Man Girdles Find a Growing Market
The term “suck it up” is taking on a whole new meaning for men who rather than dedicating themselves to working off extra pounds around the middle are now turning to “bodyshaping” underwear, aka man girdles or mirdles, to look better.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, younger males are more open to wearing these garments than previous generations. The willingness is tied, in part, to an increased emphasis on physical appearance along with having had the experience of wearing athletic wear such as compression shorts that perform many of the same body shaping tricks as the new underwear.
Another factor driving the popularity of shape shifting underwear is the boom in European fashions in America.
“In men’s clothes right now, slim is in — everything has a much more fitted silhouette, from the tapered leg to narrow dress shirts,” Richard Gualtieri, director for men’s fashion merchandising at Lord & Taylor, told the Journal.
To fit into these slimmer lines, Mr. Gualtieri said men have turned to underwear with “some stretch to it that helps lift and keep things in place a little bit more.”
While man girdles or mirdles may becoming more popular, men are advised not to make the same mistake as Daniel Hernandez. The 24-year old public relations professional bought Undergear bodyshaping underwear to help conceal some extra pounds he had put on over the holidays.
After being complemented on his svelte appearance, Mr. Hernandez decided to show his mirdle to friends.
“One guy was, like, ‘Oh, what, are you, grandma now?'” said Mr. Hernandez.
Discussion Question: Do widely publicized obesity numbers suggest that there may be a mass-market opportunity for “bodyshaping” underwear? How can retailers aggressively market a product that consumers may want but don’t want to draw attention to the fact that they want it?