I think my wife’s been throwing away some of my clothes when I’m not looking.
Those old, ratty t-shirts I’ve attached emotional significance to—you know the type—they just seem to disappear.
I confronted her.
“You have, like, 20 t-shirts. Of course I’ve been throwing the old ones away.”
I was taken aback at first. And then I saw my brother wearing a stained and saggy t-shirt. “You look horrible,” I said. That’s when I saw the light.
New t-shirts: they make a difference. And when I discovered a subscription box that delivers new t-shirts, boxers, and socks every month, I knew I had to give them a shot.
The name? Basic MAN.
The verdict? Keep reading and find out.
What Is Basic MAN?
Basic MAN is a men’s subscription service that sends a new set of t-shirt, socks, and underwear to you every month.
All you have to do is choose your t-shirt and underwear size (socks are universal size). They ship your first package within three business days, and then around the 10th of the month every month you’re subscribed.
It’s a really simple service, and you’ll have a good idea whether or not you want to continue with it after the first delivery.
Because they follow a simple formula: heavy-weight crew neck t-shirt, boxer-briefs, and thick cotton socks.
The most variation they have is in the socks, where you get either crew length, ankle, or no-show socks. But otherwise, your shirts are always crew-neck, and your underwear are always boxer-briefs.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Basics Subscription
A basics subscription is great for any guy who has a drawer full of aging clothes. For a lot of dudes, we focus on the new jeans and the crisp dress-shirts but can forget about the basic items.
Going shopping for underwear is a drag. There’s nothing exciting about it unless you go to the mall and get one of those horrible pretzels that give you a three-day migraine.
Recommended Viewing: To watch the full Basic MAN unboxing experience, check out our YouTube review below.
One way to make sure you always have a presentable pair of underwear—you know, for the date night gone right—is to have an ongoing supply.
Same goes for t-shirts. A new shirt with a lot of structure can be flattering. But after several washes, once it starts to stretch out and fade, it looks pretty shabby.
If those are problems you struggle with, consider picking up a basics subscription.
Further Reading: 34 Best Subscription Boxes For Men in 2020 (Spoiler alert: Basic MAN makes the cut)
Basic MAN Review
I tried Basic MAN for not one, but two months. It’s always good to give it a few months just in case they strike gold on the first package and strike a dog-turd on the second.
As I mentioned earlier, Basic MAN ships the same style of crew-neck shirt every month. As of this writing (August 2020), there aren’t any options for v-neck.
The good news is that, if you like this shirt, you’re in store for a new awesome shirt every month.
Obviously, if you wear v-necks only, you can already see the issue.
I’m surprised at the quality of this t-shirt. As part of a $20 package, I expected this to be undershirt material. Maybe you know what I’m talking about: the kind of the shirt that’s thin and a little see-through.
Well, that’s not the case with Basic MAN.
Both shirts I got are somewhere between premium-weight and lightweight. I’m a fan of premium weight t-shirts because I’m not super-chiseled. That extra thickness adds a lot of structure and is much more flattering than a lightweight shirt.
These aren’t the thickest t-shirts I own, but the 100% cotton fabric is excellent considering the price.
I’m pleased in the fit department, too.
The shirts have a more athletic fit, so they’re snug through the chest and slim through the torso. The arm openings aren’t so big that your arms get swallowed up and look smaller than they are. And best of all, there’s some extra length on the t-shirt so you aren’t baring midriff.
The underwear for Basic MAN is a similar story to the t-shirt. Your options are:
- Boxer Briefs.
I don’t ask everyone I meet so this is a bit of a guess, but I think most dudes wear boxer briefs at this point.
If you’re a briefs-only kind of guy, this may be an issue for you. Or it might be a growth-opportunity. It depends on how you look at things.
But assuming you wear boxer-briefs, here’s the skinny on Basic MAN’s rendition.
The style is unique. The majority of the boxer is made with bamboo fiber, which is soft and antimicrobial. It’s also a great fabric for gents with skin-sensitivities.
There’s a pouch-construction in the front which helps keep things separated downstairs and adds a level of security. I’ve tried several pouch-underwear boxer briefs in my days and I think Basic MAN does a solid job here. Other brands have done it better, but each pair of underwear costs nearly double the entire Basic MAN package.
So if you’ve got a healthy disposable income and reducing testicular-movement is a priority, there are other brands.
But if you want an excellent pair of boxer-briefs that hits a lot of the same marks for premium construction, but is also cost-effective, you’ll be happy with Basic MAN.
There’s a mesh gusset along the grundle-region, which is new to me. This is excellent for promoting airflow and keeps things cool. The same mesh fabric runs inside the fly, which I can’t say made a noticeable difference for me. But the mesh grundle-gusset was an A+.
The waistband is simple and unbranded. It’s comfortable and tagless, so there’s nothing to complain about here.
The socks are universal sizing, and you’ll get the most variety here. My first month, I got crew-length socks (my preference). The second month, I got no-show socks.
While I almost exclusively wear crew length socks, I’m not disappointed with the no-shows. I think it’s a good practice to have at least one pair of no-shows, especially if you’re putting together a summer look. Mine came in July, so I was ready to put them to use right away. That said, when October hits, I’m sure the no-shows will go into hibernation.
The fabric on both is a thick combed cotton and polyester blend. There’s also strips of elastic sewn in around the arch of the foot to keep the sock from slipping or bunching up at the heel.
They feel soft and substantial, which is another surprise given the price. I’m pleased with the socks and I’ll get a lot of use from them.
What do Other Reviewers Think About Basic MAN?
Basic MAN averages a 4.4 out of 5 on Cratejoy, with over 100 reviewers chiming in. The biggest takeaways I got after reading the reviews was that people love the comfort and fit of the pieces.
Of course, some people took issue with the fact that there’s only boxer-briefs, crewnecks, etc. But you know about that already.
The one issue that came up multiple times was with shipping. In a few cases, items took over two weeks to arrive. Many of these reviews came in between March and July 2020 (which, if you recall, wasn’t the best for ground-shipping from any brand).
But Basic MAN does a solid job with their customer service and you shouldn’t experience too much of a delay. Keep that possibility in mind if you’re buying this subscription as a gift.
My Thoughts Overall On Basic MAN
What I Like
The shirt has a premium-weight feel to it. It’s soft and structured, so it’s quite flattering.
The boxer-briefs are made with soft bamboo viscose fiber, which is comfortable and antimicrobial. Plus the mesh-gusset keeps things cool down below.
Signing up is simple. Just put in your sizes, and Basic MAN chooses the colors and styles.
The shirt had an athletic-cut to it, so there wasn’t any extra baggage through the torso.
What I Don’t Like
Each garment comes in its own plastic sheath, which I’m sure is easier for packaging purposes, but adds up to a lot of extra waste that doesn’t seem necessary.
If you don’t enjoy Basic MAN’s color scheme (pastels, with a little ‘80s Miami Vice vibe) you may only like a few items you get.
Who is Basic MAN for?
Basic MAN is an excellent choice for guys who only want to go shopping for the statement pieces. If you’d rather have the basics (i.e. shirts, underwear, and socks) taken care of for you, then Basic MAN is your jam.
I’ll be honest; in a $20 package, I didn’t expect much. But I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of Basic MAN’s shipment.
The t-shirt is made with fairly heavy cotton and fits well through the shoulders, chest, and torso. It has enough length to wear as an undershirt if you’d like, but I’ll be wearing mine out and about.
Their boxer-briefs are some of the best value I’ve tried. And believe me, I’ve tried brands that take their boxer-pouches extremely seriously. And while those brands do offer pretty incredible support downstairs, they’re not always cost-effective. Basic MAN’s boxer-briefs hit an excellent balance. Plus the woven in mesh comes in the clutch on hot days.
The socks are solid—nothing mind-blowing, but definitely high quality.
You may have some trouble with this subscription service if you’re not up for crew-neck t-shirts and boxer-briefs. And you might also dislike the color scheme, which has a ‘80s Miami Vice pastel vibe.
I like the color scheme and I happen to prefer crew-neck tees and boxer-briefs, so I’m a fan of Basic MAN.