HIGH-TECH SEX APPEAL
MEN’S BEST UNDERWEAR - 2016
By Frank Ariveso
An absolute revolution has taken place in the men’s underwear industry. After years of only making sure your tighty-whities or cotton boxers were clean because as your mama always told you: “You never know if you have to go to the hospital,” a whole new world has opened up for men to explore. For generations, mothers and wives bought boxers or Jockeys in the traditional three-packs at the local store, but increasingly, men have taken over the purchasing of underwear for themselves.
“The proliferation of new underwear labels has spurred a sales increase of more than $2.7 billion,” claims Marshal Cohen, a chief retailing analyst at the NPD Group, a marketing research company in New York. Then Cohen adds: “Every part of what we wear has now become a part of image-building. That includes shoes, your socks, your pants and your underwear.”
“When we were young, you would never show your underwear. Now, if you don’t show them, you’re just not cool,” says Tommy Hilfiger, who markets his own successful designer brand.
There are so many technological advances in fabrics and cuts, which can help a guy feel comfortable in varied situations. Underwear is now engineered to aerate, separate, wick, deodorize and adjust body temperature to protect your crown jewels.
Calvin Klein started making men feel sexy in their briefs in 1992 with their ad campaign using actor Mark Wahlberg, known then as Marky Mark. Photographed by the legendary photographer Herb Ritts, the ad revealed the young Wahlberg wearing nothing but boxer briefs and a backwards baseball cap, right hand firmly affixed on his groin. Then when Armani added soccer stud David Beckham to the mix, revealing his incredible abs and tattoos, women started swooning with ecstasy. The men noticed, and the world of underwear would never be the same.
Boxer briefs do everything underwear should do, plus fill the desire for comfort as the overwhelming national favorite with 40% of the $3.9 billion men’s underwear market. No matter what their age range, men associate the boxer brief with being sexy. Several companies are making boxer briefs with high-tech materials and innovative designs that are comfortable for all-day use, while still keeping everything in place, whether you’re skiing or running. Men now expect more from their underwear – and they should! And celebrity ambassadors (like NBA All-Star Kevin Love and EDM favorite Calvin Harris) continue to give their stamp of approval on men’s designer underwear, making it that much easier for advertising campaigns to market them as not just a luxury—but a wardrobe necessity. David Beckham went one step further, designing his own line of David Beckham “Bodywear Collection” in collaboration with H&M.
Labels such as Sunspel, Handvaerk, Tani, FRIGO, Naked, 2UNDR, SAXX and Bear Skn, Icebreaker, D.HEDRAL and Aussie Bum are all fighting for your dollars, and they don’t come cheap.
A pair of FRIGO briefs feature an interior pouch designed to lift and display a man’s anatomical endowment to maximum benefit and sell for $100. Think about the codpiece, the genital-enhancing pouches favored by European gentlemen of the Renaissance. It was this really extraordinary display of masculine power and virility.
2UNDR used inspiration from the kangaroo-pouch and features the revolutionary “Joey Pouch” to separate a man’s most valuable assets from bodily contact, providing less chafing and improved airflow, keeping you cool during strenuous activity.
SAXX underwear features a deep pouch that wraps around your stuff, holding it all in place during long runs or extended workouts in the gym. The almost knee-length tight-fitting leg of the SAXX “Kinetics” will keep your thighs from rubbing and chafing. Reviews said the internal mesh panels didn’t interfere or rub while riding a bike, hiking or rock climbing.
PUMP! athletic briefs are great for weightlifting. Their “Blue Steel Brief” is perfect for doing dead lifts and barbell squats. The “Sonic Brief” is made with black mesh, which promotes a stretch-fit and breathability while working on your core.
Another high-priced brand, Tani, sells a $50 performance “PurSuit” boxer brief made from Superfine Cupro, Japanese Polyester, and Spandex. The brand claims the fabric has “almost magical qualities,” with a built-in moisture management system and drying abilities.
D.HEDRAL’s design brags to “fit the wearer’s bum perfectly (whether slim, average or large build),” producing some incredible results. The patented design is called “Angle Fit” technology, and it is implemented into every D.HEDRAL pair.
Then there’s “The Royal” by Separatec that has dual pouch technology. Separating the balls from the penis in the dual pouches eliminates stickiness, heat buildup, and moisture. “The Royal” is made with antifungal, antibacterial fabrics, reducing jock itch and fungal growth.
“Silver” boxer briefs by Naked are made of 99.9% pure-silver that is bonded to nylon thread, giving them a cooling effect. Women are buying the Naked brand for their boyfriends, so at $38 a brief, it makes a welcome gift.
But possibly the most prolific name in men’s underwear is Calvin Klein. Their “Cotton Classic Brief” is the epitome of an underwear staple and a must-have. Its simple, sharp design manages to stay soft around the edges, with their iconic waistband branding, completing the look that says sexy and casually comfortable at the same time.