In menswear, fit is everything. And while a good tailor can cut and sew pretty much any garment to within a quarter inch of your body, some guys just deal with the fact that the most important thing they put on everyday (their underwear) only comes in sizes small, medium, and large.
That didn’t sit well with the fit-obsessed design team at Bonobos, who on Thursday will introduce what they’re billing as the best-fitting men’s underwear on the market. Their new line of boxer briefs (priced individually at $34 or two for $50) is sized exactly how most trousers are: with numerical waistbands corresponding to every size from 28 inches to 40. You can also choose the length of the inseam, three inches or five. That sizing, combined with a battery of subtle updates to the traditional design, makes for a pair of underwear that improves the way the rest of your outfit looks and feels — without being visible at all.
For example, there’s no danger of having that annoying line showing through a pair of slim-cut trousers where these boxer briefs end, the way there can be with some other brands.
“Usually what that is is a rib around the thigh, and it’s there to sort of grip a little more so they don’t ride up,” said Dwight Fenton, the company’s chief creative officer. “I found it a little uncomfortable to have those that tight on my legs — and it can make you look like you’ve been wearing a tourniquet at the end of the day.”
The new underwear, which took a total of 15 months to develop, avoids that issue with a construction of cotton, acrylic, and spandex, insuring the right amount of tension and a cleaner profile. (It also wicks away sweat.) There’s a thicker, roll-proof waistband, too, as well as some strategically placed mesh panels for better airflow, and a horizontal fly for easy access.
And while they have all the attributes you’d expect from sportier underwear, they feel much softer — and with a variety of colors to choose from (navy, black, light grey, orange, floral navy and bright blue) they look a good deal better, too.
“Boxers, to a certain degree, are like socks to guys,” Fenton said. “It’s one place where they might take a chance, because they know that not a lot of people are going to see them. It’s sort of like a wink and a nod that they know about that no one else does.”
That won’t be the case this Saturday, though — at least not in New York and Chicago. To celebrate the launch of this new line, Bonobos is sponsoring a two-mile underwear run in both cities that will raise money for FCancer. The first 50 people to register for the run (which you can do at bonobosundierun.com) will score a free pair. And as much as Fenton supports the cause, he won’t be participating this weekend.
“For the sake of New York and Chicago,” he said with a laugh, “I will not be running around in my underwear.”