Posted by: Stacy Perman on December 23, 2008
That is exactly how the British-based Equmen are touting their new line of high-performance brand of men’s underwear. Using compression technologies Equmen’s singlets, tees and long-sleeves boast that they improve posture, support core muscles, control body temperature and visibly streamline the wearer. In other words, by re-aligning the body, the company’s says that its undershirts “augment what should stand out and diminish what shouldn’t.”
The question is while women will happily buy busloads of $45 (or more) undergarments that suck in and streamline unwanted bulges and pantylines, would American men spend about $73 for an undershirt that promises the same?
Equmen’s press materials comes accompanied by testimonials from English soccer players, television stars and the like (”This is a pretty miraculous product”… “This is really the ultimate item for actors”) as well as photos of sleekly ripped and toned men who wouldn’t at first glance seem to benefit from any re-aligning or augmenting.
So, I decided to take the product out for a test-run on an average fellow. I gave two pairs of Equmen tanks to my friend “Baron” (not his real name) to wear and report back. Here’s what he had to say:
When I pulled it out of the box I never thought it would fit. As I put it on I felt the pain felt by thousands of women daily who squeeze into hose or tights. It is a point of really confronting one’s self when one looks in the mirror and embarks on wearing such form altering garments.
Once I got it on, I was a bit embarrassed and felt ludicrous until I put on the remainder of my clothes. Once dressed, I noticed that there was noticeable pressure on my lower back— not bad pressure — but the type you feel after doing squats, the tight, strong feeling that encourages you to stand up straight. I also feel it a bit in the gut which also makes me want to stand up straighter.
Thus far I am aware of the thing, it does give a sense of presence and confidence in an odd sort of way. I don’t think it helps my silhouette noticeably as I thought, but it does encourage better posture so there are aesthetic benefits.
I own 62 white t-shirts that I use as undershirts and they bother me because they are bulky and don’t tuck well. This is form fitting and does away with the tucking issue while providing the benefits of a T-Shirt. Tom Ford said he never wears underwear because it adds inches to his waist-line… well now there is a solution.
So, is the idea of Spanx for men, silly? Maybe, maybe not. Sara Blakely the entrepreneur behind Spanx was initially snubbed when she wanted to introduce her product. Today, she stands atop a $150 million underwear empire and has the gratitude of millions of panty-line free and toned women including Oprah.