Boxer brief wishes and underwear dreams

I found myself as astonished as Byron to find a new metrosexuality men’s underwear store emerge
right around the corner from my office. I have something of an
underwear obsession, even though when it comes down to it I often find
myself passing over my tan and chocolate striped low cut Nudie jeans
briefs for the comfortable warmth of a plain white pair of Gap whities.
But I certainly appreciate the printed wonders, like when I drooled
over the Ginch Gonch website
after a previous Queer Window undies column. And while specialty online
outlets may be plentiful there are several aspects on the actual
physical boutique that made me squeal at the prospect of shopping at
the just barely opened Under U 4 Men.
Not only can you touch the fabric to determine if it really is soft
enough to justify the hefty couture expense, but you are surrounded
with so many labels whose multiple websites you would have to visit
individually on the internet.

But as much as it made me squeal
it also made me squirm. Anonymity is lost once you enter a physical
store. I have enough trouble shopping in stores that are generally tiny
sized and hetero-centric but to enter one that is aimed at the
stereotypically exclusive Adonis-bodied gay male seemed even more
intimidating. My fears assuaged slightly by proprietor Steven Lien’s
explanation that he wants women to come into his store, which is why he
didn’t situate it in Stark Street’s gayborhood. Nevertheless, I assumed
he meant women who want their less-then-queerly-fashionable men and
maybe some overzealous f** hags who want to impress their holiday
hunks, and not necessarily a short, chubby dyke shopping for herself.

Lien’s demeanor was jolly and his hipster help actually rather friendly
(though the friendliest hipster store personnel award has always got to
go to Magpie). The lack of advertised live models might have
disappointed some, and indeed I never mind a little ogling myself,
their absence probably made my virginal store visit less intimidating.
And while what is most exciting about Under U 4 Men isn’t innovation
(I’ve always maintained that someone needy to start a tranny shop where
it’s easy for 6 foot men to buy heels and ladies to buy coats that
don’t cover their hands), what is exciting is their synthesis of
various eye-catching under-products, as well as their mere existence as
a stylish and queer presence in the Portland retail fashion scene.

Under U 4 Men is open now at 507 SW Broadway, Downtown.

Comments are closed.