Packaging Trends for Male Underwear

More men are buying underwear for themselves than in the past.

“Despite industry statistics that say women buy the lion’s share of men’s underwear, 77 percent of those polled say they purchase their own,” says a survey by Tommy John. Due to this shift, it is important to acknowledge the male demographic when devising a marketing plan. This includes creating innovative products designed to draw the attention of male and female shoppers alike. Brands are gearing up with premium feel packaging in order to claim the premium prices.

When you think of underwear packaging, you likely envision images of a tanned model with chiseled abs like the famous Calvin Klein ads. However, the packaging shouldn’t be overtly sexy, that’s not what men are necessarily looking for.

In a New York Times article Michael Kleinmann of explains the problems with contemporary underwear packaging: “They don’t want to see only those plucked-chicken models,” said Kleinmann. “They want models who are somewhat aspirational, and they want to look like the guy in the pictures.”

Men want to see packaging with diverse models who look like them. They also don’t necessarily need to see the models sporting the product. For example, the highly successful collaboration between underwear brand Naked and NBA star Dwayne Wade featured the basketball star sharply dressed in a tailored suit. Selling a luxurious lifestyle to consumers with your product is a smart way to align your brand. In addition to seeing images of older, more relatable models on the packaging, consumers appreciate multi-purpose designs. For example, for the re-launch of Levi’s basics series, Levi’s created boxes for their briefs made of wooden panels that could double as storage containers. They also created resealable papers bags and a special box for their briefs that could double as a working match strike. Multi-purpose packaging that is sustainable is a big hit with consumers who covet collector’s items and have an affinity for eco-friendly products.

Another great example of innovative underwear packaging is Switzerland-based underwear subscription service Undamentals. Each month Undamentals’ subscribers receive clear zipped packages with photography inserts that resemble leather seat cushions or various surfaces people sit on. The idea is that the inserts are a reminder that you bring your underwear a lot of places, so it better be comfortable. The packaging is bold and playful, and the clear bag lets the buyer know exactly what they’re getting.

The material chosen for a brand’s packaging is a testament to the product’s quality and personality. For example, using kraft cardstock for a box shows that your product is durable. Whereas authentic wood paneling gives your product a luxurious finish. From Levi’s matchbox box to Undamentals bold graphics, underwear producers are stepping up their packaging offerings and for good reason — below the belt products are big business.

Read more about men’s underwear insights here:

The Hottest Menswear Item: Why Men are Paying More Top Dollar for Underwear