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Undershirt war pits Tommy John against Warren Buffett's Fruit of the Loom

Tommy John undershirts
Source: Tommy Johns
Tommy John undershirts

Tommy John founder Tom Patterson acknowledged his company's products are more expensive than most of the market, but told CNBC on Wednesday he believes they provide more value.

A competing product to Tommy John's patented "stay-tucked" undershirt was recently released by Fruit of the Loom, which is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Fruit of the Loom sells multipack versions for a fraction of the cost.

At $40 apiece, Tommy John's undershirts have been touted by Esquire and Howard Stern, among others, for being near-perfect in quality and style.



Patterson said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that business is flourishing despite competition within the broader men's undergarment category, which is valued at $4.1 billion in the United States.

"Clearly … there is a market for this, the consumer is voting up, they're trading up and they are willing to invest in quality and value," Patterson said. Men's underwear is the only section of the men's apparel industry that continues to grow year over year, he added.

Coming off the company's millionth undershirt sale, Tommy John is on track to gross $100 million in annual sales by 2018, according to Patterson.

When asked if the company is seeking an opportunity to go public, the CEO said that for now, Tommy John will focus on "creating value [and] maintaining a profitable business."

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Correction: This story was revised with Tommy John Wear correcting the value of the men's underwear industry in the United States to $4.1 billion.