It may not come as a surprise that boxer shorts were originally created for, you guessed it, boxers. Jacob Golomb, founder of Everlast, designed the first version in 1925 - trunks designed with elastic bands which helped the fighters generate better footwork since the elastic band trunks felt more free. Previously the boxers had been wearing tights with leather belts that naturally counteracted free movement. For the boxers the choice was quite simple and the elastic band trunks easily beat out the competitor.
Clothing companies soon saw an opportunity and started to market a lighter version of the newly designed trunks as regular underwear. Despite the fact that boxer shorts were the true advancement of men’s underwear in the 20th century, they weren’t an instant success.
Boxers gain popularity
It wasn’t until the military issued them to the soldiers during World War II that boxers gained a wider popularity. The soldiers thought the fit with the airy structure was comfortable, not least because they allowed air to circulate in warmer temperatures. The fact that the soldiers kept their boxers after the war was instrumental to the general acceptance and is speculated to be the reason why boxer shorts have become a symbol of masculinity.
The commercial development
Designers all through the 70s and 80s seized the opportunity and changed the perception of men’s underwear. From formerly being a necessary utility item to being more of a fashion statement. The boxers were lowered by the waist and brands added designer logos which resulted in a broader acceptance of boxers as something you could be seen in. High-end fashion and clothing catalogs of the time prominently featured boxers.
But it was a Levi’s jeans commercial in 1985 that helped boxers hit their peak, when English model and musician Nick Kamen stripped in white boxers in a 1950s style “Launderette”.
Another well known face that featured in ads, wearing the classic white boxer shorts was actor Brad Pitt. His feature and a series of other boxer related ads led to record sales in the later parts of the 80s. All of a sudden the boxer shorts had an undeniably edgy and sexy appeal that were appreciated amongst the younger consumer.
Nick Kamen wearing white Sunspel boxers in the Levi's 1950s style “Launderette”.
Please the Swede
Up until this day the general man doesn't spend very much time deliberating the choice between slim briefs and boxers. They often stick with the preference that family and friends affected in the formative years. They also tend to keep up with the sex icon of the time.
Since we founded Please the Swede, partly because of the discovery that a majority of Swedish women prefer boxers to briefs - but mostly because of our passion for the most traditional underwear type - boxers have gained popularity. Our boxer shorts are made out of 100% combed cotton, have a hand-crafted inner waistband and a fit that is adapted to modern clothing fit. We design our boxers with the deepest respect to its long history.