If you're a guy, then your underwear is changing. After over a decade of work in the men's underwear industry, I'm watching as guys finally toss aside bland basics in favor of new styles. This newfound interest in undergarment experimentation is the result of increased options, growing awareness of those options, and the confidence with which men can spend hard-earned money in a resurging economy.
For large, popular brands like Calvin Klein and Jockey, this development has led to the introduction of high-tech products and new, colorful designs.
Bob Mazzoli, the chief creative officer of Calvin Klein Underwear, believes that men's underwear has moved beyond its traditional role as a "replacement commodity." It's now a medium for expression, an extension of the self and an essential component of a man's style.
Dustin Cohn, the chief marketing officer at Jockey, concurs. "Men now expect more from their underwear - and they should! We're constantly pumping new technological advancements... into the market."
Technological and design advancements were made possible in large part by the strengthening economy. In 2012, men's underwear sales went up 13 percent according to NPD Group. Compared to the dipping underwear sales at the beginning of the recession, that leap is considerable. When men have more money, they're willing to pay for high-performance pouches and stylish waistbands. The Calvin Klein Underwear Super Bowl ad and the David Beckham Bodywear for H&M collections show that brands are willing to fight hard for the spending power of eager consumers.
The top-selling brands tend to give credit to increased awareness rather than the economy. A guy who can learn about a new style online and buy the underwear instantly is more likely to experiment with different looks.
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