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Men's Underwear Choices

Which article of clothing do you give the least amount of thought to when buying or choosing to wear?  If you’re like most men, you’ll say underwear.  Understandably so, since they’re hidden under pants, and likely only to be seen by someone if they make it into your bedroom.

Well, it’s time to throw out the old school thinking… along with any nasty, ill-fitting underwear and get current.  Underwear is the foundation of your wardrobe, and needs to be given priority; not only for comfort’s sake, but for aesthetic reasons, as well.

Underwear is not a “one-type fits all” piece of clothing.  Today, men are given many choices beyond the tighty whities most of us grew up wearing; so settling for anything other than true pleasure is unacceptable.

There are three basic categories of underwear: briefs, loose boxer shorts and tight boxer shorts.  When polled, the majority of men wear briefs for everyday use; with loose boxers and tight boxers (boxer briefs) coming in second and third place.  Thongs, not included in any category, are worn by some, but are typically worn for special occasions (wink, wink), and not so much for everyday wear.  You may already be strutting your stuff in your ideal skivvies, but let’s take a look at the various styles, which offer different features and can be worn for different purposes.

Various Underwear Styles

Briefs:  Traditionally white, these underpants are somewhat form fitting and offer the boys a lot of support.  Made of cotton for comfort and breathability, the waistband of the original cut sits on the hips; although low-rise styles are also available.  This is the style of choice for anytime you want your package to stay in place, and is a great option when active and playing sports.  There are designer brands that offer additional features and quality, so check them out if you’d like something other than the typical white brief.

The downside to briefs is many men find them to be too restrictive and tight, especially around the thigh.  Not all briefs fit the same, so try different brands until you find a comfortable one if you’re set on wearing them.

Loose Boxers:  For those who enjoy the comfort of freedom, roomy boxers are the way to go!  Typically made of a cotton/polyester blend with a waistband that sits on the hips, boxers come in an assortment of colors and patterns.  Many brands offer a 100% cotton knit boxer, which many men prefer not only because they’re stylish, but for their softness, too.  If you’re looking for support, go elsewhere because these definitely permit everything to hang loose.  They’re great for sleeping and relaxing around the house, but avoid wearing them for active times, or when sitting for long periods when more support is needed.

The disadvantages of loose boxers are they tend to ride up and give wedgies; plus the legs often bunch up under pants, which is both uncomfortable and often noticeable to the eye.

Tight Boxers:  A newer style, these are very popular today because of fashion and comfort.  Typically a knitted material, ranging from cotton to various synthetics, these offer support where we need it most.  Like their cousin the loose boxer, these come in an assortment of colors and patterns.  They tend to stay in place and are form fitting, so they’re acceptable to wear anytime.  Tight boxers are gaining popularity among men of all ages.

Some men find them to be too tight around the thigh and genitals, but with the countless brands available, I’m confident you can find a make that fits.

Thongs:  I know I said thongs don’t qualify for the any of the categories, but I want to say a little (no pun intended) something about them.  From cotton to leather, men’s thongs have become popular and acceptable.  Obviously, not for everyman; they’re designed to cover the family jewels, while exposing the buttocks.  The strings, which join the front piece or pouch with the back string, come in various widths, and offer varying amounts of support.  The back string or strap does sit between the butt cheeks, which can be uncomfortable, but usually becomes unnoticeable with time.  Thongs, the sexiest of underwear, might be the perfect choice for that next big date! The disadvantage is the butt floss, which has no where to go “butt” up!

The types of underwear listed are the basic styles, and come in countless versions and hybrids, depending upon the designer or manufacturer.  There is no right or wrong style to wear, and should be based on comfort and lifestyle.  However, there is underwear etiquette regardless of your preference, so let’s talk about the dos and don’ts.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Wear underwear.  Seriously, there’s nothing acceptable anymore about going commando, no matter how old you are.  It’s nasty and your pants end up doing the job underwear should be doing.  Need I get into details?
  • Buy underwear according to your waist measurement.
  • Always wear at least one clean pair everyday.
  • Aim to own at least 10 to 12 pairs of underwear, or more, if you don’t do laundry weekly.  The idea is to have a clean pair for everyday and extra for the weekend.  A few additional pairs for back up or mid-week dates is both smart and safe.  If you’re active or hit the gym daily, you’ll need extra, so you can put a clean pair on after you shower.
  • Throw out any permanently stained or holey underwear.  You never know when it might be seen, so be prepared by always wearing underpants your mother would approve of!
  • If you wear white, use bleach and hot water when doing laundry to disinfect and get rid of skid marks.
  • Own an assortment of styles for various use.  Loose boxers are great to sleep in, but you might want to wear briefs under your dress slacks to avoid unsightly bumps.
  • Regardless of your age or underwear preference, underwear should never show above your pants’ waistline.  If you wear low-rise pants and shorts, keep your underpants low-rise, as well.
  • Avoid any style that looks like it should be on a woman.  Styles that come too high on the waist or leg are available for men, and are fine if that’s what you’re into… but if they look too feminine, you might want to pass.
  • If your color is white, consider spicing up your collection by adding color, even if your brand remains the same.  I’ve heard the ladies prefer color!
  • Don’t limit yourself to wearing only one brand, especially if it’s an older brand you’ve been sporting since you lost the diapers.  Manufacturers have taken underwear to a new level; giving us the luxury we deserve.  There is a lot to be said for sticking with the old tried and true; however, I’d hate for you to miss out on today’s incredible selection.

Like everything else, there are various qualities of underwear, with price tags to match.  Almost every store that sells men’s clothing sells underwear.  When shopping around, don’t forget to check out online companies, where you can find specialty brands and styles.  Take pride in all your clothing, and build your best wardrobe starting from the inside out.

by Aaron Marino

Pete and Pedro

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