International Jock

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?


Rob said...

My biggest let-down was with a pair of Ginch Gonch Low-rise briefs (Nice Guns)- they looked great, but there was almost no room at all to pack anything into the front of them.
Their jocks are good, but I'll never buy another pair of briefs

Wil said...

Thanks for the review! They sound like an expensive pair of uncomfortable shoes. The only reason you are buying them is to show them off. =\

I think the most I've spent on a pair of underwear is $20. I'm not sure if that counts as 'high-end' but with most of them I've never found them amazingly comfortable. Usually when I open up the undies drawer I find myself passing them up for something that is going to be more comfortable during the day.

Jennifer said...

I don't like the colors on these.