Style » Fashion

The Evolution of Underwear - to UnderGear

by Curtis M.  Wong
Contributor
Friday May 13, 2011
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From the scintillating stylings of Victoria’s Secret to the elegant opulence of La Perla, ladies have been having fun with their underwear for decades. Indeed, whether a gal is prepping for a romantic weekend or a night on the town, her options for undergarments know no boundaries.

On the other hand, when a high school student asked then-President Bill Clinton whether he preferred boxers or briefs in 1994, she not only coined a national catchphrase, but also verbalized (at least for the first time on national television) the meager options that exist for men’s skivvies: limited to just two cuts, routine and, frankly, a little dull.

And it wasn’t just Clinton who was suffering from a case of boring undies. Judging from locker rooms nationwide, it’s perhaps more of a coast-to-coast trend -- and one company that’s hoping to change that is UnderGear, a division of Hanover Direct.

Appropriately branding themselves "a one-stop shop where guys can build their wardrobe from top to bottom and from inside out," UnderGear isn’t just about underwear despite its name; there are fine button-down shirts, jeans, jackets, shoes and a whole range of fantastic accessories for the modern and fashion-conscious man. But alongside more traditional briefs, the massive range of boxer briefs, bikinis, trunks and tanks are still the company’s best-known items.

Highlights of this year’s collection include the retro-styled N Haven line, which lends modern colors and patterns to classic briefs, tanks and trunks. And these are by no means the catalog’s most risqué offerings -- no doubt that honor would go to the Pikante mesh g-string or the Good Devil mesh jockstrap, two standouts among a wide range of mesh thongs, briefs and jockstraps (located, appropriately, in the "Maximum Exposure" section of the site). These clearly aren’t the typical Hanes or Fruit of the Loom selections of yesteryear.

This year, the company has paired with Travelocity for an exciting new summer giveaway, offering a few good men the shot at winning a trip to one of three gay-friendly destinations as an UnderGear VIP.

Planning a trip to the beach in some exotic port-of-call? Many of UnderGear’s swimwear options leave as little to the imagination as much as their underwear. The Cocksox Swim Brief will certainly keep those pesky tan lines to a minimum, while the squarecut and trunk options are less revealing, but wouldn’t look out of place on a beach in Naples or Barcelona.

A selection of button-down shirts and polos are perfect for a Chelsea happy hour, while both shorts and pants are great leisurewear options. Better still, with everything priced comfortably at mid-range, you don’t have to pay runway-style figures.

As most repeat customers are no doubt aware, UnderGear goes beyond being just a shopping experience. This year, the company has paired with Travelocity for an exciting new summer giveaway, offering a few good men the shot at winning a trip to one of three gay-friendly destinations as an UnderGear VIP.

And it should come as no surprise that UnderGear’s collections are photographed on hunky models who easily put Abercrombie & Fitch’s to shame, so anyone who flips through the catalog in print or online is a winner regardless.

LINK: UnderGear

A Connecticut native, Curtis M. Wong currently works on the editorial team of The Huffington Post. He returned to New York City in 2009 after four years in Europe, where he covered news, features, and food and restaurants for The Prague Post, the Czech Republic’s English-language weekly. A self-professed travel and pop culture junkie, Curtis’ writing has appeared in The Hartford Courant, Passport Magazine and Abu Dhabi’s The National, among other publications. You can check out some of his HuffPost work here www.huffingtonpost.com/curtis-wong


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