Brief Encounters of the Frilly Kind

Brief Encounters of the Frilly Kind

For many years my team and I have had the privilege of designing men’s lingerie for our hundreds of thousands of XDress customers across the world. 

Convention says that men should be limited in their underwear choices to wear rather basic and sometimes unattractive men’s underwear.  We typically see two or three lengths of boxer briefs and maybe a plain brief in cotton or modal.  There are several colors available, albeit mostly rather dull “masculine” shades of black, white, gray, and navy. 



When we look at what’s on offer in the women’s collections, there is an incredible choice in colors, styles and fabrics. How did this disparity come about, and why are the companies who branch out into making attractive men’s underwear (both masculine and feminine styling) relatively small in comparison to the mass market companies? Is it simply because men are not supposed to be interested in fashion, especially not underwear, as it’s not a “masculine” preoccupation? This is a question that often comes up in discussions with our customers.

 I have a theory that investment money tends to bet on what it believes is a sure thing. When boxer briefs were first introduced by small companies like Body Aware and several others maybe 20 years ago, they turned out to be quite popular. Compared to the old woven boxers or saggy white cotton briefs, these were quite sleek and form fitting, a revolution in men’s underwear at the time.  As larger companies saw this trend, they moved into the market and this style has become ubiquitous, added to by agile e-commerce companies quickly dominating the market in more recent years via several rounds of venture capital funding. Tommy John is a prime example. So the bet on boxer briefs appears to have worked out.  Maybe I will be proved wrong, perhaps there are venture capital investors looking for more interesting and poorly served markets?



When a style for men becomes the norm it seems to take a long time for a change, compared to women’s fashions that change from year to year or even season to season. I always think back to how men’s athletic shorts were always very short back for several decades up until the 1980’s, but gradually the fashion became for shorts to be much longer and looser fitting, and this has now been the standard silhouette for men’s shorts for over 20 years.

But why does the investment money stick to this one path, and not consider that maybe there is a significant market for men who would like more variety in their underwear choices?  Having researched other brands in this space, the only small company I could find that has been successful in raising venture capital is, and I recommend you read their interesting story.



So that brings us back to XDress. We have no outside investment but are lucky that with the support of our customers and great staff, Kristina and I are still running a successful family business. We are continuing our mission to make attractive underwear well beyond the boxer brief.  It is a greatly rewarding experience, when we hear that our products are bringing joy to men and their partners.  Customers tell us there is nothing quite like anticipating and then receiving an order of pretty panties in the mail, unwrapping them and trying them on – and the best of all – they not only look good, they actually fit!

As XDress enters its fourth decade, I would love to hear from you, our readers and customers, which direction you would like  XDress to expand into, or maybe what you would like to see XDress design next, not just limited to men’s lingerie. Tell us what fabrics and colors you love, including past designs that you would like to see revived.  Would you like to see more outerwear or activewear?  Let your imagination run wild and leave the rest to us!


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I love all things sating. My wife and I would definitely love to see Xdress make more outerwear like longer skirts for going out in and definitely active wear. Wish you would bring back the one piece swimsuit!! Keep up the fantastic work!!


Hi David. XDress is such a wonderful story – thank you for your years of hard work. I would live it if XDress could offer more plain cotton panties. Everyday comfortable knickers with feminine prints and details. Whatever you choose to do, I am sure you will do it with the dedication and care you always have.


I have to echo previous responses about larger sizes. I would love to try some of your offerings but fall just outside of the size offerings.


I would love to see active wear. Specifically underwear made for working out, running, weight lighting, cross fit etc. maybe sport bra style bras, bras that are front open/closing for those of us who are not flexible enough to reach behind us or too big/wide to secure the bra. Panties and thongs made for intense workouts but also don’t soak up sweat. Maybe even mens leggings where there is a pouch style in the front to accommodate male anatomy but have the lines and fabric of women’s leggings, or even scrunch butt style in the back. I’ve always wished a company would design mens leggings and workout shorts in style and functionality to those of women but obviously designed for men with room for male anatomy and not just one seam down the front. Almost like mens pouch underwear or briefs or boxer briefs but are full of 3/4 length for leggings. And similar design for short shorts which a scrunch style back and only one seam that goes up the center of the glutes and not a foot ball style men’s compression pants or shorts. Hopefully that makes sense. Also I am very basic I do love the frills and thrills of everything you make, I wish there is more of a select of basic underwear (like the organic style you use to sell) for more everyday use vs something I’d wear for special occasions if that makes sense.

Editor’s note: We have the leggings and shorts you mention on our companion site here –


I would love to purchase lingerie from you, but I’m obese (56 chest/48 waist) and you don’t go that big. Any chance you could consider leather sizes?


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