Socks, vests and pants: we all wear them but underwear for men is certainly not all born equal. There’s a vast range of designs, materials, sizes, styles and colours out there to choose from, and different body types or personalities will prefer different options to make them feel comfortable and well supported ‘down there’.
We have been using underwear since the very beginning of human existence, when the humble loincloth was the garment of choice – or necessity. It protects the user from the elements and helps keep trousers cleaner and wearable for longer. By the 1930s, the iconic ‘Y-shaped’ briefs were invented with an overlapping fly for easier bathroom visits. As underwear was considered more and more to be part of a man’s fashion choices, so different types of pants appeared on the scene, from boxers to thongs and everything in between.
When choosing the best men’s underwear type to put on, there are a number of areas to consider. First and foremost, you need to think about hygiene and how your underwear will support you all day and keep you fresh and clean. This means choosing as good quality pants as you can afford, since better materials will be more efficient at absorbing fluids or sweat. Keeping the genital area at a regulated temperature is also crucial – not too hot or too cold – especially when trying for a baby as sperm needs to be kept at the optimal temperature for the best chances of a successful conception.
Next, it is important to find the most comfortable men’s underwear for you. Your pants should retain their shape, hugging the body closely without rubbing or irritating the skin or cause chafing through being ill fitting. They should feel smooth and not have too many annoying added details such as buttons or added material details that will get in the way or get trapped in your trouser fly. Buy enough pairs of pants so that you can have some in the wash, some drying, some in the cupboard and a pair to wear. It can be a huge hassle to have to constantly wash the same one or two pairs. You should change your underwear daily for the best hygiene routine and wash garments by hand or machine as quickly as you can after taking them off.
Choosing the right material is also key when choosing underwear for men. You can get all sorts, from luxurious silk to practical polyester. Silks is highly absorbent and will keep the area cool as it doesn’t conduct heat. It is great for when you want to feel sexy on a special night out. Cotton is breathable and absorbent too, offering a slightly cheaper way to feel cosy. Avoid during gym visits though, as the absorbency will make you feel sweaty pretty quickly.
Nylon or polyester suits work-out sessions far better, as they both keep the wearer dryer for longer. They also wash well and dry quickly for easier laundering. Finally, if you want a tighter fit, look for underwear containing Lycra or Spandex for added elasticity. Choose a variety of colours when you buy new underwear, as different colours will work with different outfits. Normally, a selection of white, grey and black, or navy-blue will help cover you (literally!) for all occasions.
When it comes to making a list of the best types of underwear for men, briefs are right up there. They suit slimmer, fitter and more muscular bodies better than those with wider hips or an overly large waist, as there is less material to hide unflattering areas. They come with an elastic waistband to keep them in place and offer enhanced support with a full seat to support the bottom and a Y-front design over the crotch for added support in front as well. The design can help you ‘accentuate’ your crotch area, if that is your thing, and the overall design is unobtrusive and easy to wear under a range of sartorial styles.
The best men’s boxers are comfortable, soft and elasticated around the waist for optimum easy wearing. These suit men who are slightly bigger in frame, as well as those who are muscular and fit. They are incredibly versatile with the thigh area cut slightly larger than the wearer’s own thighs to make them easy to move around in – their design and name derive from professional boxers’ shorts, after all.
The bottom of the leg openings are loose as well, which can be less flattering than styles with elasticated bottoms, but this allows the air to circulate and keep the whole area cooler and less sweaty when you are out and about. Their looser nature also helps reduce friction and feels less constricting, especially if you like to wear underwear in bed. Boxers work well under jeans or chinos and are a great choice for lounging around the house or while you are on holiday.
Boxer briefs can also be known as trunks or short boxer briefs, and these look great on most men, due to the added material involved and more flattering way of covering up larger hips or a les defined waist. So long as you choose a quality brand, they retain their shape well and will fit closely for longer. They can have Lycra added to make the fabric stretchable, more durable and more comfortable to wear. The genitals are well supported in this style and men who are less body confident will appreciate the extra fabric over the thigh and bottom areas.
Boxer briefs offer the best of both worlds – plenty of coverage and support with a defined look that can still help you show off your figure. In fact, many women favour the boxer briefs look on a man as it can make the body look more muscly and masculine without revealing too much skin.
Some men like to take things to the extreme when it comes to male underwear, opting for thongs, jockstraps or pants that do not offer much in coverage at all. This approach suits athletic men in particular, and indeed, many professional sportsmen, dancers and models are encouraged to wear these to help with their performance and retain support at the same time.
Some jockstraps have pockets sewn into them to add a protective cup or ‘box’ when playing sports like cricket, hockey or rugby that could result in serious injuries if the ball hits the wrong spot on the body. This type of style can feel uncomfortable to wear for too long, so if you are planning to invest in these, get some other, more supportive styles as well so you can change into them if you want to give your lower half a rest. Don’t forget to invest in some quality swimwear too. This must be decent if you are going to use public pools, gyms or beaches, and give you plenty of support for a more comfortable swim or splash about. If you are a gym member and plan to swim there, check the rules with regards to dress codes in and around the pool.