I’m sure you’ve all heard of the old adage: “it’s too good to be true”. It’s been applied to a myriad situations and circumstances, but usually refers to some kind of assessment of a potentially spectacular payoff for a very minimal price. This was what I was faced with when I ordered the David Archy Men’s 4 pack Micromodal Air Sexy bikini briefs from

So the choice presented to me was as follows: the bikini briefs are described as manufactured of “90% Austria Lenzing MicroModal Air/10% Japanese ROICA spandex”. I have no idea what those fabrics are, nor had I ever heard of the brand. Stating that a garment is made out of European and Japanese fabrics was enough to pique my interest. According to Amazon, I get four pairs for the rather low price of $19.99. So this is where the quandary originated: an unknown company offering what seemed like top notch garments in nice fabrics at a low price. Everyone say it with me, “sounds too good to be true.”


As I mentioned, these bikinis were ordered from Amazon the same time that I ordered some other garments. Including my previously reviewed pair of CR7 briefs. I know that there are a lot of foreign sellers on Amazon, and the site serves as sort of a middleman for goods coming from all around the world. I’m typically skeptical if I think that I have to process a transaction with a company that comes from a country where there is a lack of transparency or if that country is known for fraudulent activity. But because I conducted the transaction through Amazon, I did feel confident enough to process the transaction knowing that I had some recourse available to me through the company.

The bikini briefs were one of the first things that were delivered to me, out of all the orders that I made that day, which impressed the heck out of me. It beat other American based resellers. I should also mention that it was also available in other solid colors like light blue, royal blue,

It was packaged in a nice, plain box (1) that had just enough graphics to suggest that someone spent a hot second on graphic design. This kind of thoughtfulness, from beginning to end, connects me to a brand in a way that makes me think I am getting value for my dollar and that the brand isn’t some kind of fly by night or counterfeiting operation.

Upon unboxing I immediately noticed the silky feel of the garment. I couldn’t verify if what I was feeling was Austrian micromodal, but it did feel very soft and light weight. It essentially was a plain red bikini with little touches that differentiated it from, say, an old school Jockey Elance brief.

There’s a little bit of contrast stitching (2) near the waist of the garment and a suggestion (3) of an anatomical pouch that seemed more appropriate for the modestly endowed gentleman. While skimpy in the front, with 1.25” sides (4), the back had pretty full coverage for those of you with concerns of the back creeping into a less then desirable place.

I actually put it through double the amount of wear I would usually put a pair of undies through. I wore it all day to work and then on a run. For the former activity, there were no problems whatsoever. The bikini actually seemed to disappear. The latter, however, was somewhat more problematic. The anatomical pouch of the bikini made everything want to move front and center, and created a noticeable bulge in my running shorts. I was just “eh” about it, but for those of you concerned with that kind of thing, you have now been warned.

All in all, I strongly recommend the David Archy bikini. It is a solidly constructed garment, in some nice colors, that stood up well to both every day wear and athletic use. And at $5 a pop, it might just be too good to be true.

cr71I believe that every person, regardless of gender, is a complex mix of what we in the Western world see as traditionally masculine and feminine qualities. Each person has a little bit of each type in varying degrees that are an outcome of environment and genetic hard wiring. Take me for instance, I love to watch any television show that includes the word “Housewives” in it (except for the Real Housewives of Miami, that business is unwatchable). I am also a diehard soccer/football fan and can watch hours of it as easily as I can watch a Real Housewives of Orange County marathon. Like my questionable taste in television programming, my admiration for Portuguese soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo, taps into both sides of my persona. He is super good looking in a very polished way, but is able to back it up with talent on the pitch.

So you can understand my excitement a couple of years ago when Mr. Ronaldo announced that he was manufacturing his own line of underthings, under the moniker “CR7” (Cristiano Ronaldo, and his jersey number is 7). The line actually is a partnership between Mr. Ronaldo, JBS (a Danish underwear manufacturer) and New York designer Richard Chai. Nonetheless, Ronaldo is the public face of the line.

Throughout my European travels, I’ve observed that the line is a mainstay at the many department stores I visited to IMG_2120shop for Euro undies. The CR7 line was everywhere. As I understand Cristiano doing underwear would be akin to a Tom Brady/Jesus got mash up putting out an underwear line. He’s THAT popular. Some might say god-like. As popular as Mr. Ronaldo might be, it still comes down to the goods. It still has to be functional and comfortable and all that good stuff, or a bunch of folks wouldn’t plop down their hard earned coins, no matter who is on the box.

So with all of this in mind I decided to log onto Amazon to check out what was available. I tried the CR7 website itself, but it seemed like I would need to enter into some sort of agreement to have them shipped to the U.S. Underwear shouldn’t be that much of a hassle. I ordered a pair from Amazon, via Freshpair, but also ordered several other interesting pairs at the same time from different stores. Which is why I didn’t order from Freshpair directly. Maybe the CR7s would have been delivered more quickly if I had ordered directly. I ordered two other pairs of underwear related items through re-sellers in the same order and they both arrived two days sooner.

They are packaged very attractively, with a black and white photo of Mr. Ronaldo sporting the goods himself on the front. I ordered a size small, pima cotton “luxury brief” in a soft grey color. Partly because everything else that was available on Amazon was absurdly expensive. Upon unwrapping my very own pair of CR7s, I immediately noticed the waist band that had “Cristiano Ronaldo” attached front and center on the band in raised, rubberized letters. That seemed like a nice, luxurious flourish. However, in terms of the overall look of the garment, the rest of it was rather basic.

It seemed well made, with even stitching and no loose threads. The cut was a little boxy for my own taste and what I look for in a brief. My impression is that the brand caters to the mass market, so I assume that if they were cut any skimpier, they wouldn’t sell as well. I wore them all day on a Saturday, so that entailed running errands, sitting and watching tv, and going out to a movie and they held up well. I didn’t really notice them—which coincidentally pretty much sums up how I felt about the briefs, eh.

I paid about $19 for them before shipping.

All in all, the CR7s luxury brief might be a nice upgraded basic for the mass market at large, but at the $19 price point, I’ll take a pass.

me1I don’t know if any of you readers out there adore Rupaul’s Drag Race the way that I do. It definitely was the motivating factor for me to try Justin Case underwear for my next venture into the world of the underwear undiscovered (or at least undiscovered to me). See, within the cast of the show is a pair of men called the “Pit Crew”: essentially two muscly hunks who assist with the show. This season, they are always shown sporting Justin Case briefs. In previous seasons, the crew rocked out other brands like AussieBum, Andrew Christian, and Marco Marco. And to be honest, I had seen and heard of Justin Case underwear before but for a couple of reasons, never felt the urge to invest in a pair. But seeing those tiny briefs on hunky men on television made the idea of buying them that much more compelling.

As I mentioned, I had heard of Justin Case before, but hadn’t made a purchased based on two factors: the fabric content (synthetic, which I don’t usually go for) and the price point. As to the latter, there’s something about the way that I make financial decisions that cannot get over the $20 hump. Paying that much for underwear feels too decadent and wouldn’t pass the “prudent person“ test for reasonability.


But, driven by images of pit crew members in skimpy Justin Case briefs and the need to do a write up for a new brand. I logged onto the Justin Case underwear website and placed an order. Just a quick word about my ordering experience: the website is easy to use and it looks like the put a few coins and hot minute into its development. I placed the order on a Thursday evening, got a confirmation instantaneously and a shipping notification the very next day. My briefs arrived on the following Monday, encased in a tiny black gift box. I was very satisfied with that interaction.


I ordered blue polka dot bikini brief underwear. As far as the selection of garments goes, the site has thongs, bikini briefs, jock briefs, boxer briefs, and swimwear available in a variety of vibrant colors and interesting patterns. They also have “Rupairs”, specially designed, limited edition pairs of briefs that are like the ones worn by the Pit Crew on Drag Race. The underwear is primarily fabricated in a polyester/spandex blend, and despite my misgivings about synthetic fabric, I found the brief to be both lightweight and surprisingly breathable. Due to the fabric blend, it was also able to hold onto a very vibrant hue of aqua as the main color, with white dots. I think had it been cotton or another natural fabric, the white dots wouldn’t have “popped” as much, and for me, would have made the design less interesting.


I wore it the brief for a work day and it held up to the demands of my desk job. It didn’t ride or bunch, but stayed where they started when I put them on in the morning. I am a 31-32” waist, with an athletic build, but I still opted for a size small, and it worked out pretty well. The thin, stretchy fabric hugged my anatomy and provided nice, breathable, barely-there support. The fabric was also soft. Everything about the garment spoke to quality materials and manufacture, and I think, having worn them for a day, that the price is somewhat justifiable. So, overall, based on my experience, I’m going to recommend that you all try them to.

One cautionary note, don’t get them delivered to your place of work. I had them sent to my office and the return label read “Justin Case Underwear”. That probably explains the look of judgment in the eyes of the receptionist who brought the package from the lobby to my office. Oh well-she done already done had herses.

IMG_2008I know a lot of you guys are like me and you get a lot of spam about underwear in your email boxes. Some of it is stuff you can delete right away. Another 10% off sale? Yawn. But sometimes, you get something so intriguing that is just so irresistible that you have to click through to see what the heck is going on. For me, there has to be some catch, something that says the underwear that is being offered will stand out from amongst the rest. Something like a great pic or key words will pique my interest. In this case, the words were: Italian and underwear.

Honestly, when I see promotional marketing emails from European sellers in box. I’ll click through the email and onto the sites faster than a 11 year old girl would start crying at Justin Bieber concert. Yes, that fast.

So began my foray into the brand called Intimissimi. I was a little familiar with the brand before, I’d seen the storefronts whilst traveling through Europe. But the storefronts always reminded me of the standard lingerie purveyors, like Victoria Secret. So I tended to shy away from entering if I wasn’t sure there was going to be a substantial men’s section.


My curiosity about was sated as I arrived on the Intimissimi website ( , where they proudly proclaimed that they were now shipping to the good ole’ USA. How was this not a sign from the Italian underwear gods urging me to order a couple pairs?

I always check out the “about us” section to get a feel like if the brand’s been around for a while, and if they are legit. Sometimes just the look and feel of a website clues you in to how serious a company takes its online presence, and how much faith you, in turn, can put into ordering, especially if the merchandise originates overseas.

My sleuthing uncovered that the company has been around since 1996, so solvency was not going to be a problem. And like I mentioned before, they seem to be all over the place in Europe. At the time that I made my purchase there was a limited selection of trunk and brief style underwear for purchase. In terms of design, they were rather basic, with solid color bikinis and briefs in either solid colors or ringer styles (contrast piping on the fly and leg holes). They were also running a volume buy special, where you could buy five pairs for $65 USD. So I went ahead and picked out my five pairs (two bikinis and three briefs) and eagerly awaited the arrival of my purchase.


I was very confident in my transaction, the website felt very secure. It employed a double verification system (e.g., Verified by Visa) and provided a receipt was instantaneous and included a URL to track the order. All of these features of their website and customer interaction made me confident that my order would arrive and that the company was legitimate. Shipping was only $8.

I received the garments and a half and was impressed by the speed of the delivery. Since they are coming from Europe, and that I only paid $8 for delivery. They didn’t really have packaging, just the individual briefs and bikinis in plastic baggies. I’m a US size 31-32, so I ordered the size small, and they’re solid garments. They fit as expected: not too snug, with the expected coverage that both styles are expected to offer. The briefs have pretty full coverage in the back.

My one gripe is the excessive tagging of the garments. Each garment included a longish tag that indicated the size and care instructions of the underwear, and another long tag describing the origin and fabric content of the garment. It just seemed rather excessive, but nothing that a quick clip of the scissors couldn’t remedy.

I’ve since received emails from Intimissimi notifying me that they’ve released new styles for spring, that feature prints and stripes. I’m definitely excited to try out more of their stuff and hope that you’ll want to try them too.


Hey guys.

This is my first review for UNB, so I hope you like it.

I was sent the Envy Logo Elastic Low Rise Jock (E001-WHT) to try out. Disclaimer: Jocks aren’t typically my thing. Sure, every once in a while I’ll get the itch to wear one, but my “go-to underwear” are briefs and maybe once a week, I’ll rock out a thong (usually for twitter #thongthursday). So,
when I got the jock in the mail, I had to remind myself to mentally prepare myself to exist outside my comfort zone to produce the most objective review possible.


The Envy Jock started out on the right foot just based on the packaging. They are boxed in a lovely, high quality package with pictures of a good-looking model wearing the item to coordinate with the front and back of the box (i.e., the front of the box had the model showing the jock from the front, and vise-versa for the back of the box). As males, it’s said that our perceptions are heavily colored by visual imagery, and I tend to agree with this. The packaging alone made me want to wear the jock.


In terms of fabrication and materials utilized, the jock was very soundly made, with clean stitching. The leg straps and waistband were produced with nice, stretchy elastic and the pouch is made from a very soft cotton/spandex blend. In the white version, the pouch is slightly sheer, as it is unlined. So you will be showing off more of your stuff than you might have originally intended, but that might be a good thing. From a design point of view, I like how the leg bands are a different color than the pouch. I like when jocks have this because it makes the underwear a little bit more special and adds an element of fashion to what had been for decades, a purely utilitarian garment.
This touch of fashion in the Envy lowrise jock, presented me with a dilemma. When should I wear these jocks to produce an accurate review of the jock? Should I wear them to work, just like a guy would do if he bought a fashion jock, or should I wear them to the gym, for a guy who would wear these to work out in? I decided to do both. I put these jocks through the ringer of a UNBSlater work day (10 hours at my desk and then 1 ½ hours at the gym). I’ll have to say, after eleven and a half hours of wear, these held up quite well. I also came to the conclusion that they are appropriate both for the office and the gym.

In terms of fit, the pouch, though fabricated of very supple fabric, is basically a flat panel, so it may be uncomfortable for some of the bigger guys out there. The jock also came in size S/M, which I’m not a fan of. Someone is going to end up losing in that equation, either the size small guy will get something a little too big, or the size medium guy will get crushed. I typically wear a size 32, and everything fit well except for the leg straps, which were less snug then I expected them to be.


Overall, wearing the jock was not a bad experience at all. It wasn’t transformational in that I’m going to wear jocks all the time now, but it was pleasant enough where I’m willing to pick up a couple more so that I can incorporate jocks into my daily rotation more often.

Here’s my summary:


  • Nice packaging
  • Solid fabrication, quality materials utilized
  • Versatile, good for the office and the gym


  • Pouch is a flat panel, rather than an ergonomic design, so may be snug for endowed guys
  • Generalized sizing (e.g., S/M) may produce fit issues



  • Daily Fit – 7
  • Sizing – 5
  • Construction – 7
  • Styling – 7
  • Daily Performance – 8
  • Overall – 6.8

Envy Menswear furnished this pair for review.


I consider myself a pretty active guy: I swim, run, bike, and I like play tennis and volleyball as well. I’m also an avid sports fan: I enjoy watching my favorite EPL (English Premier League) teams take the pitch on Saturday morning, or catching a clutch college football (American) game with a friend on the weekend.

So, when the issue of underwear for workouts was posed to the blog’s editorial staff, I quickly volunteered to submit a piece, because I take cues both from my own athletic experiences and what I see in media in terms of what professional athletes wear under their uniforms.

Before I delve into my recommendations, I have to say that I abhor compression shorts. I don’t get why they are necessary outside of letting the major sports labels market yet another garment that they can make a quick coin on. Another thought on the issue: why would you want to compress anything down there?

I’ve instead taken a cue of what to wear from our friends across the Atlantic, where briefs are still worn proudly under shorts across the continent. Watch any sport that involves Spaniards, Italians, Poles, Russians, or any European for that matter, and you’ll probably catch a briefline, if not a full brief sighting. What you’ll see is a low rise brief or bikini, typically in white but sometimes black (or even a color to match the team uniform).

With that reference in mind, here are my recommendations for some great white briefs to wear under your gym apparel. I’ve drawn inspiration from some of my favorite tennis and soccer players.


The unlined front and seaming at the sides make the Jockey Elance bikini different from a lot of its peers. Hopefully you’ll be luckier than Nicklas Helenius and not get pantsed during a strike at goal.


These Calvin Klein Tech Active sports briefs are motto bene. I’m sure Italian tennis stud, Fabio Fognini, would agree with my assessment since he wears these under his tennis kit too.


What a joy it is when you combine the minimal cut of this Calvin Klein bikini with the soft and sumptuous modal fabric. Joe Cole would agree that bikinis are the way to go, especially when you are in the midst of a sweaty workout.

So that’s my recommendations for what to wear under your workout gear, whether you’re a professional or amateur athlete.

I’m a hard core brief wearer. Throughout the frozen hell better known as winter 2013-2014, I wore briefs. Even during the dreaded polar vortex that turned Northeastern Illinois into Chiberia, briefs were proudly worn under layers of clothing by this guy. I tell you this because as seasons change, my choice of underwear, as far as the cut goes, remains pretty consistent. True, I may wear thongs more often when the weather gets warmer, but I’ll always be a brief guy at heart.

As a culture, we’ve learned to associate seasons and holidays with certain colors. I’m talking about how we like to wear red and green for Christmas, or pastels for spring. As we head into autumn, those deep shades of orange, purple, and red come to mind, along with yellows and browns. Traditionally, these colors have been associated both with the natural transformation of the foliage outside and with the activities that typically occur in the fall, like the harvest.

So, I bet you guys know where I’m going with this. That’s right! I’m compiling a list of my favorite red, orange, purple, yellow and brown briefs, and pairing them with a fall activity.


1. You should try to navigate a maize maze this fall in these Hugo Boss briefs. Maybe someone will mistake you for an ear of corn and try to butter and eat you.

2. These purple Aussiebum briefs are a classic. The ribbed cotton adds some interest to a standard brief cut. Why not wear these under your costume on Halloween? You’ll definitely be getting both tricks and treats once they’re revealed.


3. Try on these C-in2 “Hand Me Down” briefs in Syracuse orange, while actually going to a college football game. Then detrou when your team scores a TD and show everyone your school spirit.


4. Run a turkey trot or do another sporting activity in this brown Obviously Sinuous string bikini/tanga. The high cut sides and anatomic pouch leave both room to move and provides natural support.


5. Snuggle next to the fireplace with your lover (or potential hookup) knowing that while the yule log flickers in the fireplace, you are about to set the whole scene on fire when you put these Bikkembergs briefs on display. The little pop of pink screams bulls-eye.


For those of us who enjoy swimming as part of our exercise regimens, we know that there’s a myriad choices out there for what to attire oneself in, both in terms of brands and cuts of the swimwear.

There are jammers (longer length trunks that go between mid-thigh and the knee), trunks (coverage down to the upper thigh, also called a square cut suit), briefs (shows the upper thigh), and briefer cut items (swim thongs). I’m wouldn’t even consider wearing board shorts or other loose items, because they’re pretty useless for lap swimming (and for that matter, getting a decent tan) and I’m not a frat boy in college. And unless you’re a competitive swimmer or swimming in icy cold water, there really isn’t a need for a full body suit. So the choices essentially boil down to how much coverage you’re comfortable with in terms of selecting a jammer, trunk, or swim brief.

For me, I’ve always worn a swim brief. When I was in high school, they were mandatory and ever since, I’ve never been able to reconcile the freedom of a briefer cut against any perceived need to be more modest. After all, if world champion swimmers can wear swim briefs, those of us who aspire to that level of aquatic proficiency should be able to as well.

But, If you’re looking for a swim brief and have never bought one before, you might want to take a few things into consideration before you whip out your credit card to make that initial purchase. First, try it on. You’ll want to get one that fits like a second skin (maybe consider going down a size than you typically wear) so that it doesn’t cause drag while you’re swimming. Another helpful tip is to find something that is chlorine resistant. Constant uses of your suit in a chemical environment (i.e., a pool full of chlorinated water) will eventual degrade the fabric of the suit (in the same vein, if you can, buy more than one suit and rotate them—they’ll last longer that way). Third, since you’re probably not going to be swimming in the Olympics and need your suit to be hydrodynamic, try to find a suit that has a little bit more room up front. Some of the suits that I’ve tried in my four years of avid swimming were really lacking in the pouch area, and were decidedly unfriendly to my boy zone.


I bet you’re asking what I would suggest. Well, I like Andrew Christian Team Bikini. It is on the brief side, but there’s full coverage in the rear. There’s also a little room up built up front so that I’m not mashing my own potatoes. I also

really like the design of the garment: contrast stitching and stripes on the side suggest athletics without committing you to turn in world record times in the pool. In fact, I enjoy them so much that I own multiple pairs in black, blue, and red.

So, if you’re looking to get into swimming for exercise and you’re looking for a brief to wear in the pool, I would highly recommend you try this brief.

Note post contains an affiliate sales link

IMG_2173Every Chicagoan knows that there’s about three months in this part of the upper Midwest when it’s warm enough to do stuff outside. The rest of the time it’s pretty miserable. Bravo! even developed a show about the way that Chicagoans cram all that fun into those “100 Days of Summer”.

For the LGBT set (me included), the summer is bookended with two major street festivals: Pride, in late June and Northalsted Market Days, in early August.

While Pride has evolved into something part political campaign, part economic opportunity, and part social statement, Northalsted Market Days has remained a mash up of something that’s delightfully hedonistic and brashly commercial. It’s a boozy, sultry, messy mélange of bodies baking under a summer sun during the day or soaking up the humidity of a Chicago summer evening.IMG_2179

To be more concise, Northalsted Market Days is a street festival that takes place in the Chicago gayborhood of “Boystown” along north Halsted Street between Belmont and Addison avenues in the neighborhood of Lakeview. Local businesses (shops, eateries, bars, and clubs) in the area set up tents and booths along the street and allow you to sample their wares in one go. The event claims to be the largest two day street festival in the Midwest.

But as an underwear enthusiast, Market Days (and other summer street festivals) is a great opportunity for underwear and swimsuit sightings. Once the temperature climbs past eighty degrees, any Chicago gay who has spent a nanosecond in a gym, pretty much treats a t-shirt or tank top the way a kid with a peanut allergy would treat a Snickers bar, they want it as far away from their bodies as possible. So let’s do the math:

Naked torsos + low slung shorts = Visible waistbands as far as the eye can see.

Vendors do their part as well, rolling out their best eye candy to cajole you to buy their twenty ounce house sangria (two of those and consider yourself over-served), with said eye candy wearing only the minimum amount of apparel necessary to keep them from getting hauled off for public lewdness. Besides gawking at nearly naked male strippers, you can see every size, shape, color of man and woman that exists in the rainbow coalition that is the LGBT community. There are boys playing grabby twister, drag queens serving camp, and great live music.

My recommendation for those of you who want to attend Market Days in 2015 (August 8-9) and only have one day, go on Sunday morning. It’s not nearly as crowded as Saturday afternoon/evening is and you have the time and space to explore a lot of the vendors and booths. Of course, if you’re looking to pack yourself in a crowd of sweaty, half-naked dudes (and try to guess if they’re wearing boxers or briefs from their visible waistbands), come on Saturday. Or, come both days.

Whatever you choose, just come on down to Chicago for Market Days. See you next August!