The complexities of men's underwear

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When I read the headline of this story (High Anxiety Over Men's Underwear), I had to laugh. Men's underwear — now a $3.1 billion U.S. market — has become such an exhausting and convoluted segment of the fashion world. The age-old question used to be, boxers or briefs? Well, now you've got boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, thongs, trunks and more. Calvin Klein offers 15 — yes, 15! — different underwear "groups."

"We're doing underwear with all of our energy and all of our creativity," says Bob Mazzoli, chief creative officer of Calvin Klein Underwear, which was an early leader in introducing stylish men's underwear. ...

"We want to give him something that he can engage with and not be just that boring choice," Mr. Mazzoli says. "We don't think of it as just underwear."

Even just picking up a pair of cheap undies at Target because you didn't pack enough for a trip can be a time-consuming ordeal. I remember standing around in the men's underwear aisle, patiently waiting for my boyfriend to choose a package. Not only did he have to take size into account, but style, comfort and color were also factors. Sigh.

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