Looking to support UK manufacturing, British Boxers are a rather smart underwear and lounge wear brand taking a little pugilistic inspiration from the past
Article by Rupert Watkins
Founded by Deborah Price, the great, great, great granddaughter of the first world heavyweight boxing champion Jem Mace, British Boxers bring a touch of the sporting gentleman to a chap’s underwear draw. Having worked in menswear for many years, with only £4,000 and inspired by her irreverent and determined ancestor Deborah took the plunge and set up her own business.
Based in Staffordshire, Deborah’s time in menswear made her determined to produce as much as possible in the UK using local manufacturers and helping keep skills alive. British Boxers produce a range of men’s and women’s underwear, sleep and lounge wear. Deborah’s boxer shorts are made locally in Staffordshire whilst she uses a workshop in Leicester for her socks. Packaging and labelling is also handled in the UK.
Over her career, Deborah also nurtured a 15-year relationship with a, “brilliant” workshop in Europe that has made some of the night and lounge wear for British Boxers. Whilst she’d love to make all of her garments in the UK, like many people in the British garment industry, she laments the long decline between the 1970s and 1990s in British manufacturing and the subsequent loss of skills, “it will take years to re-invigorate and rebuild this base, my brand is about making the best quality so some things still need to be made abroad.”
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Her men’s stretch trunks are soft, supportive and not too thick – despite being a tighter cut they remain cool to wear all day, especially in winter. I am by preference a boxers man preferring their looseness and ventilation, but British Boxers trunks despite the cut are not too constrictive and the quality of the cotton means there is no overheating. The brand does a natty range of traditional boxers; cut slightly long on the leg they are a dapper choice for the more conservative. Certainly these days, trunks are the go to for most men and Deborah reveals her trunks are her best seller ahead of her men’s and women’s dressing gowns.
I have never been a pyjamas chap – bar certain very cold nights at home in deepest Norfolk – otherwise never even bothering with a T-shirt. However, sampling British Boxers cotton flannel pyjama bottoms, effectively lounge pants, I am immediately struck by the comfort. Middle age (bugger…) clearly appreciates the comfortable elasticated waist and the blue herringbone is actually damn smart to wander round in. Aside from being a short arse so they’re rather long in the leg for me, I wonder if with a crease and covering the waist band I can use them as a pair of summer trousers….. Hmmm, I’ve changed.
Deborah offers a comprehensive selection of women’s nightwear and briefs which have also proven popular. For a little sporting pizazz in the underwear drawer by a brand who looks for the best suppliers whilst remaining determined to help British manufacturing, British Boxers is worth looking up.
For this review the writer was kindly gifted a selection of stretch trunks and lounge wear.