Underwear for men has evolved considerably since the loincloth was originally worn some 7,000 years ago. Today, modern men enjoy a wide range of styles, colours and patterns of underwear, made with fabrics designed for maximum comfort and support.
Cotton became a popular fabric for underwear in the 18th century for it durability and comfort but in the early 1900s, men’s underwear took a new turn when the first pair of snugly fitting boxer shorts went on sale. Two decades later, the invention of fabrics such as rayon and nainsook turned functional men’s underwear into something altogether more comfortable. With the development of both briefs and the elasticated waistband in the 1930s, consumers began to become more discerning.
Since the concept of men’s underwear as a fashion item took hold in the 1950s, plain white briefs gave way to colours, patterns and more stylish, shape enhancing materials such as polyester and commercially-produced spandex. The 1980s and 1990s added to this trend by making designer underwear for men sexy. Brands such as Calvin Klein, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana and H&M exploded onto the market, with raunchy advertising campaigns fixing their products firmly in men’s minds as must-have additions to their wardrobes. New styles also developed and the thong became an essential item for those men at the cutting edge of undergarment fashion.
Underwear for men continues to evolve, with designers using the latest technology to continuously enhance their products. Fabrics are now available with anti-microbial, fast-drying, anti-sag and anti-cling properties, as well as luxury blends created for ultimate comfort. An example of this is MicroModal® – a delightfully soft Microfiber which has become a popular choice for men’s underwear. Microfibers, which include poly and nylon synthetic fibres, are known for their moisture-wicking properties, while Modal (a type of rayon) is a soft, shrinkage-resistant fabric which feels cool to the touch.
Such a choice of underwear now exists that modern men are able to purchase highly individualised selections. They can choose undergarments suited to their own taste and style, which have been designed with a focus on comfort, fashion and durability. Coloured and patterned underwear for men is extremely popular, as are classic cuts designed for ultimate sex appeal, such as those from market-leading designers Andrew Christian, C-IN2 and SUPAWEAR.
Men’s underwear preferences today focus mainly on boxers, briefs, jocks and thongs. Their varied designs ensure that every man can purchase the perfect pair, regardless of his size or shape. Microfiber materials and blended fabrics and lately, rayon made from bamboo continue to be developed, with the latest innovations including fabrics which self-clean and which can medicate or nourish the skin with which they come into contact. It is clear that fashion is no longer just about what the eye can see, with highly desirable underwear for men set to be a thriving market for many years to come.