Boxer shorts in football prints and innerwear with net inserts are some of the designs that the underwear// and lingerie designers are experimenting with.
Overall, the trend in lingerie this year is tending toward discreet colors and forms with a hint of romance. The seductive undergarments require a little bit of self-restraint.
"There's a lot being tried with embroidery. The garments aren't so opulent, rather more discreet," said Alexandra von Richthofen, an underwear expert quoted in the German trade magazine Textilwirtschaft. Discreet is an important trend for the ladies.
The embroidery creates "coverage" over body parts that can't be seen through on the bras, which are otherwise well ventilated for the warm half of the year. The décolletage is emphasized throughout, but it's not pressed as much as it has been in the past, von Richthofen said.
"The push-up bra is no longer as common," said Anita Mueller, spokeswoman for the lingerie maker Triumph in Munich. Multifunctional bras are now in style. They offer women numerous possibilities with their removable and multi-use straps. They can be worn to fit the woman's mood and desire. With four different varieties - strapless, outerwear, halter neck and cross-strapped - the Triumph models are like the variable décolletage bra.
A change is starting to appear in the design of panties as well.
"The string is clearly on the decline," von Richthofen said. The tendency is moving toward panties and briefs that cover the hips and are cut wider. The greater amount of material needed for this design means the price is higher.
"A panty starts in a higher price class than string underwear," said von Richthofen.
The garments feature small details that give the lingerie a fashionable touch for spring and summer. The designers at Bruno Banani in Chemnitz have decorated their Amour line with light blue and rose-colored hearts. Silver jewellery and rubies bes
tow the Arabesque line with "the discretion of 1,001 nights", the collection's advertising materials say.
Also featuring removable jewellery are the lingerie designs of Jette Joop for the Otto catalogue in Hamburg. The seductive lingerie is colorful in cream blue, mint green and rose.
While Joop says black colurs are an absolute must, other giants among fashion designers continue to put their faith in rose tones and white.
"Coming right along with that are prevalent skin tones and many shades of blue, von Richthofen wrote of the color palette. Prints remain popular as in the past. One features love letters in a nostalgic handwriting, for example.
Bold men also can find fancy underwear designs. Bruno Banani recommends the line Art for the man who is a child at heart. It features a large print motif of blue clouds with redbrick houses and human figures. More mature art lovers are sent toward the Fresco line featuring abstract faces, snappy squiggles and geometric patterns in light colors.
Discreet prints and colors are found on briefs - as an eye-catcher on the cuff, for example. The cut is similar to that Cary Grant wore in the 1940s - no slit up the side seam.
One of the most important trends in men's underwear is on the upper body. "The good ol' muscle shirt is coming back," said von Richthofen.
In the 1980s, pop bands like Depeche Mode and Duran Duran helped resurrect the classic look. Now British musician Pete Doherty, former boyfriend of fashion model Kate Moss, is responsible for the rebirth of the muscle shirt.
There is one difference, however. In today's fashion lingo, the undergarment goes by the name of tank top.
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