After decades in which men and women were forced to settle for drab, ordinary underwear that did not resemble a superhero costume, Hot Topic has brought back Underoos—this time sized for nominal adults. As in their 1980s heyday, the newly revived Underoos feature matching sets of briefs and shirts, modeled after favorites like He-Man, Skeletor, Superman, Captain America, Harley Quinn, and Batgirl, and allowing their wearer to show their love for that character while in some state of undress. Only now those states can take place in the boudoirs, gym locker rooms, and emergency room visits of the adult world.
Not surprisingly, Hot Topic’s savvy retro repackaging, the current mainstream passion for “nerd” culture, ’80s nostalgia, social media enabling, and the desire to cling to childhood, even at the risk of infantilization, has caused a run on Underoos. As of press time, many of the sets (most of them male, for reasons that do not need explanation, or discussion, or picturing) are sold out, leaving only a handful of styles in XL. However, the response suggests that Hot Topic will surely restock these soon enough, in many other ostensible adult sizes.
In related news, “funderwear” or no, death is still coming for us all.