Yeah! Time flies and this spring we are turning 5 years. From 2014 we have done our best to update and defend the boxer shorts as the genuine men´s underwear. We are immensely grateful for everyone who´s helped us get to this point, particularly to our clients and followers like you.
NEW LOGO & CAMPAIGN
Because “the times, they are a changing” we have developed a new more contemporary image for our brand. So we have designed a new and easy logo that will live with our original heritage one. That new image has been moved to our last advertising campaign. ‘Walk Your Shorts. Stylish Everywhere’.
Most of you know that Boxer Union was conceived in 2014 as a collective movement to advocate men’s underwear style claiming the boxer shorts as the most elegant garment to wear under your pants. Looking for a heritage atmosphere we got inspiration from old posters that American and British governments’ propaganda departments designed to get people aware of the importance of supporting the conflict. It is also an affectionate nod to our friends the time they say they will do the perfect propaganda for us.
Our mission was defending a modern classic that was devised in the first decades of 20th century and gained popularity after the II World War. So the time we were devising our 2019 collection we thought we could use one of the most important promotional tools of the last decades: the t-shirt. So we phoned our friends of ConspiracyStudio and asked for our first propaganda tee. They designed a 50s nice illustration with a boxer dog carrying a BU flag with the title ’Stay Classic’ that you should wear because two good reasons: it is cool and you take our message to the streets.
THE HISTORY OF THE BOXER SHORTS
From the Middle Ages to the first decade of 20th century most men wore tight-fitting linen under-trousers of varying lenght. Rather than having a fly front, they had a buttoned opening at the rear. From Victorian times into the first decades of new century, union suit was so popular in several countries. It was a kind of all-in-one flannel underwear usually wore by workers. Later men began wearing these jumpsuits that matched their shirts. Union suit was cut at the begining of 20th century so you could wear a top and the ‘long johns’ separately.
Boxer shorts trace their heritage back to the long woolen drawers worn by boxers in the nineteenth century. But it was when the heavyweight fighters Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons both abandoned traditional boxers’ tights in favor of shorter trunks, at the turn of the 20th century, that an icon was born.
Shaun Cole’s ‘The Story of Men’s Underwear ‘argues that the term boxer shorts was named after the heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey, who won the 1919 world title in a pair of long loose shorts. Shorts of similar cut, made of lightweight fabrics, were soon being produced as underwear.
Boxers gained popularity when they were issued to United States infantrymen for summer wear during World War I. Cotton boxer shorts with buttons to adjust waist. Soldiers found their baggy undershorts to be comfortable both because of their loose fit and because they allowed air to circulate in warmer temperatures. In 1925 Jacob Golomb, founder of boxing brand Everlast, began to tweak their leather trunks worn by pugilists opting for an elastic band. Modern boxer shorts was born at that moment.
THE MASCULINE BRIEF
Boxer shorts were later eclipsed in the late 1930s. Arthur Kneibler, a executive at Coopers, Inc, received a telegram from a close friend in France and the picture on the front of the postcard was a man wearing a small bikini-style swim suit. He then created the first underpants denuded of any legs and featuring a Y-shaped opening. He would eventually name ‘Jockey shorts’ because of the similar support that an athletic cup offered.
US army wore a military issued olive drab boxer style short in World War II. That color was chosen for camouflage purposes, especially important on the occasions when the shorts were drying on make shift clotheslines throughout the battlefronts. The decisive push for mainstream acceptance of the boxer shorts started at the end of WWII, when soldiers returning home began incorporating them into their casual wardrobe.
In the 50s shirts designs landed in boxer shorts collections. It started with simple geometric shapes like vertical stripes and simple squares. While the basic shorts and boxers were still the standard, the creativity of their over-all print patterns was unlimited.
BOXER SHORTS VS BRIEFS
Boxer shorts and briefs had varying ratios of sales for the following years, with strong regional and generational preferences. Furthermore, studies have suggested that tight underwear and high temperature are not optimally conductive for sperm production. Boxer fans say it is natural to hang free, allowing air to circulate.
The 70s was a decade dominated by brief because tight trousers but the battle lines were redrawn in 1985 when english model and musician Nick Kamen sat in that 50s style launderette wearing crisp, cotton shorts for a Levi´s commercial. Same decade, a company named Joe Boxer began to introduce funny and comedic underwear in US. Joe Boxer really jumped into the spotlight when it made boxers printed with the image of hundred-dollar bills and the Secret Service decided that these duds violated forgery laws and confiscated 1,000 units.
Designer brands like Calvin Klein or Paul Smith introduced men’s underwear line too and turned the perception of men’s underwear to one of a fashionable item. Finally first 90s brought the introduction of a new style, the boxer brief, that has been increasing their market share in the last years.
MARK WAHLBERT IS FLETCHER
Ridley Scott’s last movie ‘All the Money in the World’ (2018) is a kidnap thriller adapted from 1995 book ‘Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty’. This true-life tale is set primarily in the summer of 1973, when a Roman crime syndicate snatched 16-year-old John Paul Getty III asking for 17 million dolars, not realizing that the boy’s wealthy industrialist grandfather had a hardline policy of not negotiating with kidnappers.
Paul’s grandfather was a single-minded billionaire, who had spent his life accruing an oil fortune. He lived an isolated life in his English manor house and had grown paranoid about his own safety, hiring a private security team. However, he assigns one of his most trusted advisors, former CIA spy Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg), to bring Paul home.
Mark Wahlberg began his career as fashion model in 1990s. Most of us remember him in Calvin Klein firsts underwear advertisings wearing a boxer briefs. 30 years later, Wahlberg is characterized with that 70s look wearing 3 piece suits and big acetate glasses that brings us to Gucci o YSL first golden years. In one scene, Wahlberg resorts to doing some press-ups on light blue boxer shorts and white t-shirts showing us this style within too. Our boxers model Fletcher takes his name from this character. This pattern gets a subtle camouflage you can find in two colors: sky blue and coral.
ED HARRIS IS POLLOCK
Ed Harris fulfiled his long-held dream in 2000 when he released ‘Pollock’, a film about American painter Jackson Pollock. The actor and for first time director had read the book biography and put all the effort into taking artist´s life to cinema.
For nearly all of the 20th century Greenwich Village (NYC) was a central location for artists from around the world. As the 1940s turned into the 1950s, the Village hit its most active time, as musicians, poets, and especially visual artists began to flock there. Nearly all of the Abstract Expressionists, including Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko lived in the neighborhood. In the late 1960s Andy Warhol increased the publicity of this already popular area.
We really love the atmosphere of those decaces when artists lived and painted in those brick and industrial buildings. Several fashion brands like Ralph Lauren have replicated those locations in their advertising campaigns to enhace the purest american look. We are launching a new boxer style playing with a pattern made of colour paint strokes that recreates the work clothes of the painters at their studios.
TEE’S SUCCESS MAIN CULPRITS (THE HISTORY OF T-SHIRT)
Tee shirt was concieved at the begining of 20th century as an evolution of the ‘union suit’, a kind of all-in-one underwear usually wore by workers. It was cut in two so you could wear a top and the ‘long johns’ separately. The time bottoms were removed and sleeves shortened T-shirts gained their name because they look like the letter “T” when laid flat.
But who were the main culprits of its success…?
1) US NAVY
As slip-on garments without buttons, the earliest t-shirt dates back to sometime between the 1898 Spanish – American War and 1913, when the U.S. Navy began issuing them as undergarments. These were a crew-necked, short-sleeved, white cotton undershirt to be worn under a uniform.
Their purpose was to absorb sweat primarily, but also they were used as a second layer that the marines could get dirty, to preserve the cleanliness of their uniforms.
The name ‘crew neck’ comes from the boatmen that manages and operates a ship. The style was later adopted by stevedores and miners, as it provided a convenient covering in hot environments.
2) AMERICAN FOOTBALL
In 1932 University of South California asked Jockey International Inc.to develop a lightweight, absorbent garment its football players could wear underneath their jerseys to prevent their pads from rubbing and chafing. The resulting style t-shirt was a huge hit with the team and it wasn’t long before students began popularly wearing them.
Sports teams and other institutions were quick to adopt the white crew tee in the same way as the Navy did. By the 1940s, tees had become ubiquitous in high schools and students sometimes customized them with sew-on patches and fringe.
3) WWII VETERANS
The decisive push for mainstream acceptance of the t-shirt as an outer garment started at the end of WWII, when soldiers returning home began incorporating them into their casual wardrobe. Veterans continued to wear pants, undershirts or RayBan sunglasses and a new trend began to emerge. The white crew tee was born into everyday society and it wasn’t just being used only as an undershirt anymore.
4) 50s MOVIES
Celebrities such as Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis helped to popularize the use of t-shirts as outerwear. Many actors showcased t-shirts in films and close fit shirts were heralded as sexy, masculine must-have.
Thanks to films like ‘A Street car Named Desire’, ‘The Wild One’ or ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ t-shirt finally achieved status as fashionable, stand-alone, outerwear garments.
OUR CREW T-SHIRT
Almost 5 year after been founded, Boxer Union launches its first t-shirt in the collection. Our crew slim fit tee has been designed in a way you can wear under or outerwer, just choosing between your normal size or a bigger one if you prefer a casual look. It has been manufactured in Portugal with the best 100% cotton in white and grey melagne.