International Jock

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shielded - A Review

ES Collection is a brand based in Barcelona, Spain.  All their fabrics and designs are made there, but they are quickly expanding in popularity to all parts of the world.  They are noted for their unique cuts in both swimwear and underwear.  Today I am going to be reviewing the Shields briefs from their winter collection; however, I believe for reasons listed below that this piece is more suited to summer wear.  Stay tuned for a review of swimwear.

The fit of these briefs is what I would call skimpy to say the least.  At first glance they don't look it because they are so well designed.  But  upon closer inspection, they are quite small.  They just cover all the essential parts.  The legs are very high-rise making for only a few inches of fabric on the side.  The pouch has a unique, u-shaped top opening that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the brief.  The only seams are on the sides.  

These things are really comfy!  Usually briefs that are this small ride up or ride down causing discomfort.  But these stay in place and keep you comfortable.  They are made of a light-weight cotton blend and are perfect for the summer.  The cotton breaths well and isn't too heavy for the hot weather.  Also, the skimpy fit makes for minimal coverage - also a good thing in the summer.  While they are part of the winter collection, I think they are perfectly suited to summer wear as well.

ES Collection is really all about the style.  These things scream stylish.  From the skimpy, Euro-fit to the unique pouch.  The fly is more stylish than it is functional, but that's okay because no one really uses them these days anyway.  The brief is mostly white with shields printed on it in honor of the Olympics.  There are black bands that accent the white on the legs, fly, and waistband.  My only complaint about the style of these is that I'm not a huge fan of the print and wish that they made this same design with other prints.  

These briefs are well-crafted and still look as good as the day I first got them.  The print, while not my favorite, does not fade even after repeated washings.  The elastic waistband remains crisp and does not fray like many often do.  These, however are really expensive at 40 Euros (roughly 50 USD).  It does not help that the dollar is so weak right now.  If you have the money they are definitely worth it.  But it would be worth waiting for a sale or going to Europe to get them at a better price. 

Overall, I give the ES Collection Shields Brief a total score of 8 based on the following criteria:
FIT -- 9 (out of 10) - Skimpy.
COMFORT -- 10 (out of 10) - Comfy and light-weight.  Great for the summer. 
STYLE -- 9 (out of 10) - Very stylish.  I wish they came in more varied prints. 
QUALITY -- 9 (out of 10) - High quality, will last you. 
VALUE -- 6 (out of 10) - Quite expensive with the weak dollar.  If you have the money, they're worth it. 



Jay said...

It really is too bad with the weak dollar. The Euro is going down, though, so underwear from ES may soon be within range of a wider audience.

By the way, "the skimpy, Euro-fit" - that formulation made me laugh. Is that really how guys from the US view European underwear fashion?

UMan said...

Jay, I didn't mean to say that European fits are by default skimpy. I mean that as two separate adjectives. They are skimpy AND they have a European fit. What I mean by European fit is very body conscious and form fitting. Something that hugs all the body's curves perfectly.

Jay said...

Ah, I see :) What a complement, then :)

Steve said...

The horizontal fly is actually quite fun, and HOM has been doing it for years. Actually, they did it around 10 years ago and stopped but brought it back by popular demand. Click on my name to see one. Love your site!