According to a report by NPD Group, 75% of all men’s underwear purchases were made by men in 2014. That compares to 25% in the Seventies. The proliferation has spurred a solid sales increase a market that reached $2.7 billion in 2014, the report added.
Men are certainly splurging on jocks. So, given that our mums or girlfriends aren’t buying our daily-duds any more, here are the 6 best underwear trends in 2016. ‘Tis the season to take care of, and look good, down there.
#1 Geo Bright
Underwear gets printed – and bright – in 2016. But not in the Manga/Marvel/Looney Tunes (aka tacky) sense of the word. Traditional stripe or plaid patterns have retired, making way for geometric prints and bold colour contrasts to bring out the fun side in underwear. Leading the Australian contingency are brands such as 2eros who have managed to fine-tune their collection to cater to both the classic wearer after a bit of flair to the more adventurous man in need of something that demands attention.
Geo-prints – with their sharp lines and mosaic detail – are a unique pattern to a typical wardrobe. They come in a bevy of colour and configured shapes too: ethnic flair, sporty neons colour with contrast piping and dual-tone bee-hive shapes where the colours are more blended than juxtaposed.
For moments when another eye is privy to your undergarments, invest in colours that complement your skin tone. And if you’re a larger gent (weight-wise), keep the prints small scale for a slimming effect.
#2 Boxer Brief
According to NPD Group, the boxer brief is the hottest underwear type for men right now. An underwear that has the length of traditional boxers but fits snugly like briefs, the boxer brief presents nearly 40 percent of the whole men’s underwear market today.
It’s gaining the most traction (sans chaffing) too, followed by the show-more-skin brief. On the other end, loosing-fitting boxer shorts are still considered the most purchased style, but are a less versatile – and uncool – approach to jocks.
For a pair that’ll work under anything – slim-fitting trousers, skinny jeans and with shorts are the gym – stick with the boxer brief this season. Above all? No thongs or silk boxers please, there’s something very uncouth about both.
#3 Active Accents
Active accents have infiltrated men’s underwear this season, largely as performance and premium fabrics. Products include odour and temperature control with fabrics such as spandex, cotton/poly blend, and cotton/spandex blend – all designed for greater movement and comfort.
Moisture wicking underwear is another. Wicking works by drawing moisture from your body, and using capillary action to push that moisture to the surface of the material where it can evaporate more quickly. So it’s perfect for guys prone to sweating. Micro modal is the most widely used moisture wicking material. It’s light, it’s breathable and it has a sleek texture that feels soft on the skin.
Fashion brands such as Calvin Klein are getting active while Under Armour is releasing sports underwear in fashionable colourways and fits. These jocks are perfect for transitioning from work to the gym. Or, work them into your everyday outfit – especially for the gents who have an active 9-to-5.
#4 Sir Long John
While long johns used to be rough to touch and ugly to look at, today’s come in moveable, butter soft fabrics (cotton/elastane blends) with updates on traditional details: ribbed fabric, a contrast waistband, button fly at front, side-seam free, and ribbed cuffs.
It ties in menswear’s fascination with loungewear, which sees wearing long johns as an outerwear piece in the home, not just as a thermal layer under trousers. Just don’t venture outside with these guys, they’re still considered underwear. Would you go to the shops in your jocks?
Hermès wants you to hand over $400 for one pair of boxers. Unbelievable? Not when we’re seeing the trend of men investing in better quality things, and it now includes underwear. However, the French luxury house and its woven cotton boxers aren’t much different from another pair of woven cotton jocks.
That’s not to say there’s no room for high-end in underwear. Take the classic ecru waffle boxer for $200 from Under Underwear. It features two solid gold buttons on the fly, and is made from plush waffle cotton and chambray; luxurious on the skin and uniquely made
For the refined taste, there’s The Eighth and its limited-edition $175 silk twill boxers. They even come printed with faded weed or engine patterns created in collaboration with the artist Richard Phillips.
As a rule, don’t pay top-dollar simply for a brand. Read the underwear label. And if the material and fabrication doesn’t much the incredulous price, skip it. You have better things to spend your money on.
#6 Subscribe Here
Ideal for the lazy, time poor, or style-clueless, underwear subscription services are a rising trend within online retail. Companies such as The Underwear Expert and Briefd will send you one new pair of underwear or more, like clockwork.
Simply pick your desired ‘genre’ of jock: classic, sporty, fashionable or fun. Then, select just how many you want delivered each month.
As well as supplying premium brands such as Calvin Klein and Armani, the service offers underwear from specialist brands that cater to individual tastes and lesser known brands, so you can try out different underwear brands, fits and colours you wouldn’t normally.
Underwear Do’s & Dont’s:
- Stick to your personal style: fitted and plain for the classic gent; psychedelic for the vintage-love, and dual-tone and slim-fit for the active or modern man.
- Look to styles that you make feel confident and are comfortable wearing. Anything you have to keep adjusting or ‘thinking about’ you should avoid.
- Look to natural fabrics rather than synthetics. The best underwear comes made from cotton with a bit of stretch for breathability, softness and versatility. Active undies are an exception.
- Stick to lightweight, seamless types when wearing slim-fitting pants.
- Buy the right size. Too small and the waistband will cut into your side (giving you a muffin-top); too big and they’ll sag and bunch under your pants. Both are highly uncomfortable.
- Replace underwear as soon as they become discoloured, worn out or stained. No excuses.