People aren't changing their underwear every day, and social media's judgy

Survey by underwear maker Tommy John reveals some people are keeping their skivvies on for more than a week.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

We'll be brief: Your underwear habits should be your own business. But underwear company Tommy John decided to survey 1,000 men and women to see how long they wear their unmentionables before changing them. And when the results came out on the company's site, some readers recoiled at the dirty laundry being shared.

"Just over half of respondents say they change their underwear on a daily basis," the company reported in a blog post. "Forty-five percent admitted to having worn the same pair of underwear for two or more days, while 13 percent claimed to have worn the same pair for a week or more."

The Skiin underwear, for women and men, has sensors to monitor things like pulse and breathing rate.

The worst offenders are mostly men. The survey showed men are 2.5 times as likely as women to wear the same underwear for a week or more. 

Being an underwear company, of course, Tommy John wants you to buy lots and lots of its product. So in a separate survey of 1,000 Americans, the company asked questions about how long Americans keep their undies. 

This is the much more boring part of the survey, because really, do people write the purchase date on their underwear? Who remembers this stuff? 

The results show Americans are pretty thrifty: 46% of Americans have owned the same piece of underwear for a year or more, and 38% have no idea how long they've had their underwear. This time, men and women were equal opportunity offenders.

Although the survey is a few weeks old, it started to take off on social media late this week, inspiring some people to come clean about their habits.

"They're nicknamed 'briefs' (for) a reason," one Twitter user wrote. "Because you're not supposed to wear or own underwear long. This also why I will go broke." Wrote another: "I pray that no one I know wears the same underwear multiple days in a row." 

Then again, some people just let it all hang out. Wondered one Twitter user: "Did that underwear survey include folks who don't wear underwear?"