Comparing Tradie Underwear vs Jockey vs Step One

Comparing Tradie Underwear vs Jockey vs Step One

November 05, 2018

Buying underwear is a complete nightmare - you know it, we know it! We also know that the average man only buys new underwear about every seven years; a lot can change in seven years - styles of undies can be discontinued, brands can disappear, but new brands can also appear to take their place. Now, we can’t force you to buy new undies more regularly, but we can point out that if this is the case, you should probably buy a good quality pair. There are plenty of premium underwear options for men, such as Tradie, Jockey and Step One, but how do you know which is the best choice for that one in seven years’ investment? Keep reading for a comparison of the most popular brands available.

 

History of Jockey

There are some brands that have been around for so long that it feels as though they have been manufacturing and selling underwear forever. When it comes to the brand Jockey, this isn’t too far from the truth. The company actually began all the way back in 1876 and was founded by Samuel Thrall Cooper as S.T Cooper & Sons. Interestingly, the first item manufactured were wool socks as an answer to a common problem at the time- lumberjacks suffering from pain and discomfort as a result of bad quality socks.


The company had immediate success, and within two years (by 1878) they owned industrial knitting machines, boilers and engines to run them, a dye house, a yearn spinning operation and 90 employees. Furthermore, they had the funds to house all of their equipment in a brick building. It’s no surprise they could afford all of this, as they were selling over 2,500 pairs of socks each day! As the brand grew, they expanded their product line, but it wasn’t until 1898 that the company decided to branch out into men’s underwear.


In 1912, union suits were the preferred style of underwear, so S.T Cooper & Sons decided to bring out their own version, in the form of the Kenosha Klosed Krotch union suit. This quickly rose to the top of the underwear market, with the brand attempting to manufacture enough to keep up with the demand. Although this style of underwear was popular at the time, it isn’t what Jockey is known for today; it wasn’t until 1935 that the brand began designing the product that now makes them an integral part of underwear history. This product, was, of course the Jockey short, and later that year, the Jockey Y-front. The original Jockey Short was initially so popular that by midday on the products debut all 600 items of stock were sold; over the next two weeks, 12,000 more were sold. Both names were trademarked to protect the brand, but it wasn’t until 1947 that the Jockey brand name was stitched onto the waistband of the products for the first time. From this point onwards, the brand grew exponentially, through partnering and licensing all over the world, such as Europe and South America. In 1958, the brand advertised on T.V for the first time through a live segment on the tonight show. Despite the Jockey name being on all products, it wasn’t until 1972 that the brand officially changed its name from S.T Cooper & Sons to Jockey International Inc. Over the years, Jockey has maintained a hold on the men’s underwear market by keeping up with trends and through effective advertising campaigns. Today, their products are sold in over 140 countries and continue to be the brand of choice for many men and women. Although the brand name may have changed, the brand has stayed true to its beginnings by maintaining a high focus on providing comfortable, quality underwear.



Tradie Underwear

Although there are many American brands, it is important not to forget about the brands that are proudly Aussie. Arguably one of the most Australian brands on the market at the moment is Tradie. The term ‘tradie’ is probably as Aussie as you can get, and the marketing reflects this; designed for men (and women) that are moving around and working on construction sites, these undies are made to be tough. The founder of the brand Ben Goodfellow wanted to create underwear that was comfortable and durable for men of all ages, careers and sizes.

Although, today, most of us recognize the brand from the adverts of the Honey Badger standing in a pair of trunks, Tradie doesn’t just focus on men’s underwear. The brand offers Tradie Lady which is their offering for women’s underwear, as well as Tradie Baby. No brand can call themselves Tradie without offering work wear, so the company also offer work wear for both men and women, with everything ranging from pants and shorts, to shirts and hoodies. As well as these clothing items, the brand also sells tools, paint, bags, wallets and belts.


Similarly, to Tradie Underwear, Step One is an Australian owned brand. The primary aim of Step One is to make the lives Aussie men a little bit easier and a little bit more comfortable. Step One, however, is a much younger brand than either Tradie or Jockey and was founded in 2016 by brothers Tim and Greg Taylor. Despite this being their first project in the fashion industry, Tim and Greg have worked together on products over the last ten years and have had success with ventures such as eCoffeeCard and Clipp. However, after living with the discomfort and annoyance of poorly made men’s underwear, they decided that new innovators were needed to change the industry for the better.


Step One is certainly a project close to the hearts (and other sensitive body parts) of it’s founders. There are numerous issues with the current products on the market, including the fabrics used, the fit and the sizing. But the main thing that confused the Step One team was the lack of change in the industry over recent years. Why, when there have been discoveries of new fabrics, are they not being used? Why are men still wearing the same boxers, trunks and briefs that have been around and causing the same issues for decades?  It was these questions, amongst many more, and a discussion about the challenges of finding comfortable underwear on a holiday in New Zealand that really highlighted to the brothers that if they didn’t do something, no one would. As two adult men, they were sick of trying to find a comfortable pair of undies, only for that pair to be discontinued a few months later. Men have far more interesting things to do than spend hours searching for underwear. Finding men’s underwear shouldn’t, and doesn’t need to be this difficult! So, Tim and Greg decided that it was important to take away the confusion of buying underwear, and instead focus on creating comfortable, good quality designs. Another important factor for Step One was to ensure that once they have a good pair of undies, they don’t discontinue them! So men know exactly what underwear is comfortable for them, and where they can buy it from. Step One make it simple for you, all you have to do is go on their website, choose a style, either boxer brief or trunk, then choose your size, and lastly choose your colour. It may be hard to believe, but buying undies can really be as easy as that.



As Step One and Tradie are Australian brands, it is interesting to compare where each of the brands are owned, based and where their products are made. Some brands can be quite secretive about this, as the origins and culture of the brand do play a part in a customer’s decision making process. So, to help you understand a little more about each of the brands, the table compares these factors for Step One, Tradie and Jockey.


Brand

Who owns them?

Where are they based?

Where are the products made?


Step One

Australian owned

Based in Australia

Made in China


Jockey

American owned

Based in America

Made in India


Tradie

Australian owned

Based in Australia

Made in China



Although there have been many different types and styles of men’s underwear throughout the years, there are some that are more popular than others and therefore have remained in the top draw of men’s wardrobes for decades. The most common men’s underwear styles at the moment are boxers, briefs, trunks and boxer briefs. Everyone is a different shape, so it should be no surprise that the style of underwear you choose is just down to personal preference. As a result of this, many brands choose to offer lots of different options so they will have something that is comfortable for everyone. However, some brands are more selective with how many shapes they offer. The table below looks at what styles are offered by Step One, Tradie and Jockey.


Brand

Boxers

Briefs

Trunks

Boxer Briefs

Step One

Tradie

Jockey



As highlighted in the table, both Tradie and Jockey offer all shapes of underwear, whereas Step One focus on the two most popular styles at the moment, trunks and boxer briefs. It is also interesting to mention that Jockey have many other, less worn shapes for sale on their website, such as bikinis and string bikinis. These two shapes are often used in women’s underwear, and it is less common to see them for men. Although offering more styles, and more unusual shapes for men has its benefits, it isn’t always a good thing. It does, however, give the brand a larger market as it caters to everyone, however, it also means each shape has had less time, effort and thought put into its design. Instead of taking that risk, and ending up like many other underwear brands, Step One decided to focus on the two most worn shapes, trunks and boxer briefs. These shapes are relatively similar, the boxer briefs are slightly longer in the leg than the trunk, in the case of Step One, they are 3cm longer. The primary reason Step One opted to just focus on these shapes is because they believe that they offer the right amount of coverage and support for maximum comfort throughout the day. It’s all about being comfortable fellas, so ditch the tighty-whitey’s or the overly baggy boxers, and go for something that will make you feel secure, without feeling crushed.


Something you may not consider much, but is actually very important, as it’s right up against your skin, is the fabric your underwear is made from. Because undies are covering and protecting an important, and sensitive area of your body, the softer the fabric, the better. Which is why it is so shocking that most brands still use updated versions of the fabric they have always used. Cotton is still the fabric of choice for many companies, despite there being better options. So what fabrics are used by Tradie, Jockey and Step One?


Tradie, like most brands, is still making use of cotton, although they have added elastane in some of their trunks to make movement easier. The brand also offers sport alternatives with polyester fabric as well as quick drying fabric trunks to wear under board shorts when swimming. It’s great that the brand is giving lots of options, however, polyester is renowned for making you sweat, so you’ll feel like you need a shower as soon as you get warm!


Jockey also make use of cotton for most of their designs, alongside offering a ‘rapid cool’ fabric. As with Tradie, this fabric is mainly made up of polyester, but also includes mesh and spandex. Despite many brands trying to create effective moisture wicking fabric, many of them don’t get it quite right, and this is mainly because they are still using cotton! So if there are better fabric options, why do brands keep using it? The answer is simple, cotton is a cheap and easy to manufacture option.


But Step One realize that cheaper isn’t always better, which is why no cotton is used in Step One underwear. Instead, Step One use bamboo; fabric made from bamboo is far softer than cotton with a more luxurious feel. After wearing cotton undies, bamboo will feel like a treat for your junk! If this wasn’t brilliant enough, the bamboo fabric used by Step One is integrated with moisture wicking technology, which basically means any sweat is moved away from your body and to the exterior of your clothing. Essentially, you’ll feel dryer and fresher for longer. Many other brands attempt to create cooling, moisture wicking fabric with blends of polyester and cotton, but the simple fact is, nothing will work as well as bamboo.


Any brand that wants to succeed in an industry needs to have unique selling points. Each brand will argue that their specific design is superior to the others on the market, but how true is this? Jockey is by far the oldest brand compared to Tradie and Step One, and the brand does deserve credit for being the creator of the Y-Front we all know and love (well, perhaps not love). Jockey put their brand name on the waistband of their undies in 1947 and continues to do so today. Furthermore, they offer a range of colours and prints, and boast flat seams to reduce chafing. Tradie also have a branded waistband, but they also offer a working fly for easy access. Generally, Tradie offer a range of dark block colours, with a bright fly seam that matches a brightly coloured text on the waistband. Step One also provide a wide, branded waistband, however, the undies designed by Step One also offer many more features.


Chaffing is a common issue with men’s underwear that brands try and fail to solve. Step One have come up with innovative techniques to put an end to this problem in the form of lycra panels on the inner thigh of their boxer briefs and trunks. Not only does this stop chafing, but it also prevents your undies from riding up, so that’s an added bonus! Another distinctive feature Step One undies offer is their 3D comfort pouch, an elastic strip is hidden in the pouch, to create a cup. A pouch like this surrounds your manhood, without squashing you or making you feel crushed. This will help you feel more secure, and prevent you from feeling like your junk is being pressed against your leg. To make it easier for you to compare the features on the undies from each brand, check out the table below.



Brand

Comfortable Waistband

Lycra Panels

3D Comfort Pouch

Jockey

Tradie

Step One


Although both Tradie and Jockey are fine options when it comes to men’s underwear, they certainly don’t offer as many features as Step One undies. Step One is the youngest of the three companies, meaning they have come up with new ideas, and are using different fabrics. The aim for Step One is to change men’s underwear for the better.


It can also be interesting to consider what other products certain brands make, if they focus on one, or if they make a range of products for men women and children. Step One purely focus on men’s underwear, because that’s what they are passionate about making and it’s what they are good at making! However, it is quite rare to find a brand that does this. In some cases, by creating too many products, brands spread themselves too thin and the quality suffers. The table below demonstrates which brands make which products.  


Brand

Sleepwear

Women’s

Child & Baby

Step One

Jockey

Tradie


It’s no secret that men come in all shapes and sizes, so why is it that some brands act like it’s not true? Only offering a couple of sizing options can easily turn customers off of a brand and make anyone feel frustrated. In order to help you know where to shop (and where not to shop) below is a table that demonstrates the size ranges offered by Step One, Tradie and Jockey.


Brand

S

M

L

XL

2XL

3XL

Tradie

Jockey

Step One


Step One doesn’t want men to feel ashamed of their shape or size; measurements don’t define the man! This is exactly why Step One offer a range of sizes from small (75-80cm) to 3XL (125cm-130cm). Sizing is something that is beginning to occur to brands, with Tradie offering a wide range of sizes as well, however it is taking far too long for many brands to appreciate that there should be a size to fit everyone.


Men, we know the majority of you hate shopping, and we know this is ten times worse when it comes to underwear shopping. So before you deny it, we know that you pick up the cheapest pair you find. Pricing does come into consideration when shopping for anything- underwear included. But, sometimes you get what you pay for, premium fabric will often mean a slightly higher price tag.


Step One trunks and boxer briefs in any colour will cost you $29. However, guys, you do need more than one pair of undies, so the more pairs you buy, the cheaper it becomes per pair for you. If you were to buy 15 pairs, the price per pair goes down to $15! You can’t deny, that’s a good deal. Jockey trunks are in a similar ballpark ranging from a slightly higher price of $31 to about $24. However, don’t forget Jockey still use cotton, which is a far inferior fabric to bamboo. Furthermore, this is a flat rate, meaning you won’t get a discount for buying more. Why do brands punish their customers for buying from them? It really is strange. Instead, Step One want to reward their customers. So who seems like a better option now? Tradie are the cheapest option ranging from about $16-$20 per pair, however, again they are still using cotton. It would seem like a far better option to purchase two week’s worth of undies in one go (you won’t have to buy more for ages) from Step One, and pay $15 per pair. It’s cheaper in the long run, and much, much easier.


Have you ever bought something and instantly regretted it? It’s quite common. Annoyingly, many brands don’t care after they have got your money, so they often have poor returns policies. This is especially true with underwear; it is so rare to be able to return or exchange undies. Step One, as always, strive to be different, and this extends to their customer care policy. Take a look at the table below to see Step One’s customer care policies in comparison to Tradie and Jockey.


Brand

Free Shipping

Warranty

Guarantee


Step One

Free shipping on all Australian orders. NZ and rest of the world get free shipping on orders $75 or over.

Offer a one-year warranty on all manufacturer defects as long you have purchased your garments directly from Step One

First pair guarantee: if you don’t like the first pair you try, Step One will send you a different size or style or even refund you without you needing to return the pair you’ve tried on.


Jockey

Free shipping on Australian orders over $49 or $5.95 for under $49

No warranty

No guarantee


Tradie

Free shipping on Australian orders over $100 or $5 for orders under $100

No warranty

No guarantee


It can be incredibly challenging and boring to look for men’s undies, which is exactly why Step One have tried to make it as easy and pain free as possible. With so many options, it can be hard to decide, and easy to just grab the first thing you see. But, hopefully after seeing how Step One compares to big brands and how much easier the process of buying undies could be, you’ll know where to go next time you’re in need of a new pair.
























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Sizing Chart
Size Waist
Small
75-80cm
Medium
85-90cm
Large
95-100cm
Extra Large
105-110cm
2XL 115-120cm
3XL 125-130cm

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