Boxers and Briefs: An In-depth Men's Underwear Online Buying Bible

Background on men's underwear

In the beginning, men's underwear was humble to say the least. A simple wrapping that became known as the loincloth was good enough for the ancient times. One cannot help but observe the astounding similarity between the loincloth and an adult nappy. To this end, men's underwear evolution was inevitable.

A variety of men's underwear courtesy of Amazon


Underwear designers went to work; but it was until 1935 that a notable piece of male undergarment turned heads. Coopers, Inc. introduced briefs to the market in January, 1935. This form-fitting male underwear was referred to as the 'jockey' owing the the level of support it provided. Briefs became an instant hit with over 30,000 pairs being sold within the first three months alone.


Boxers started gaining recognition in 1947. They had been designed in 1925 by Jacob Golomb who was the founder of a company called Everlast. Golomb was looking to replace leather-belted trunks which had been worn by professional boxers. The designer created trunks that had an elastic waist to achieve better comfort. Boxer shorts were preferred by men who enjoyed the unhindered leg movement; especially those in sports. Over the years, briefs became a more popular choice for men. Older men preferred boxers but in the late 1980s, boxers got a fashion injection with new designs and sensational commercials being made.

Boxer briefs

In 1992, designer John Varvatos while at Calvin Klein pioneered the boxer briefs. This is a hybrid that took the merits of each garment and summed it all in one piece. Boxer briefs were designed to be long in the leg while delivering a tight fit just like briefs. This invention brought a sexy underwear revolution for men. The 1992 print adverts featuring sexy American Actor Mark Wahlberg in boxer briefs added to the appeal. So much so, that this underwear revival was termed as one of the greatest apparel revolutions of the 20th century.

What style of men's underwear should you choose?

As much as your underwear choices are private and personal, every man should strive to observe underwear etiquette. It all starts with what you buy; and choosing the best style is critical. The good news is that the men's underwear online market is staggering with great options and below is a breakdown in this respect;

Guide to choosing briefs

Briefs are also called jockey shorts and they are known for their classic Y-shaped fly. They have an elastic waistband and offer no leg coverage. Men who like to wear tighter pants may prefer this style. They are great at offering snug fitting support.


- You will not have any bunching of the material

- Great for tight or skinny jeans wearers

- Great for men who sit for long periods of time

- They offer an elongating effect to the legs


- They enhance portly figures; this means that those who are larger and round will look bigger

- The style can be termed as old-fashioned

Guide to choosing boxers

If you are the kind of person who enjoys the loose fit with little support, boxer shorts are made for you. They are fitted with an elastic waistband with a button at the fly. They cover a good part of the leg with a short inseam.


- Great for sleeping

- Made with absorbent materials

- Feel very loose and airy


- They easily bunch up under clothing

- Not ideal for trim cut pants or skinny jeans

- Are not ideal for physical or sporting activity

- Elastic waistbands covered with cotton can be uncomfortable compared to flat elastic types

Guide to choosing boxer briefs

Often called trunks, boxer briefs come with merits of both boxers and briefs as alluded to above. In this respect, they are a great compromise for many men.


- They work great no matter the type of pants you wear

- You enjoy benefits of boxers and briefs

- They are great for working out and other physical activity

- Made with comfortable breathable materials


- May not be the best for sitting too long

Male thongs, g-strings and bikinis

There is a good chunk of men who like to wear sexy underwear. This is often in form of male thongs, bikinis and g-strings. Of course, this style is not for all men. A male bikini is a micro brief that does not cover the thigh. It manages to cover the front with a small pouch. A male thong exposes the buttocks and has thin fabric strips at the front. There is a minimal version of the thong and it is the g-string. This piece of underwear shows the most skin.


- Great for making a bold statement

- No bunching experienced


- Some strings can be invasive and uncomfortable

- The products could be more expensive and are harder to find in the market

How do you choose male underwear color and pattern?

The market is full of men's underwear in all kinds of colors. This is the same when it comes to patterns. It goes without saying that you can go with your personal preference for color and design. However, it is good to keep in mind that some underwear colors may show through your pants. If you wear thick and dark fabric pants, you can choose the underwear color you want. However, lighter pants made out of cotton will reveal your underwear easily. To avoid this, choose underwear color that is closest to your skin tone. The most popular all-time underwear color for men is solid white.

Does underwear fabric or material matter?

The fabric of your underwear will determine your comfort, breathability and support. In light of this, underwear material is certainly imperative. Below are the best male underwear materials;


Highly breathable, hypoallergenic and soft, cotton underwear is always an excellent choice.


This is another classic just like cotton. It is very light and provides for breathability. The only problem with silk is that it is not durable. Washing will damage it easily and in this respect, many underwear manufacturers are now choosing not to use it.


This is a light stretchy fabric that is great for physical activity. Its natural stretch is notable and will not be ideal for people who are sitting for long periods of time.

Lyocell jersey

This is a hybrid of the traditional jersey. A blend of cotton and natural paint nanofibre have been used to create it. The results are a breathable, smooth and luxurious fabric for underwear.

Top tips to choosing the ideal men's underwear online

- Choose the desired underwear style

After you have read the above guide, you will make a decision whether you prefer briefs, boxers or boxer briefs. A style should give you comfort first. Also, the chosen design should work with your pants for the most seamless experience.

- Choose a fabric that is suitable

Cotton underwear is the most popular. However, if you want to explore other fabrics, look at the guide above and choose something that fits you perfectly. Choosing fabric can be determine by climate, comfort needs and even the cost therein.

- Choose the right underwear size

When buying online, choosing the right size is critical. You have to measure yourself right before buying; this is to update your size which is a variable. Men who have small waists may measure 28 to 30 inches. Medium waistlines are usually 32 to 35 inches. Larger sizes will start from 36 to 38 inches of waistline. Therefore, know what L, XL or XXL large means in terms of inches before buying online.

- Select your preferred brand

If you have been using a certain brand for long, this means that you like the quality and style therein. You can make your work easier by choosing your most cherished brand. However, feel free to experiment with other brands; just to see what they offer as well.

Top underwear etiquette rules all men should know about

There is no point of buying the perfect underwear if you are not going to follow certain rules that optimize your underwear experience. Below are the top male underwear rules;

1. Buy underwear frequently in little numbers

Indeed, replenishing your underwear supply often will not only make you stay on top of your fashion game; but it will help retain the integrity of your trunks. Some men will buy new underwear when the old supply is torn or becomes too elastic; be proactive.

2. Do not hold on to underwear pieces that have done their time

Old, torn underwear is unsightly. In fact, it is embarrassing and you might not want your significant other to take a peak. To avoid this, get rid of all old, dull and torn underwear promptly.

3. Cleaning underwear properly and regularly is paramount

There is nothing like clean underwear; it is a breath of fresh air. Some men however do not see it the same way. Personal hygiene in this area is not an option. When you wear something clean and fresh, you feel nice.

4. No need to use chlorine bleach on white underwear

If you are looking for that dazzle in your white male underwear, use a bleach free from chlorine. This will preserve the elasticity of your underwear.

Interesting fun facts about male underwear

- In 1975, the first edible underwear made its way to the market. Produced by Lee Brady and David Sanderson, this hit invention earned the duo up to $150,000 every month. The edible underwear had a licorice flavor.

- Underwear color in some cultures stands for much more. Red underwear is believed to bring luck while blue underwear can spark good health. In some cultures, wearing pink underwear will draw more romance to you.

- A study revealed that only 60% of French men change their undies every single day. The same study revealed that up to 78% of British men change their underwear every day.

- Studies have also shown that married men will change their underwear more frequently compared to single men. On average though, men will wear underwear at-least twice before it is washed.

- At the tomb of King Tut of Egypt, archeologists discovered over 100 pairs of loincloths. This shows how important underwear was.

- As expected, women spend more for underwear than men. It is estimated that women spend up to 1,550% more than men in their lifetimes.

Why buying men's underwear online is beneficial

- You save time and money. Buying online is cheaper and can be done from the comfort of your own space

- You access more variety of styles, designs and brands

- Because of the detailed product information readily available, you tend to choose better products online

- Some men prefer buying underwear in privacy and doing so online is perfect

- You access high quality underwear from top brands owing to the many trusted online stores

Socks and undershirts

Socks and undershirts also form an important part of men's underwear. Choosing socks that cover your leg properly is key. Then, go for V-neck undershirts. Nice light t-shirts will help curb sweat stains and are therefore important. If you prefer wearing 'happy socks', this is a trend that might be here to stay. If you prefer the old-school grey and black sock shades; choose what works for you.

Your favorite online retailer might have a great assortment of men's underwear. Look around and compare various sites.

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