Y Fronts Underwear – Popular Jockey Mens Briefs & More
Y Fronts were first sold in the UK in 1938. They were originally created earlier in the 1930s in the USA. 1934 to be precise, although they did not officially go on sale until 1935. Over there, they are called Jockey Briefs or Jockey Shorts, named after the company that manufactures them – Jockey.
(Note: The Jockey Retro Range has 6 colour options to choose from – Azure Turquoise (light blue – shown), Fuchsia (red – shown), Mandarin (orange), Navy (dark blue), Pistachio (Green), Powder Pink. Click on the retro image to shop for the other colour options.)
Click Y Fronts Image To Shop:
Jockey Classic 100% Cotton Y-Front Brief – 3-Pack (color options)
Jockey Classic (colour options)
Jockey Classic Y-Trunks White
Jockey Retro Y-Trunks (colour options)
Incidentally the company itself used to be called Coopers after the name of the family behind the products. But after the successful deployment of this new form of underwear, and the spectacular success that followed, the Coopers company decided to rename itself after product itself named after a play on the Jock Strap, it became Jockey International Inc. in 1972. However, using the term Jockey Shorts never caught on in the UK, instead this style of underwear and successive variants would to this day be known as simply Y-Fronts.
Despite the many Americanisations that have happened in the UK over the years, such as changing the name of Marathon to Snickers and Opal Fruits to Starburst, Y fronts remain Y-fronts. perhaps because it is a generic term rather than a brand name. Therefore no company can hope to easily rename it. That said does anybody remember the failed attempt to rename Coco Pops to Chocho Krispies back in 1998? Sometimes even brand names can not be renamed for commercial convenience.
Why did Jockey shorts or briefs end up being called y fronts in the UK? Well simply because their design prominently features an an inverted y shape on them. However that was never meant to be simply a fashion statement. It actually serves a useful purpose, via provision of a hidden seam that allows quick and easy access to the penis, to pull it out for urination, or if you prefer, the call of nature.
The design of y front pants ensure maximum comfort and support for the male package. The original Jockey Y-Fronts qualities of being soft, made of fine cotton and having a great fit make y-fronts a popular choice for men and have ensured the survival of the y-front for over 70 years since its creation. The original colour of white y fronts still remains a popular colour choice today.
Today, there are styles of y fronts that no longer feature the y style in the form that it has become famous for. In fact there may be no y as such visible at all. But they have retained the easy access side opening or fly mechanism. Calvin Klein and Diesel are two of the big names that have taken the y-front and breathed a new sense of life, trendiness and fashion into what would otherwise be a boring and drab undergarment.
Ironically, as with movies and the children’s shows we all used to watch making a retro comeback or remake, so it is with y-fronts too. 2009 officially marks 75 years since the first appearance of the Jockey Y Fronts, and to celebrate, Jockey released the Jockey Retro Y-Fronts and matching Retro Shirts range, available in 6 different colours. They also released Jockey Y-Fronts for Women (more on the latter later). Jockey underwear for men is as popular today as it ever was.
In recent years, a compromise has been formed between y-fronts / briefs and boxer shorts. Of course the name y-boxers would not quite sound right, so they are called boxer briefs. They are shorts, but provide the comfort and support provides by briefs. Just to confuse matters further, some outlets have decided to call these boxer shorts too anyway despite a clear difference in the design and performance. Other styles of underwear may also include a side opening or button opening. We’ll cover the traditional look y fronts to the modern side or button opening variations here.
New to the market are Y-fronts for women. Fashion as we know is ever evolving, what was in fashion 10 years ago, is now something acceptable only in a Fancy Dress Party. And some things that go out of fashion, return to being in fashion – like the trusty underwear name sake of this website. And some fashions cross boundaries.
Anyway regarding the continuous blurring between male and female fashions, which Calvin Klein captured so well in some of its campaigns and the CK-One fragrance, this perhaps comes as no surprise. After all, male grooming is a still young and booming industry and one that was traditionally female only. Men’s skin care was rare enough 10 years ago, but now there are specific and ever expanding men’s cosmetics and skin care ranges too. A change in fashion and an industry that has muscled in (pardon the pun, or not) on what was once a female only domain – at least in ordinary day to day life as opposed to the entertainment industries. And in that context, it is of little surprise to see female expansions into male fashions like underwear.
So now women have y-fronts too. Whether it will catch on and become a lasting thing, rather than just a fad remains to be seen. After all, the main point of a y-front – the hidden seam is unnecessary for a woman, so right now it will have to sell on fashion first as well as prove comfortable. Of course should the shee-wee become more popular than something used for camping trips – say it becomes a popular female post-nightclub tool, then there may yet be a more valid reason for a female y-front, albeit in a more evolved form. For now it is early days. Y Fronts for women will either take off quickly or quietly disappear back into the shadows.
On a final note, Y-fronts have also become more popular than ever now due to the recession. Y-fronts outsold boxer shorts in 2009 for the first time since the early 1990s – funnily enough, when Britain was last in recession. It has been joked that the reason for this is because y-fronts give men a greater sense of security than loose fitting boxer shorts, and in troubled times, security is needed. Shop now for your y-fronts.