Men's underwear sales are on the rise, and this doesn't necessarily suggest an increase of Risky Business Halloween costumes or guys trying to look like David Beckham—the boost in boxer sales actually might be an indicator that the economy is improving.
Sound crazy? This economic observation even has a name: the men's underwear index, used by former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan to keep tabs on the country's economic health.
The theory goes that men see underwear as a necessity, and so, during normal economic times, underwear sales are fairly consistent. But when the economy takes a downturn, spending cutbacks become dramatic enough that guys stop buying new boxers.
Recent numbers appear to back up the idea and show a current upswing in sales. According to the Huffington Post, men's underthings saw a 6 percent increase in sales from 2010 to 2011, a number that seems to be regularly increasing after an overall 2.3 percent drop in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.
But despite the figures, critics argue that even in a booming economy many men don't go out of their way to purchase new underthings. Either they wear out their drawers to the point of swiss-cheesery or leave the purchase up to their ladies, whose spending habits tend to be different.
So what about you guys? Do you forgo new briefs in tough economic times? Will you wear 'em until they're threadbare, regardless of funds? Do you leave it up to the lady in your life? Tell us your intimate details, and check out some other weird signs of the economic upturn.