Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How European and American Men Differ in Their Underwear Choices

Men's Underwear Preferences in the USA and Europe

Europeans, man. Europeans are just so different from Americans. First of all, they definitely do not speak American. Second of all, they typically use more hair product than the average American man. And if European men are willing to go out in public with that much product in their hair, imagine how different their more private sartorial decisions must be. (English humor above, don't tweet us!)

If you imagine that Europeans have historically worn more flamboyant underwear, and have more eclectic definitions of acceptable undergarments, you are definitely correct. European men (of all ages and body types) have always been more accepting of their right to rock truly fabulous underwear. In the United States of America, men who mention that they even notice the appearance of their unmentionables are considered ridiculous, not masculine enough, or – worst of all – vain.

The truth is that, in Europe there has long been a huge market for fancy men’s underwear. Bright and flashy colors, on-trend patterns, daring cuts and silhouettes have long been the norm for European consumers. In America, underwear is still seen as a basic at best – a necessary evil. For a long time, the only options available to American men were briefs and boxers. While European men have always visited specialty boutique stores for their underthings, most American men purchase their underwear in bulk packages from the back corners of department stores.

If the standard, blue-checked boxer is the norm for American men, a yellow, polka-dotted string bikini is standard for their European counterparts. That is all starting to change, however, as American men are becoming more discerning in their underwear preferences. In fact, you can see the European influence on men’s underwear fashions from all sorts of retailers this season, ranging from the basics to the fancier selections.

Praise be to David Beckham, because everywhere you look a variety of European styles are now available to the modern American man. From mesh panels in your sweatiest places to neon racing stripes on your basic boxer briefs, there are now a plethora of options for American underwear shoppers. But before the American men’s underwear market can be totally Euro-fied, we must address our cultural misconceptions about men who take pride in the style and state of their underwear.

To summarize the major differences between men’s underwear in Europe and men’s underwear in America, here are some key points:
· In America, men’s underwear has long been regarded as a utilitarian basic, sold in bulk packages in the back corner of stores. American men who acknowledge their underwear’s appearance are ridiculed.
 · European men consider their underwear to be an important sartorial choice. They consider it normal to purchase their underwear from boutique stores, and are typically fashion-forward in the styles that they select. Generally speaking, they are also more adventurous in the cuts they will select.

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