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What lies beneath? Thoughts on men’s underpants

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This article consists of a number of thoughts about and meditations on men’s underpants. Beginning with a ‘day in the life’ of a standard pair of underpants, it moves on to explore some of the specific characteristics that accompany the wearing of this particular garment. There follows a consideration of the role played by underpants in the creation of male characters for screen and television. A brief look at Homer Simpson’s Y-fronts is followed by the examination of a crucial moment in the history of Australian undergarments, namely the move from wool to cotton as the chief material of their manufacture. After an exploration of the humour that is often associated with men’s underpants the article finishes with a series of recollections that show how undergarments can be folded into the most intimate of memories.

Keywords: advertisements; eroticism; humour; intimacy; men’s underpants; wearing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Sydney 2: University of Western Sydney

Publication date: March 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Critical Studies in Men's Fashion examines the multi-faceted dimensions of men's appearance. It uses the holistic definition of dress as a means of examining the tangible and intangible aspects of creating and maintaining appearance. This journal is the first to exclusively focus on men's dress and topics of gender, identity, sexuality, culture, marketing and business will be discussed. Men's dress and fashion have been side-lined in scholarship, and this journal provides a dedicated space for the discussion, analysis, and theoretical development of men's appearance from multiple disciplines. All articles are blind-peer reviewed in order to maintain the highest standards of scholastic integrity. Theoretical and empirical scholarship in the form of original articles, manuscripts, research reports, pedagogy, and media reviews are welcome.
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