Friday, February 05, 2010

X Marks the Hot--A Review


Calvin, you’re back. And you look better than ever.

Since the 1990’s, Calvin Klein has been the trail blazer for men’s underwear as fashion statements. Every innovation in men’s underwear has Calvin Klein’s fingerprints all over it: from boxer briefs, to over-sized signature waistbands, to the incorporation of metallics. Calvin Klein is a monolithic force in underwear, catering to every taste and preference from loose cotton boxers to slinky cotton/lycra thongs

As the brand innovates, it also retools, reinventing older lines, like my beloved “Body” line or the “Pro Stretch” line (think red waistband). At first glance, I thought that the “X Cotton” line of basics I was taking out for a test drive today would be a retake of the CK XT line, which I have to admit I was not a huge fan of.

So, as I took them out of the box, I was bracing myself for what I would pull out. The first thing I realized that they were made of a MUCH softer material than the XT line. They were also lighter and felt much more like a natural fabric than the garments of the XT line did. Only then did I realize that maybe I needed to switch paradigms because I was in for a whole new experience with the CK X Cotton trunk I had in my hot little hands.

The garment is fabricated primarily from cotton (55%), but is also contains modal and elasthene in almost equal proportion (45%). The result is a very stretchy garment that provides the contour hugging properties of synthetics but with the breathability of a natural fabric. In one word: HOTNESS.

Almost as alluring as the fabric, is the design aesthetic of the garment itself. More than anything else, I really like the nod to modernity and masculinity that the garment makes. The signature on the 1 ¼” black waistband is written in a dark, aqua-like color (CK calls it “tempest”) all the way around in chunky block sans serif letters. It’s a nice departure from the usual way CK incorporates its wordmark into the waistband of its undergarments. Available in black, white, and tempest (all colors feature the black waistband with tempest writing), the CK X Cotton is a bold new addition to CK’s repertoire. It also comes in hip brief, micro brief, and boxerbrief styles.

When I received the garment from Bare Necessities, I literally tore the package open to retrieve its contents. After closing the door to my office (I love underwear, but not enough to be cited for flashing my colleagues) I slipped the trunks on and wore them for the rest of the day. I’m happy to report that though I’m a briefs kind of guy, the trunks were super comfortable. They fit true to size for a North American medium (waist sizes 32-33-34). Though, they are stretchy enough that I’m sure that you could size down if you wanted an even closer fit. I’ve got pretty trained thighs, which is why I prefer briefs, but the legs of the trunks stretched without being restrictive. Same goes for the super soft jacquard waistband.

My only small criticism is the logo element attached to the front of the waistband. It felt like an afterthought and design-wise, seems a little discordant from the rest of the waistband. Other than that, I’m a very, very, happy boy with my CK X Cotton trunks.

The CK X Cotton line is brand new, you're reading about it here first! You can get it now at Bare Necessities.

Overall, I grant a score of 8.4 to the CK X Cotton Trunk based on the following criteria:
COOL FACTOR -- 9 (out of 10) – It’s the newest and hottest thing from CK
WEARABILITY -- 10 (out of 10) – I could easily wear these all day (and all night)
QUALITY -- 8 (out of 10) – No loose threads, clean stitching, quality manufacturing
HOTNESS -- 9 (out of 10) – You’ll be an undy rockstar when you sport these, they’re masculine and chic all in one garment
VALUE -- 6 (out of 10) – They’re Calvin’s latest, so you’ll have to pay premium price from them ($26 USD a pair).

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