"Though more resilient than clothing, 2009 will be challenging for
underwear retailers - for the first time since our records began in
1988, underwear expenditure growth will be negative (-0.8%), as the
recession forces consumers to be more frugal."
Gay men wear briefs, straight men wear boxers is the common belief. There is a deep fascination with underwear on the part of gay men; the ads dollars alone support a host of magazines and blogs and the images are rampant in a world already dizzy with erotic saturation.
But first, a little history:
Briefs were first sold on 19 January 1935 by Coopers, Inc., in Chicago, Illinois. They dubbed the new undergarment the "Jockey" because it offered a similar degree of support as the jockstrap (one style of which is also called Jock brief or Support briefs). Thirty-thousand pairs were sold within three months of their introduction. In North America, "Jockey shorts" or "Jockeys" is often used as a generic term for men's briefs.
In Australia, Y-front briefs are referred to as "jocks", but should not be confused with jockstraps (more specifically used by athletes) which expose the buttocks. Australians generally use the word briefs to refer to the bikini-style underwear for men, which do not have the Y-front opening.
Which means, there are people who actually design underwear for a living. Picking the band color, applying a logo to the waistband...which has always seemed, why someone else's name? Shouldn't someone invent a way for my name to appear on the underwear?
In the email comes this notice from IQONIQ, a company based in the Netherlands. We have no idea what IQONIQ means, iconic? We couldn't tell because with the image we were sent, the model is checking himself out in the mirror, which means the logo is backwards. The underwear are nice. They have colored ribs and large colored bands with an extremely large logo. Putting your name on underwear started with Calvin Klein, who practically invented underwear as a gay magnet. For the most part, underwear have little visibility other than those twenty seconds undressing in the gym, though we have seen some men stretch the moment. Underwear, by and large, are not cheap, especially if someone's name is on it. ICONIQ underwear are $16 each, Calvins cost $24 for one pair.
Andrew Christian has elevated underwear to an art and he charges $34 for underwear with a flag of your favorite country. We have no idea if the cotton is better, so we assume you are paying for the privilege of wearing their name around your waist.
The basic underwear, the Hanes, the Fruit of the Looms are considerably less, though they may indicate frugality when seen by the public. We researched the market for underwear that didn't cost a fortune and yet felt and looked like an expensive pair. The answer: Merona underwear to be found at Target. The cotton is thick, there is happily no logo and the fit is, snug. The cost $8 dollars for three. In this economy, cheap underwear might be the start.