Jockey Underwear


tumblr_mm6jr2RRuR1s0tvkdo1_1280When you think of underwear advertising today, the sky is the limit! You see everything and very little can be left to the imagination. This wasn’t always the case, in the 1970’s and 80’s they wouldn’t show men wearing undies in TV commercials. If you are under 30, you may think this is totally crazy.

In the 1970’s most of the men’s underwear advertising was happening in magazines. The one company that really stood out during this time period was Jockey. I hear many of you saying, “Jockey? are you serious?” Yes I am. Jockey really was the front runner in men’s underwear advertising. They broke a lot of ground that still stands today!


This was most evident in the “Take Their Uniforms away and Who are they?” Campaigns. From what I can find they ran it in 1976 and 1977. It was 8 different sports starts just in their undies holding their sports equipment. I was going to say balls but thought the pun was just too bad! I always wondered how they got sports stars to strip down for the camera.

The best known is one we have talked about before, Jim Palmer. He was a star of the Baltimore Oriels at the time. He started in the late 70’s and continued till the Mid 80’s. Mr. Palmer wore mainly bikinis in the ads. This was pre-boxer brief time. He did prob about 20 different ads over that time period.

Jockey has continued to use sports figures in their ads. Most recently was Tim Bebow, former NFL Quaterback. Their ads currently are not as ground breaking as these ads during the 70s.


We need a hero. A hero that is a champion for men’s underwear. We are at a point where men’s underwear is going mainstream. Meaning over the last few years more guys gay and straight have been paying attention to underwear. Heck, we have more underwear companies then anytime I can remember in the history of underwear.

When I say we need a champion, I mean we need a spokes model for men’s underwear.  A famous athlete, actor or entertainer that will step up and show the public  that great men’s underwear is here to stay.

In the 70s and 80s we had Jim Palmer sporting Jockey bikinis in mainstream magazines. They used to run in People and I think Newsweek. For those of you not familiar with Mr. Palmer, he was a Major League Baseball star with Midwest all American looks. Having such a sports star in an underwear ad gave men’s underwear a sort of legitimacy and not put on some back page ads.

Flash-forward about 10 years and we have Marky Mark aka Mark Walberg in Calvin Klein boxer briefs. The newest hybrid style of the day.  This ad was even featured in Times Square in NYC. This was the last time we had a major market campaign featuring a celebrity. It’s time for a new underwear hero

This came about due to a conversation I had with @ undieluvr on twitter. Her suggested that Underarmour create a sports thong and have an athlete promote it. It got me thinking that we need this for all undies.  It’s time to bring great undies to the masses. Showing a major celebrity in them will only do this.

We currently have stars promoting underwear. The ones stars are David Beckham, Mario Lopez and Tim Tebow.

  • David Beckham is no stranger to promoting underwear. He’s done several shoots for Armani before he started his own line at H&M. His line is called David Beckham Bodywear and is available exclusively at H&M Retailers.  Also this was one of the first men’s underwear Super Bowl commercials.
  • Mario has endorsed his own line Rated M. The line has been out a few years. Unlike David Beckham’s line, Rated M is available at many online and brick and mortar retailers. It has been around for about two years.
  • Tim Tebow was the spokes person for Jockey. He was to be the new Jim Palmer, but he was never photographed in the Underwear. This was brought up to Jockey and they said they were fine with him not wearing the underwear in ads. His announcement had the most comments on our Facebook page.

We need to have a guy come out of the underwear closet and say that they LOVE underwear. It doesn’t matter if he’s a sports star, Movie star or entertainer.

It makes me think who would be the perfect guy for the job. It would need to be someone mainstream to catch the attention of the general public and making them consider buying great undies.  Some suggestions would be


  • Singer – Adam Levine – Lead Singer for Maroon5. He’s no stranger to getting naked and showing skin
  • Athlete – Eli Manning – The QB for the NY Giants. He’s got the wholesome look of Jim Palmer and a personality that could be great on camera
  • Actor – Matt Bomer – He’s been in Magic Mike so he’s been seen in underwear on film. He wore a thong in Magic Mike
  • Athlete – Michael Phelps – The Olympic gold medalist swimmer. He’s been seen in Speedos for millions on TV and is comfortable in them
  • Athlete – Colin Kaepernick – The Super Bowl QB for the San Francisco 49’ers who just appeared nude in the ESPN Magazine body issue.

These are just a few suggestions. I would love to hear who you guys think we should have as our Underwear Spokesman? Who has the body and the personality to speak the virtues of men’s undies?

Men’s Underwear market today is constantly changing. There are always new brands coming into the market and established ones releasing new lines. It seems it has been this way forever. But just back 40 years ago it wasn’t so much fun in the underwear market. There were very few choices for a guy. Mainly it was a choice between boxers and tighty whities. Granted the tighty whities came in colors but the two styles were all there were for the general mass market of underwear shoppers. If you were in the know you could find other things in catalogs and in magazines.

There have been several pairs over the years that just changed the men’s underwear market. We have broken them down into a few categories and feel these brands really broke barriers in the men’s underwear market and either left a mark or changed the way men’s underwear was perceived by the mass market.



Today it seem standard that most brands have a jockstrap. But back in the day jocks were used by athletes.  There seems to be some debate about when the jockstrap was invented, but Wikipeida says the Bike #10 Jockstrap was invinted in (year). This is the most classic jock. The Bike #10 has the classic 3 inch waistband, mesh pouch and inch leg straps were the standard for decades. It was the form all other jocks we have today are built on. Without the #10 Jock we wouldn’t have the jocks we know today. Bike just announced they were discontinuing this style


Bikini Briefs:

Bikinis are another mainstay in the the worlds of men’s underwear. They go in and out of fashion but they are always there. So, it’s hard to think of a time when we didn’t have them. The pair we think influenced the men’s market  the most are the Jockey Elance Bikinis. You may remember the ads with Major League Baseball’s Jim Palmer molding them. This was in the late 1970’s-1980’s when you rarely saw men in their underwear in ads. Here was a major athlete wearnig neither the boxer or tighty whitie. His presence in the ad let more guys to try bikinis then ever before. He did a series of ads that featured several styles of bikinis from Jockey. Jockey opened the door for something other then a plain brief.


Fashion Briefs:

Fashion briefs are ones that look like tighy whities but made to fit a guy and the way he’s built. Calvin Klein did this in the 1980’s. Their iconic ad of the guy in white briefs leaning back against the stone made guys stand up and take notice. That underwear was indeed sexy and should be made to fit a guy. The classic CK briefs were not only available in white but they made them in a rainbow of colors. Even a purple pair made it into cinematic history, with Michael J. Fox wearing them in “Back to the Future”  CK’s marketing effort really put underwear in the public’s eye. I would say this was one of the reasons men’s underwear expanded in the 80’s. No longer is shopping for undies relegated to catalogs, it came front row center and to major department stores.



Thongs are not for everyone. They have been around in the fetish market for many years. But none of them ever crossed over into the main stream until the 2(X)ist Essential Thong. This thong is also known as the Y-Back thong. It was released in the (year) in major department stores. This was the first time I remember thongs being in general public. 2(X)ist embraced this and made underwear that was comfortable and fashion forward for the time. The thong has a basic brief waistband with a pouch and then a y-design in the back. It was also an innovation in the thong arena that influenced thongs since. You see other designers who were influenced and had their own take on it. I tried but couldn’t find the original package pic by David Morgan.


Boxer Briefs

CK is the only brand on our list twice. The boxer briefs were released in the 90’s (? check date). It was a hybrid of the boxer and the brief. When it was first released there were many questions, “What is it?” but CK created an advertising campaign around Marky Mark aka Mark Walhberg. You may remember it, he was grabbing his crotch in the ad. When they were first released I don’t think anyone could have known they would take off and still be one of the major styles in the market today. Boxer Briefs from CK were only available in the classic White, Black and grey with a 1 inch waistband. These definitely made brands take note and create new hybrids of underwear.


Jock  Brief

One of those hyrbrids that have gained massive popularity is the Jockbrief. Which is just as it sounds you take a brief with a jock backgroun. Many have come out with them over the last few years but the first company to do it was Baskit. They created the Ribbed Collection Jockbrief. At the time when it was released many kind of gave it that turned head look, “What is this?” But Baskit created a pair that the public loved. Guys couldn’t get enough of the pair. It was available in (colors). This ground breaking pair is still being sold today. Baskit took a risk and it paid off big, which is what you have to do in the world of fashion. Within the year other brands followed suit and created their own versions of the jockbrief. I think one reason it took off was that from the front it was a brief, but the back made you feel a bit naughty. If you were wearing in jeans a large jock waistband wouldn’t show over the top, most would think you were wearing a brief. Now we have jocktrunks, jockboxers and more!

These are six pairs that changed men’s underwear. These are the ones we feel did it. Do you agree or disagree with the list. You can let us know by leaving a comment here, on Facebook or Twitter. What other categories would you have indluded