Consumer studies have confirmed that men are looking for more from their inner wear and essential wear than ever before. Gone are the days where underwear was a mere functional necessity. Indian men are demanding more variety and design in their underwear drawer and brands have to adapt and comply. Men’s changing lifestyle has resulted into demand for new inner-wear and loungewear categories that once seemed too niche. The most important factors that men consider today are comfort, style, function and sustainability. Men want to look good, they want to feel physically comfortable during their myriad activities and with the attention so firmly on environmental concerns, they want to feel good about what they wear because they know that the clothes minimize negative impact on the environment.
Below are the 5 key innovations in men’s inner wear space for 2020 -
The foundation of great innerwear is good fabric and the world now agrees, when it comes down to superior comfort, cotton is just not cutting it. Fabric innovation is the need of the hour since even in this day and age, the majority of men have to settle for underwear that rides up, is restrictive and not breathable. New technology will ensure that innerwear fabric has zero piling and shrinkage. What’s more the fabric will be made stronger through different treatments to ensure it does not lose shape after multiple washes. From the ultra-luxurious feel of the fabric to its moisture-wicking and cooling properties, micromodal is going to take the industry by storm. The truly evolved will craft innerwear in sustainable fabrics like Bamboo and Hemp. Microfibre waistbands along with odour-resistant and antimicrobial fabrics will become the norm.
Fashion In Focus
Once a mere necessity, men today know underwear can make or break an outfit. It is the most crucial sartorial decision a man makes in a day and every dapper man out there is looking for innerwear that is both high quality and truly fashionable. From setting new trends in patterns and silhouettes to creating style statements in vibrant colours, the innerwear industry will be adventurous and ahead of the curve. While comfort will be a mainstay, the year ahead will see innerwear designers take the experiential route to craft cutting-edge underwear. Flaunt-worthy colours, stand-out silhouettes, statement-maker waistbands and From animal prints and space-dyed patterns to invisible stitches and double-lined pouch, breakthrough design and disruptive style will be the name of the game.
The modern man has a highly active lifestyle which takes him from the gym to the boardroom and beyond. He goes cycling in the morning, takes the Iron Man challenge every year, treks every weekend, goes for music festivals and travels the world every chance he gets. Innovation for men’s underwear today also brings to light the need for elimination of shifting, adjusting, rubbing and chafing. This calls for underwear that keeps the man dry, cool, safe and in control. Good fit and support is a huge challenge that still needs to be addressed for a fantastic wearer experience. Performance and Athleisure are innerwear categories that are today near non-existent. These will become a huge driver for brands who have their innovation game on point. Performance underwear needs to stand the test of the most strenuous of workout and be durable enough to withstand daily use and abuse. The fabric will need to go to great lengths to accommodate every conceivable movement without pinching or chaffing while the waistband will need to be low-riding and non-binding for extra comfort. The brand that gets this right will hit home-run. Adventure enthusiasts can rejoice as the year ahead will see vast improvement in innerwear for the active lot.
Crafted For Comfort
Rooted in consumer insight, the need for underwear that adapts to changing outerwear styles is the need of the hour. Low rise jeans are going even lower and innerwear will brave that trend with broader, designer waistbands that will offer coverage in style. The silhouettes of men's garments have changed over the years and 2019 witnessed them becoming slimmer and fitter. Ugly underwear lines and bunching will become a thing of the past. The rise and rise of close-fitted pants are begging for no-show innerwear that stays true to its second-skin claim. Bespoke and tailored fits have become a rage and an innerwear revolution is in the making to fit right into this trend. Underwear will also follow suit to adapt as the garment below the altered pant styles for sleek comfort and a slim aesthetic.
Real men don’t sport six packs and are rather comfortable in their dad bods but innerwear for plus sizes even today is boring and unsightly. Pouch cuts have been traditionally rather flat and do not do justice to the contour of the male body, this will change as brands cater to different shapes and sizes. While brands have gone to great lengths to address common concerns like chafing and rashes amongst others superior softness, contoured support, durability of the elastic and well-tailored fit is still way off the mark. Brands will invest in getting this right or run the risk of becoming obsolete. Underwear for extended sizes will undergo a drastic transformation and will be available in flattering cuts, slimming styles as well as bold colours and designs. As men become more conscious about their appearance, they will fuel a growing demand for men’s shapewear.
As we enter into the new decade, the real innovation will come from the shift of focus on the brand side. The consumer today is vocal and demanding which will make brands into problem solvers and co-creators with consumers rather than just peddlers of products. The great Indian innerwear revolution is soon going to start making waves and the good news is that it is here for the long haul.
The article has been penned down by Yogesh Kabra, CEO and Founder of XYXX apparels