It’s a debate that has unfolded over the past 20 years. For those living in the men's underwear era, of course we’re talking about whether or not the pickle hole is a real necessity or if going over the top or dropping out from the bottom is the best process.
No matter if you’re Team Pickle-Hole or a fan of having no fly seamless support in front, you’ve got to know that opinions vary and some men can get down right fanatical about their preference (you might think it’s a political debate topic). In the end it really comes down to a personal choice, although we have found some trends in this choice.
No time to fiddle!
First of all, fans of the pickle hole —the small fly in the front of men’s undergarments—like to say that it saves time by providing a quick access point. But the truth of the matter is that undies with a fly are not always tailored to your body and easy access. In other words, the one-size-fits-all approach to a fly/pickle hole has resulted in a flawed design that is essentially defunct.
While the fly is a common way too small to get in and get out, it really depends on the type of men’s underwear being worn and the design of the fly. We have also found a common theme is the age of the man and the style of underwear he grew up with.
If the man is a boxer short guy or wore boxer shorts for most of his life, he is used to an open vertical slit that was a nice oval window lacking a closure and great for games of peek-a-boo underneath. Those woven boxer shorts of days past only required a trousers fly to be lowered for his little buddy to be free to let loose. We can all admit a fly in the boxer short allows for some quick draw action whether it be in the bathroom or bedroom. In doing research, we also found guys had fond memories of early forays in dating where this pickle hole allowed all his dreams to come true. It provided for easy access for little flirtations on the down low.
Some men grew up with a whitey tightie or (tightie whitey), also known as the old school banana hammock. These briefs had a multi-layer front pouch with over lapping fabric with a reinforced seam and semi-circle opening. This fly required men to do some mining for the freedom and release. Usually this fly was too small for a hand to go in easily and the overlapping material would close back on his member requiring his hands to keep things in place. Some guys liked that little squeeze on their member but a lot of men began flying over the top. This required opening their pants button but they no longer felt like they were fishing around within their pants. This save men time and allowed them to get comfortable dropping the top of their underwear and letting it all hang out for relief. There is no wrong or right in the pickle hold debate, it comes down to personal preference. We have seen that age plays a role. The boomer generation likes to use a fly and finds the idea of going over the top as non-manly. But it could also be a bit of shyness and keeping everything in close and tight quarters,
As boxer briefs have become more the staple underwear style for men, the fly debate intensified. The boxer brief gave men some of the boxer short benefits, but the oval front fly wasn’t one of them. We decided to add a fly to our new 6 inch boxer brief but we gave men a drop top horizontal fly. This means all men need to do is drop in from the top and let loose. No more fishing through multiple panels, just an easy in and out that is like an over the top but with a fly.
No matter your preference UnderGents has a style for you. Our 6 inch boxer brief and boxer shorts have a fly for those men that want one (as well as the Swagger Lounge Pants with a button fly front) and our original 4.5 inch boxer brief and Inspirato modern brief are flyless for all the men that want the freedom to drop the top, fly over and barn storm all they want. While the debate will rage and opinions won’t change, we think the fly debate is likely to rank up there with politics & religion as an item that when discussed, won’t change someone else’s mind.
The only thing we want men to know is that we here at UnderGents are always working to find better comfort for men underneath. We listened to some men that wanted a fly and we are adding options that men want while staying true to our comfort first mission.