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The latest innerwear is giving gender norms
a serious run for their money
BY LINDA DYETT
Today, more and more male bodies are displaying lace,
burnout, and floral prints on their white tanks, onesies, tiesided bikinis, and briefs with generous gussets.
“Far and away the major shift in the lingerie biosphere has been
the percolation of lingerie for men,” says Ellen Lewis, publisher
of the industry website lingeriebriefs.com.
“It’s a great way for men to explore different aspects of their own
personal style and an exciting opportunity for stores to expand
their product offerings,” says Kristine Eckart, Operations and
General Manager of Easton International, the wholesale and
“We learned from our marketing research that a lot of men
feel their best with women’s type underwear because of the
comfort, but also how their body looks in it,” says Gale Epstein,
co-founder and creative director of Hanky Panky—who adds that
men appreciate the no VPL benefit of certain women’s briefs.
“The fashion industry has shifted dramatically,” says Roman
Sipe, a leading voice in men’s lingerie who’s the founder of the
mainly-men’s Menagerie Intimates.
But to understand why this is happening, let’s backtrack—to
1982, when Calvin Klein introduced his men’s branded waistband
underwear with a Bruce Weber-photographed ad campaign. In
it, males were shown as sex objects. Sales boomed.
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