When it comes to underwear waistbands, is bigger better? Something must be up, because more and more brands are widening the width of their waistbands, so we did some investigation to see if this is an emerging trend.
The standard size for a typical elastic waistband is between 1 1/4 and 1 3/8 inches, but labels like Calvin Klein Underwear, Emporio Armani and aussieBum, to name a few, have gone well beyond that measurement, which prompts a few questions: Why? What, if any, are the benefits? Is it just a looks thing? Do wide waistbands serve any other purpose than providing a larger expanse for a brand to advertise its logo?
The answer to all is yes. On the functional front, Calvin Klein Underwear was one of the first to break the size barrier with the 2007 launch of the Calvin Klein Underwear Steel Collection, featuring a 1 1/2 inch wide waistband in metallic silver, that was designed to provide a less-constricting fit than previously available. A representative from Calvin Klein told The Underwear Expert, “Calvin Klein was the first in the marketplace to launch a waistband like this, that looked like nothing we had in our current assortment at the time.” But it wasn’t only about looks, she added, “The waistband was engineered to provide ultimate smoothness and comfort. It lays flat and contours to the body.” A definite benefit if you’re prone to a waistband that digs and leaves marks on your skin.
Andrew Christian’s lightweight elastic, “anti-muffin top waistband” has kept guys comfortable, squeeze-free and bulge-free for years, but recently, the brand has slightly widened the waistband on another range. They’ve widened the waistband on the athletic CoolFlex Collection, to provide an even more beneficial fit. The wider waistband not only lessens the appearance of love handles, but it also reduces rubbing and chafing, a bonus for guys who actually wear these styles for sporty activity.
C-IN2 is another brand that took its waistband-widening cue from sport. The extra wide waistband of the C-IN2 Core Jockstrap is a pro at keeping this functional garment up and in place. Coming in at 2 3/8 inches, it snugly hugs your body and prevents slipping and moving around, even through sweat, which is perfect if you wear this jockstrap for running or any other high-movement activity.
Most other brands, however, take the “purely for looks” approach. Emporio Armani is known for their bold “GA” eagle logo, and nothing shows it off better than the 2 inch wide waistband that’s featured on two of the brand’s styles, the Stretch Cotton Logo Trunk and Stretch Cotton Logo Brief. A representative from Emporio Armani told The Underwear Expert, “We vary sizes of the elastic waistbands to be more creative in our use of the Emporio Armani logo,” a tactic that definitely seems to be working, as the two styles featuring the 2 inch wide waistband take the brand’s top selling positions.
The aussieBum Lightning Collection, available in a brief and a trunk, is the widest we’ve seen, coming in at 2 1/2 inches and displaying the brand’s iconic logo, front and center. This waistband features shiny silver metallic details, a fashionable must if you plan on being seen in these.
What’s your take on the extra wide waistband? Check out our gallery to get an eyeful of the hottest wide waistbands out there today:
Calvin Klein Underwear X Micro
This collection consists of a hip brief ($26), low-rise trunk ($30) and boxer brief ($30). The range showcases a flair for color with unique shades such as digital pink (pictured below) and cherry shadow as well as the Calvin Klein logo on a wide waistband. 90% Nylon, 10% Elastane. S-XL.
Andrew Christian Cool Flex
This range features the brand’s Show-It Technology and includes a Brief Jockstrap ($16), Extreme Brief ($14), Football Jockstrap ($23) and Spider Thong ($23). The Andrew Christian logo is shown on a classic black-and-white, wide waistband. 95% Modal, 5% Spandex. XS-XL.
This collection consists of a low no-show brief ($26), punt brief ($26), low no-show army trunk ($30) and long underwear ($50) and is updated seasonally with new colors. The range offers contrasting color waistbands. 60% Cotton, 40% Modal Viscose. XS-XL.
Aussiebum’s Lightning Hipster Electric
This trunk ($33.05 USD) showcases an electric blue and white design that truly stands out. Made from a soft modal fabric blend, the trunk ensures perfect comfort. 87% Micro Modal, 13% Elastane. XS-XXL.
Photo credits: Andrew Christian, aussieBum, C-IN2, Calvin Klein Underwear, Emporio Armani.