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05 Dec 2023, Edition - 3066, Tuesday

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Men and their innerwears: How superman popularised the V shaped underwear

Indrani Thakurata

Image credit : Illustrative Image


You can wear a well-fitted pant and a crisp shirt, your beard trimmed nicely, hair gelled and yet your look can be the most unappealing one. Well fitted clothes aren’t the only fit that you need, getting the right pair of underpants in its armoury is one of the most important part of your look because it means your clothes will hang better too for an overall gait. And sadly, men’s grooming has always been very limited and most of the time there fails to be a variety in the inner wear section!

There was a time when guys didn’t have many underwear options. There were briefs and boxers- in blues and blacks with plains and checks which neither came in styles that were all that flattering. But, oh, how times have changed. Considering they’re the first item of clothing a guy slips into in his everyday life, underpants are probably the last item in their wardrobes guys put time into researching. However, it’s worth doing so – getting the right pair of underpants in its armoury not only means you feel better all day long, but also means your clothes will hang better too. And if underpants are available in fun colours like orange, pink, and green, then why would you only go for monochrome?

“Innerwear is the first garment a person wears everyday and there weren’t enough choices in the market. If my outfits are designed to reflect my mood for the day, why can’t my underwear do the same – they don’t have to be black or white?” – that was the question that led Yogesh Kabra to establish XYXX. XYXX is a premium category of comfortable innerwear aimed at an 18-40 year old male audience, the brand places the cool, comfortable, and energetic youth of today at the center of their product development. The brand combines comfort and sexiness, luxury and value, and elegance and fun. Explaining the genesis of the brand and also adding perspective, Yogesh says, “In America for every $ you are willing to pay more, there is a different culture of underwear you could buy. When I say different culture I do not just refer to the brand but the styling, the fabric, the waistband, the entire purpose and the experience. There is a plethora of options for every kind of consumer taste and requirement. I was just not able to accept that in India where we only made underwear for the masses (Black/White/Blue) or one particular taste and literally ZERO fabric choice. The only options were bigger fashion brands which also sell innerwear but a) they were too expensive: I didn’t want to pay 600 bucks for one brief or 800 bucks for boxer. I knew I could do a better job at a much lower price. and b) They didn’t pay attention to innerwear as a relevant product category : There collection do not change for the entire year and have extremely limited option of styles and fabric”

It is interesting to see how the fashion of underwear has come upon us. The graph is indeed noteworthy. There are many tit-bits that most of us are completely unaware of. Did you know that the V-shaped underwear is a sign of masculinity? Infact, you will notice how the international and national superheroes like Superman, Batman and Nagraj all adorned V shaped underwear. Apparently, the superheroes were contractually bound by the big brands to popularise the underwear among the masses. And why atall would anyone wear underwear over their pants? “Yes, if you logically think, you would arrive at the same conclusion. The superheroes were making V shaped underwears popular by making it visible. Funnily, how shapes like V became a sign of masculinity,” says Rakesh Raman (name changed on request), a Boutique Owner in Bangalore. But with time the V shaped made way for Bikini Briefs, jock straps, U shaped and the multipurpose boxers. “If you notice, there is a visible rise in the sale of boxers. Men have taken fancy to boxers because some films have popularised it,” says Sanghamitra Dutta, A Designer.

All said and done, if you are comfortable and vibrant inside, it will reflect. So choose wisely, what else? You underwear!

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