My mum didn’t receive the memo saying ‘your daughter will need to bring a leotard to school tomorrow because she will be expected to run around in a large circle with other kids while adults clap their hands and play music’; so in contrast to the pale pink leotards sported by everyone else, I ran in a white vest tucked into my very practical enormous navy pants. That day, aged 4, I decided I would never again be caught on the hop when it came to underwear.
“For admission to the bowling alley, you need underwear. I am responsible for the incident that led to this rule.”
― Jarod Kintz, 99 Cents For Some Nonsense
It’s well known that the underwear you have on can affect the decisions you make during the day. Generally speaking men benefit from a certain structure and stability downstairs while some women confess to effortlessly dialling their performance up to eleven on days they’re packing a matching set. Comfort is of course key but there are other factors.
In short, underwear matters.
The wrong underwear can make you feel inhibited, disorganised and tired and discomfort restricts our ability to focus. Heavily elasticated waistbands, pinching seams and tightness can have a physical bearing as well as psychological.
Give more than five seconds consideration to your choice of pants in the morning and enjoy the following benefits.
- You’re ready for anything. A romantic liaison, a hilarious prank or an unplanned swim in freezing waters with someone you quite fancy and this kind of spontaneity shows in the way you walk right from the get go.
- Should you find yourself stretched out on a hospital gurney having been in an accident you won’t come off lacking.
- In addition to sexiness women who match have the added appeal of orderliness – like they know what they’re doing in the sack but also run a profitable pension plan.
- Feeling confined in a meeting for hours is exacerbated by wearing overly elasticated pants. These are boxer short days. The same conditions apply to horse riding – (see earlier note on spontaneity).
- A visible pant line, apart from being naff, gives an unforgiving scale to your ass. If the jacket’s coming off today, wear shorts.
“As a general rule it’s a comfort issue, literally and metaphorically. An intimacy issue. It’s a big step, putting on foreign underwear. Like betrayal, or emigration.”
― Lee Child, A Wanted Man
As a general rule, I’d say it’s a confidence issue and that’s even before anyone actually sees your underwear.
When seen it reveals more than your body, underwear says something about the way you think – Elle Macphereson didn’t call them Intimates for nothing.
The first look at a person’s underwear is a moment to behold and it’s annoyingly easy to give off the wrong vibe. By their choice of pants, men miss a trick in denying themselves and their partners any sort of tease – men’s underwear mostly looks the same and is often heavily branded which further homogenises the overall effect, naturally turning the focus to the body in search of information and do you know who looks good in David Beckham underwear? David Beckham.
If you’re in a long term relationship you might think you’re off the hook.
But the sight of your beloved in underwear can be a moment of truth, an Instagram like summation of where a person’s at in relationship to their physical self-ie. It’s not about the shape of the body, only a delusional person can’t accept a body changing with age – the pride we take in presenting that body is all up to the individual’s attitude to it and it’s this that tells the story.
Underwear can provide an interesting contrast to how you appear to the world but be warned, underwear never lies, it’s the last layer to come off. Spanx have a good go at lying but once you get to the kit off stage there’s nowhere to hide unless they now market a full body condom.
“You will treat my underwear with the reverence it deserves. Next time, you will stop and appreciate–hell, you’ll marvel at the miracle of my ass clad in silk.”― Molly Harper, How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
I once looked inside my friend Anna’s underwear drawer (this isn’t a euphemism, I was staying over and mentioned I liked her closet). Everything was arranged in rows, all bras and knickers were matching and colour coded for easy picking. What I saw in those folds of lace and silk was row upon row of pride and capability interspersed with towering columns of self esteem. Anna’s underwear wasn’t just telling me about Anna’s personality it was carrying out a Cirque De Soleil like performance of how great she was.
Take pride in your pants and doors might open for you, all kinds of doors even bedroom doors. Easier for women because our underwear is exciting, varied, colourful and attractive – it has structure and sex appeal and you never know what it’s going to look like until BAAM! Whereas men’s underwear often goes unchanged. The brand is found, the brand is worn, the end. I know a man who owns 75 pairs of trainers of the same Brand, do we suppose he wears a varied and exciting array of pants?
“I hid my underwear beneath a parked Peugeot.”
― Jonathan Ames, The Alcoholic
Women keep their choice of underwear fresh by regularly visiting the cathedral of smalls that is the lingerie department, where 30 different brands wink at you on arrival in anticipation of your touch. The woman finds a bra that beautifully enhances her form and celebrates by slapping a gorgeous pair of pants on the counter to match. Average spend £44.
Imagine that same lingerie department full of men’s underwear.
Yes, obviously it’s pants, but what do they look like?
They look white. They look tight. They are all in boxes or worse – multi-packs.
They all feature thick waistline elastic some of which has been violated by giant bombastic brand names. And there are possibly up to five brands available if you’re lucky. If you don’t want to wear the same pants as everyone else you’d have more luck in the handkerchief section or tea towels.
What a dis-service. Even the glorious Liberty of London only currently stocks a single brand of men’s underwear which are unceremoniously set out on a tressle table in the basement. No wonder fellas stick to the same brand.
“Life is like underwear, it should be changed twice a day.”
― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
Did you know that boxer shorts are often made from cast off pieces of fabric in shirting factories? Cast offs! After-thoughts! Born on the floor! Come on! Our pants are items that affect the way we make decisions, they are keepers of the crown jewels not to mention our brains occasionally.
You deserve some special. You deserve all the benefits of feeling comfortable, sexy and confident.
As someone who peddles underwear (under-wares) I say step away from the crowd and treat your ass to something that really flatters your body and makes you feel good. And another thing, be interesting. We women want interesting, not an ironic picture of a hand grenade on the front of boy pants interesting, but some care taken, some style shown, some individuality for us to consider.
Tell us your thoughts on men’s underwear and what you’d like to see more of and enjoy a pair of Penny’s on the House until November 1st.