Looking for something sexy to stuff under his holiday tree, Kwanzaa bush or way-late manly menorah? What about undies? I know. About as appealing as a beer bong.
But that was before we had a store dedicated to what we wear under our Levi's. And what better peeps to inquire about what drawers to buy for a boyfriend, hubby or Xmas Eve one-night stand than those who wear it for work: buffed-up dudes who sport skivvies for Under U 4 Men.
They even help outfit visiting sports stars like tennis pro Andy Roddick and the Miami Heat's Shaquille O'Neal, who recently stepped into the store and asked, "Do you have anything in an 8X?"
Hoping to get a look at some briefly covered males, I asked Under U 4 Men owner Steven Lien if he could round up his elfish employees for a holiday looky-loo. Lien, who has two Under U 4 Men stores under his belt (underwear models strut their stuff on Fridays and Saturdays) and will open the largest men's intimate apparel boutique in the world next year in Seattle, was more than happy to oblige.
On a cold and wet Wednesday, Lien commandeered five scantily clad studs outside his Southwest Broadway outlet. In nothing but the latest undie styles and sandals, these men not only gave me a look at what's new for our whore-idays but pretty much half of downtown. And, from what I can tell from my brief-viewing party, it's all about traveling the globe. "Our store represents designers from all over the world," said Lien before he scurried his fellas off Broadway to sashay up the chilly halls of Morgan's Alley.
So here's the world in dudes' underpants.
Australia : "Down Under" takes on a new meaning with Sydney-based Aussie Bum ($14-$42). It's on every right-thinking man's wish list due in large part to a supportive "kangaroo pouch" that works like a Wonderbra for your testicles. DT ($24), from Brisbane, is a party in your pants with outrageous graphics and glow-in-the-dark prints.
Europe : Swish the slopes in Swedish goods from Frank Dandy ($28.50). Sort of a like wearing a Scandinavian flag on your ass, according to the company's website, FD is dedicated to "rebuilding underwear culture." Hmmm. Giulio, from Spain ($28), doesn't care as much about culture as it does about how hot you'll look next to topless babes on the beaches of Ibiza. Sweet.
North America: Both coasts of the good ol' U.S. of A(ss) are duly represented here. For traditionalists there is NYC-based designer Donna Karan (Design Series, $22-$28). Casual types might prefer the retro-athletic fit of California's Artificial Flavor ($26-$32) or Paul Frank ($22), who designs for the cheeky guy who wants to laugh his butt off. Oregon is even into underwear with Portland designer Benjamin Black, who has built a sporty line of skivvies based on the rough (and oh-so-gay) world of rugby ($40). They even sport leather lace-up pouches. Now, can you think of a better package to untie this holiday season? I didn't think so.
Under U 4 Men, 507 SW Broadway, 274-2555, Bridgeport Village, Tualatin, 684-6900, underu4men.com.