Gendered Clothing – The Boxer Brief

Lingerie and undergarments have varied drastically over the last 100 years. What interests me is underwear of the last few decades. Men’s boxer briefs are designed to be comfortable, to support and protect, and to fit snugly underneath typical male clothing.


The difference between womens’ lingerie is drastic. Many bras and knickers are designed for the aesthetics, not comfort. Underwires dig into breast tissue, power mesh panels at the back of bras cut in and create a ‘muffin top’ effect, and knickers are often designed with too narrow, or too low a gusset – leaving specific places to be rubbed the very wrong way.


The question I’d like to pose is – ‘Why do so few women wear men’s boxers?’

One of the main answers is of course the societal view, they are a masculine item. Another being a question of ‘Visible Panty Line’.

Ranges of womens’ boxers, created by the brand Foxers, have experimented with creating shapes similar to boxer briefs, but adding a feminine edge by using stretch lace all-over, or lace trims. As much as I appreciate the effort, these styles still look considerably uncomfortable. If a gusset were introduced to the typical shape of boxer briefs, I believe they would sell very well, and would save many women from an uncomfortable fate of the ever-dreaded front wedgie.

Women are expected to squeeze themselves into garments designed to restrict, smooth, flatten the stomach and push the bosom so far up the chest it looks like implants, which makes me wonder, how much have we changed in our use of undergarments since the Victorian or Edwardian style, 100 years ago?


Fig1. – Dark red RI boxer shorts pack – boxers / briefs – underwear / socks – men. 2014. Dark red RI boxer shorts pack – boxers / briefs – underwear / socks – men. [ONLINE] Available at:–socks/boxers–briefs/Dark-red-RI-boxer-shorts-pack-280818. [Accessed 10 December 2014].

Fig2. – FOXERS – Boxer Brief. 2014. FOXERS – Boxer Brief. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 10 December 2014].

Fig3. – FOXERS – Bridal Lace Boxers. 2014. FOXERS – Bridal Lace Boxers. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 10 December 2014].

Gendered Clothing – The Boxer Brief

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