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'Accentuate the positive' in these new drawers
By Greg Morago
Tucked into a recent New York Times story about the popularity of men's shapewear (slimming T-shirts that cinch in love handles and moobs) was the briefest mention of the hot new frontier of men's undergarments: "profile-enhancing underwear."
Apparently, the popularity of men's shapewear has also given rise to the hush-hush business of undergarments that literally put the family jewels front and center. Think of them as trunks for your junk. Or, as Michael Kleinmann, president of Freshpair (Freshpair.com), an online underwear retailer for both sexes, says: "the equivalent of a push-up bra" for men.
On the company's website there are men's underwear categories for butt shapers, chest shapers, tummy shapers, waist shapers and the new growth segment: "package enhancers." Manufacturers including Andrew Christian, BumGear, Joe Snyder, Gregg Homme and Calvin Klein are among the 10 brands that supply Freshpair with undies designed to make a man look more outie where it counts.
"Everything that's normally hanging down gets lifted up," is how Kleinmann describes the profile-enhancing underwear. The constructions could feature padding, special pouches or elastic bands called "sling supports" that help create a look of more generous endowment.
Who's buying these drawers? Perhaps some of the same peacocks who are snatching up the new Spanx for men. Retailers are reporting strong sales of male shapewear from Spanx, Equmen, Sculptees and Ript Fusion.
Kleinmann said that shapewear is now considered mainstream; soon profile-enhancing underwear will be, too. The success of cult brands such as 2xist and Andrew Christian are making it perfectly fine for men to flaunt, and even augment, their packages. (Irony: some shapewear diminishes bulges and some shapewear enhances bulges.)
But there's a very simple reason why this underwear is selling so briskly: "Because everyone wants to look better," Kleinmann said. "Women have had all sorts of shapewear for a long time. And men want the same thing. People want to feel sexy in their underwear. They want to feel good. If they look good, they feel good. Even if you don't really care about your underwear, you still want to feel good in it."
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