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Comparison with ExOfficio and other Calvin Klein boxer briefs
on July 27, 2014
I've tried many boxer briefs and this Modal is my favorite. Lightweight and exceptionally breathable (great for hotter weather), stretchy with medium snugness (not loose, not tight), and amazingly soft (much better than cotton), with a very comfortable microfiber waistband. I barely know that I'm wearing them, which to me is the best sign of a quality brief. I believe the secret is in the 92% modal fabric (a type of rayon that has some remarkable inherent qualities and advantages over other materials). Here are comparisons with other boxer briefs that I own:
vs. ExOfficio GiveNGo:
The ExOfficio has a slightly looser, less snug fit. It also had a big durability issue for me. Prior to washing (straight out of the box), I wore the ExOfficios in some regular jeans while doing some outdoor work, with lots of crouching. Because of the normal abrasion of the jeans on the briefs, the ExOfficio's mesh-like material frayed severely in multiple places. The Modal in comparison has a tighter woven, stronger, non-mesh fabric. Also, after a few washes, I've noticed that the ExOfficio has lost much of its initial softness.
vs. Calvin Klein Steel Micro:
The material is just as soft (maybe more so) as the Modal but a little heavier. It is more form fitting and snug and actually keeps things in place better than the Modal (which can have a slightly baggy appearance around the crotch). Very flattering smooth fit. Extremely comfortable and a little more durable as it is a bit thicker and more densely woven than the Modal (the fabric is also different -- a 89% nylon that Calvin Klein describes as a "steel microfiber"). Because of this though, it doesn't breathe as well. Another minor drawback is the big dramatic waistband, which can fold over easily accidentally because it is so wide. The Modal is noticeably cooler to wear in the warmer months (as is much more breathable), but the Steel Micro is my favorite brief for the colder months.
vs. Calvin Klein Micro (or "CK One Micro"):
This lightweight brief is more snug and form fitting than all other Calvin Klein models I've tried. It is quite comfortable and makes the Modal seems almost loose in comparison. They might be a tad too tight however. It's 89% nylon and soft but it's breathability is a bit less than the Modal. Also, after about a dozen washes, the fabric formed some minor pilling (little balls of fabric that stick to the brief) on the interior, mainly around the crotch area where the fabric is thicker.
vs. Calvin Klein Microfiber Stretch:
These polyester microfiber briefs have an odd feel, like compression shorts. The fabric is very different -- it's shiny, quite slippery, and feels strange next to normal jeans or shorts. They are cheaper, but in my opinion are best suited for athletic uses. Note that the Modal is just as lightweight and stretchy as these.
vs. Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch Boxer Brief (3-pack):
The softness on this brief doesn't remotely compare to the Modal. Despite being all cotton, they are surprisingly rough. They are also a tad heavy and constricting. They don't breathe that well. The "stretch" is also fairly pathetic; they are too tight and aren't nearly as forgiving as the Modal. Also, the waistband is awful -- it's on the tight side, and the fabric is extremely rough and irritating. They are much cheaper, but the Modal is on a whole different level of quality.
vs. any cheap 100% cotton boxer briefs (including Calvin Klein models):
Don't do it! They are cheap for a reason. Of the many that I've tried and owned, none are as soft as this Modal, plus cotton tends to be heavy and doesn't do well in warmer weather (once you start sweating, they don't dry out easily and then it feels like you are wearing a diaper). Also, if they aren't the stretchy kind, they tend to be excessively baggy in the crotch area (to accommodate different sizes). Spend the extra $ for a more flattering and comfortable fit.
vs. trunks, and the ride-up factor:
I recommend staying away from trunks, as their short length makes them prone to ride-up. The Modal has little to no ride-up, as is typical of most boxer briefs. Note that the Modal it is not super snug though, so the fabric can move around a *little* bit.
I've owned this Modal for a while and for the most part, they are still like new. If they become looser with time, it is slight; in fact, I have one that is two years old and another I just purchased, and it is hard to tell them apart. I wash mine in cold water and line dry because I'm extra careful, but that probably isn't necessary (warm water and low dryer heat should suffice). Remarkably, there are still as soft as ever and have retained their color and shape after countless washes (these are typical qualities of the modal fabric). There has never been any fraying or pilling. Durability is very good, though one of the five I own one did develop a 1/4" hole in the back (but hasn't grown over many months, so I still wear it). Though the fabric is strong, it IS thinner than many other briefs, so it can be vulnerable to tears relative to the heavier briefs.