M&S pants top our briefs encounterBut Calvin Klein bottom in Which? test

20 March 2008

Pants

Pants rated: first came M&S, bottom right; then Asda, top right; Tesco, bottom left, and last was Calvin Klein

Which? has rigorously tested some of the UK’s most popular men's underwear following TV presenter Jeremy Paxman’s much publicised gripe over Marks & Spencer (M&S) pants.

The Newsnight host hit the headlines when he complained that M&S pants no longer provided ‘adequate support’.

So Which? decided to pitch M&S against Tesco, Asda and designer brand Calvin Klein.

We found that Calvin Klein’s Body trunks came out badly for pilling (bobbling), despite costing £20 a pair - while Asda’s, costing £1.75, were the least susceptible to this.

Fading and shrinking

Our scientists washed and tumble-dried the pants to see whether they kept their shape and colour.

M&S pants, at £5 a pair, kept their colour the best after ten washes while Asda’s and Calvin Klein’s faded the most.

The M&S trunks didn’t shrink too badly, but Calvin Klein’s shrank a lot in parts – particularly in the leg.

However, Calvin Klein might pass the Paxman test for ‘gusset anxiety’, as the Tesco and Asda gussets shrank the most.

Gusset anxiety

Overall, Calvin Klein was ranked lowest, while M&S came out top.

Despite this, an industry insider, told us: ‘There’s a trend across industry for cheaper cotton, so I can understand how Jeremy feels.’