The history of men's underwear: How the simple things react to science and society

Dave McCaughan
McCann WorldGroup, Japan

Why this fetish?

"Women wear lingerie – men simply put on underwear" – Eugenie Lemoine-Luccioni

I have always suspected that for most men Lemoine-Luccioni is correct and that underwear is something we take for granted most of the time.

The thing with underwear is that like so much that we buy it is actually a complex mix of function and emotion, of practicality and fantasy. What we often take as a simple purchase process is actually a complex mix of decision need states, of available selection and choice, of purchase mode, of who is the real influencer, buyer and user. In the case of this category it is usually the result of thousands of years of social history, changing attitudes to cleanliness, prudishness, sexuality and image – and a big chunk of male laziness.