METALLICS FOR THE NEW YEAR?

A closer look at metallic details and fabrics as a trend in men's underwear.

INTRODUCTION

There are now enough manufacturer's and designers of men's underwear in the global marketplace that it is possible to track trends and themes that emerge across the industry. Trend spotting is always difficult of course and the Men's underwear market tends to be fairly volatile with quick turnovers in product lines and indeed even entire companies.

I'm always checking out product news and reviewing the latest offerings and lately I've seen a trend for metallics in men's underwear and in some cases swimwear. The interesting question is whether this is just a quick fad or if we'll continue to see more products introduced throughout 2009 to extend the already considerable lineup of existing and new men's underwear that shine and reflect. Here are the products that I've observed over the last year that support metallic finishes as a continuing trend for the near term at the very least.

The Metallic Waistbands of 2008

2Xist's bamboo "Carbon" line was one of the early "metal" waistband entries in the Men's underwear market with a bold silver waistband and a very dominant 2Xist logo on the side-front. Interestingly enough, large logos also seemed to go with metallic waistbands as nearly all the new designs incorporated bolder marks from the manufacturers. I was never a real fan of the carbon line due to the unflattering fit although I liked the overall styling and colors. You'll find the 2Xist Carbon line is on clearance as online retailers eliminate their remaining inventories.

2Xist


2Xist Carbon No Show Brief
$14

No longer available
2Xist Carbon Trunk
$22

No longer available

Calvin Klein


Calvin Klein's Steel cotton and microfiber collections were some of the early strikes on the metallic theme employing a new, very wide waistband that was finished in a shiny, bright silver color with black oversized Calvin Klein logo text. Since the Steel line's initial introduction CK has extended the metallic theme into limted edition metallic gold waistbands somewhat awkwardly labeled: "Steel Gold".
CK Steel Thong
$16

No longer available
CK Steel Gold Brief
$20

No longer available

AussieBum


Australian underwear and swimwear designer AussieBum raised the bar on the metallic waistband front in 2008 with an even more aggressive waistband design: the Lightning Hipster which boasted a massive silver waistband with over-sized AussieBum logo text and graphics. The Lightning trunk line has subsequently been broadened to include several colors as well as a new brief style.
AussieBum Lightning Trunk
Approximately: $22

Available at Aussiebum.com
AussieBum Lightning Brief
Approximately: $20

Available at Aussiebum.com

The next step: all-over metallics

AussieBum


After you've saturated the market with metallic waistbands the question becomes, where to go next? AussieBum answered that question when they upped the metallic bar later in 2008 with their new, pricey "Shine" swimwear brief which brought a metallic finish to the entire body of the brief and not just the waistband. Moving away from just silver as an option, AussieBum's shine brief is available in blue, camo and bronze finishes all for the jaw-dropping price of around $88 per brief.
AussieBum Shine Brief in Bronze
Approximately $88

Available at Aussiebum.com
AussieBum Shine Brief in Silver
Approximately $88

Available at Aussiebum.com

DT Clothes


Interestingly enough, another Australian label: DT Clothes introduced a new metallic range of swimwear very closely timed to AussieBum's shine lineup. The DT metallic swim brief is available in 3 metallic finishes including blue, red and silver, each with a contrasting black waistband and DT logo.
DT Clothes Metallic Swim Brief
Approximately $30

No longer available

Dirk Bikkembergs


Moving into the underwear category, european fashion designer Dirk Bikkembergs made a gold splash with a men's underwear campaign that included a behind the scenes fashion shoot video to spread the word of his new "Gold" briefs and trunks for men. These are some of the priciest underwear you'll find on the market coming in at a hefty $88 per pair for the trunk style and $74 for the brief.
Dirk Bikkembergs Gold Briefs
Approximately $74

No longer available

Play Underwear


On the more affordable side of the retail options for metallic-theme underwear, you have Intimo's new Play Gold and Silver jocks, briefs and trunks available in 3 matte, metallic colors including silver, gold and black. This design is complemented with a bold metallic silver waistband similar to the CK Steel design. I own these and I like the muted, dusty metallic finish over the super shiny, reflective "plastic" metallic finishes you'll get with some other underwear fabrics when they go for the gold and silver surface treatments.
Intimo Play Metallic Jock
$18

No longer available
Intimo Play Metallic Brief
$18

No longer available

Mundo Unico


When I started thinking of writing this article I was a little surprised to note that I had almost missed Mundo Unico's new Poder (gold) and Brillo (silver) lines. It's not quite as evident in the sample product photos below but these are indeed metallic colors available in sport brief and trunk styles at affordable prices. You'll note the newer, wider Unico logo waistband which replaces the original basic elastic style originally introduced in what is now considered the Unico "classic" line.
Mundo Unico Brillo Trunk
$25

No longer available
Mundo Unico Poder Sport Brief
$19

No longer available

Male Power


If you're looking for something more flashy and truly metallic in your underwear finishes then you might want to check out the new line Male Power introduced late in 2008 which includes new low rise boxer, thong and g-string pouch cuts available in metallic red, gold and silver.
Male Power Hot Short
$25

Available at Nuwear.com
Male Power G-String Pouch and Thong
$10 (G-String), $18 (Thong)

Available at MensUnderwearStore.com

UNDERWEAR POLL

There's the rundown of metallic men's underwear that I was able to research. I think it will be interesting to see what the rest of 2009 will bring in terms of emerging trends in fabrics and colors. Considering that you now see all the options for gold, silver and beyond, what's your opinion about adding something metallic to your underwear drawer?

ARE YOU GOING "METAL" FOR 2009?

Yes, count me in for the Gold and Silver goodness I'm totally onboard!
I will consider buying one or two items in a metallic finish.
If the fit works sure, but the color or finish is secondary to my decision-making process.
No way, metallics are too cheesy for me.

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