Boxers and Briefs: A Contemporary Guide to the Best Men’s Underwear
Want to know which is really the best men’s underwear? That’s what you’ll discover in this guide.
- Underwear Styles
- Boxer Briefs
- Colors and Patterns of Men’s Underwear
- The Best Men’s Underwear Fabrics
- How to Identify the Best Quality in Men’s Underwear
- Men’s Underwear Longevity
- The Bottom Line on the Best Men’s Underwear
Manufacturers make men’s underwear in a variety of styles. For the purpose of this article, we’ll discuss the most popular: boxers, briefs and boxer briefs.
On the shelves in department stores and online, you’ll find a variety of name brands like Calvin Klein, Hanes, and Box Menswear.
Most men choose a style of underwear they prefer and stick with them. It’s what they’re used to. For most men, the activity they’re doing–sitting at work, working out or playing sports doesn’t really matter.
Some men prefer the freedom of wearing boxers for their airy and loose fit. Others like a tighter fit and support briefs offer. And some prefer a compromise of wearing boxer briefs.
In a recent study, it was concluded that the sperm count of men is 25% higher in men that wear boxers as opposed to tighty whities.
Long ago in the 1920s, a boxing company named Everlast altered the leather trunks prizefighters wore. They added an elastic band to provide more comfort for the fighters in the ring.
This design did not go unnoticed by underwear manufacturers. Hence the arrival of boxer shorts. At first, men didn’t catch on. They preferred wearing the warm union suit-style underwear that was popular at the time.
They thought the boxer shorts didn’t provide enough support and felt they were too loose to the union style.
Boxers featured a button fly, a short inseam with a straight leg opening and an elastic waistband took a foreign concept in consumer underwear. But today, boxers have gained popularity worldwide.
Here are some pros and cons of wearing boxers.
Pros of Boxers
- Comfortable, loose and roomy, non-constricting
- Typically constructed of absorbent cotton
- Comfortable to wear while sleeping
- Hides bulge in portly men
Cons of Boxers
- Has the tendency to bunch up underneath pants
- The excess fabric doesn’t work well with men wearing skinny jeans or short shorts
- They ride up the back when pants fall down
- Doesn’t provide enough support for athletics
Some people swear the best men’s underwear are briefs. These have been referred to as jockey shorts, and more informally as tighty whities. You can recognize them by their Y-cut fly, elastic waistband and snug fit.
Briefs provide men good coverage and support in the buttocks, the upper thigh area, and the waist. They give skin better support than looser boxers and don’t bunch up under skinny jeans or fitted pants. They’re also easier to sit in all day.
They work better with pants with the popular low-rise design, resting three inches below the waist. They don’t ride up the waist as boxers do. They also fit well with mid-rise jeans that hit the belly button area.
Here are some pros and cons of wearing briefs:
Pros of Briefs
- Comfortable when you sit at a desk throughout the day
- Fit perfectly for men’s skinny jeans or snug-fitting pants
- The material won’t bunch up on you
- Work well with mid-rise and low-rise jeans
Cons of Briefs
- Can feel tight if they shrink in the wash
- Can affect sperm count according to a new study linked above
- Can show skin bulging for heavy set men
3. Boxer Briefs
Some men say boxer briefs are the ideal compromise. They think they provide the best of both worlds in underwear. They give men a tapered boxer cut but add support you find in wearing a brief.
Boxer briefs remain comfortable throughout the day. They also provide support for playing athletics and engaging in physical activities.
If you’re a few pounds overweight, they look better than briefs because they hide bulging better. So even if you’re not in ideal shape, they can look good.
Pros of Boxer Briefs
- You get support and comfort
- Fits well when wearing snug or loose-fitting jeans or pants
- Ideal for playing sports
Cons of Boxer Briefs
- Not as comfortable as briefs when sitting all-day
- Some bunching occurs
4. Colors and Patterns of Men’s Underwear
When looking for the best men’s underwear, an assortment of colors and patterns matter to some men. With the styles available today, colors and patterns are abundant. So is the option of wearing solid white.
When considering fashion men’s underwear, choose a dark-colored fabric under darker pants like blue jeans. You’ll want to wear white or a lighter shade under white slacks or pants.
Even in winter, when wearing pants, you don’t want darker colors to show through lighter-hued pants for most of the year.
But men should choose their underwear wisely during summertime. Stay away from patterns when wearing lighter in weight fabrics: cotton, seersucker, linen or finer light-colored pants. Patterned styles will show through your trousers.
It’s always smarter to stick with solid colors that match your skin tone in this case.
5. The Best Men’s Underwear Fabrics
Men’s underwear comes in a variety of fabrics. Sometimes the fabric of your underwear can affect the quality and the timeline of how long your underwear will last. We’ll talk more about the longevity of underwear below.
The most commonly worn men’s underwear fabric is cotton. That’s because cotton is breathable, absorbent and sold in many stores.
Men who prefer natural fibers will only consider wearing cotton underwear. But since the quality of different cotton can vary, so do the prices of cotton underwear.
You’ll also feel a difference in the touch as well as the appearance of different kinds of cotton underwear.
Just like sheets, cotton quality in men’s underwear depends on the cotton it’s made from, including Egyptian cotton, Pima or another type of cotton.
Beware of labels that advertise 100% cotton. If underwear is composed of 97% cotton, still be labeled as 100% cotton even though the textile and wool acts recommends against this.
Keep in mind, it’s better to wear underwear with an elastic waistband because they provide more comfort. Due to this, many cotton blends in underwear are made from mostly cotton and blended with another stretchable fabric.
When it comes to cotton blends, choose one with the highest cotton percentage you can find. These are typically better. The higher the concentration of cotton, the softer the underwear will feel on your skin.
When looking for softness, the finer the fiber is, the softer the material feels. And when it comes to softness, microfiber is the finest fiber.
However, microfiber is a manmade fabric. It can be constructed from polyester, rayon or polyimide. A popular microfiber fiber in underwear is MicroModal. It’s considered the microfiber version of Modal.
6. How to Identify the Best Quality in Men’s Underwear
Here’s how you can measure quality. It comes down to comfort and longevity, seams and stitching.
When it comes to underwear, comfort is key. We must be comfortable when wearing underwear day in and day out seven days a week. The material underwear is made from plays a major role in underwear comfort levels.
Other than material, comfort is also determined by the underwear’s pouch, the cut, and where the seams are located on the underwear.
Recently, the luxury men’s underwear market offered underwear choices with cut thigh openings and back knitted seams. This prevents unraveling or retains comfort.
Men’s Underwear Longevity
Do you know how much money you actually spend on men’s underwear?
When you buy cheaper underwear in all-cotton, they don’t last as long as luxury underwear. Cheaper underwear will shrink and fade more frequently than better-made underwear.
In contrast, luxury underwear requires a larger investment when you buy it, but it lasts longer. It also feels softer on your body and its seams and stitching are constructed with higher quality.
This makes the underwear last longer, even after many washing and drying cycles in laundry machines.
Higher quality underwear provides more durability and can last for years, unlike cheaper underwear.
If you don’t have the budget or don’t want to spend the money on buying a lot of luxury underwear, try getting a few pairs. In the long run, luxury made lasts longer.
The Bottom Line on the Best Men’s Underwear
Now you know more about the best men’s underwear you can buy. In this modern guide, you’ve discovered the types, fabrics, colors and patterns, and pros and cons and quality about boxers, briefs and boxer briefs.
Which underwear do you want against your skin?
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