As the name suggests, the world of sport can lay claim to the origins of the boxer short. The first woven cotton shorts to feature an elasticated waistband were developed for boxers in 1926 when Jacob Golomb founded Union Underwear. He provided fighters with a lighter, more comfortable alternative to the leather belted versions that they had previously worn. By the thirties, the demand for greater comfort led Golomb to manufacture everyday versions of the boxer short under licence to renowned US underwear brand, Fruit of the Loom.
Initially only available in America, it was Sunspel’s own John Hill who saw the opportunity in bringing the boxer short to the UK in 1947. Working from the Sunspel factory in Long Eaton, he gradually refined the design to craft the boxer short as we know it today. Decades passed, and despite offering exceptional comfort then, as it does now, the boxer short was often considered second choice to the traditional brief which was thought to offer a younger, more attractive look. This all changed in 1985 when Levi’s launched an ad that would change the history of underwear forever. Shot in a launderette, Nick Kamen can be seen stripping down to a pristine pair of Sunspel boxers. Immediately the trusty white boxer became cool. An icon was born.With just a few minor tweaks here and there, to this very day we produce our boxer shorts to the original specifications developed by John Hill. The seams are double-turned and feldlocked so that there are no rough edges. The rear features a distinctive back panel rather than an uncomfortable central seam. And all of the excessive bagginess left over from the early 1930’s styles has been eliminated so that our boxers can be worn with a slimmer trouser without being restrictive.