I think it stands up to reason that recent years have been revolutionary in providing new designs and possibilities in underwear for men. Not too long ago you had to venture far off the beaten path to find more than just the basic boxers or briefs. Today thongs are commonplace and becoming more and more widely accepted for both gay and straight men, and microfiber fabrics have created entirely new palettes and options for all kinds of underwear designs.
Within this new mix of options is lace. While undoubtedly lace is becoming more common for men, it still seems to be cutting edge. What is it about lace? How did a fabric become gender-specific? And so charged with meaning? And why suddenly are men interested in wearing lace? Or have we been wearing it all along and just keeping it hidden?
A friend of mine, an artist, liked to add lace motifs to her paintings. When she spoke about her work, her fascination with lace stemmed from its complex contradiction; lace is both virginal and seductive, part of a white wedding dress and some of the sexiest lingerie. This has always been part of the attraction of lace for women, and I think provides some indication as to why men are interested in openly wearing it today.
I am really interested in how much more common lace is becoming for men. I do have lace undies in my drawer, and will probably be adding some soon (Body Aware has some great lace designs, I hope to see these continue and develop as part of their line!). I like that wearing lace feels a little edgy and yet also delicate. It’s the idea of lace that adds the edge – feeling a little transgressive beneath your jeans – and yet the light and delicate fabric is a great feeling against your skin. Recent years have seen a broad acceptance in new understandings of gender, beyond just traditional binary conceptions, and I do think this has something to do with men wearing lace. I personally feel proud to accept the feminine side of identity and gender self-conception.
What do you all think? Do any of you wear lace? What do you like about it?