Monday, October 26, 2009

When Did Men's Skivvies Become "Unmentionables"?

I switched from tighty whities when I got in college. Not because of college mind you but because that’s when Hane’s Slim-Guy Racers came out. Tapered, cotton sheeting boxer shorts that were more “manly” than the briefs I had grown up wearing.
I didn’t change styles again until switching to boxer briefs 5 years ago. They’re more comfortable, hold things in better and provide just a bit of support to the thighs. All these years, I’ve thought that there’s only one thing really needed to improve men’s underwear and that’s to make them 2-toned—brown in the back and yellow in the front. But, no one’s ever done that. Maybe I should have “invented” them myself.

But, to get back to my topic. Drawers are drawers. My Dad always wore white baggy boxers that he got at the Air Force Base Clothing Exchange store. I’ve never given any thought to what kind of “fashion” I wear to keep my butt covered. (Although I remember having a pair of black, tricot boxers which really came in handy one time when I was umpiring a high school baseball game and ripped the seam out of the back of my pants while crouched behind the plate and had to stay that way for 7 innings).

A couple of years ago, I bought my wife a set of silk long-johns before a winter trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. And then some silk briefs for a birthday gift the following year. Both of these came from a catalog called “Wintersilks”. This company now sends me their catalog and e-mail updates of sale items.
Women's underwear in Wintersilks "Holiday Preview" catalog
So, I got my “Holiday Preview” from Wintersilks about a week ago and was flipping through it. Nothing much was getting my attention. I paused at some of the women’s clothes in case something caught my eye that I might like to get for Carolyn (they’ve got some great silk sweaters, tops, etc.). And there wasn’t anything on the 2 pages of lingerie either. So I kept flipping through. There were 3 pages of men’s underwear. What the hell?

Where the colors of briefs and underpants on the women’s pages were almost all pastels or neutral, the colors of the men’s underwear were vivid ranging from glisteny black to hot red and everything in between. While the offerings for women’s lingerie were all pretty conservative—no French cut or string bikini or thongs the men’s selection was quite a bit more extensive and, to say the least, risqué. What the hell?

Men's underwear in Wintersilks Holiday Preview catalog (page 1 of 3)
When did men start wearing lingerie or “unmentionables”? When did you start seeing styles of men’s underwear that look more like something you’d see on a shapely model in a “Frederick’s of Hollywood” catalogue? There were briefs, bikini briefs, boxer briefs, string bikinis, thongs and (to borrow a term from Dr. Todd on “Scrubs”) banana hammocks. Now, I have never been a prude (I guess I am an old fart prude now) but I was aghast. My eyes were like saucers.

Men can now wear cross-dressing underwear under the guise that it’s men’s underwear. Men can now indulge their narcissism in their choice of drawers. I mean if I were in a locker room and some guy was changing to work-out gear next to me and “dropped trou” to reveal a thong I think I would just up and leave.
Are guys anxious to show off their “scanties” to the ladies? Or to other guys? Is this the result of “metrosexuality”? Are these the same guys who now want to convince the rest of us neandrathals that we need to shave our body hair including the “happy patch”? (I’ve got more hair on my chest than on top of my head). Thanks but, no thanks.

And what about the banana hammock? Do they send you a free sock for stuffing the front if you buy 3 pairs? I’m just wondering.

I guess I’ll just stick to the plain colored boxer briefs that I can get on sale at Target or WalMart or Kohl’s. They keep everything where they belong. Now, if they’d only make them with an activated charcoal filter everyone around me would be happier.

1 comment:

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