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Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Men's underwear 'changes body shape'

By Briar Burley
Newsbeat reporter

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Road testing body control pants for men

It was Bridget Jones who first brought them to the attention of women everywhere, but now there's a new wave of body-squeezing, control-underwear and this time it's for the boys.

A range of underclothes for men including pants, vests and long-sleeved tops have gone on sale for the first time in the UK aimed at making male torsos look slimmer and more defined.

Tim is 29. He volunteered to try some of the new products out for Newsbeat.

First up the pants: Tim swapped from his normal ones into a pair of Flashback Butt Lifting Technology Boxers - which have come over from the States.

He said: "They say they're anti muffin-top elastic and apparently they have butt-lifting technology - I'm looking forward to trying them on."

'Bum cleavage'

The makers say the pants perk up saggy bottoms and reduce the appearance of love-handles.

Tim and Hannah
Tim doesn't look as happy as wife Hannah with his new pants
Inside they have elastic strapping which is meant to lift and support the buttocks - a bit like a push-up bra for women, but without the padding.

But Tim wasn't overwhelmed: "They're quite small and I'm showing quite a lot of bum cleavage.".

But his wife Hannah was more impressed: "They do give him quite a good shape at the front. But the back is a little bit saggy.

"They come quite low down so I'm not so sure about the whole non-muffin top."

The pants have just gone on sale in the UK for 24 pounds a pair.

They're part of a growing number of new varieties on the market meant to cater for men who want underwear which improves the appearance of their bodies.

According to market researchers Mintel there was a 15.6% increase in the number of men's undergarments sold in Britain between 2003 and 2007.

Undershirt range

But it's not just pants. A new range of undershirts and tops have been designed to re-sculpt and improve the shape of men's bodies.

The Core Precision undershirt, designed by Australian company Equmen, is one of them. It is said to "visibly streamline and tone" the upper torso.

Tim tried one of these on too.

He said: "I'm quite impressed with the results. I think the best scenario for wearing this vest is under a shirt. It could be good for the business market."

The shirts fit tightly to the body and can be tricky to get on.

The makers say it improves posture, supports muscles, streamlines your shape and can help to energise the body. But with prices starting at 50 they don't come cheap.

Tim told us he's not entirely sure: "I don't know how a vest could give you more energy. It could improve your posture. But it makes you feel like you're wearing rubber."

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