Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Lui, May 1968
Toujours, la coordination! Eminence briefs led the underwear revolution of the Swinging 60s, and as hipster trousers were cut tighter and lower, the French brand introduced the first slips as a sexy alternative to chunky Jockey briefs and the traditional sack-of-potatoes approach at Marks & Spencer. But the great French revolution came in the 70s with Hom whose mini-slip for four decades dominated the fashion market with almost sheer yet supportive cotton and elastication so thin as to banish VPL. Only the French would care enough to study the male anatomy and engineer the appropriate support: Hom’s secret was to drop a light vertical seam from waistband at front, down to their unique strong horizontal seam between the legs. The result was the perfect pouch that felt like you were being cradled in a gentle human hand. Disastrously, when the American trunk invasion swept the market ten years ago, Hom lost their magnificent seam and the plot.
Thank you so much for all the wonderful background information sir!
“The result was the perfect pouch that felt like you were being cradled in a gentle human hand”
Sounds like every man’s underpant dream!
It was indeed, dear Miss P. Crossing one’s legs was never a hazard. I detail all of the above because I wrote to Hom in France long ago to remind them what an own goal they scored when new brooms decided to join the trunks race. Alas, no reply. Their horizontal seam was the equivalent of an RSJ to a builder.
The whole boxers v briefs debate for men comes down to the intimate details of nature’s grand design which many men would be unwilling to discuss with wife or pals. What’s more surprising is that few clothes designers truly seem to study or understand the structural engineering of their designs, despite the centuries civilisation has had to study a bias cut, for example.
Of course human bodies vary in detail like orchids, but why is it so rare for a designer to cut the perfect design to suit a wide range of people? Those who succeed have studied how awkwardly bodies behave. In men’s retail for example there were periods when, in turn, Daniel Hechter, Paul Smith, Boss, Canali and Zegna made stylish off-the-peg trousers that the average man (namely, me) could step straight into and feel flattered. I often gasped with surprise when this happened, it was such a relief. Then, in turn, they all lost it, usually by responding to the latest fashion. Same principles apply to shirts – here, Margaret Howell has never lost it.
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