For decades, men have contemplated boxers or briefs while women curiously wondered the answer. In modern days, boxers and briefs have found a common ground among men of all ages and backgrounds giving men unprecedented options in the underwear department.
These seemingly opposites have found a way to coexist. Does their stormy past have something to say about the modern homogeny in undergarments? Probably not, but it’s an age old battle with a surprisingly interesting history.
The Early Days of Briefs
Jockey introduced the early sibling of today’s briefs in the 1930s when textile manufacturing and access to rubber allowed for the creation of the Y-shaped brief. The innovation was only briefly enjoyed by American consumers because World War II created a massive shortage in civilian underwear. Which in turn, let to the creation of the G.I. Boxer Short, the first descendent of today’s boxers.
Once WWII ended, the undergarment industry returned stronger than ever with Jockey and Hanes leading the revolution by adding new colors and designs to the GI Boxer and the classic Y-shaped brief. While the underwear industry changed the patterns, styles and cuts throughout the next several decades (1950-1970), briefs still reigned king until the 80s.
The Emergence of the Boxer
Prior to the 1980’s briefs were the best option. Boys, teens and old men ran around sporting the hip hugging briefs for all the world to see. However, after the emergence of the American-made GI Boxer shorts, hip companies like Levi’s started appealing to the massive draw of sex appeal in America.
The result? A stunningly handsome and All-American Advertisement that changed the face of the industry. Levi introduced a crisp boxer short sported by a 1985’s Nick Kamen (a stud at the time) in an amazingly sexy laundromat commercial.
Seriously all-american, read more about it here.
After Levi’s new take of the boxer short, the trend spread aggressively throughout America and the UK becoming the new staple in underwear for the young and sexy man.
The Modern Day Truce
The battle was seemingly won, and boxer shorts almost became the underwear of tomorrow’s generation. But, in the 90s some mad scientists decided to settle the heated dispute by creating the abominable boxer-brief. Access to synthetic fibers and breathable nylons provided the perfect ingredients for the hybrid creation that has brought comfort, support and style to the modern man, while simultaneously settling the fiery dispute between boxers and briefs.
Now, it’s a matter of preference, comfort and style whether you rock the classic brief, the hip boxer or the modern mash-up. Needless to say, the underwear industry is booming as we continue to look at underwear as a style statement in mens fashion.
Just don’t forget, everyone puts their underwear on on one-leg at a time.