Fashion is subjective, and that includes your underwear of choice. But there’s also another truth — there will always be something that rises to the top. There will be “good” underwear, and there will be the “best”.
So, which type of underwear is best for males?
The best, of course, is something that offers the best of both (or all) worlds – the boxer brief. It’s the jack-of-all-trades version of underwear: it provides ample support, breathability, and looks good on all body types.
That’s talking in general terms, though. Different kinds of underwear offer different kinds of advantages. And there’s probably a kind of underwear that’s perfect for you, too.
In this article, we’ll talk about everything underwear: from the things they offer, the one most suitable to you, and the things you should look for.
How many types of male underwear are there?
Our ancestors only had loincloths before, but times have changed and it has evolved into four kinds of underwear.
First off, we have the good-ol’ reliable briefs. Invented in the 1930s, briefs are probably the most popular kind of underwear.
The briefs are also called tighty-whities, and that’s because they’re…tight. There are more colors now, but the principle is still the same. They cover your crotch area tightly, keeping everything in one place.
Whether it’s low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise, you’ll know it’s a pair of briefs when it has a Y-shape front.
The leg holes of the briefs are designed as upward curves to the top of the thighs. Although the amount of fabric covering the thighs can vary, it will always be above your crotch area.
This design on the leg hole ensures that no fabric will roll up, however thick your thighs might be. And that’s not to mention that briefs also show your thighs, making it perfect for guys who don’t skip their leg (err… thigh?) days.
Briefs can accentuate your “package”, too, so it’s perfect for guys who are favorably blessed in that aspect.
The brief’s biggest strength is probably its downside, though – it’s tight.
Too tight underwear can lead to a lower sperm count because sperm production is better at lower temperatures.
Briefs tend to “crumple” up everything in one place, making the groin area warmer than it normally is.
It’s also not as breathable as its other contemporaries.
If breathability is an issue for you and you want your down there to be as free as possible without going commando, then the other substitutes would work better for you.
The style of the briefs also doesn’t favor those who have big hips or those who are big guys.
Briefs tend to attract attention to the area above the briefs as well.
Then we move on to the boxers (or boxer shorts). This kind of underwear was first invented in the 1920s, taking inspiration from the loose shorts worn by boxers, hence the name.
The yin to the briefs’ yang, boxers offer the most breathability while letting go of the security aspect.
It’s usually made of 100% cotton and it’s the least restrictive of the types of underwear listed here.
The breathability factor of the boxers promotes better sperm production, too.
The boxers cover more thigh area in general, up to the middle of your thighs.
Boxers look better when worn by those whose bodies are on the bulkier side, either due to being muscular or being chubby.
The baggy look of the boxers makes the bodies of these guys look more balanced if it makes sense.
Guys with thicker thighs might want to stray away from boxers, though! Bigger thighs risk the chance of rubbing against your crotch area more, and since boxers have the least protection, this could lead to sweating, general discomfort, and even chafing.
Boxers tend to roll up more often than other underwear too since it has more fabric in general.
Not just that, but guys whose thighs are on the thinner side might want to consider other options, too.
Thin thighs could make the baggy look of the shorts look baggier and looser, making those thin thighs look even thinner.
It’s also not a good idea to wear boxers under tighter pants. The extra fabric would just make things uncomfortable down there, with all the bunching and riding up.
All in all, the general rule is that boxers are better worn at home, where you can let your man parts relax and breathe.
When the worlds of men’s underwear collide, what you’ll get is the boxer briefs.
First released by Armani in the 1980s, the boxer briefs are a variation of the boxer shorts.
They are tighter than the boxers while maintaining the general length. It’s also usually made of a combination of cotton with either spandex, nylon, or polyester to give it the quality of being skin-tight and stretchable.
There’s no doubt that the boxer brief is the best type of underwear for males, and it’s not even because this is a personal favorite. This type of underwear just combines all the good attributes of the briefs and boxers and manages to balance them all while looking fly.
Boxer briefs provide enough support to your crotch area, keeping them in one place but not balling them up tightly.
You also get some breathability in there too without the use of a lot of fabrics – so yes, you can use these under your skinny jeans, too!
The good things don’t stop there – boxer briefs are usually mid to high rise, making it a perfect fit for taller guys.
That also means another thing: no more crack slips.
It looks good on all body types. They accentuate your thighs and can make them look more muscular.
It doesn’t necessarily hide your upper thighs since it’s usually skin-tight, so it’s good even for shorter guys.
The only downside of the boxer briefs is that although it is body-hugging, it still tends to ride up, although not as much as boxer shorts.
If you don’t mind this though, then this one’s for you.
Finally, we have the trunks. This was first released in the same time period as the boxer briefs, and they both have the same qualities, if you think about it.
The length of the boxer briefs and trunks make all the difference between them.
Trunks are made to be shorter than boxer briefs, which reduces the riding-up issue from the boxer briefs. They are also usually low-rise, as compared to the boxer briefs’ high-rise.
The low-rise aspect means that your hips would look bigger, while the higher cut (compared to boxer briefs) lets you show more skin. Combined, this makes the trunks fit perfectly to slimmer and shorter guys.
The only thing that makes the boxer briefs take the crown is that it fits more kinds of body types. They’re very interchangeable, so if we have to name the second best, then that would be the trunks.
Things to Look For in Your Underwear
The way you choose your underwear shouldn’t end in the type of your underwear – that should be the beginning!
The first thing you should consider, except the affordability, of course, is the color. Solid color choices are colors that are on the neutral side of things.
That includes black, white, gray, navy blue, and nude colors, although those are harder to find and can be on the more expensive side of things. Some shades of red are great, too.
These colors are more common since they’re easy on the eyes if you ever decide to go out in your undies. We personally prefer black since it doesn’t stain easily, but that would be trickier to wear under light-colored pants.
In that case then white would be your best option, or even the gray ones if you find white underwear somehow repulsive.
The next is the fit, especially of the elastic band.
You want something that fits your waist or hips perfectly, depending on the cut. Get it too tight, and it will leave your skin red and itchy. Get it too loose, and it will just go down every several minutes.
You want it just right.
Fortunately, the sizing of the underwear is easily accessible as long as you know your waistline.
Although the sizing is usually through ranges, they’re still mostly accurate.
Last but not least is the fabric choice. The fabric choice would matter depending on the kind of activity you would do while wearing the underwear.
Is it for your everyday wear or when you’re relaxing?
Cotton would be good for that. If you’re looking for underwear to wear while working out then you should look for underwear made of moisture-wicking materials.
It’s all about comfort in the end though, and you’re the only one who knows what feels good and what doesn’t!
Why Do Men Wear Underwear, Anyway?
It’s not just because of social norms, believe it or not!
Wearing underwear provides support and protection to your groin area all throughout the day.
It’s also more hygienic, and consequently, helps you prevent things like chafing, irritation, and infections.
And what do you know, we have an article for that, too! Check out one of our other articles, Should Men Wear Underwear? for a more in-depth discussion on this topic.