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SHOPPING : THE SOCK DRAWER

Investing In Your Assets

September 28, 2008|Adam Tschorn | Times Staff Writer

AT THE risk of over-sharing, I have a confession: My job got me hooked on high-priced underpants.

For most of my adult life I've been perfectly happy with the same standard-issue, boldly patterned, $14 J. Crew knickers I've always worn, the ones festooned with hamburgers, tiki drinks, mermaids and deck chairs in the summer, snowmen, Christmas trees and Santa Clauses in the winter.

That was until I read about Birds boxer shorts, $76 handcrafted skivvies with single-needle tailoring and mother-of-pearl buttons, and wondered how any pair of underwear could be worth five times my normal tariff. Especially when the choices are just two colors (white and light blue).

I had my doubts.

Then I tried on a pair of the 160-thread count, two-ply handmade trunks made from Sea Island cotton (a variety prized for the luxe feel of its long, silky fibers) and instantly felt the difference all those dollars can make.

It was like slipping between the crisp sheets of a freshly made bed -- and then being able to wear them into the office.

They're light, roomy, comfortable and (most important for the boxer wearer) non-bunching where it counts.

All these details add up to top-drawer under trou, and that's exactly what husband-and-wife team Megan and Michael Papay were shooting for when they launched their Sausalito, Calif., company last year with just one goal: to make the world's best pair of boxer shorts.

And based on our preliminary test drive they have a leg (or two) up on the competition.

The dapper-looking underdrawers come in two styles. The retro-looking custom fit is slim through the hips, long in the leg and has a three-button fly, curved yoke and no elastic waistband.

The classic fit (which is recommended for the more ample man) is shorter in the leg and roomier in the posterior, with an elastic waistband and two-button tab closure.

Boxers that set you back nearly a Benjamin may sound overly extravagant, particularly in these times of economic chaos, but they're actually one investment that comfortably covers your assets -- without leaving you overexposed.

--

Birds Outstanding Boxer Shorts, $76 each (for the holidays, two pair for $140), at www.birdsboxers.com.

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