Let me preface this post by saying that the author of this post was not given anything to write this post nor do I get freebies etc etc. I write these posts because I genuinely like to know what's going on out there and to share my thoughts with our bow tie customers.
Tom Ford doesn't seem to ever put a foot wrong and his underwear line is extremely enjoyable and frankly, not a bad price point. Quality wise they sit somewhere between a Bresciani and a Zimmerli underpant, not quite there on the first iteration but creatively speaking and with regards to the details, they are ahead of both by leaps and bounds. Firstly, the idea of making a silk underpant with a velvet elasticated band is very clever. The underpants have a striking resemblance to a boxer's shorts (not boxer shorts although perhaps there is some correlation), which means you feel as though you are being tough and risque in the same instance. You probably wouldn't want to get caught in a shop's change room with these bad boys on but I am sure there are swingers clubs where they will be a sheer (literally) delight.
As for the regular underpants, he's done a good job on replicating the grosgrain rib you might find on a top shelf pair of Zimmerli of Switzerland underpants (to my mind Zimmerli are the best in the world) but as is usual for Tom Ford, they have that lovely detail of using the brand's signature diamond point labelling system placed front and centre on the grosgrain. You can't do things like this without a significant capital outlay so my guess is Tom Ford really wants to penetrate (no pun intended) men's underwear in a big way.
And what about the prints? The grooviest underwear company for the price point, in my opinion, is Bonds of Australia. They have such a funky way of doing low end underpants that you feel compelled to buy them even if the fabric aren't 'luxurious'. A pima cotton, an Egyptian cotton, a Sea Island cotton - these are things to be aspired by the man on the make - but when you get to that level the chances are they only make them in the classics of black, navy and white. So it is refreshing when an underpants brand starts to go a bit funky as Tom Ford has done although the fabrics are not quite at that level. Some of the designs are downright sexy and my hope is that he continues in that vein because it's always nice to know that when you strip off you can say 'see, I told you there was a party in my pants'.
So would you stock underpants drawer full of Tom Ford? In my opinion, no. There is something about having one man's name across my underpants that has always alarmed me since Calvin Klein. I believe it was a line used in Back To The Future where Michael J Fox's mom says to him "Well, isn't that your name, Calvin Klein? It's written all over your underwear". And since then, if I can avoid it, I don't want some other dudes name all over the front of my crotch. I'm okay with a last name or a generic name like POLO, but for me this is prized real estate. I would have preferred if he had done something discreet on the back, above the arse say, where it just said "TF" - let's face it, those in the know would know.
Packaging wise, it's nice to see something a little different. The box is self closing magnetic and wraps around the box to reveal a neat window in plastic. Nice solid boxes, ones you will want to keep but will throw away on account of the plastic window.
So, I believe you should get a pair, one pair to start with. I managed to find them on Mr. Porter, I believe they are exclusive there. And if you had to start with one pair, choose the loud ones as they are a lovely point of difference.