That is the question (apologies to Shakespeare)! As design lead at Body Aware, I hear many opinions on pouches in men's underwear. For example, should underwear have a pouch emphasizing the goods, or should it follow convention and rely on fabric to hold and flatten? Or somewhere in between?
Body Aware was founded in the UK in the late 1980s when there was little choice in underwear besides “tighty whiteys” or “Y-fronts”. You could select any colour as long as it was white and any fabric as long as it was cotton jersey. So we set up a sewing factory and introduced a seamed pouch concept, new materials, and colors into a small but growing range of pieces. Many British men loved the chance to free themselves from boring and ugly underwear, resulting in our decision to expand the company to the USA. We wanted to challenge American men to give up their striped cotton boxers and wear something sexy in the underwear department that would turn their partners on rather than turn them off!
Today, Body Aware sells its pouch-enhancing underwear for men worldwide, and we feel pretty proud that we did our bit to alter the course of men’s underwear. Currently, there are dozens of companies employing these concepts we introduced 30+ years ago, but we still strive to be leaders in underwear fashion, quality, and innovation.
The pouch is the heart of men’s underwear and can be styled in many ways. Pouch shaping is generally accomplished with a center vertical seam. However, most mass-market underwear brands incorporate minimal curvature to the seam, or else just use a small dart at the base of the pouch area. This creates a little room in the front, but nothing too substantial, causing the pouch to flatten and hold everything close against the body.
At Body Aware, we are not constrained by the conventional view that men should hide or minimize their endowments. Just as women celebrate their breasts with bras that lift and separate, we do the same for men in the underwear department. We believe men should be “body aware” and have the option to wear pouch briefs that show off their best assets.
Our design process develops the shape for a new style using professional pattern-making software. Next, from the selected fabrics, we cut out the pattern, and sew a rough sample to test the overall concept. Initially, this is done on an anatomically correct mannequin. Next, an accurate sample set is produced and tested on fit models as the pattern is modified and perfected, often over 3 or 4 iterations. Finally, if the underwear passes our comfort, fit, and aesthetics standards, the fabric is ordered and dyed, and production commences.
Underwear development in the early stages.
Another popular silhouette is called the drop pouch, which pushes everything downwards and out, giving the appearance of longer goods. Some designs incorporate an inner shelf in the pouch to push out balls with or without elastic, similar to a cock ring. Some pouches have lower pouch space within the pouch, often called ball hammock underwear. In addition, we can incorporate a butt curved seam to accentuate the cheeks.
Examples of our excellent pouches.
Our pouch underwear shapes are incorporated in many of our designs, from thongs to boxer briefs. Even our ever-popular swimwear includes great pouch designs, which will get the self-assured guy noticed on the beach.
But when is a pouch not necessary? If a fabric has an excellent 4-way stretch, a plain bikini-style brief works well for those who prefer good support and everything held close against the body. For example, this may be the preferred fit for running or other athletics.
As a designer, I enjoy the challenge of making underwear for our male customers and their partners to give the extra confidence that comes from knowing they are wearing underwear that makes them feel and look good, and dare I say sexy?
For our marketing department, pouch underwear that emphasizes the male anatomy does present some extra challenges in advertising. Social media, shopping channels, and even Amazon routinely reject advertisements that show even a hint of the male bulge in any underwear photo. Of course, double standards exist in advertising men’s versus women’s intimates, but that is a subject for another day!
So what do you look for in underwear, specifically concerning the pouch shape? Do you prefer a pouch where everything dangles free, a pouch that flattens, or an engineered pouch that pushes everything forward? Would you like to see an extra-large pouch range for those lucky enough to be above average down there?
We love to hear from our customers, so please share your thoughts and suggestions below!
David, Body Aware Design Labs