First of all, if you’re not fascinated by underwear, you’re probably one of those people that doesn’t like immature jokes. And let’s face it, immature jokes are the foundation of every modern civilization.
Underwear has not changed since the elastic band, so when the “performance underwear” trend emerged a few seasons ago, more than a few of us were ecstatic.
But, why underwear anyway? What is it about our crotchular regions that requires an additional layer of tight or bulky fabric that we’re constantly adjusting? And, can we here at the Gear Institute finally answer the question: “boxers or briefs” definitively?
The History of Underwear
Humans today still vary dramatically in the way they cover their family jewels, or even whether they cover them at all.
Tribes along the Amazon for example forgo covering up all together and, to minimize the windmill effect when sprinting to hunt game, opt for the ol’ High School Conceal and tuck the business end directly into their belts (NSFW, obviously). But, since the survival of our species depends on those parts functioning, it makes sense that in harsh primitive environments this was the first area covered up for protection:
The remains of the [IceMan’s] loincloth show that it was originally around one metre in length. It was pulled between the legs and fastened at the waist with a belt.The remains of the [IceMan’s] loincloth show that it was originally around one metre in length. It was pulled between the legs and fastened at the waist with a belt.
One meter in length? Was this guy compensating or what? Anyway, thanks to archeological finds, we are fairly certain that, barring a few exceptions, the loincloth or its equivalent became a standard unisex garment pretty much across the world independent of intercultural contact.
But that was when humans either wore the same clothes literally all the time or extreme conditions required an additional layer for something that could freeze rock solid and be snapped off. Ouch.
The loincloth made sense for humans through the middle-ages who mostly owned one set of clothes. This small, removable, and washable cloth could keep their one single set of outer garments from getting too soiled or damaged by bodily excretions. Remember, toilet paper wasn’t invented until at least the 6th century AD. In addition, once the one pair of pants got crusty, a loincloth lessened friction and chafing. Research also reveals another purpose for undergarments was to “shape the body.” Which sounds like a clue as to why bulky, bunchy boxers may have become popular…
But now that the First World changes clothes pretty much daily, is underwear a cultural relic of the past just like powdered wigs and business ties?
The Function of Underwear
The short answer is that we still need it; underwear provides customized support and damage protection.
Think about those swimming trunks your mom bought you with the mesh underwear sewn in. I bet you threw those out the first time you got board shorts. Not only is it uncomfortable to have your underwear connected to your pants (Hip Hop Culture would be much different), but pant and short material tends to last much longer. So, just like those cotton tee-shirts, any permanent inner-wear would degrade from the friction alone. Plus, let’s be honest, we all avoid owning white underwear at this point in our lives.
With regard to customized support, this is necessary for any activity faster than walking. Ask any high schooler that is not a freshman whether they run track in boxers. Although the Amazonian tribe may be onto something, just imagine shaking a slinky by holding only one end. Modern underwear provides compression, support, and anyone who says they haven’t admired their butt in a brand new pair is lying. We might also submit the theory that boxers are just a socially acceptable way of going commando. But, I digress, what’s so special about My Pakage?
My Pakage and the Keyhole Comfort Technology Evolution
My Pakage sounds gimmicky when you first hear about it — but that false judgement quickly disappears upon first use.
I saw it as the trucker hat version of boxer briefs: unnecessary additional material to give your head a lift. However, I quickly realized that having a layer of material to prevent skin on skin contact in that area was what I had been wishing for every time I rehearsed the sidewalk waltz.
That is what sets My Pakage apart. Their “Keyhole Comfort Technology” is essentially a round pouch that anatomically cradles and fits around your General and his two Colonels. This design is so simple it deserves a Smack On The Forehead. Exploring the crotch reveals that it is near the core of your body and the location where some of the largest muscles constantly do work. Obviously, this location is ripe for getting hot and extensive independent research confirms that is in fact the case. Heat results in sweating, and sweating results in discomfort, odor and chemical processes that cause staining and corrosion.
“My junk will get hot?” Thanks for asking. My Pakage thought of this and your junk will actually experience better performance. The design integrates lightweight material only in the area where skin meets skin without unnecessary doubling up. Imagine the layer of t-shirt material between your arm and body at the armpit. Without this material skin-on-skin contact means you sweat more, but having that layer not only reduces sweating, it actually benefits you by keeping the area cool and comfortable with breathable wicking materials. Some models of My Pakage even use a special performance material just over this area specifically for ventilation, cooling and comfort.
But, there’s more to My Pakage, ladies
My Pakage is not just about Keyhole Technology and actually offers a wide variety of styles for anything from sports to lounging around in pajamas. They have taken the “Keyhole” and put it into every style of form-fitting undergarments ranging from high on the thigh boxer-briefs to full length pants. You can get them in a Weekday Trunk that is their shortest version, a boxer-brief that extends and covers the thighs, full-length leggings called a First-Layer, and Sleepwear that fits loose on the legs, but maintains a comfortable and snug keyhole near the waist.
Garments are a mix of Modal and Spandex, 95 to 5 percent, and are 50 percent more moisture absorbent than cotton. Spandex allows the fabric to be elastic enough for comfort with a 4-way stretch weave, but retain original shape for the duration you’re wearing them.
The underwear is also engineered with flat lock anti-chafing seams to prevent abrasion. As for the performance underwear, it uses MyDRY fabric designed to wick away moisture. It’s made with 100 percent hydrophobic polyester that has anti-microbial properties and maintains shape without getting baggy when wet, making it a good option for water sports. In addition, both the short underwear and leggings have strategically placed Pro-X mesh panels for additional breathability, and secret pockets for keys and other valuables.
Litigation with Saxx Underwear?
Another performance underwear company we love, Saxx, is producing a similar product and at one point the two went to court. The details are unclear as there is no public records of the trials, but since both companies are still around we can infer they came to an agreement.
We had a chance to speak with a Saxx representative and though they did not provide insight into the outcome of the litigation, they did specify that Saxx underwear uses mesh to separate the boys. After speaking with My Pakage, it turns out that My Pakage’s Keyhole is contoured to be round, whereas Saxx features a slightly more boxy shape in their pouch. We don’t know if that makes a difference, so if you’ve worn both let us know in the comments below!
My Pakage runs from just over $20 to $90 for a dual short/legging combo called the 2-in-1, and you can browse the styles at MyPakage.com.