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The Fine Line Between Men's Swimwear, Underwear, and Lingerie

Updated on June 4, 2010

A commercial once told me that the line between togs and undies was 300 meters from the beach or when you could no longer see the water. I believe everything advertising tells me, which I can tell you now has made me a very successful person with more home gym equipment than can actually fit in my home.

However, this advertisement, whilst amusing, was incomplete. The togs / undies transformation area is one thing, but where is the line between undies and lingerie? Now, all lingerie and undies can function respectably well as togs. (If you're from a land where the term 'togs' is not used to refer to swimwear, you have two choices. 1. Start introducing the term to your friends and family, 2. Move.)

Indeed, the only real function of togs is in maintaining modesty, so in theory, almost any garment can function as togs. Muslim women quite often wear their burkas as togs in fact, a fashion trend that cannot be comfortable at all and is probably quite dangerous. Mind you, with all that training in increased resistance conditions, you'd think that Muslim women would clean up in swimming events in the Olympics.

The line between 'undies' and 'lingerie' is a more interesting line, for it is not a line designated by function, but rather by form. One could refer to expensive designer lingerie as 'undies' if one was so uncouth and disrespectful of lingerie, but a distinction may yet be drawn I feel, perhaps even along gender lines.

The bulk of underwear designed for men falls into the 'undies' category. Thick cotton, bland colors, square cuts. The bulk of underwear designed for women (if we put aside the ever popular 'beige' lingerie that is omnipresent these days) qualifies as lingerie. Attention is paid to making the garment look pretty, and fabrics other than plain cotton are often used to create smooth pieces of clothing that feel good to wear. Other ornamental fabrics, like mesh and lace, are also added to the undergarments to make them more visually attractive.

Is it any wonder then, that there are so many men who love lingerie? After all, men are tactile and visual beasts and the underwear designed for them is so lacking in any form of visual or tactile appeal it is truly a wonder that there have not yet been riots in lingerie stores when men realize what they're missing out on.

Togs and lingerie for all!


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      Sherman 7 years ago

      You hit it again, Hope. I totally agree with you chevy34_00. I've never been so comfortable as I have since enjoying nylon and lace. Tactile...I am!

    • profile image

      Wren 7 years ago

      Hope -

      Yet another elloquient piece. Keep up the Great work!

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      chevy34_00 7 years ago

      I'll wear nylon and lace instead of cotton any day.