For someone used to buying a four-pack of Hanes at Target, shopping for Nic Tailor underwear can be an intimidating experience.
“We don’t have any small, medium, large, extra-large,” explains Cal Mosack, a Charlotte native who started Nic Tailor three years ago based on the simple idea that most men’s underwear doesn’t fit very well.
Of course, solving that problem calls for some extensive self-evaluation.
The first thing a prospective customer is asked is their waist size. “We have waist size 28 to 48,” Mosack says. “If someone has a waist 37, we’re going to make it for him.”
There’s a temptation to shave off an inch or two while filling out the form on the web site, for vanity’s sake. And the awkwardness has barely begun.
The next section is titled simply “Buns” and comes with helpful diagrams. There’s “Slim,” with nearly straight line defining a rear end of that size, as well as “Regular” with a rump that looks similar to a lowercase ‘w’ and “Large” which looks like the number 3 lying on its back.
Anyone whose made it through those two questions is next met by the “Groin” section. There are two options (and thankfully, no diagrams): “Average” and “Large.”
It begs the question—can men who order Nic Tailor customized underwear really be trusted to answer these questions truthfully, or is the company plagued with returns by the dozen, because ego took precedence over fit.
“We had one customer,” Mosack says. “I’ll never forget him. He said he was Large buns, Large groin. Then, he emailed us back and said, ‘According to my wife, I have no ass and a little tiny package.’ But we worked with that guy to make sure he got the right fit for him.”
And, given the options available for Nic Tailor—There is no one at the company by that name; it’s a play on the phrase “Tailored knickers”—the right fit is out there.
“We have four different lengths, all the waist sizes,” Mosack says. “If somebody has a big butt, little butt, small package, large package, we’re that customized. We will make it. It’s a big reason we have the enormous amount of SKUs that we do, because of the true customization we offer that no one else does on the market.”
SKU stands for “stock keeping unit.” It’s an ID number given to each unique product a company makes. For underwear, each different combination of size, style and color gets its own SKU. Nic Tailor has more than 2,200.
Even with that, there are sometimes guys that are more difficult to fit. Some of Nic Tailor’s customers are pro football players, whose thin waists and thickly muscled rear ends are often difficult to fit.
“Be honest. You’ve got this part of your body that’s bigger, smaller, whatever. We’re going to fit you … but don’t lie.”— Nic Tailor founder Cal Mosack
Nic Tailor’s lead designer, Audie Cooper, has been known to get on the phone with customers to talk through their specifications. “We’ll stay on top of it until we get these guys underwear that fits them perfectly,” Mosack says.
The underwear is made from Micro Modal (a highly absorbent, cool fabric known as “artificial silk”), Supima cotton (the highest quality cotton) and elastane (similar to Spandex). “It just makes a consistently great fit,” Mosack says.
“I have a son (Connor Mosack) that races stock cars and Trans Ams,” Mosack says, “and he’s been my toughest critic. He loves these. He’ll sit in a race car. It’s 130, 150 degrees in the car, and he’s not sweating down there between his legs at all.”
Mosack also points out proudly that Nic Taylor’s are cut and sewn right in North Carolina, in Mount Gilead.
“The waistbands are brought in from Virginia,” he says. “Dying and finishing is done in Los Angeles, and then they’re shipped back here and sold. So we truly are 100 percent USA made. We’re especially passionate about making it all right here in the great state of North Carolina.”
Nic Tailor has also partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Starting in September, the company has been donating 15 percent of all proceeds from underwear sales to the foundation.
Not only that, but the designers have come up with a new style of underwear for men that suffer from prostate issues. It looks just like regular underwear, but it offers a “dry fly option.”
“They may think that they’re finished relieving themselves,” Mosack explains. “They put it back in their pants and go back to playing golf or whatever. All of a sudden, they look down at their khaki shorts, and they have a big wet spot. So we had Audie design this special option that has two additional layers in that area that will basically catch and wick away moisture. You’ll have no spotting, and you can’t even feel the difference.”
Twilight star Peter Facinelli wore a pair of Nic Tailors when he stripped down for prostate awareness in an Instagram post earlier this year. He also used the hashtag #NicTailorNoPants.
“With everyone in quarantine and doing meetings on Zoom, no one can see what you’re wearing below the waist,” Mosack explains. “So you can just be sitting there in your Nic Tailors with no pants on and be more comfortable than you ever were in an office.”
There’s just one thing to remember, if you truly want to be comfortable.
“Be honest,” Mosack says. “You’ve got this part of your body that’s bigger, smaller, whatever. We’re going to fit you … but don’t lie.”