Boxers or Briefs

Although few custom tailors will take orders for bespoke boxer shorts any longer, neither will be they be impressed with a customer who prefers to wear briefs instead of boxers. Not only have briefs and thongs brought about the tightening of men's trousers, to the dismay of tailors, they may have had adverse health consequences as well. Medical research points to evidence that tight underwear can lead to a low sperm count brought on by increased temperatures. Boxer shorts on the other hand offer the wearer greater movement of air, which keeps the temperature lower. Thus for medical as well as sartorial reasons, boxer shorts seem likely to remain a staple item of male dress. But ultimately the choice between boxers and briefs is an individual one, subject to the essential goals of cleanliness and comfort.

See also Underwear. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Byrde, Penelope. The Male Image: Men's Fashion in England

1300-1970. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1979. Chenoune, Farid. A History of Men's Fashion. Paris: Flammarion, 1993.

De Marley, Diana. Fashion for Men: An Illustrated History. London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1985. Schoeffler, O. E, and William Gale. Esquire's Encyclopedia of 20th Century Fashions. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973.

Tom Greatrex

BRACELETS Bracelets, cylindrical-shaped ornaments worn encircling the wrist or upper arm, have been one of the most popular forms of ornamentation since prehistoric times. Incredibly varied, bracelets are a universal form of jewelry. Historically and culturally, they have been worn singly or in multiples by both genders. Bracelets have been used for protective and decorative purposes, in rituals, and to indicate one's social status.

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