Let's begin with today's big announcement: our Vogue Patterns magazine winner!
She's a "mum" and a wife who works part-time and loves to make things... Please put your hands together for the UK's own Vicki, of the blog VickikateMakes!
Vicki, please contact me (peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com) and I'll get your magazine off to you right away!
Moving right along...
Readers, unlike many (most? all?) women, it's fair to say that the majority of men view underwear as strictly utilitarian. This is changing, of course, thanks to sites like Undergear .com -- NSFW. But really, how many men have a "just for Valentine's Day and anniversaries" underwear collection? Maybe it's a generational thing too: I suspect younger guys are more open to the unusual.
If I can't wear my underwear comfortably under my clothes, I'm not interested. Which is why I have a problem with French back boxers. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, this is the style of boxer that predominated in the days before elastic waistbands. You adjusted the fit with the assistance of a buttoned back yoke.
You can still purchase this type of boxer from Brooks Brothers; you won't find them at American Apparel. I can see these working for WWII re-entactors and zoot suit-attired swing dancers, but for a typical jeans-wearing guy of today, this underwear comes up too high on the waist and is also rather baggy.
I made a pair of these a few years ago from Simplicity 1960, a vintage men's underwear pattern that dates from 1945 (above). I used an old flowered cotton/poly sheet and they were more an experiment than anything else and -- no surprise -- I never wore them, and not just because of the girdle-like fit (if I made these again I'd grade up a bit so I could exhale). The real problem was that they practically came up to my armpits.
I suppose I could redraft the pattern and lower the yoke, but eventually it defeats the purpose: these are not designed to sit on your hip bones.
Men and those that love them, have you ever worn or sewn French back boxers? Have you ever even heard of them? Perhaps your fathers or grandfathers wore them, or your maiden Aunt Sal, or you saw them in a Clark Gable movie.
It's not hard to find a vintage pattern for French back boxers -- just check Etsy or eBay (search under "vintage boxer pattern"). Obviously you won't find every size and the prices vary (dramatically).
Readers, do you find French back boxers a best-forgotten relic akin to mens spats and garters, or do you think they could possibly work today, albeit with a bit of reworking (lowering that yoke, for starters)?
Do you think men should keep a few of these in the back drawer just for fun, i.e., do you find them sexy?
Is it time to bring the French back back?
Have a great day, everybody!