Magazine article The Spectator

I Beg to Differ.Boxers

Magazine article The Spectator

I Beg to Differ.Boxers

Article excerpt

About 20 years ago, while on a business trip to the Gulf, I unthinkingly proposed to a male colleague that we visit the souq together.

I told him that I wanted to buy some silk with which to have some boxer shorts tailor-made, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

I still remember the rather strained expression with which he looked at me: although he did eventually accompany me on my underwear expedition, I now realise that he thought I was trying to get into his.

Anyway, the silk was bought and for many happy years afterwards I wore slinky boxers until the cheap and -- as I know see -- garish Indian material eventually fell apart.

Boxer shorts are eminently Eighties, the age of aspiration. Together with cufflinks made of silk cord, mobiles the size of household irons, braces and scarlet lining in one's suits, boxers were the means by which to propel oneself instantly from humble nerdery into the social stratosphere. …

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