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Bad news today for lovers of apparel and basic human hygiene: it looks like sales of men’s underwear have taken a downward turn.

You might think of underwear as one of the more basic purchases in the world of style, but Americans are on track to spend more $110 million fewer on undergarments this year than last. Boxers are hit hardest, with a 3.5% decline from last year, but briefs shed their share of sales as well.

It’s puzzling, since the two styles tend to balance each other—briefs do better as boxers do worse, and vice versa. Clearly the economy’s playing a role, but we wonder if there’s another force at work.

Could the union suit be staging a comeback?

ALL The Biz