I've never much cared about underwear.
I care a lot about outer clothing and how it crafts my image and identity for others, but by the time anyone sees my underthings they usually have a good handle on me and my personality, so it never much occurred to me to care about those small garments. BOY HOWDY, do I have some good news for all of y'all like me.
Underwear can be awesome, friends. Underwear can be so comfy and so affirming and honestly helpful, in certain ways, and it's definitely worth caring about if you can spare the attention. I was sent four pairs of lovely underwear from FOCX Ltd., a small, family owned company in the United Kingdom, with instructions to live in them, wash them, enjoy them, and then review them. I have done that for a little over a month now-- they have gone through two menstrual cycles and many washings and they look and feel exactly the same. You know how some underwear will start to pill or stretch right after the first wearing or washing? Not these babies. I was told that the more spandex-y pairs can also be worn swimming, and it seems definitely possible, although I didn't do that in this past month myself. The way they've held up thus far says to me that they could in fact withstand chlorine and sun and salt without concern.
All of their underwear is specifically designed to be unisex. The boy short fits like a slightly longer "womens" boyshort fit, as opposed to a trunk or boxer brief, and the boxer trunk has a pretty standard boxer brief fit. They have some space for genitalia or packing (more in the boxer trunk), but it's otherwise mostly flat. There is, however, a nice reinforced section on the front of the boy short fit, which I think would be especially nice for privacy while swimming, as well as in general for folks with external bits. This also means they fit more snugly to allow for that secure feeling if you're rocking a pad or liner.
What's the best part about these, you ask, other than their cool patterns, extreme comfort, durability, and fit? I'm glad you asked, because my favorite thing about this underwear is that the fabric is sourced locally in Nottingham, and they are hand stitched by a grandmother in Nottingham named Beryl. You rock, Beryl. Oh, and it's queer owned and operated, and comes in UK sizes 6 to 22. Any questions?
All photos by Caroline Wood.