The wrong pair of underwear can ruin a man’s day, whether they are boxers or briefs. There’s scratchy fabric, lack of support, or sweaty-inducing fit. Wearing underwear that’s not right for you can be a major distraction.
Though it might not be first on your
list of priorities, finding the perfect underwear for you can make a real
difference in your daily routine. It can even help you keep everything down
there healthy, clean, and comfortable.
There’s more to the underwear debate
than just boxer briefs vs boxers. With all the styles, designs, and fabrics to
choose from, knowing what’s right for you isn’t as simple as it used to be.
Here’s a guide to finding the
perfect underwear for your lifestyle so you can stay comfortable all day long.
Boxers vs Boxer Briefs vs Trunks
Buying underwear might seem like
something any guy could master. Boxers or briefs? But it can be a lot more
complicated than you might think. Depending on your personal style and
preferences, there’s no shortage of underwear options out there. Here are a few
classics and—some lesser known underwear styles—you can try.
Most guys own at least one pair of
briefs, and there’s a good reason for that. These underwear are comfortable,
and you can wear them under any type of clothing—whether you’re exercising or
at a formal event.
As a standard, go-to pair of
underwear, you can find briefs in a variety of styles, designs, and colors.
They come in low, medium, or high rise, depending on your preference. They
provide coverage for the backside and package, but they don’t cover the upper
thigh. It’s the perfect style for supporting, lifting, and keeping everything
in place while still being comfortable enough to wear under almost anything.
Unlike briefs, boxers are more
loose-fitting and provide less support. They offer more complete coverage—about
a third to half of your thigh—and are more breathable than any other
undergarment. Boxers are perfect if you’re looking for something with a loose
fit that’s easy to exercise in. They offer freedom of movement and great air
flow to avoid excessive sweating. While boxers might be associated with
the underwear your grandpa wears, there are a wide range of styles, including
trendier, slim-fit cuts.
As the name suggests, boxer briefs
offer the best of both worlds. Boxer briefs are a collaboration between the
brief and the boxer. It has a style that fits like a brief but is longer,
covering about a third of your thigh. It offers the same kind of coverage and
support as standard briefs but is still breathable and optimized for workouts.
These are great for everyday wear or for the gym because they offer protection
from chafing without being too restricting.
Trunks are often mistaken for boxer
briefs because of the similarity in style. While trunks also offer a mix of
coverage and support, they usually provide a closer fit. Using less fabric and
a shorter leg, trunks are less likely to ride up the leg. They also create a
square appearance, which looks good underneath sportswear, casual clothes, or
When it comes to intense exercise or
high-impact sports, there’s no better choice than the jockstrap. These
underwear offer full frontal support and protection. The pouch lifts your
package away from your body while supporting bands keep the pouch strapped
close to your legs. This provides extreme support and keeps your manhood
safe—no matter what you’re doing.
A cup can also be fitted into the
jockstrap for extra protection, especially for sports like soccer or martial
Guarantee Comfort and Safety
Each type of men’s underwear has its
advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about which ones are the most
comfortable for your body type—and which ones are the best for taking care of
Riding up or falling out could lead
to an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. A supportive, well-fitting pair
shouldn’t cause any irritation, discomfort, or excessive sweating. Here are
some tips to help guide your choice and a few pointers to keeping everything
clean and healthy down there.
When it comes to underwear, the
material can make or break your experience.
To avoid irritation or chafing, it’s
best to choose cotton or another synthetic blend. If you have sensitive skin,
look for soft, breathable fabric. You can even choose something more luxurious,
like silk. While it might seem like it would be scratchy and uncomfortable, wool fabric
can actually be one of the better choices for an active man. Its moisture
wicking and anti-odor properties can help keep you fresh.
For the gym, it’s best to opt for
the newer synthetic blends. Not only will this material help provide more
flexibility and support, but it is designed to avoid a buildup of sweat and
odor. Don’t wear cotton while working out, and definitely don’t go commando.
Keep Things Clean
When it comes to the more skin tight
underwear options—like briefs, boxer briefs, and jockstraps—they might seem
ideal for someone who’s active and likes to work out. But while these types of
underwear can reduce chafing, they might not be right for everyday wear.
The tight, close-fitting underwear
can make things a bit hot and humid down there. Creating a hot, sweaty
environment in close quarters is the perfect way to breed fungus. The
combination of heat and moisture can lead to infectious skin issues like tinea cruris,
also known as jock itch.
So how do you keep things clean and
healthy? If you’re wearing tighter fitting underwear, be sure to use
moisture-wicking materials. Always shower right after exercising and change
into a fresh pair regularly.
Another pro tip: Try putting on your
socks before your underwear. This will keep athlete’s foot fungus from hitching
a ride to your crotch when you step through your underwear to put them on.
Can tighter underwear cause
Several studies have shown that the
temperature of the testes can actually reduce sperm count. In order for the testes to produce a sufficient quantity
of sperm, the temperature of the testes must be lower than the core body
temperature. This is the reason why testes are outside of the body. When
wearing tight underwear, the testes can overheat, resulting in low sperm count.
While there are studies backing up
this claim, don’t panic if you prefer underwear of the tighter variety. It’s
unlikely to be an issue with most men, and you don’t need to completely change
your underwear habits if you don’t think fertility is an issue for you. You can
always have a sperm test done by a doctor to see if tighter underwear is having
an effect on you. If you want to plan ahead, you can also try wearing looser
underwear 10 to 11 weeks before you plan to conceive.
If all the talk about sweat and
fungus is grossing you out, underwear isn’t the only options you have.
Going commando can greatly decrease
your risk of jock itch. Without underwear, you can increase airflow, decrease
moisture, and take some pressure off of your next laundry load. But that
doesn’t mean it comes without risks. You’ll have to be sure you’re keeping your
pants and shorts clean—and there’s always a risk of stains to the inside of
There’s also a slight risk of injury from zipper accidents or testicular torsion, so you’ll have to be careful that you’re keeping everything aligned and out of the way. Going commando can be fun and feel great, but it’s best to proceed with caution.
When it comes to both health and
style, your best bet with underwear is to mix it up.
Don’t get locked into just one type
of underwear. Unless you’re completely committed to boxers, briefs, or
something in between, have fun with your underwear and switch it up when you
can. Colors, fabrics, cuts, and styles—have a few different pairs of your
favorites and wear them whenever you need them.
Also, be sure to throw away old
underwear when they’ve passed their prime. Once a month, toss out any underwear
that are gray, ripped, or stained. Keeping your underwear clean and refreshing
your old pairs with new ones will help keep everything hygienic.
Man’s Guide to Picking the Right Underwear
Boxers, briefs, or baring it
all? Making the right underwear choice might be harder than you
It’s about more than just boxer briefs vs boxers. There’s a whole range of underwear styles to choose from. And whichever one works best for you, knowing how to care for your undergarments can help you keep your manhood clean and healthy. Looking for more tips and tricks in men’s fashion? Check out our style section for more articles!