26 July 2011

A brief history of… briefs

We’re always looking at the latest trends when it comes to men’s underwear but have you ever stopped to consider how brief’s came about in the first place? Here’s our brief history into….well men’s briefs.

Men’s underwear dates back to the Egyptians. Historians have found the remnants of leather loincloths in tombs - pharaohs were even buried with extras for their time in the afterlife. Loincloths were very simple squares of leather or fabric that were attached to a form of waistband to conceal the private parts (as long as there was no wind to move the fabric).

The Ancient Greeks were slightly more concealed as they used chitons which were large pieces of fabric wrapped around the body and fastened with a brooch as underwear – in fact this was also outerwear due to the warm climate.

During the middle ages, men’s underwear progressed to resemble the underwear we know today, large baggy drawers were worn under clothing. By Victorian times, men in upper, middle and working classes were wearing longer undergarments that resemble long johns, often reaching down to the ankles.

By the 1950’s underwear had become more like the briefs we are accustomed to today. With the advent of Nylon, more tightly fitting underwear was born but it was still typically functional in design instead of fashionable.

The dawn of the 1980s brought style to men’s underwear and a whole host of designer underwear brands were born including brands we know and love today like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Now in 2011, men have a whole host of brands and designs at their fingertips thanks to online underwear retailers. The choice includes briefs, boxer shorts and trunks, not to mention the option of patterned or plain, or even specialist underwear such as shape wear and sports underwear. The possibilities are endless.

14 July 2011

Tartan underwear

Tartan is one of the most iconic symbols of Scotland. Traditionally tartan came about as a way of weaving various coloured fabrics together in a series of different width stripes which create the famous checked pattern we know as tartan. The colours and width of stripes were used to identify clans and become like a ‘coat of arms’ to the Scottish. Worn as long flowing pieces which were wrapped around both men and women, it eventually became worn as a skirt, known as a kilt. Although tartan has been around for centuries, it is often re-born in designer fashion and around five years ago it became popular in the mini skirt area. But much more recently it’s had a very unexpected new lease of life from the men’s underwear market.

Montreal based brand Pump Underwear is renowned for their bright, flashy urban coloured underwear with their own special cuts that help to accentuate the body. Always at the cutting edge of designer underwear, they have now released tartan boxer shorts into their collection. Their aptly named Navy Tartan Boxer Shorts feature, well navy tartan! They have a shaped front pouch for comfort and a low rise waist whilst the contrasting waistband features the Pump logo. As well as navy tartan, Pump also offers charcoal and light grey tartans too.

If you’re looking for something slightly more in keeping with the most commonly seen red tartan, check out the Royal Stewart Tartan Boxers Shorts. These are looser in style and made from 100% cotton.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not take a look at Gregg Homme’s version of tartan underwear. He’s taken the Highland theme and teamed it with a thong to create a mini-kilt. Available in red tartan or green tartan, this thong might not practical but it’s certainly in keeping with the tartan theme.