Saturday, July 16, 2016

Andrew Christian Air Brief

Now that we’re well into summer, it’d be a great time to discuss a recent item from Andrew Christian, one of the companies that offer the biggest pouches. The Air Brief is a mesh brief composed of 90% polyamide and 10% spandex. The colorful waistband has something of a retro vibe, but the simple black and blue colors on all of the material beneath give what is for an Andrew Christian item a rather understated appeal. All in all, it is a good and practical item worthy of the Andrew Christian label. 

Materials and construction: The pouch is similar to what Andrew Christian uses in their Almost Naked line: Considerably bigger than most underwear, but not as big as the Trophy Boy line. The elastic in the waistband is not very taut, but seems firmer around the leg holes. The polyamide/spandex blend is stretchy, but not quite as stretchy as the modal fabrics the company usually uses. Overall, it’s a design that’s pretty well oriented for athletics. There’s a tag in the back, and tagless designs are always preferred, especially for underwear that’s geared towards athletics. As a bonus, the mesh material dries very fast, although the waistband retains water as long as most underwear does. 6/10 

Comfort and usability: Being used to the biggest pouches that Andrew Christian offers, the Trophy Boy pouches, I was a little underwhelmed by the pouch in this pair, although it is by no means small. I managed to compensate by wearing the underwear a little lower than I usually do, which was manageable and comfortable due to the relatively slack waistband. Support is great, and with the strong leg holes, I found this pair great for athletic sessions and time outdoors in the summer heat, but for the longer periods, I still find the Trophy Boy offerings ideal. 7/10 

Aesthetics: If you like the feel of Andrew Christian but not the eccentric styling, this might be what you’re looking for. The colors and patterns work together well, and there’s a bit of an old 80’s retro vibe to it. Still, I find this one a bit uninteresting visually, which is something that can’t usually be said about Andrew Christian items. 5/10

Overall rating: 6/10

Big enough? You could find bigger pouches, but I find it appropriate for trips to the gym and summer walks. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Icebreaker Anatomica Briefs

Icebreaker is a company from New Zealand that produces outdoor and athletic clothing. The Anatomica Briefs represent their effort at making men’s underwear with their signature merino wool, which is marketed as a versatile, lightweight fabric. The overall design stresses innovation, but as I emphasize below, the ambitions far outstrip the results. 

Materials and construction: The Anatomica Briefs are 96% merino wool and 4% lycra. The alleged sweat-wicking quality of the fabric is legitimate, and it does breathe better than I expected from wool. On the other hand, this material is somewhat lacking in flexibility and thoroughly lacking in softness. The pouch is interesting: Supported by an diagonal, asymmetric seam, it is unlike anything I’ve seen before. However, given the lack of stretchiness in the material, the pouch should be much bigger than it is. The worst design flaw is a very long tag attached to the seam on the inner left side, which must be repeatedly tucked back into place when it comes out of the leg hole. I give some credit for innovation, but the full package is not ultimately a good design. 3/10 

Comfort and usability: The material felt scratchy and unpleasant. The small pouch and rigid material made it much too constricting, so I had to rearrange myself numerous times throughout the day for it to stay tolerable. The sweat-wicking qualities of this brief would point to an athletic function, but I couldn’t figure out any way to make it comfortable enough to wear in any situation. 2/10

Aesthetics: This is the area where this item does the best. The grey stripes, the excellent stitching, and the diagonal seam across the pouch all contribute to a unique, impressive and understated look. 7/10

Overall rating: 4/10

Big enough? No.

Too Tight to Review 2: Lacoste Pique Brief

The “Too Tight To Review” series covers the pairs of underwear I’ve tried on that I couldn’t wear long enough to give a fair review. If I can’t keep a pair on for at least the length of the day, I’ll leave a few brief thoughts rather than a full review.


Lacoste is a French clothing company best known for their polo shirts. I’ve had good experiences with the Lacoste clothing I’ve picked up, so I decided to give the Lacoste Pique Brief a try. The item in question has a pretty basic design, made with the same material used in their famous polo shirts. The mix of visual textures and patterns, especially on the waistband’s logo, looks good. The material has the benefit of good breathability, and doesn’t feel bad on the skin. On the other hand, the material is not especially stretchy, and it has a double layer in pouch region, which makes it quite inflexible and uncomfortable. A fairly large tag sewn into the left side is another questionable design choice that decreases comfort. I couldn’t wear these for more than an hour before I started to feel pain in my groin. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Obviously Essence AnatoFREE Hipster Trunk

Obviously is an Australian underwear company that makes high quality underwear and undershirts for men. As I’ve stated before, they make some of the best underwear for men looking for larger pouches. I’ve reviewed one of their briefs products before, and I discuss one of their trunks products in this review.
The Essence Collection is a premium collection whose material (90% Micro Modal, 10% Lycra) is the main distinguishing feature from the basics range. The other differences, discussed below, are relatively small from the trunks their other ranges.

Materials and construction: The micro modal/lycra blend is a little thicker than the bamboo rayon/lycra blend found in the Basics Collection. The waistband is better constructed, and seems to keep its shape after multiple washings. There’s very little elastic around the leg holes, which makes them move around uncomfortably, although the position on the waist stayed in place. Unlike the briefs that Obviously makes, the AnatoFREE pouch in the boxer briefs and trunks is attached by a horseshoe-shaped seam that attaches it to the waistband. This provides more support and lift, but also reduces the effective amount of space in the pouch by narrowing it horizontally. People who have no preference between briefs and boxer briefs/trunks and are just looking for the biggest pouch available should choose the briefs. The tagless design is always a bonus. 7/10

Comfort and usability: There is little elastic in the leg holes, so these ride up incessantly. (In this respect, the boxer briefs that Obviously makes are much better than the trunks.) Since the pouch lifts the package up, I had to do some quick adjustment whenever I put these on or pulled them up. The material is especially soft and silky, but can be a bit warm on summer days. It’s stretchy enough for the pouch to be an acceptable size. 5/10

Aesthetics: The Essence Collection is an improvement on their basics collection. The graphite color contrasted well with the black waistband, and the blue logo is very detailed. I think they nailed the understated-but-slick aesthetic they go for. 7/10

Overall rating: 6/10

Big enough? Yes, the stretchiness makes the pouch big enough.