With women insisting ever more firmly on their menfolk looking decorative and pretty, what a male wore under his dress was just as important as the dress itself. As the market for decorative underwear for women had collapsed in favour of practical, simple styles, canny lingerie manufacturers shifted production to male ranges.
The trend for ‘feminine’ underwear for men sold on the open market was initiated by items such as those illustrated below from the Japanese site Wishroom, active from 2008.
Although many men scoffed when such products first became available, this trend quickly spread from being a marginal source of bemusement to a global fashion sensation. Wishroom prefigured the sort of underwear that all men and boys would be wearing by about the middle of the century. Often impractical and uncomfortable, it illustrates neatly how what males wore was determined by the need to please women above all else.
Although males don’t usually have any need for a brassiere, they were worn for the sake of decoration and to hide the wearer’s nipples for modesty. Needless to say, they were flatter than the cupped variety still worn by women (but which now eschewed decorativeness of any kind).