The classic tighty-whitey to the iconic briefs over Superman’s costume. Where to begin with the staple underwear piece: the men’s brief. While the invention of the brief, and undergarments in general, was intended for a more practical use, in today’s day-and-age there is far more production and fashion behind what you wear underneath your pants.
Now-a-days you can buy just about anything on a pair of briefs. And, you have can a subscription based underwear company like Underwear Expert curate your underwear monthly. This subscription allows buyers and consumers to have something catered specifically to you. Underwear Expert creates customized monthly boxes that fit your needs.
A Brief History of Brief’s
Men’s briefs had a “brief” stint in the early ages of Egyptian and Greek history as the original loincloths that covered one’s nether regions. Briefs underwear have been in existence since the 15th and 16th centuries, where they consisted of a shirt made of fine linen or cotton for both men and women. But, then go out of style almost completely until around 1935 with the invention of the Y-front. The design was coined by ‘apparel engineer’ Arthur Kneibler at Coopers and marketed under the Jockey International Brand. Within 3 months of launch in America, over 30,000 pairs of the “masculine support” briefs had been sold. And, once they reached the UK in 1938 they were selling at a rate of 3000 per week. But soon the invention of an American-style boxer short soon challenged which article of undergarment the public preferred.
In the 1960s, with the invention of fashion underwear in the United States, there was a small dip in desirability until a resurgence in the 1970s. The fit of briefs allowed for ample movement and was far more preferable when being active than the boxer short. The swim brief was also invented in the 1930s, and despite not taking off as strongly in the United States, it has since boomed in places like Europe and Australia. Australia being where the company Speedo comes from, and the now namesake for any brief worn to swim.
Different Cuts and Styles
Briefs are a type of short and form-fitting underwear. Compared to other underwear that continues down the thigh or is loose, briefs tend to only have hip coverage between 1-4 inches. This depends on the style of cut being worn.
The original design of the brief was a high-rise which was called “full rise” or “full cut”. This style was created in a response to the invention of the jockstrap. It offered far more coverage than the athletic wear but with same amount of support. And, since its invention, the brief had moved away from only being made in cotton. Though, sometimes cotton can’t be beaten, especially by brands like 2(X)IST and Calvin Klein. Their focus has always been on maintaining the comfort and quality of their materials and cotton.
As the rise of pants slowly evolved and lowered, so did the need for underwear to remain hidden and thus the invention of the low-rise and mid-rise brief. These also have a root in prisons where inmates could not wear belts and so their pants would settle lower. As the rise of the underwear began to lower, the use of different fabrics was also introduced. In 1959, the new artificial fiber called Lycra was invented. This new material was strong and far more stretchable than cotton and offered a more breathable experience. Lycra, also known generically as spandex, has since taken the athletic underwear world in full force.
By the 1970s, the bikini brief had been release. The least amount of fabric yet before the underwear was considered a thong or G-string. The narrow material at the sides, very similar to its namesake, the bikini, was designed for both men and woman. It is shocking that it took until the 70s to be created. Mostly due to the fact that the bikini was created in its original form in the 40s (though it was much blockier in that day and age).
As the proliferation of men’s underwear became more prominent. Underwear brands sought a way to set themselves apart from the competition. Either with the heightened quality of their fabric, or the stretch it offered. Or with the colors and different patterns it had in store. Brands like ADDICTED and PUMP flash their logo and use a range of bright colors that are appealing not only to the eye, but also the male form. With a variety of cuts and fabrics, they can appeal to most audiences.
Advantages of Briefs —
Support and Comfort: Briefs offer excellent support for the genital area and can keep everything in place. This snug fit is preferred by many individuals.
Hygiene: Briefs provide a barrier between the genital area and outer clothing. This helps to prevent chafing and reducing the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
Versatility: Briefs are suitable for various types of physical activities and can be worn under different types of outfits. Their cut allows them to not show as easily under tight pants like for example a boxer brief would.
Minimal Coverage: Briefs cover the essential areas without excessive fabric, making them a preferred choice for those who prefer minimal coverage.
Disadvantages of Briefs —
Limited Breathability: Depending on the material used, briefs may not provide enough breathability, leading to potential discomfort and increased moisture.
Thigh Elastic Constraints: Some individuals may find the elastic bands around the thighs to be tight or restrictive, resulting in discomfort or irritation.
Style Limitations: Briefs have a more traditional and conservative style compared to other underwear options, which may not appeal to those seeking a more fashionable or trendy look.
It’s important to note that the advantages and disadvantages may vary depending on individual preferences. As well as body type and specific brand or design of briefs underwear.
Why Men’s Briefs?
Briefs are timeless. Apart from giving great support and making it easier to hide any unwanted visitors from view, briefs also help with cooling during the hot summer months. That is also aided with different fabric types that are offered. Not to mention that briefs are the preferred option for anyone who does not like bunching or chaffing that can come along with longer underwear.
As society has become more comfortable with the idea of briefs being a desirable underwear cut, there has been a resurgence in recent years. It seems that they had realized that briefs are sexy and are great at not only showing off the front and the rear, but also the legs.