Homme Mystere…the name you need to know for in demand male lingerie. Started nearly 10 years ago by entrepreneur Brent Krause, he saw a real demand in male lingerie, which includes bras, panties stockings, lacy thongs, matching camisoles and G-strings. Is male lingerie the next big thing or has it been a big thing and I just missed the boat?
After seeing that the term ‘bras for men’ is searched over 4.5k times on Google, curiosity got the better of me so I did some reading and also set myself the task to research about the topic.
Asking colleagues at work, I got the expected lift of the eyebrow and most of my colleagues thought it was meant for someone who is transitioning or males that have Gynecomastia (male breast development to you and I) which affects around 15% of the male population. However, after doing further research I found that this was not the case at all.
Yes, there is demand for LGBT+ friendly lingerie lines as well as lines that provide that support and help conceal extra male breast tissue but for one particular company, their customers are predominantly straight men that just simply loved and appreciated the feeling of lingerie.
Krause founded the company over 10 years ago and in an interview with Attn: in 2016, Krause outlined that 90% of their customers are straight men like himself that just are looking for something exotic and enjoy the feeling of wearing bras.
“I did like the lingerie look – like any guy does – and I just thought well, let’s just make something we can wear” –Krause (interview by Attn, 2016).
Krause stated that the business was just another source of income at first and just wanted to offer men a sexy alternative to the ‘boring’ boxers and briefs but there was a high demand for the company to create more styles. Now Homme Mystere is sold in over 30 countries with 50% of their customer coming from the US.
Just like Mymilla stresses the importance of a well fitting bra – the demand was also apparent for this niche market as previously men who wanted to wear lingerie had to buy women’s lingerie. This is not always simple.
As most lingerie stores are catered for mainly women, shops are conscious of ensuring that they don’t upset their main customers by having fitting rooms available to both males and females. Most small boutiques do offer services for man, however it is usually done through private appointments after the store close or during quiet business times. Almost like it’s a dirty secret but to be honest, we have to acknowledge the fact that not everyone is open to the idea of welcoming men into lingerie stores.
Not to mention, due to naturally broad back and shoulders – if fitted in a store, men usually measure to a back size 40+ which is a size that is not catered for very well within the lingerie industry. If you throw in A, B or C cup sizes, you have gone into the non-existent category of bras as larger back sizes start at larger cup sizes. A point outlined by the author of the Breast Life (amazing blog, check it out). Put together this results in something we frown upon – a less snug fit.
Krause who himself is in a heterosexual relationship and loves wearing his ling of lingerie outlines that sexuality does not matter when it comes to his customers. In his 2016 interview, he outlined that most of his customers are married men and he doesn’t have time to thing about stereotypes (ain’t nobody got time for that!).
Now - what are you thinking?
When I first raised the question to people, everyone was rather surprised when I told them the stats of Homme Mystere. Some came to the conclusion that maybe straight men like to wear lingerie as a way of being submissive to their partner.
But is that the case though?
Who knows… however looking at a lot of comments on different blogs or articles covering the topic, it suggested that men just liked the feel of the fabric. Krause outlined that men’s clothing is generally made from heavy feeling fabric that does the job but sometimes men just want to feel something soft and a bit more exotic. It’s kind of like feeling you have after a long day at work and you have that glorious moment of taking off your bra.
Whilst some may feel like this is an ‘emasculating’ thing to do as lingerie is affiliated more with femininity, we are living in a world where year-by-year people are being more open-minded. Gender roles are a social construct and if I am going ask for people to be more accepting of me wearing suits for example that is more affiliated with men because it is more comfortable for me, then why can’t we be more open about men wearing lingerie because they find comfort or joy in it? To each their own – as my mum always says.
So contrary to people’s initial thoughts or perceptions, it may just be that men have realised the joyous feeling of great quality lingerie and to be honest we welcome anyone who is willing to join the bra gang… The more the merrier we say!
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