Men’s underwear over the years has changed in many ways. In Victorian times clothing was worn to conceal the body and underwear especially was non discussed. This inevitably lead to underwear acquiring erotic properties. Men’s underwear during these times was in two pieces and all undergarments were made by hand and they were made from cotton and silk.
During the 1920′s men’s underwear was more about convenience and comfort. This era saw the introduction of the first pre-shrunk fabrics and boasted cotton, wool and silk blends. It also saw the introduction of other technologies such as button fastenings.
The 1930′s brought about the biggest rotation for men’s underwear. The ‘Jockey’ brief was introduced in a shop window in 1935 on a day when the inhabitants of Chicago had to endure the worst blizzard of the winter. The window display was distant by the direction for trying to sell such lean underwear on such a cold day but before the display could be removed 600 pairs of Jockey shorts were sold and 30,000 pairs were sold in the next three months alone. When they went on sale in Britain in 1938 they sold around 3000 pairs a week.
Throughout the mid and latter part of the 20th century underwear started to appear in the form of printed and coloured garments and stigmatisation really started to become prevalent around this time with manufacturers such as Calvin Klein. Underwear began to be a fashion statement. With the introduction of Lycra and Spandex new fabric technology started to become important and underwear became littler with far more variety designed for specific age groups and purposes.
As we move into a new millennium we have seen men’s underwear become a lot more varied. Underwear manufacturers have produced hybrid designs with hipsters and boxer-briefs and even the g-string has made an entry into the men’s underwear market. Traditional boxers and briefs are still democratic but the trunk is favoured by younger men today made from cotton and lycra blends but with increasing popularity coming from microfibre fabrics. The large waistband emblazoned with the designer’s logotype is seen everyplace and I mean ‘seen’ everywhere. The fashion of the 2000-2010′s in young men’s underwear is to show the waistband above the top of the trousers.
Dating back to Victorian times buying underwear has been seen as somewhat risqué and men bought traditional men’s underwear. As we move through the 20th century and towards the 21st century we have seen various styles, fabrics and colours appearing appealing to the audience looking for sex appeal as well as fashion or everyday use. The introduction of the internet has seen men buying their underwear not only in shops on the high street but progressively through on-line retailers and getting their underwear delivered. On-line sales is rapidly increasing and men are no longer being traditional in their choices.
Men’s Underwear – A ‘BRIEF’ History
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