Why Does Underwear Give You a Wedgie?

underwear for wedgie free
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Let’s address the elephant in the room: 

Wedgies are not a life-threatening condition. We’ve all had one at one point in our lives, and it’s irritating at worst. One thing’s for sure though – it’s better to not have one and be conscious if it’s showing!

Why does underwear give you a wedgie, anyway? The factors that come into play are wrong sizing, lack or excess fabric, underwear age, and underwear fabric.

We’ll tackle all of these in this article, as well as other things that can help keep them at bay. No more loo breaks for adjusting your underwear – it’s time to bid goodbye to wedgies!

What causes wedgies?

Improper sizing

The first on our list is improper sizing. If the underwear you bought is too big or too small for you, it will have a harder time remaining in place.

It’s easier to see in the case of bigger underwear. Bigger underwear means that there will be extra fabric that shouldn’t be present. It can’t just magically disappear, so the first place it will go to is your buttcrack. 

But what about the smaller underwear? At first, smaller underwear can still cover your rear perfectly especially if it has stretchable properties. 

However, this additional strain to the fabric will make it wear out a lot easier. Once the fabric has worn out, it will become saggy and thin out – which would make it easier for your buttcrack to “absorb”.

Lack / Excess Fabric

Quite related to improper sizing, the lack or excess of fabric is a factor, too. 

The only thing that differs is that this factor also applies to the style of underwear you are wearing.

The lack of fabric leads to the underwear being stretched out to cover your rear. Since the fabric is pulled so tightly across your butt, any slight movements will cause it to move. This causes the bunching and riding up issues, and subsequently, the wedgies.

But how do you define the “right amount” of fabric, anyway? The answer to that is this: it must fully cover your bum area, without having a lot of fabric to spare, of course. 

That means that briefs, which tend to not fully cover your butt, usually lack fabric. At least for this rule, anyway. 

On the other hand, although boxer shorts do the job correctly, they tend to have a lot of extra fabric to allow maximum breath-ability. They fail this rule as well.

Underwear’s Fabric

The fabric choice can dictate whether you’ll have a wedgie, too.

In general, synthetic materials such as spandex tend to not cause wedgies since it is inherently stretchy. It also has better recovery – meaning spandex returns to where it originally was when you moved.

Thicker cotton is preferred as well. Thin cotton tends to bunch up faster, which would lead to wedgies.

Luckily, there is underwear now that is made of a blend of synthetic materials and cotton. Underwear made of cotton blended with, say, spandex or polyester, has become more common these days. It’s easier to get the best of both worlds!

Underwear Age

Finally, underwear that is a year old most likely has fabric that has already become thin and saggy because of the wash and tear. 

Reaching this state would be even faster if your underwear is always pulled tightly – in other words, if your underwear is too small for you.

If your underwear has already celebrated its anniversary, you shouldn’t be surprised if you always have a wedgie. 

How to avoid wedgies?

1. Buy underwear with your proper size.

The size is the first thing you should consider when buying underwear. Have it too big and it’ll cause you wedgies, have it too small and it will still cause you wedgies.

Getting your proper size is easier said than done, though. Most underwear doesn’t really have a definite sizing since the size almost always comes in brackets. You also can’t try on the underwear before buying them – that’s just unhygienic.

At first, it will really be a trial and error process especially if you’re buying a new brand. It’s a given to always buy your underwear first depending on your waistline, and adjust as you go.

If you already have a pair of underwear at home that fits you like a glove, what you can do is measure its width with a soft tape measure. 

Compare the measurements with the underwear you want to buy, and choose the one with the closest measurements. This way, you are almost guaranteed to have a good-fitting pair.

2. Buy underwear in the same brand and the same style.

Most brands likely make their underwear using measurements that are slightly different from their competitors. Not to mention that different styles, even when under the same brand, usually have different measurements as well.

If your current pair doesn’t make you lament “why do I keep getting wedgies?”, then you should stick with the brand and style! You can even order pairs of it in different colors for the variety.

However, if you’re still having the itch to explore different brands and styles, I suggest doing the tape measure trick mentioned in the first tip. 

But honestly, why fix something that isn’t broken?

3. Toss your old underwear out.

Look, even though your underwear is on the more expensive side, it still needs to be replaced. 

The “life” of most underwear is usually 6-12 months, although this can still depend on different factors. The underwear you wear during rigorous activities will of course wear out faster.

We’ve already talked about the worn-out fabric being more prone to giving you wedgies, so we’ll skip that out. Aside from giving you more frequent wedgies though, your underwear tends to cling on to the numerous bacteria from your crotch area. 

This might spell infection especially if you have chafes down there, too.

4. Be mindful of your underwear choices.

The fabric of your underwear should have some form of stretch-ability while being breathable. This makes cotton blended with synthetic materials, such as polyester and spandex good choices.

But the choice of underwear doesn’t end with fabric. Some underwear styles tend to give you wedgies more often than others.

We already know that briefs and boxer shorts are prone to wedgies for different reasons. With those two out of the way, let’s take a look at other different styles of underwear that are less prone to wedgies!

What underwear does not give you wedgies?

Manufacturers always take into account every small detail in their production, and wedgies are no different from that. Briefs and related underwear styles have been developed to promise no wedgies.

The following styles, however, are your best bets to wedgie-free days. These types of underwear have certain styles in them that make them less prone to wedgies.


If we’re being technical, then jockstraps take the crown for developing the least wedgies in all types of underwear. 

The premise behind that is simple: if there isn’t any fabric in the back, then what else will crowd in your buttcrack? 

Jockstraps are built to have no fabric covering your rear, with their pouch just being supported by elastics that run around your legs and butt. 

These are usually worn during rigorous activities, say, workouts and cycling, although more men now wear this as well as a substitute for the usual briefs. 


Technically, g-strings don’t have any fabric in the back as well, so it does count as underwear that doesn’t give you wedgies.

However, g-strings have a string on the back that is meant to cling to your buttcrack. It still seems like a wedgie though, but a wedgie by design, and not by accident, if it makes sense. It’s a part of the package – a feature, and not a bug.

These are usually worn on the beach, whether for suntanning or aesthetic purposes. G-strings are that kind of underwear where you wear it to show off everything but your man parts, so it’s good for those intimate moments, too.

There are, of course, some people who wear g-strings as underwear for everyday purposes.

While most likely an acquired taste, I can see the charm of it.

Boxer briefs (and to some extent, trunks)

Finally, we have the boxer briefs and its shorter cousin, trunks.

Boxer briefs were able to combine the briefs’ stretchable fabric and the boxer shorts’ ample butt coverage. These factors, with the normal snug fit, make the boxer briefs the least prone to wedgies among the other underwear types not mentioned in this section.

The same things can be said with the trunks, aka shorter boxer briefs since they’re basically identical. Their only differences lie in their usual rise and their usual length. 

Being less prone to wedgies while being a widely available type of underwear contributes to the boxer briefs being a victor as the best type of underwear for men. 

We have a more in-depth discussion on that in our article, Which Type of Underwear is Best for Males?, where we compare the four most common types of underwear and choose which one is the best.

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