-toe-through-them holes.
And I have a cardigan sweater that is over THIRTY YEARS OLD. It came from Mervyn’s and has a few stains, but no frayed cuffs or split seams!
In comparison, I have jackets and coats that are a few years old that have holes, frays, splits, and even missing buttons.
My trusty cardigan? Original buttons all fully intact and never sewn back on.
I tried to find out who exactly made that cardigan, so I could favor them with my custom again. Clearly I need a better tailor than Hanes. But good look figuring that out for something made before the internet was really a thing. As best I can tell, my only options are eBay and thrift shops.
And based on the prices I’ve seen, those folks know what they’ve got and what it’s worth.
So much for affordable…
And to add to my indignation, they weren’t afraid to use material back in those days. Twenty years ago, a Large fit me just fine. Then ten years ago or so, I guess they decided to cut some corners on fabric usage and I had to start wearing “Xtra Large” to be comfortable. And now they’re skimping so much on material I have wear XXL. All to save what, a few cents?
All of this has left me wondering what has happened to the quality of affordable, overseas-manufactured clothing. A couple of decades ago, they knew how to make textiles. But now, now the imports seem to be designed and built to require replacement within a year. Or less!
Like a lot of our consumer electronics. Hmm…
This is both wasteful and a shame. As much as it pains me to say something I never thought would cross my lips, I guess it’s true:
They really don’t make underwear like they used to.