lingerie for men

Review: Wolf & Whistle Alice Black Mesh Leg Harness High Waist Brief

In which your author invents the phrase “sideball”.

Product link: Wolf & Whistle Alice Black Mesh Leg Harness High Waist Brief from Playful Promises

A while back, there was a post on the fashion subreddit r/LingerieAddiction from someone who was interested in wearing a garter/suspender-belt but hadn’t as yet. Their concern was that wearing one must be uncomfortable (‘torture’ was the word they used) due to sitting on the clasps.

I can understand someone who’s never worn anything harness-like thinking something similar when they see these black briefs from Wolf & Whistle, courtesy of Playful Promises:

And I sort of see what they mean, but with these briefs there’s nothing to worry about. The harness is purely for decoration and it’s not holding anything up, so there’s no need to fasten it like a tourniquet. That said, if you do like that feeling of being constricted, you can pull them as tight as you like.

In general, these briefs are a really good example of how clothing for one gender work just as well for all genders; they’re basically unisex. The main concern for Hims and Thems is keeping one’s package or packing in place, and I didn’t have a problem with these. For my review run, I wore them whilst going out for pizza and shopping with friends, and I had absolutely zero problems. Everything stayed where it was meant to be.

So it’s very curious that when I came to shoot them in situ, I found it very hard to get a picture without a little ‘sideball’; the masc equivalent of ‘sideboob’:

I honestly had no problem whilst wearing them, even though it looks like the Christmas turkey is about to escape. They’re snug, they’re comfortable, and they feel like decent quality. They sit well and don’t slip down from the waist; nor do they bunch up and constantly need pulling out of one’s crevice. I’m a 29″ waist – well, I’ve have takeaway pizza a few times this month so let’s call it 30″ – and a UK size 10 fits me perfectly.

You do need to take a moment’s care when putting them on, to make sure you don’t get the suspender twisted – it seems weird to say ‘inside out’ but that’s essentially what it is.

What are they made of?

According to the label, they’re 92% polyamide and 8% elastane with a cotton gusset liner. The composition of the trim, i.e. the harness, isn’t noted.

There’s a debate as to whether you should take the labels out. On some underwear, it would be so obvious and spoil the lines, so it’s worth taking out. I’m single and no one else gets to see my pants anyway unless they’re drying outside on the line, so I’ve left mine in.

Here I’m wearing them with my Hustler harness – review coming soon.

Taking care of the goods

The main thing to note about these is that they are hand wash only, which isn’t unusual when you buy decent lingerie. Cool hand wash only, no bleaching, no tumble drying, and no ironing. Who irons their pants anyway? That’s such a Rimmer thing to do.

Invest in a good fabric cleaner and conditioner and get into the habit of handwashing and airdrying your smalls. Think of it as a chance to catch up on your fave podcast – this month’s recommendation being the reactivated “Your Own Back Yard” podcast, a must for true crime fans who are starting to feel a little jaded with the oversaturated market.

The lowdown

Diversity and InclusionIn general, Playful Promises are good on gender and inclusion, and as stated elsewhere on the blog their support for Jake Dupree when they wore a PP set will forever be legendary. They do have models in a variety of sizes, ethnicities and ages across the site. For this particular product we do see models in different sizes and ethnicities, but they are all young and femme, and I guess we’re still some time away from seeing masc lingerie models in the mainstream (the campaign starts here). B
SustainabilityFrustratingly, under Care and Composition the website says nothing about what this product is made out of – the information is on the label. But in general, polyamide production processes are bad for the environment and polyamide products do not biodegrade. E
Vegan statusThere are fewer vegan products on the website when compared to, say, Lovehoney. While there’s no specific information on the website, polyamides are often vegan (even though, paradoxically, the production processes are toxic). This information is an area Playful Promises could improve on in order for shoppers to make responsible choices, but it’s not like they’re the only brand you could say that about. Because we’re making an assumption, using my highly subjective scoring system I’m going with a B.
Product ratingSpeaking aesthetically, I love these briefs. Although they are BDSM-inspired and only time will tell whether that dates them to a specific period in fashion history (i.e. now), it’s not an overburdening BDSM-styling and they look clean, fresh and contemporary. Most importantly, they have no flourishes that gender them one way or another. If you can get past the idea of black mesh and suspender straps being inherently femme (and really there’s nothing that says they are or should be), they have a strong gender-free vibe. I’m a big fan! B

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