‘I make lingerie for guys – it’s easier to go for a run in a thong’
Steelworker Jules Parker is now making a roaring trade for guys who don’t just want to wear boxers – and most of his company’s customers are women who buy them for their partners
Image: Triangle News)
A steelworker created a lingerie brand for guys after struggling to find perfectly fitting pants.
Jules Parker offers form-fitting thongs in a variety of materials as well as peplums, suspenders and bottoms for men
He previously worked in car restoration – and decided to branch out two years ago and set up Lingerie not applicable.
“Obviously, being a steelworker, I didn’t know anything about panties,” Jules said.
“I would run my business for a few years, but like everyone else, the challenge and the things you are passionate about have slipped a bit.
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“I’ve never been one to wear leggings. I did a lot of sports and it was much easier to go for a run in a thong.
“I couldn’t really wear women’s clothes because I had locks that women didn’t wear… they didn’t fit.”
Father-of-three Jules took the plunge after realizing he could only buy clingy stag night-type accessories or cross-dressing items – which he was not.
“I didn’t want to wear a bra or a miniskirt or a wig,” he added. “I’m not a transvestite, I just chose to wear a different fabric and cut.
“There’s nothing wrong with cross-dressing, but that’s not me. I walk around in boots and jeans.
“So while I was getting my underwear, I didn’t identify in any way with what they were doing.
Striking Faces/Triangle News)
Striking Faces/Triangle News)
“And their quality wasn’t really what I wanted – I’m an underwear snob.”
Today, most of her company’s customers are women who buy them for their partners.
The business was started with the blessing of Jules’ wife Clare, 51, a former BA flight attendant, and his teenage sons aged 19, 16 and 13.
And his friends thought it was a great idea when he revealed his plans one night over a beer.
Jules, who is based in East Grinstead, West Sussex, continued: “They are red blooded alpha males, they are successful, they are well educated, they are smart men.
“I said, ‘You all know me as Jules the Steelworker, I’m married, I have three kids, I love running and swimming, but I’m going to do another line of men’s underwear.’
“They had their heads in beer at the time.”
Afterwards, several opened up to him and said they thought it was a great idea.
And he says if men want to wear traditionally feminine clothes, they should be able to.
He said: “I never wanted to wear my wife’s underwear, it’s not a sexual thing.
“I didn’t want to wear women’s underwear. I wanted to wear men’s underwear with a different design. It wasn’t about feminizing me.
“I want to embrace men, I want to celebrate their manhood, I don’t want to suppress it in any way.
“Men have never really had a way to express themselves, they wear the default gray suits and they go to work. They can wear a fancy tie or a pair of flashy socks.
“When my wife wears nice underwear, it’s something quite exciting for me. It’s just the other way around.
“My wife thinks it’s great. She’s very proud of what I do.”
Her underwear is made from French lace – woven in Calais – and sewn in Yorkshire. Their price ranges from £30 to £240.
He previously hit a stumbling block after pulling ads from social media, prompting him to accuse the industry of double standards when it comes to images of semi-clothed male and female bodies.
Last year he told the Observer how a number of ads were rejected on Facebook.
One featured a model in a thong holding a basketball who was blocked for violating community standards. “How is that sexual distance?” He asked.
Now Jules models the goods on the site’s website.
“I’m a normal-looking guy; it’s important that I don’t just talk, I walk too,” he said.
“There’s no shame in that. It doesn’t make you weird or deviant, it’s just fabric. If someone wants to judge you by the fabric, they have to look at themselves.”