Types Of Men’s Underwear
The boys need some support, they need comfort, and most importantly, somewhere that’s not going to sweat up a storm. We’re talking about every type of men’s underwear; there are more available types than ever before, and a ton of different ways to wear them. In truth, you could have a different style and fit of underwear for well over two months straight before you rotate back. There’s a ton to choose from, so let’s help you narrow it down and select exactly what’s good for you.
Knowing what’s going to fit your body type as well as your personal style is half the battle. There’s fabrics, dyes and other materials to take into consideration. From the first thread down to the last shred of elastic waistband, this is what you need to know about all men’s underwear types.
We’re starting with the reigning champion of men’s underwear. Boxer briefs were basically a huge solution to men all across the world who were stuck in limbo between boxers and briefs. You want the tightness of briefs up against your skin, but you want the length of boxers.
Boxer briefs give a ton of support to the boys downstairs. Briefs can be constricting due to the way that they ride up on you. These give you a bit more room, and if you notice them trying to scrunch up, you can adjust yourself very easily by gently pulling on the hem of the leg holes. Discretion for constant comfort. These can also be used as a workout underwear.
We’re men. We sweat. Boxer briefs are one of the best defenses against odor, sweat building up, and act as a shield between your nether region and your pants. The last thing you want is sweat soaking into your pants, and being visible through them.
Let’s keep it free and easy. Boxers are built for gents that can’t handle the constriction of briefs, and boxer briefs don’t offer them the mobility that they want. Breathable, roomy, you get the gist of it. The main problem you run into with boxers is sweat protection.
Since they’re so free and easy, sweat will wick off your body and just fall where gravity dictates. Boxers are thin, so even when they absorb sweat, they become slightly uncomfortable. They still have their place, we just don’t recommend wearing them if you work outside in the sun all day.
If you’re chilling around the flat on a Sunday or after work, nothing feels quite as comfortable and relaxing as a pair of boxers. The good thing about these is that they’re generally a lot cheaper than standard briefs.
Trunks sit somewhere between a brief and boxer brief. For those of you who just can’t seem to pick one or the other, trunks give you a hybrid of mobility and sweat protection. The leg holes are a bit shorter than boxer briefs, but still hug your legs and help prevent sweat from soaking through.
The silhouette around the crotch area is square-shaped, as opposed to the rounded triangular shape that briefs usually have. This is a bit roomier for gents who need it, and a lot less constricting. It seems like a minor detail, but the silhouette can dictate the comfort level.
Lastly, they’re usually constructed similar to briefs: cotton, a bit of spandex and polyester for the waistband, and a smooth feeling against your skin. These are an excellent choice for just about any gentleman, for any occasion. You may also like to check our selection of the best swimming trunks.
The long underwear that winter forces you to wear. You may have heard them described as thermals, but the old-fashioned name was long Johns. These are made a bit rougher, and aren’t as accommodating to the boys downstairs. You usually grab a pair of these if you work outdoors in winter, or those snowy months just really rattle your bones. A perfect base layer when it is cold outside.
Long Johns are rarely made out of anything besides cotton, and a bit of spandex or nylon for some stretchiness and a touch of breathability. The point of these is to keep your body heat in. The only downside to long Johns is that until you get used to them, it feels like you’re wearing really big pants with no underwear on.
If you’ve never seen John Tucker Must Die, then you missed the best comedic advocacy for the man thong. While it’s usually been a laughable underwear type, you can’t knock it until you try it. Been hitting leg day at the gym? Sick of an underwear line through your sweat pants? That’s where the man thong comes into play.
The waistband is generally a bit thinner than on a pair of briefs, and built with a bit more padding. Since there’s no leg holes to account for, manufacturers do this to reduce chafing, even if you’re wearing these during sports or working outdoors.
The pouch is always crafted with a comfortable amount of fabric. You’re sacrificing the leg hole for a bit of extra comfort for the boys, and they also include all this extra fabric to aid in sweat retention. They’re breathable, and while they’re usually built for shredded guys, they’re a perfect choice regardless of your body type.
While this isn’t personally our first pick, a mankini is the trademark underwear of bodybuilders everywhere. These are somewhere between briefs and a man thong, with low-cut sides and a rectangular silhouette. The only thing you really have to be careful of is that you will have an underwear line through sweatpants (and possibly jeans).
Mankinis are comfortable above all else. There’s extra room for the boys, but still enough fabric to help you out on a hot day. These are usually made out of cotton, and the only major downside is that they’re going to get a bit scraggly after six months of use. If this is your preferred underwear type, just keep a fresh stockade.
Briefs can be summarized into three different tiers: low, mid and high. Briefs sit up on your hips, generally with the leg holes a bit higher than the silhouette. They offer mobility, but also aren’t the most flattering thing to see on a gent. Let’s go over the differences between the three types (and skip the obvious ones).
Right, you know they’re low-cut and hang lower on your legs, but the main difference is in sweat protection. Low-rise briefs have more fabric, and therefore deal better against sweat and odors.
Somewhere between riding up and being comfortable, mid-rise briefs are excellent for having full leg mobility (ideally for running), without feeling like you’re strutting around in a man thong.
We’d place these near a man thong for how high the leg holes are. For most pairs, you’re going to get more waistband height than leg hole height. Great mobility for running, exercise, and they’re comfortable, just not as good against sweat.
Who else remembers the pain of high school? For real, jockstraps are actually pretty comfortable and offer a nice little trick that your buddies never learned. You can use your jockstrap to tuck in your dress shirt so it’s coming out through the leg holes and maintain the perfect tucked-in shirt.
Apart from that, they’re designed to help the boys feel a bit more free while you’re proceeding with your day. They were built for athletes, so if you’re looking for the perfect pair of underwear to work out in or hit that 5K, a jockstrap is your best bet. These also have a lot of sweat and odor protection, so you’ll stay as fresh as can be all day long.
So What Materials Should I be Looking For?
Men’s underwear has a history of being made mostly out of cotton. In the words of Charlie Cox’s portrayal of Daredevil, “Cotton feels like sandpaper against my skin.” This writer isn’t a fan of cotton, and a fair amount of gents that keep the shop clean would agree.
Cotton can get irritating, but it’s inexpensive as can be. Modal is an excellent material, which stays breathable and smooth against your skin. You will see the price tag hike up a bit.
We’re not going to recommend getting silk unless you’re dry cleaning everything you own. Silk is okay for bed sheets, and while a pair of silk underwear feel excellent, you have to be careful with how you handle them.
You’re going to see any description of underwear packages have a bit of spandex and nylon thrown into the mix. You might see anywhere from 1% up to 5%, and that’s because of the waistband and the casing around the waistband. The less fabric you have (like with a man thong), the higher percentage of spandex the product description will have.
What Underwear is Right for My Body Type?
Alright gents, it’s time to get personal. The last thing we want to do is suggest a certain type of underwear and have you dislike it. This is about finding out what’s good for you, what works in your wardrobe, and feeling good above all else.
Big and tall gentleman will want to test out boxer briefs for added support around their legs, but bodybuilders will run into an issue with boxer briefs. That’s where man thongs come to the rescue, avoiding constriction and red lines left over after changing your pair. For both body types, boxer shorts will be extremely comfortable and breathable.
If you’re extremely slender, we’re going to advise you to stay away from boxers. They tend to have an overly flexible waistband and are extremely easy to just slide down when you least expect them. Even if you grab a pair that’s in your size, you might still run into this problem. Boxer briefs give you the same coverage, but cling a little closer to your skin.
If you’re currently on a weight loss journey and your body is rapidly transitioning, or perhaps you’re gaining muscle mass slowly over time, you’re going to have to transition between underwear types as well. Boxers will be comfortable, but not very supportive. Starting with some boxer briefs and transitioning into a mid-cut brief can keep you supported throughout your journey.
For those of you that don’t fit the categories we’ve just listed, you have the option to play around with different underwear types. Keep your sights set on comfort, support for the boys, and mobility, and you’ll be fine. Even if you go for a different material, don’t sacrifice those three traits of men’s underwear just for aesthetics.
What Type is Right for You?
It’s about personal preference, but it’s also about body type. Nobody wants to approach that sensitive subject, but we want to point you in the direction of men’s underwear that you can actually enjoy wearing. Which type is going to be your go-to? Our advice: rotate between a few different types in your wardrobe to keep things fresh.