Who will admit they do not care for underwear? Who will claim that concealed clothing is unimportant and irrelevant? Many actually. I know plenty of men who buy the cheapest underwear due to a feeling that it is an unimportant article of clothing for the male.
Women, they claim, have to choose carefully on the other hand; men don’t want to see dirty sport bras and tummy huggers when their sweetheart heads to the shower. Women have an obligation to buy attractive and decorative underwear – and a considerable amount of it too.
Bizarrely, the same men claim that 6 pairs of cheap ill-fitting boxers will suffice them for an entire year. Then you have the Calvin male; the man who takes pride in his unseen underclothing, who proudly displays the distinctive waistband at every opportunity. His bright white pants, which he even irons, are sometimes the only designer jewel in his outfit, however they are chic and clean and the girls, he claims, love them. However, there is more to smart, chic underwear than Mr Klein. Much more. Now produced not just in black and white, underwear for men is being manufactured in a rainbow of colours and in a variety of styles and fits.
Calvin Klein certainly manufactures the most famous underwear. And the trademark waistband is one of the late 20th century’s most recognisable status symbols. However, his range, once limited is now much broader in terms of styles and colours. Retro briefs with contrasting piping (pictured, left), black and white horizontal stripes with a red waistband, akin to the nautical favour of Jean-Paul Gaultier (pictured, centre) and bright blue jazzy patterns (pictured, right) add a touch of fun to the bland monochrome of old.
Bjorn Borg, the Swedish tennis hero, has manufactured underwear for some time now. However, 2007 was the year in which the designs really came to the attention of London shoppers. Psychedelic patterns, pinstripes, surf-inspirations; Bjorn Borg underwear knows no limits. Colourful and dazzling, it is definitely not for the man of conservative underclothing tastes. However, there is a massive range, and any man is bound to find something they like. My favourites are the block colours (pictured, centre) and paisley patterns.
Famous outside Sweden for manufacturing skinny jeans, Nudie is popular in Scandinavia for other things. If Bjorn Borgs show a hint of retro, then Nudie underwear screams of it; bold, almost wallpaper-pattern briefs in alternative colours. They do manufacture plains (pictured, centre), although they are nowhere near as interesting as the florals (pictured, left) or the Tetris patterns (pictured, right). Perfect for the man interested in reviving 1970s porn-film chic.
For the classic Californian 1960s beach bum look, choose Diesel; navy and white stripes (pictured, left), fire-engine red with a white band (pictured, centre) and park-ranger green y-fronts with a violet logo (pictured, right). Classic colours and styles, and not boring, Diesel underwear is ideal for the man with the summer personality.
There are plenty of quality manufacturers of underwear like Dolce & Gabbana, Jockey, Polo Ralph Lauren, Emporio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger who generally restrict themselves to conservative colours such as black, navy and white. Quality does not tend to differ between the brands; the general consensus is that men choose a brand they admire or aspire to.