Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

August 19, 2013

Boxers or Briefs?

Filed under: Men's Fashion,Underwear — Harry X @ 9:18 pm


Next question.

Actually, I should expand on this a little, since it’s apparently a question of world import.

Boxers are for grown-ass men. Briefs are for boys and Southern European gigolos.

I don’t even know why we should regard this as a serious question, except we live in profoundly unserious times, when people who’ve reached the age of majority no longer wish to act as if they’ve become adults.

Personally, I regard the day I stopped wearing briefs and started wearing boxers as being one of the major landmarks on the road to adulthood, on a par with getting my drivers license at 16, and having my first legal drink at 21. It happened the summer between junior high and high school, when I demanded my mother go to K-Mart and buy me some boxers, so that I would not have to be seen wearing tighty-whiteys as I changed for football practice. In my teenaged clique, in 1976, boxers were a symbol of manhood.

Otherwise, except to say that boxers are a)for grown-ass men, b)should be made of cotton, c)in either a festive plaid or a solid color (blue, white, or military green only), I have few opinions about underclothing for men. Pick your style of underwear (as long as it’s boxers) and stick to it for the rest of your life.

Underwear is simple. I hate those online underwear stores (like this one Vocla) that treat underwear shopping like it’s bellying up to a smorgasbord of butt-hugging, nut-hugging styles. It’s all briefs and tight boxers, in a profusion of colors and cuts. Although, judging by the photos of the models it’s clear I, a middle age straight man of conservative tastes, am not their target audience.

So, to conclude:


January 5, 2009

Let ‘Er Rip

Filed under: Men's Fashion,Tailoring,Trousers,Underwear — Izzy @ 8:50 pm

YE Venezuela Independence Day

While parading during Venezuela’s Independence Day, this army cadet looked down to discover that it his crotch was celebrating its newfound freedom.  It’s a good thing the soldier wasn’t going commando.

December 9, 2008

Men and Their Hose

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Hats,Men's Fashion,Underwear — Izzy @ 6:20 pm

Izzy was blissfully unaware of the trend of men wearing pantyhose, until a reader sent him this article:

The trend for straight men to invade female fashion territory is seemingly unstoppable. Even before manscara and guyliner there were man bras, or manzieres. Now there are umpteen websites for male nylons. One, e-MANcipate!, describes itself as “a project to accelerate the acceptance of male pantyhose as a regular clothing item” with tips on how to deal with snagging (a dab of clear nail varnish, I find, fellas, and do watch those shoe buckles).

Surely you don’t need Izzy to tell you that “mantyhose,” even with a special “male comfort panel,” is stretching things too far. They only time a gentleman should ever be caught with hose on is when he has pulled a pair over his head to rob a grocery store for diapers.

July 18, 2008

Not a Girly Boy

Filed under: Grooming,Men's Fashion,The Big Man,Underwear — Izzy @ 12:11 am

manly male model

Having bemoaned the plague of less-than-masculine male models, Izzy is not quite willing to praise this rare example of the opposite extreme: a hairy, meaty chav with teeth that only an orthodontist could love—all courtesy of punk fashionist Vivienne Westwood.  Izzy hasn’t seen this much bling since Hans Holbein the Younger.

May 2, 2008

Davy Got Back

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Men's Fashion,Underwear — Izzy @ 6:40 pm

Bottoms Up padded briefsBottoms Up pouch pad

Thanks to New York magazine, Izzy discovered the existence of padded men’s briefs made by a company called Bottoms Up.  Men’s jackets already have shoulder-padding, so why not some, er, rear-guard action? And, hey, why not have a substitute for the codpiece, that much-maligned pouch that disappeared in the 16th century (though it was seen on Alex and his droogs in A Clockwork Orange)?  Well, if you get caught pants down with them, you’re liable to end up falling flat on your butt.

November 23, 2007


Thanksgiving is here, which means that the collective madness known as holiday shopping has already begun. In no particular order, here are some gift ideas for inspiration. Of course, it’s the thought that counts, but some thoughts are more valuable and stylish than others.

Up first, some simple, classic Brooks Brothers ties.

Brooks Brothers bar stripe tieBrooks Brothers silk repp dot tie

On the formal bow tie front, there’s nothing blacker than velvet, which isn’t seen much nowadays.

Thomas Pink velvet bow tie

And for a change from the usual cufflinks, how about silk knots, which, unlike ordinary cufflinks, are never stuffy? They’re so inexpensive that you can collect them in every color. Also, they’re easy to put on, even if you don’t have a manservant.

Thomas Pink woven silk cuff knots

Another interesting alternative are these woven cufflinks from Thomas Pink, which have a delightful feel.

Thomas Pink woven cufflinks

Speaking of formal wear, it might be worth experimenting with these Frenchback boxers, which look like just the thing to wear under white tie and tails. They’re perhaps the only undergarments that deserve to be starched.

Brooks Brothers Frenchback boxer

Not exactly the tallest man in the world, Izzy, like Tom Cruise, is a sucker for dressy boots.

Peal & Co. Chelsea bootsPeal & Co. wingtip Chelsea boots

And as for boots that will keep your feet warm and dry on an Arctic expedition or merely a schlep to the mailbox, Sorel is one of the brands to count on. The company was founded in Canada, after all.
Sorel Mounty II boots

These are totally off-season, Izzy knows, but why where white bucks when you can wear white buck wingstips?

Peal & Co. white buck wingtips

For that special someone who thinks he has everything, surprise him with this Brooks Brothers sportcoat made from “Coarsehair,” a custom Loro Piana blend of cashmere and goat hair.

Brooks Brothers Coarsehair sportcoat

Happy hunting.

Another great gift idea is getting the latest 4g phones as a gift, where you can find some great discounts.

August 31, 2007

Breeching the Peace

Filed under: Bad Fashion,Etiquette,Men's Fashion,Trousers,Underwear — Izzy @ 11:45 am

low-hanging pants

Having deplored low-hanging pants before, Izzy was happy to see that communities are taking action to end the uncivil plague. Pushed to extreme measures, municipalities have criminalized the attire, which is all-too-appropriate given that the style originated in prison, where belts are prohibited. In attempt to get around free-expression Constitutional claims, the laws are aimed at prohibiting public indecency.

The New York Times’ story taught Izzy something new:

Not since the zoot suit has a style been greeted with such strong disapproval. The exaggerated boxy long coat and tight-cuffed pants, started in the 1930s, was the emblematic style of a subculture of young urban minorities. It was viewed as unpatriotic and flouted a fabric conservation order during World War II. The clothing was at the center of what were called Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles, racially motivated beatings of Hispanic youths by sailors. The youths were stripped of their garments, which were burned in the street.

Although Izzy would never encourage a riot, he would like to see a peaceful march that chants “Do not share / derriere / We can see your underwear!” And of course the placards would read “Up with pants!”

July 27, 2007

In Need of a Bro?

Filed under: Celebrity,Men's Fashion,Shirts,Underwear — Izzy @ 6:20 am

Roberto Cavalli with man boobs

As glam fashion designer Roberto Cavalli demonstrates, an unfortunate choice of shirt can make a gentleman appear to have man-boobs a/k/a breasticles.  And gynecomastia is never a pretty sight. (Link not for the squeamish.)  At least Seinfeld’s Kramer invented with a partial solution.

Speaking of hideous sights, Cavalli happens to be the owner of the world’s ugliest, most pimped up yacht.

May 22, 2007

Protection Against XXX-rays

Filed under: Men's Fashion,Underwear — Izzy @ 2:01 pm

cell phone radiation underwear

Swiss garmentmaker Isabodywear is introducing underwear purported to protect a man’s nether regions from cell phone radiation.  Apparently, they are made with threads of silver.  Izzy wonders if instead of donning such a “fertility belt,” it would be eaiser just to avoid cell-phone users like the guy in the photo.

In any case, Izzy thinks it is just a matter of time until someone manufactures briefs made of lead thread—for protection against peeping Supermen.

April 20, 2007

On the Down Low

Filed under: Men's Fashion,Underwear — Izzy @ 12:45 am

underoos for men

Could novelty underwear really be on the rise? Izzy would like to remind his readers that a healthy sex life should include laughing, but not laughing and pointing.

November 15, 2006

Oh, the Eau de Tom Ford

Filed under: Celebrity,Formal Wear,Grooming,Men's Fashion,Underwear — Izzy @ 11:57 pm

Tom Ford in Tux

Just in time for the release of his new perfume, Black Orchid, former Gucci designer Tom Ford confessed that he does not wear deodorant*, saying he prefers his own “human smell.” He also apparently prefers that ten-foot clearance everyone gives him.

*Or underwear.

November 2, 2006

The Wonderbro

Filed under: Men's Fashion,Underwear — Izzy @ 11:22 pm


From Down Under (appropriately enough) comes a new line of underwear meant to be the brief equivalent of the Wonderbra. Calling it the “Wonderjock,” the underwear’s makers, AussieBum, claim it is was designed to “separate and lift” so as to make one’s you-know-what appear bigger. Izzy is skeptical, but the product certainly gives new meaning to the term “D-cup.”

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