Desk-bound men target of new male wonder pants

Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:24am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Belinda Goldsmith

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Businessmen who vowed to hit the gym daily in 2010 but are yet to leave the desk are the target of a new, fast-growing line of high-tech underwear which boasts to trim the torso while also benefiting your health.

Just ask Gavin Jones, co-founder of Australia-based company Equmen which has pioneered "fitwear" for men who spend the week hunched over desks in high-stress jobs and weekends chasing their children.

Jones said compression wear was well researched and accepted among elite athletes as was shapewear for women that trims and smoothes those stubborn bulges, but when he stood in front of the mirror he had one question -- what about me?

"I was just beginning to show the signs of wear and tear. I had a pretty active 20s and 30s and maintained a great social life and played sport but I was just starting to turn the corner into middle age," Jones, 43, a former journalist, told Reuters.

While women have quickly snapped into the increasing lines of shapewear, trebling sales in the past decade according to the market research NPD Group, Jones realized men wanted more than a male girdle or "mirdle" to trim the beer gut if they were to upgrade from their boxers or cotton briefs with fancy waistband.

In partnership with an American friend and former investment banker Corie Chung, Jones spent about a year and about $1.4 million of his own money researching and developing a new product line that was more mainstream than the compression wear around and came with health benefits.

They found a manufacturer in Israel who could produce a high-elasticity blend of fabrics which was seamless and flexible.

This led to Equmen's range of undershirts and underpants hitting the market a year ago, boasting to help back support, better posture, and improved blood circulation as well as a better shape -- and maybe even a lower golf score.   Continued...

<p>Corie Chung (L), Marketing Director of Equmen, and Lynda Guthiere take measures on a sample t-shirt on Equmen Headquarters in Sydney April 14, 2010. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz</p>