There have been some really great trends in men’s underwear this past year. I think we saw a few changes to the men’s underwear market that will have an impact on the future. It was sort of a break out year, meaning more companies took chances by stepping outside the box. To me, that is a very good thing. There is nothing worse than going back to the 90’s of the white/grey/black period. This year, some of the more interesting trends were enhancing, pink, and mesh, and the break-out of Australian companies.
I think the first trend of the year was enhancing underwear. I noticed it at the end of 2008 and then a wave of companies came out with new styles that either enhanced the front or the back. Andrew Christian really embraced this with both the Flashback and Show-it lines. This proved to be a good decision as these two styles were constantly sold out this past year, making them the best selling enhancement underwear of the year.
That is not to say others didn’t produce other enhancement underwear styles. Proof of this is, if you take a look at the International Jock website, you will see an entire section dedicated to enhancing underwear. This fact alone tells you we have a big shift in the design of underwear. The companies that seem to focus on enhancing are Tulio, Ergowear, Obviously, Joe Snyder, Calvin Klein, C-IN2, Cocksox, and many more!
When I first saw enhancing underwear, I was a little skeptical. I wasn’t sure this would take off, but it did and in a big way. Pardon the pun! When we spoke to Sean Ashby at AussieBum, he noted that many of the buyers of the enhancing styles were straight guys. They wanted to take what they have and make it seem bigger! I thought for sure it would have been more the gay male population that wanted this enhancing technology, but without regard to sexuality, enhancing has changed the face of men’s underwear and will be around for a long time to come.
Next trend that seemed to take off is pink. We wrote in an article a while back that pink is the new black. I think pink is a great color for men’s underwear. I know there are a lot of you out there saying, “I would NEVER wear pink underwear!” The reason I like it and think it took off the way it did is it’s simply that…unexpected! When you think of men’s underwear, you think of blues, reds, whites, and other bold masculine colors. You don’t think of something as pink or pastel being quite manly enough. Pink, however, came into its own last in 2009.
The trend started a few years back with Baskit‘s Pink Jock. It then sort of disappeared and then returned strong this year. There were two companies I really noticed that used pink, being Timoteo and C-IN2. Timoteo used pink in its low rise briefs and jockstrap. Both were equally as hot where as C-IN2 used pink in its own line. They created the Prime line containing briefs, trunks, and t-shirts, all in pink. Both styles are still available.
Will pink live on this next year? I think pink will stick around but I don’t think it will be as big as in 2009. I think the release of pink will make way for many other colors never before thought of for men’s underwear.
The next trend is Mesh. Granted, mesh can look cheap, but many companies made it very sexy and fun this year. I have seen mesh, over the years in the back of a magazine (yes I’m dating myself), and it never really looked comfortable. They were the kind designed to be taken off, if you know what I mean. This is not the case of the new mesh underwear of today. They are designed for comfort and sex appeal.
Mesh really made it mainstream this year with companies such as Andrew Christian, Go Softwear, and Aussiebum creating various styles. This year also brought new players into the underwear business. BumGear is a line that has mostly mesh underwear that is fun and creative. The best thing I like about BumGear is they are very colorful. Most mesh I have seen in the past has been plain black or white. I love that BumGear has put thought into colors and focuses on different styles.
If you didn’t hear our podcast with AussieBum, they created their mesh pair as a way of getting a certain model to wear them. They weren’t serious about producing them, but after they had the model try them on, they were on to something and decided to create it as a line.
Mesh, I believe, will continue to be strong into 2010. The mesh segment mainly came into its own at the end of 2009. More and more companies are releasing them and I hope we continue to see bold and creative styles.
I think of this year as the break out year for Australian underwear companies. We are all familiar with AussieBum. The company has been around for ten years and has created an image of a fashion forward company. They never stand still and something new is always coming out. One thing I predict for AussieBum is they are soon to be a major player in the US market, if not already. I think they currently have an influence on some designs, but that influence is going to grow. If they were able to land a major department store to be the exclusive retailer, such as Macy’s, Bloomingdales, or Nordstrom, they would take off even greater and obtain a larger market share.
AussieBum is not the only company we saw out of Australia. The other ones that seem to be growing are Tribe, Obviously, and Cocksox. I know there are even more underwear companies in Australia, but these are the ones making it into the world market. Cocksox is one of our favorites here at UNB. As you know, I love undies with a good pouch and that is what Cocksox is known for supplying, hence the name. Everything I have tried from them has been awesome. They make great undies that fit a guy as underwear should.
The next company is Tribe. They are stepping outside the box of traditional underwear. They are doing mesh, patterns, and different fabrics. They are relatively new and I think we will see more from them in the next few years.
Last, but certainly and never least is Obviously. Obviously is another one with a great pouch. When I first tried them, I wasn’t sure what I thought. After wearing them for a day, I greatly appreciated their ergonomic design and unbelievable support.
All three companies aren’t afraid to do things differently in the areas of style, colors, and pouch design. They have an audience that is willing to do new things. We, in America, seem to have buyers who settle with functionality of underwear instead of fashion. They need underwear and get the most inexpensive brands to do the job. Times, however, are changing! I know many guys in the states who have ordered all three brands and had them shipped. Obviously now has American distributors such as International Jock and a few other sites. Stay tuned and we will see more Australian companies emerge and I think all three mentioned will get much bigger on the world market and not only in the states.
These are only a few trends of the year. I would love to hear what you guys thought were big trends for 2009. What do you think we missed or overlooked? I didn’t want the article to be too long so I just picked four! There are so many more we could have chosen!