With the BBC's Jeremy Paxman's recent outcry about the waning support of his favorite Marks & Spencer undershorts, men's underwear — and the way men feel about their underwear — has never been a more pressing issue. (Says Paxman, "Nothing I have ever done - interviewing Michael Howard, asking Tony Blair whether he prays with George Bush, nothing - has elicited such a response. I have been deluged with emails; strangers have accosted me in the street saying, 'Good on you'. There is a real issue here.") Nick Ede, a "lifestyle consultant" currently working with Jockey, echoes this sentiment: "It's quite a selfish thing, but men really do take a lot of pride in what they wear underneath their trouser." Do they? If men care so deeply about how their skivvies are supporting them, why can't they be bothered to buy a new pair or two when their old ones wear out?
Derick Chetty of the Toronto Star reports that while many a man might well get downright excited about buying a new suit or a well-cut shirt, there is just something about the thought of buying new underwear that makes men go, Uh, I'd rather not.
Chetty hypothesizes that perhaps the way to trick men into buying new underwear is to design skivvies in bright colors and childlike/ironic patterns, which is exactly what the Ginch Gonch brand does. (The styles, some of which are seen below, have names like Big Bang and Crotch Rocket.) Question is: Would you want to see a man in these? Do you know men who would want to see themselves in these? And most importantly, would they make someone like Jeremy Paxman feel adequately supported? (Like the folks at The Telegraph, we'd have to agree that a classic brief will probably make a man feel the most safe, if not also the least, er, flappy.) What do you think about what men wear down there?
Feathers of Fire Sports Brief, $31.50; Painted Tiger Sports Brief, $31.50
Crotch Rocket Sports Brief, $27; Pretty Kitty Lowrise, $27
Big Bang Star Sports Brief, $27; Oil Slicker Brief, $23.50
Western Star Brief, $27
Introducing The Nation's Fancy Pants [Telegraph]
A brief history of pants: Why Men's Smalls Have Always Been A Subject Of Doncern [Independent]
Why Men Hate to Buy Underwear [Toronto Star]