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11/1/08 7:46 PM

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Underwear to set tongues wagging At Almost Naked, men and women can shop together for colourful boxers and bikinis Aug 02, 2008 04:30 AM Comments on this story



STAR STYLIST There used to be a time when undergarments were referred to as "unmentionables." But take a look at the selection of men's and women's undies at the new MICHAEL STUPARYK/TORONTO STAR store Almost Naked and you'll Tattoo-print trunks for the would-be rock star hang beside sexy skivs for women see they have come a long way, at Dan Sutcliffe’s and Jeff Axelrod’s Almost Naked. baby. Colourful, cheery and cheeky, this is underwear that screams for attention, begs to be the subject of a conversation and most assuredly wants to be seen.

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Launched earlier this summer, Almost Naked is owned by friends Jeff Axelrod and Dan Sutcliffe and stocks more than 30 brands of underwear and swimwear for men and women.

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Men's skivvies in particular have gone beyond basic white briefs, and this store is a celebration of the cool and colourful.

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"It's just an extension of men's personalities," says Axelrod, pointing out the camouflage prints that might appeal to G.I. Joe types or the tattoo prints for the wannabe rock stars. "It's like a candy shop," declares Sutcliffe. That it is – it's hard to pick just one. Along with eyecatching undergarments from recognizable labels like Diesel and Calvin Klein, there are harder-tofind brands, from the U. K.'s handmade Fred & Ginger to the provocative Marlies Dekkers from the Netherlands, whose boxed sets of silky panties are popular with brides.

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Some packaging make the products perfect for gifts, such as the tiny, condom-sized tins with a single women's thong ($20) or the cigar box containing mens' briefs or boxers in bold tattoo prints from famed body-ink artist Ed Hardy ($36). The most expensive items in the shop are the Ed Hardy crystal-encrusted swimsuits at $340. The two-level store, with its soaring ceilings and exposed concrete, has an airy industrial feel, in keeping with their trendy neighbours, Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. The space also reflects their original plan to focus just on mens' lines until research showed that women, buying for boyfriends and husbands, accounted for more than half of men's underwear purchases. Since women would already be in the store, it only made sense to carry underwear and swimwear for both sexes.

Page 1 of 2 | living | Underwear to set tongues wagging

11/1/08 7:46 PM

"We like the idea of a couple shopping for underwear together," Sutcliffe says, "unlike department stores like the Bay where (they have) separate departments and on different floors." This is definitely not your father's underwear department. On weekends, a DJ spins in the store and live models strip down to their undies in the display window, making these "unmentionables" the talk of shoppers on that busy strip. MOST POPULAR ON THESTAR.COM

Almost Naked, 479 Queen St. W.,

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Didn't like costume, man stabbed in neck Welfare raise leaves cheque at 1988 levels Bosh and Bargnani come up big in overtime thriller

Plain Janes I don't suppose this store sells Jockey for Women ~ the seamless variety? or ladies boxer shorts? Sounds to me like they only sell really expensive stuff - and how does one clean really expensive underwear????


Sometimes, size does matter What a week we've had! We've seen small ones, large ones and some so strangely shaped that we reeled back, disquieted, at what ...

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Underwear to set tongues wagging. At Almost Naked, men and women can shop together for colourful boxers and bikinis.