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How to Choose the Right Underwear for Your Body Type
Choosing the right underwear might not seem like the most crucial decision in the morning, but whether you’re a boxer, briefs or trunks kinda guy, you need to make sure the fit, style and fabric is right for you.Read more Men’s Style Guide features and check out our Store.
A lot of us underestimate the importance and power of good underwear. If it’s too tight, too loose, or if you’re wearing that old grey pair of pants that were once white, you’ve got to do something about it. Underwear is a staple item, yet we tend to forget about it. We’re guilty of throwing the same pair on (after they’ve been washed, hopefully) day in and day out. We never really stop to consider whether the underwear we’re wearing is right for us. Whether it’s finding a pair that really complements your shape, provides enough support throughout the day, or allows your skin to breathe when you’re active, it’s vital to have a good selection in your drawer.
Boxers Vs Briefs
Just like clothes, there are an array of men’s underwear styles out there for you to choose from; fit and shape can make all the difference. So what really is the difference between boxers and briefs? And even what are briefs?! When there are so many options, how do you tell what will be best for you? It’s essential to make sure that you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. The fabric of your underwear needs to be breathable, gentle on your skin, work underneath the clothes you’re wearing, flatter your shape and be suitable for what you’re doing that day. So boxers or briefs? There are good arguments on each side in the boxer vs briefs debate. You may be a boxers underwear guy through and through, but having a variety of different styles can be really beneficial. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a jockstrap under your suit to work, but you do need to consider certain factors before deciding to get into your usual briefs. For example, you wouldn’t buy a suit and tie for the gym, so why would you wear a pair of loose men’s supporting underwear to train in?
If you’re looking for comfortable men’s underwear, look no further than the boxer short. Boxer shorts are a popular choice of underwear because they provide more freedom than others, the baggy material allows the skin to breathe, in turn, this creates a more comfortable area for your package. Unlike briefs, some boxers also come with a quick exit, via the loose, gappy material at the front. However, be aware that although you’ll get a nice breeze, this kind of underwear does not offer you the support that you may require. Boxers come in two styles: slim and casual fit.
- Slim Fit: More fitted round the legs, but still provide a little more room than the brief.
- Casual Fit: The most comfortable boxers. Loose fitting and allows room to move around.
Briefs are making a comeback. These guys are your friend. They offer comfort and support, covering all areas around your package and bottom, whilst providing your legs with a little more freedom. They’re the best in comfortable men’s underwear and come in three different styles: low, mid and full rise, which all have different benefits.
- Low Rise Boxer Briefs: Men’s low rise underwear is idealif you fancy enhancing that parcel of yours. As stated in the name, this underwear has a low cut, meaning that they sit at the bottom of your hipbone.
- Mid Rise Briefs: These guys give you a little more coverage, coming up to your waistline, but still work as breathable underwear.
- Full Rise Briefs: Even more coverage is provided with this style, with the band sitting below your bellybutton. Full rise briefs are perfect for those who want to create the illusion of a slimmer waist.
Remember that whilst briefs are definitely coming back into fashion, they should never ever look like you’re wearing a nappy. If this happens, either change the type of brief you’re wearing, or get some boxers on sharpish.
So what are boxer briefs? There are some small differences between boxers and boxer briefs. This style provides the same coverage, if not more, than a pair of boxers, but without the excessively baggy look. They’re great for working out because they give you lots of support and protection. However, due to the waistband sitting just above your hips – but lower than the full rise briefs – this style can accentuate the stomach, creating a muffin top. So if you’re a little wary of your tummy, then it’s best to avoid this type of underwear.
Another combination of the boxer and brief. Men’s trunk underwear has shorter legs than boxer shorts but have the same attractive, box shape. They’re not as baggy as the boxers, however, and provide you with a similar support to a pair of briefs.
A jockstrap is a sportsman’s best friend. Although they look a little complicated, their unique design really helps to provide added support to the more delicate regions of your body. There are three straps that connect up together. Two that go around the bottom of your backside, and one around the waist. So be prepared for a slight breeze on your derriere! Men’s underwear with a pouch offers you a little lift and keeps your groin protected during sports and activities. It’s advisable to wear a jock strap for exercise and for more dangerous sports, you have the option to fit a cup into the pouch area for that added protection.
For those days when you want to be a big kid or (and most likely) you’ve run out of clean underwear, themed underwear can offer you that treasured reminiscence you’ve been craving. But be aware that if you’re stripping off for the first time in front of your significant other, that they might be a little surprised and well, perhaps put off by the cartoon boxers. It could potentially kill the mood. My personal opinion on the matter? They’re fun, sure, but if you don’t know your partner that well, I would save the funky pants for another occasion. And, in general, unless you’ve been bought them as a present or you just needed some last minute underwear, there’s really no need to buy them.
Underwear comes in a range of fabrics from cotton to leather, so what type of fabric feels and looks best?
- Cotton: Your generic, go-to material. Men’s cotton underwear is soft, kind and lets your skin breathe. You’ll probably find your standard underwear is either 100% cotton or a blend. A lot of men’s cotton underwear will have a waistband made of a stretchier material like elastane. Take note that cotton absorbs moisture easily, so it’s probably not an ideal fabric for exercise.
- Polyester: Another one that is usually mixed with other fabrics is polyester. This is a nice, stretchy material that allows for more flexibility. It’s thin and moisture-wicking fabric also means that it makes nice cooling underwear.
- Modal: Modal offers less support than cotton, but it does have a nice soft feel and is great for everyday use.
- Nylon: Nylon looks a little bit like silk and has a smooth feel to it, but it can be less friendly on sensitive skin. However, like polyester, nylon is durable and stretchy. With this in mind, it’s a great gym buddy.
- Silk: Oooh, luxurious silk! When you want to feel all smooth and sexy, a pair of fancy silk boxers is a nice and soft fabric to slip on. For every day? Maybe not so much.
- Antimicrobial Underwear: A type of underwear usually made from particles of silver or a material known as triclosan, which helps to prevent odour and promote hygiene in the lower regions.
Underwear And Body Type
Just like clothes, different styles of underwear will compliment different people. So find out your shape and match it to the right underwear to make sure you feel and look fantastic!
- Description: A slimmer body.
- Problem: Can appear bony if wearing baggier, or shorter material.
- Fix: Trunks. These are less tight and longer than briefs, so you’ll avoid looking like you’re wearing a nappy. They’re not baggy like the boxer either, which means your legs won’t look lost within all that material.
- Description: Guys under 5ft 9.
- Problem: Too much material can swamp your body, making you appear shorter.
- Fix: Briefs don’t have as much material, so you’ll have more flesh on show and won’t be hidden under the excess fabric.
- Description: Guys way over 5ft 9.
- Problem: Too little material can make you seem really, really tall. Like, really tall.
- Fix: Boxer briefs. Give yourself as much material to work with as possible. If you’ve got plenty of leg to spare, you won’t miss it being covered up.
Underwear Style, Colour And Pattern
Just like with clothes; style, colour and pattern are important aspects to think about. Underwear might just seem like something you just shove on beneath your clothes, but it’s much more important than that. Even if you’re not planning on doing a Magic Mike, wearing the right sort of underwear can really affect your mood and outlook on life. Let’s say you’re wearing an oversized pair of joggers and that white T-shirt with the food stain that won’t come out. How do you feel? Most likely, not great. Now, switch the sweats for a nice fitted shirt, and a pair of jeans, chinos or trousers – which are your favourites. How do you feel? Better? You may still think that it doesn’t really matter if I’m wearing nice clothes on the outside, no ones seeing what I’m wearing underneath. The thing is, even if it’s not on show, wearing something that you feel good wearing will make you feel happier about yourself, and when you feel happy about yourself, you look good. It’s as simple as that, and men’s designer underwear can be a good way to inject a bit of something extra. Men’s underwear brands like Calvin Klein focus on style as well as comfort, and their designs are meant to be shown, so grab yourself a bold pair to ensure you stay feeling good as well as looking good.
How to Choose the Right Underwear for Your Body Type
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Men’s Underwear Style Guide
Men’s Underwear Style Guide?? We know it’s hard to believe that we need one, but here’s why we think we do. It really wasn’t that long ago when we had only a few underwear choices – Briefs and Boxers. We all knew what that meant, which made buying new underwear simple, but we were always stuck with the same stuff. Not so today.
Now there is a wider range of men’s underwear styles, and options, than ever before. Of course we still have Briefs and Boxers, but now we also have Trunks and Boxer Briefs. Then there are different cuts to consider, Low Rise or Mid Rise or even High Rise. And let’s not forget Fly vs. No Fly. Finally, as if that’s not enough, you can have Short Leg or Long Leg Boxer Briefs, and Relaxed or Trim Fit Boxers.
Wow! Choice is Great, But It Can Be Confusing
All this choice is great, but we know it can be confusing. That’s why we are bringing you this Men’s Underwear Style Guide to help you understand what all of this means. With just a quick review you’ll be better equipped to find a product that’s right for you.
So, don’t get stuck wearing the same old thing you did in elementary school because all of this seems too daunting. Use this Men’s Underwear Style Guide to update your underwear drawer.
Basic Styles – The 3 most common styles in the US are:
There are 2 main differences between the styles. The the Side Leg Length, and the Inside Leg Length or Inseam.
Briefs – Shortest Lengths, Least Amount of Coverage
Briefs have the shortest side leg measurement, typically half way between the crotch and the waist, thus Briefs give the least amount of coverage. In terms of fit, you can find a Cozy fit Brief, which fits is like a sock, and a Relaxed fit, which fits like a T-Shirt. Briefs are great for under shorts, but they aren’t the most flattering style for all body types. No matter, if you love Briefs, and you are comfortable in them, don’t fix what ain’t broke.
Boxer Briefs – Medium to Longer Lengths. Good Coverage
Boxer Briefs have a range of lengths and the most common are shown below. The options with the shortest inseams within this style are called Trunks, and inseams for Trunks range from 0 to 3″. Boxer Briefs give great coverage, and some expert opinions we’ve seen think that this is the most flattering style for most body types, even if that body is not in tip-top shape. Another great thing about Boxer Briefs is that there is lots of choice in how much coverage your can get. Here are common Inseam Lengths for Boxer Briefs:
|Trunks/Short Leg Boxer Briefs Inseam 0 to 3″||Regular Length Boxer Briefs Inseam 3-4”||Long Leg Boxer Briefs Inseam 4 +”|
Boxers – Classic Boxers Have Loosest Fit, But No Support
Boxers, also called Boxer Shorts, have the longest side leg measurement going below the crotch. Inseam is typically 4-5”. Classic Boxers usually have a very loose fit, like a dress shirt, with little or no support, but a new breed of Boxers is emerging that give both freedom and support.
New Boxer Designs – Freedom and Support
New Boxer designs incorporate a pouch for support, yet they maintain the other features of Boxers, and there is even choice there. This new breed of Boxers are available in a Relaxed or Trim fit. Relaxed fit is similar to the Classic Boxer, very loose, while the Trim fit is more tailored, especially in the legs. Both options have the pouch , so either one gives support and freedom.
The Rise – What is it?
There are 3 main types of Rise – Low, Mid, and High — and this relates to where the waistband sits on your torso. Actually, the technical definition of Rise is the length between the waistband and the crotch. So in terms of fit, Rise impacts where the waistband sits, which then also impacts how much coverage you get. In addition to Low, Mid and High or Full Rise, you may also see bikini or sports underwear, and these are simply marketing terms that some companies use to talk about Rise. Deciding which Rise to choose is purely a matter of personal preference, and here’s what you need to know to decide.
|Low RiseWaistband Sits Below the Belt Line||Mid RiseWaistband near Belt Level||High, Full, Traditional RiseWaistband Higher on Waist|
|As you would think, Low Rise, also called Bikini or Sports, is the shortest of all, giving the least amount of coverage. The waistband on Low Rise underwear will be above your privates and below the belt line of your pants.Why wear low rise? One advantage we’ve heard of for everyday wear is easier access when it’s time to hit the men’s room. Low Rise can be good options for sports, too, but the main disadvantage of Low Rise is its lower coverage, which can leave your behind less clothed than you’d like.||Mid Rise are relatively new to the marketplace and attempts to provide a middle ground between low and high rise.The waistband on Mid Rise underwear sits near the belt level which gives good coverage for most body types. Mid Rise underwear are designed for individuals with a more slender buttocks.||High Rise underwear has the longest length and the waistband should sit just below the belly button, This traditional rise gives the most coverage. Additionally, the extra length holds the underwear in place without it being tight. If you need extra coverage in the rear, High Rise is the option for you.|
What Happened to The Fly?
The Fly Evolved
The fly, the folding/sliding door material, is provided for easy access. This works great on traditional Boxers but is seldom well engineered on Trunks/Briefs and Boxer Briefs. On these styles the overlap is either too large or too small, so access is either difficult or things don’t stay where they should. Because of this, many Briefs and Boxer Briefs are now Flyless, i.e. no Folding Material Doors, and the Fly has been replaced by a pouch for better support.
The pouch is a contoured area of the garment designed to hold things in place. Depending on the style, material and purpose of the product, the pouch design can be a small contour or even a built in jock strap. In everyday wear products Pouches are designed to provide comfortable all day support, as opposed to firmer support for sports. Some Pouches are made out of soft micro-mesh, which has the extra advantage of better air flow and ventilation.