Founded in 1860 by one of the great early British industrialists, Thomas Hill, Sunspel initially produced lightweight, soft clothing in very fine cotton and pioneered the development of luxury undergarments, as we know them today. Some of the earliest garments made in the Newdigate factory included tunics and undershirts that were some of the earliest t-shirts ever made.
Boxer shorts were invited in 1925 by Jacob Golomb, founder of Everlast, (featured on Wikiconic in the boxing gear section), who designed elastic-waist trunks to replace the leather-belted trunks then worn by boxers. In 1947 John Hill left Britain for the glamour of America, and influenced by the ideas and innovations of New York he saw the opportunity to bring the boxer short to the UK – and to perfect its design. The first Sunspel boxers were made from Sea Island cotton and designed for comfort. They were cut with a unique back panel (to avoid a middle seam) and all seams were double turned and feld locked flat to the fabric to avoid itchiness. Sunspel boxers continue to be made in the finest fabrics and to this original pattern.
Boxer shorts in general got a fashion boost in 1985 when English model and musician Nick Kamen stripped to white Sunspel boxers in a Levi’s commercial.
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