In deference to the original designers of these items, I will not be linking to the sites where you can buy the knock-offs and counterfeits. You can, of course, search for them yourselves, but I don’t believe it to be good sportsman-like conduct for me to further aid the counterfeiter. The reviews, however, will be entirely honest and upfront. If a knock-off has exceeded the original in some aspect I’ll say so, but that doesn’t excuse the original sin of stealing someone else’s idea…. … or, by extension, me buying that stolen idea so that I may review it. The irony is not lost. Please don’t write me.
In the first Comparison Review, I’m looking at one of my favourite things: the wrestling singlet. I remember first seeing this singlet on the poster from Backstreet‘s Musclebear Night. I believe that the garment featured is the N2N singlet (if it is, is a tad rich for an establishment with such a strict dress-code as The Backstreet to promote a leather and rubber night with a garment that it’s neither leather nor rubber) but right now that doesn’t matter, and there’s important reviewing to be done.
Maybe it was because the model wearing it was super hot (not ‘maybe’, ‘definitely’) but I knew I wanted one of those singlets. I spent half a year looking, and was lucky enough to be given one last week. In the meantime, several knock-offs had been bought in its pursuit. Thus, we find ourselves here.
In the black corner we have N2N Bodywear and their black, wet-look, drop-front singlet. The design is old enough not to be in production anymore, and this particular design was even surpassed by N2N at least once. The irony, of course, is that N2N were probably forced to drop the design because it was being so widely ripped off; it’s competitor being a prime example.
That brings me to its opponent, in the other black corner, we have an extremely similar-looking design which I found on eBay (that link takes you to eBay homepage, calm down).
Round 1: At a Glance
At a glance N2N (left) eBay (right)
It seems fairly evident that it’s pretty even-stevens at a glance. The cuts are similar, they’re both black, the model in both is stunningly good-looking, as well as appearing wise, authoritative, well-read, kind to animals, a great shag and fantastically well hung.
That being said, at a glance I’d have to give an edge to the N2N. There’s a certain amount of bias here; I know what the N2N cut looks like (fuck I’ve been searching for one for almost half a fucking year), so my eye is always drawn to that. Even still, I think the N2N looks better at a glance.
Round 2: Fabric
N2N is a spandex/polyester mix, whereas eBay is entirely unknown because it did not come with any kind of a care label. Whatever it’s made from, N2N is much softer and more expensive to the touch. I’d imagine nylon for eBay, it seems more hard-wearing just not as nice to the touch, but we will likely never know (more’s to the point, who cares?).
N2N (left) eBay (right)
Round 3: Cut and Fit
Unsurprisingly N2N wins here too. It’s just a nicer fit, and the longer I wear it the more I like it. The eBay example has been victim, I think, to the same pattern having been ripped off an then used again and again until it ends up here like a photocopy copied one too many times.
However, like a stopped clock is right twice a day, once in a while the rip-off-ers will sometimes stumble on a pattern which is absolute gold (as is the case with one of my favourite thongs).
That said, the eBay pattern isn’t bad. N2N’s is just better.
Top: N2N. Bottom: eBay.
Round 4: Price
Unsurprisingly here, N2N gets its head kicked in by eBay. To buy a new N2N singlet, you’re looking at around £40 minimum, and they go much, much higher. EBay cost me a total of £10. £5 for the first one which took a month to arrive and was then the wrong size. And then another £5 and another month for the right size because I didn’t want to wait another month to send it back.
Killer pandemics have swept the Earth faster than I was able to get the right garment, but it did cost me almost nothing.
And the winner is…
Fortunately, I feel like this is how a lot of these fights are gonna go down. Of course, it’s N2N.
If you want it now and you want it nice: get N2N. (Is ‘Now and Nice‘ what N2N stands for? Did I crack the code?!)
If you want it sometime this year and you want it cheap: get eBay. (Particularly if all you plan to is wrestle in it, albeit in a “type” of wrestling you do at home)
Once you’re done wrestling with the ethical implications (why thank you, yes. It is dreadfully clever writing) of buying from sweatshops making knock-off goods, sadly most of us probably already have at least one eBay knock-off. But if it weren’t for N2N’s original, we might never have had the knock-off at all.
You’re not buying £40+ worth of fabric; you’re buying £40+ worth of originality, creativity and development.