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:
While parading during Venezuela’s Independence Day, this army cadet looked down to discover that it his crotch was celebrating its newfound freedom.Â It’s a good thing the soldier wasn’t going commando.]]>
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 â€œa project to accelerate the acceptance of male pantyhose as a regular clothing itemâ€ 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 â€œmale comfort panel,â€ 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.]]>
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 loveâ€”all courtesy of punk fashionist Vivienne Westwood.Â Izzy hasn’t seen this much bling since Hans Holbein the Younger.]]>
Thanks to New York magazine, Izzy discovered the existence of padded men’s briefs made by a company called Bottoms Up.Â 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)?Â Well, if you get caught pants down with them, you’re liable to end up falling flat on your butt.]]>
Up first, some simple, classic Brooks Brothers ties.
On the formal bow tie front, there’s nothing blacker than velvet, which isn’t seen much nowadays.
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.
Another interesting alternative are these woven cufflinks from Thomas Pink, which have a delightful feel.
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.
Not exactly the tallest man in the world, Izzy, like Tom Cruise, is a sucker for dressy 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.
These are totally off-season, Izzy knows, but why where white bucks when you can wear white buck wingstips?
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.
Another great gift idea is getting the latest 4g phones as a gift, where you can find some great discounts.]]>
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!”]]>
As glamÂ fashion designer Roberto Cavalli demonstrates,Â an unfortunateÂ choice of shirt can makeÂ a gentlemanÂ appear toÂ have man-boobs a/k/a breasticles.Â And gynecomastia isÂ never a pretty sight.Â (Link not for the squeamish.)Â At least Seinfeld’s Kramer invented with a partial solution.
Speaking of hideous sights, CavalliÂ happens to beÂ the owner of the world’s ugliest, most pimped upÂ yacht.]]>
Swiss garmentmaker Isabodywear is introducing underwear purported to protect a man’s nether regions from cell phone radiation.Â Apparently, they are made with threads ofÂ silver.Â Izzy wonders ifÂ instead ofÂ donning such a “fertility belt,” itÂ would beÂ eaiser justÂ 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 threadâ€”for protection against peeping Supermen.]]>
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.]]>