Hamilton & Hare Spring Summer 2013

As well you know, gender bending is kinda my thing, right? And ever since working at Mr Porter, my peepers have been opened to the gorgeous attention to detail and subtle statements possible in menswear. More than anything, I'm fascinated by the problems and peculiarities facing boys today, and how they might be different from problems posed to girls.  

Let me introduce you to Hamilton and Hare. Label founder Olivia Francis wanted to fill what she described as a gap in the market; all things considered, it's more like a gaping chasm. Bespoke underwear for men; think about it - while we womenfolk have a wealth of choice, some might even say too much, men are kind of expected to clothe themselves with little more than something with the name of a big brand people below their waistline, but nothing where the shape or fit or colour actually matters.

So back to this new London brand. Just six months young, they focus on classic boxers; unique in focusing solely on mens underwear at all, the niche is one they command to perfection. Created by Raf Simons menswear designer Cameron Foden, their designs are shaped at the waist and in the leg, foremost to look great on the body. In particular, Olivia was not a fan of the "nappy" look most boxers have and set out to change that with success. They are sleek and effortless, inspired by and created for the City of London and the smart gents who work there.

It totally makes sense that this amount of detail should be put into a product most men wear most days. That's a whole lot of boxers. Saville Row tailor Graham Tuckett is also on the creative team, and it shows; their streamline shape also means they sit well under suits and smart trousers. Unique finishing touches taken from shirting can be seen at the hems. Mother of pearl buttons and soft cotton labels mean they are comfortable and luxurious. And why not? Women's undies have long been a retail rescue remedy for feeling low, why not have the boys feel a bit better with a pair of boxers? 

Maybe it's having a female CEO, but borrowing from the girls doesn't end there. The logo of boxing hares is evocative of the item's early history, and the shorts come with a matching pocket square, so those in the know can match their smalls, as well as giving a cheeky wink to anyone watching.

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