International Jock

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to Look Good Naked (TV Show Clip)

<a href="">LinkedTube</a>
Here's a fun clip from a UK TV show called "How to Look Good Naked". In this segment they discuss men's underwear and how one can update their underwear to be more sexy and functional. The men profiled also make for some good eye candy. A lot of the undies featured can be found at Dead Good Undies.

All Full of Piss & Vinegar - New Brand

Today we bring you a new brand, Piss & Vinegar. The brand is a take off on the expression "full of piss and vinegar"; the brand is all about following your passion. Piss and Vinegar is the brain child of Jason Sutherland, the man who brought you Ginch Gonch in 2003 (the brand has since been sold). And he's back again to bring you more "fun-derwear".

Piss & Vinegar is more grown-up than Sutherland's past creations. The underlying message is to encourage guys to live life to its fullest and appreciate all that it has to offer. The idea is to "grab life by the balls".

The first collection that they will introduce is the "I Love..." collection which includes the "I Love Jesus" design (shown above) and the "I love girls" and "I love boys" (shown below) designs. In the words of Sutherland, "When living life with Piss & Vinegar, it doesn't matter who you love, only that you love with everything you've got."

Designs will be available at major department stores, select independent retailers, and online in briefs, boxer briefs, low-rise briefs, and jockstraps. Stay tuned for more info on this hot new brand.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Electric! - A Review

Mid-priced underwear is dominated by names associated with ubiquitous American designers: Polo/Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, and Donna Karan New York (DKNY). A stroll into mid to high end department stores will yield aisles of socks, T’s, boxers, briefs, and even boxer briefs from these venerable design houses. One such dalliance through a store’s underwear aisle yielded the “electric” hip brief by DKNY.

Donna Karan’s design house is the essence of New York city. Her designs are inspired by it: the architectural forms, its chic sense of style, and the go-go lifestyle of a city that never sleeps. I would describe DKNY’s overall design aesthetic as modern and minimalist. There’s a “safe” aspect to the brand, one that appeals more to the mass market but doesn’t do enough to differentiate it from peers. While my own personal tastes have evolved to include the more off-beat labels, it’s not lost upon me that a sizable portion of the male population gravitates toward the aforementioned brands when they go shopping for their underwear.

If you’re like me, you impulsively go through the underwear aisle of stores that sell it to see if they have any good sales. On a lark, I dropped into “the Basement” (Filene’s Basement) a couple of weeks ago in the Loop and saw a pair of blue “electric” hip briefs by DKNY that were marked down. I knew I didn’t own any of those so I asked myself “why not?” and picked them up on my way out.

So what happened? The answer: you guys get a review.

They’re not revolutionary in any way, design or construction—just a pair of briefs with a designer label. At least they’re masculine, though.

The blue is moderately saturated and is not dissimilar to royal blue. A soft, pewter colored waistband, measuring about four centimeters, crowns the brief. The company’s word mark defaces the front of the garment in bold, yellow letters. I guess that’s a nod to the name of the style. A close inspection of the garment revealed it to be well made with clean seams and no loose threads or pulls anywhere.

In terms of fabric, the brief is about 48% cotton and 52% soft man made material (modal and lyrca). I’m a natural fiber kind of guy, and when you get below a certain percentage of cotton, the material starts feeling synthetic. These briefs are no exception. You won’t ever mistake these for being all or close to all cotton briefs. I do understand that synthetics make colors more vibrant, but for me, the blue isn’t vibrant enough to warrant a trade-off for less cotton.

I will say that they are comfortable. I put them on to go to work in and I haven’t had to pull or adjust the briefs. They stayed put and felt good and dependable, like the one good friend that won’t let your plants die when you’re on vacation. One super annoying thing is that the briefs aren’t as brief as they seem on the picture on the box. That always makes me monkey crazy when something isn’t like it appeared in a picture. The picture on the box makes it seem like the garment is much more low-rise, perhaps like the low-rise cut of 2xist or C-in2 brief. It is, in fact, much fuller cut than the picture would suggest. They fit true to size.

And talk about ubiquitous! You can get these at many different stores and sites that sell undies, but I’d highly recommend International Jock because the way they look on the model is the most accurate representation of how they really fit. (Plus, you get to check out all of the other spectacular pictures on the site).

Would I suggest the brief? Well, it depends. If you’re currently rockin’ the CKs (the original tighty whitie style), sure. It’s a great lateral step that will let you branch out and experiment a little bit. If you’re looking for a true low rise brief, I probably wouldn’t recommend it.

OVERALL, I give the DKNY “electric” brief a score of 6.6 based on the following criteria:

COOL FACTOR -- 5 (out of 10) – masculine, but not unique
WEARABILITY -- 7 (out of 10) – good in between coverage; not too skimpy, not too full. The material was a little too synthetic feeling for me.
QUALITY -- 8 (out of 10) - very well made garment with great attention to detail
HOTNESS -- 6 (out of 10) – the word mark in yellow is an attention getter, but the blue is a little subdued
VALUE -- 7 (out of 10) – a little more costly then CKs, which I consider a similar brand in terms of aesthetic and exclusivity
********** 6.6

Friday, October 23, 2009

Key Largo Reviewed

Today I'd like to introduce you to a new brand of underwear called Key Largo. Key Largo prides itself in being the first underwear brand designed for Baby Boomer men and women. The styles are full cut and conservative and are all about the comfort. Their goal is to provide quality full-coverage, comfortable underwear at a reasonable price. Key Largo for men comes in three styles: a low-rise brief, a mid-cut brief, and a boxerbrief. All styles come in black, white, and heather gray and are sized small - xx-large. Key Largo is the brainchild of Lea Holder; you can read her blog about the industry here.

Today I'm going to review the mid-rise brief. My sample was in black. I have to start off by saying that I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a Baby Boomer and therefore am not really part of Kay Largo's target market. That said, I still really like these undies and can appreciate their comfort and coverage even though they are not what I normally would wear.

Key Largo really is all about the comfort, that's the first thing I notice when I put these things on - they're incredibly comfortable and oh-so-soft. You really can't argue with that. There's no tag in the back to cause itching and irritation and the waistband is covered to provide optimal comfort. The 100% cotton brief feels like it has been washed a hundred times (in a good way) right out of the box. I don't know if I've ever experienced the likes of it before.

In terms of fit, the mid-rise is much higher than I am accustomed to wearing. Today when I pulled on my pants as high as they would go (low-rise jeans), I still had about an inch of the brief showing above the pants (I suppose I could've switched to a different pair of pants). That said, the rise is probably just fine for the target audience who most likely will be wearing higher rise pants than I wear. When I first looked at these briefs I felt like there was a ton of fabric and that there was no way these would fit me without being baggy, but I was wrong. They fit like a charm. Even around the legs, where I often experience gaping, was snug in a comfortable way that still allows for movement (although they did stretch out a bit during the day). Another great feature of these briefs is that they have a functional fly on the front that... wait for it... actually functions! This is an anomaly among briefs where even though there is often a functional fly it really is too cumbersome to bother using. This fly actually easily opens without being too constrictive but also pops back into place when you're done using it. I was quite impressed.

These briefs will not be winning any style awards. But then again, they aren't trying to. They are a very basic, classic brief that does the job. They are unpretentious with a simple off-set logo label in the front. They are well priced at $12 a piece and promise to keep you in comfort for years to come. So in short, Key Largo accomplished their goals of making quality, comfortable, affordable underwear with full coverage.


Overall, I give the Key Largo Mid-Rise Briefs a total score of 8.8 based on the following criteria:
FIT -- 8 (out of 10) - they do loosen up a bit during the day
COMFORT -- 10 (out of 10) - really can't be beat
STYLE -- 7 (out of 10) - there really isn't too much style, they are just simple and basic
QUALITY -- 10 (out of 10)
VALUE -- 9 (out of 10)

********** 8.8

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

International Jock's Annual Halloween Giveaway is Back!

International Jock's biggest, most exciting and most popular event of the year is happening NOW. They're giving away men's underwear, men's swimwear, jockstraps, t-shirts, wrestling singlets, men's boxers and more with every order placed from now until Halloween. It's International Jock's way of thanking their customers and celebrating one of the world's most popular holidays.

Throughout the year, IJ hangs on to one-of-a-kind manufacturer's samples, overstocked items, discontinued items, items received for photo shoots and more and then gives them away with every order placed during the Halloween season.

Just place an order of any size for any items and International Jock will include a Halloween Trick or Treat item with your order ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Ball Lifter from WildmanT

As a special for Halloween WildmanT will be selling pumpkin colored (orange and black) ball lifters for only $10! That's a great deal since they're normally $17 a piece. These things are sure to do the trick for your package; they'll be a treat!

Friday, October 16, 2009

International Jock Offers 20% off

International Jock is offering a special discount code to the readers of their favorite blogs and websites, that's you! Just enter the code BLOG20 during checkout and receive 20% OFF on your order. Chose anything from International Jock's huge selection of mens underwear and swimwear that includes briefs, trunks, t-shirts, jockstraps, tank tops and more.

And, just in case you're wondering, depicted here is International Jock's newest model, Tyler Lough, another handsome addition to their long tradition of photographing the hottest models in the business.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Great Expectations - A Review

I bet you guys can relate to this feeling: you have exceedingly high expectations for something and then when you get it; it’s either meh or worse, a total letdown.

For example, remember the Fashion Show on Bravo like two months ago? It was supposed to be a replacement for Project Runway, since PR bolted for movie of the week lady television (aka, Lifetime). In place of the venerable Tim Gunn, FS gave us Isaac Mizrahi. In place of Hedi, we got Kelly Rowland (can somebody explain to me what makes her a fashion expert?). Despite the suspect casting, I was super psyched for it. And then, on the first episode to discover that undie design wunderkind Andrew Christian was on the show, well that was the cherry on top of the sundae.

But then I watched the show and compared it to Project Runway, I was like; Fashion Show is kind of a hot mess. There were reasons to set your expectations high before a single episode even aired. It was on Bravo, and Bravo is a brand that usually produces really great shows with good production value, like Top Chef. Everything about Fashion Show felt cheap, cheap, cheap. I felt somewhat betrayed.

Enter the D&G Combat Slip Brando Brief.

D&G is part of the Dolce & Gabbana brand family. Dolce and Gabbana is an omnipresent Italian design house known for its modern, luxurious designs with a classic feel. The D&G label debuted in 1994 offering a urban and youthful label in the brand family. D&G garments are usually at a lower price point than the parent brand though it is still definitely designer clothing and priced as such.

This is where expectations start to set in. D&G is a prestigious brand and I expect things from underwear that set you back $30 per. When I received them, I was super excited. They’re an olive green color and very stretchy and somewhat soft. The tag says that they are 95% cotton and 5% elasthene, a pretty standard fabric composition these days for underwear. Unfortunately, my first impression when touching the briefs were that they were slightly synthetic feeling, which made me wonder if the fabric content was really 95% cotton. Now, I’m all for synthetic fabric, but I do like the feel of cotton and I feel like I get super sweaty down there when I wear something super synthetic feeling.

Since I own other D&G and Dolce and Gabbana underwear this facet of the garment is kind of a letdown because the other stuff I own is super soft, super fine cotton. They feel like expensive bits of luxury. This brief fell somewhat short.

Though, am I the only one who thinks camouflage is totally hot? I love the juxtaposition of hard and soft with the military motif playing against the sexiness of the briefs. I’m just sayin….

I decided to wear these while, as my friend John would say, lazing about on a Sunday. I put them on and noticed that they were cut fuller than briefs I usually wear, probably due to the massive waistband, which measures almost two inches in height.

The waistband is the distinguishing design element. It’s actually two fully elasticized waistbands connected at the waist seam to the rest of the garment. Since they are only connected at the waist seam, you can actually peel the outer waistband (camouflage) away from the inner waistband (tan). While the two waistbands are kind of cool, they serve no practical purpose other than to act like a tourniquet, totally squeezing your waist in. There’s also like five tags on the back of it, including one that’s holographic for authenticity. But, outside of the embellished waistband, it’s a pretty standard brief.

In the front, the pouch is neither roomy nor constrictive. Three contrast stitched seams add a little design to the pouchal area. Since the fabric is a little stretchy, you won’t crush the boys as there is a significant amount of give in the front. There’s full coverage in the seat and the leg holes are ringed with the same fabric, only ribbed. Due to the tightness of the waistband, I’d say that these would run a little smaller than the standard North American understanding of medium, more like a European medium, so maybe you’d size up if you ordered a pair of these.

I’d definitely say that for a hot night out (or in), these are worth a whirl. They’re a nice way to package your combat zone and maybe attract some friendly fire (naughty!). I wouldn’t say that they’d be a good thing to work out in (would you really want to do a bunch of cardio in expensive designer underwear?) or spend all day in the office with this kind of restrictive waistband.

These can be had on sale at His Room for about $30.

OVERALL, I give the D&G camo slip brando brief a score of 6.0 based on the following criteria:
COOL FACTOR -- 6 (out of 10) – waistband will get people’s attention, otherwise, a pretty standard brief
WEARABILITY -- 4 (out of 10) – too synthetic feeling to me, double waistband too restrictive, too many tags
QUALITY -- 8 (out of 10) - very well made garment
HOTNESS -- 8 (out of 10) – overall look is cool, fabric has sheen that will make people want to feel it
VALUE -- 4 (out of 10) – on the high end of the range, expected more luxurious fabric at the price point

********** 6.0

Question of the Day: Has the high-end underwear you've tried out lived up to your expectations?

National Underwear Day Contest Winners

You may remember we hosted a contest in conjunction with Freshpair in honor of National Underwear Day. Well the entry period is finally over and the winners have been notified. The winners are as follows:

First Place:
Wil O. - For all his fantastic contributions through commenting and for his fantastic ideas in emails - some of which will be published here soon.

Second Place:
Victor C. - For his fantastic comments on the site.
Thijs W. from Belgium - For a sweet and heart-warming entry. We just couldn't refuse him a Freshpair.

So there you have it, that's who won! If you didn't, don't worry because we have quite a few new contests in the works so stayed tuned for those! You might just be our next winner.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Undergear Took over Times Square

As part of Undergear's new "Where do you wear yours?" campaign, they took over Times Square in New York yesterday. The fun featured Undergear models in their underwear parading around Times Square for a photo shoot and posing for photos with fans. They kept New Yorkers updated about their current location via Twitter. Lucky followers managed to snag some swag along witha photo or two. Here are some of the photos that were taken yesterday. If you managed to take some, please send them our way and we'll post them for the world to see.