It’s a shame we can’t all look like David Gandy, Tom Hardy or Christiano Rolando (unfortunately the list is endless) in our pants. But in reality we can all feel good in the underwear providing we have consideration of fit, material and quality – which are all more important than the brand name on the band.
So ditch your saggy, over-priced Calvin Klein’s (probably bought from TK Maxx) and start thinking about what’s right for you and your chap…
To help you on your way, we reached out to a handful of industry experts to compile these essential rules on style, fabric and maintenance.
How To Pick An Underwear Style
Of all the seminal moments in a man’s life – graduations, weddings, the first curled fist of your child around your little finger – none means more than the first time he chooses his own underwear.
But what worked for prepubescent you isn’t your best choice now. Your body’s changed. Your needs have changed. Somewhere there’s a fit that’s more snug. More supportive. More flattering.
Men’s Briefs: This is the traditional Y front. It’s not for everyone but it offers great support and a neat fit. Particularly good for men with large thighs.
Men’s Trunks: These are a newer style and offer the simplest silhouette, ideal for wearing under slim-fit trousers. They sit perfectly on the hip, a little lower than other styles, and are short in the leg, cutting across mid-thigh, which make them best for men with slimmer legs.
Take care with ‘hipster’ styles, warn the experts at M&S; they sit low, so work best with tucked in shirts. Or you risk an intimate breeze every time you bend down.
Men’s Boxer Shorts: Traditional boxer shorts offer maximum coverage, comfort and breathability but can often bunch and ride up so do not work well with slim trousers. Our boxers offer a modern, tailored cut that is much more flattering and works well with slimmer legwear. This new approach means they complement any body shape, being both flattering and extremely comfortable.
Men’s Boxer Briefs: These are a hybrid between the traditional boxer short and the trunk – they sit on the waist and are slightly longer in the leg. Universally flattering and versatile, they’re the go-to option for most. Particularly good for those with fuller buttocks.
Why Your Underwear Fabric Matters
Three things matter in your most intimate wear: comfort, support and breathability. Pants brands have long defaulted to cotton and jersey, which provide all three. But textile innovation offers the modern man new ways to keep himself cool and dry. These new fabrics are often sustainable, breathable and even heat-sensitive.
Cotton: An old classic. This is a brilliant fibre for underwear. It’s naturally breathable, soft and hypoallergenic.
Jersey: It’s soft and lightweight with a natural stretch, making it the perfect choice for guys on the move. Opt for a stretch style, with higher elastic content for added support if you spend your weekends exercising as opposed to relaxing.
Silk: It’s a classic choice, but silk is quickly disappearing from the underwear market. And for good reason. Although it offers incredible lightness and breathability, it’s a delicate fabric that doesn’t benefit from wash and wear and damages easily.
Mesh: The go-to material for sports-oriented underwear, mesh is light and breathable. Some brands go more specific and use heat-sensitive mesh fabric that helps disperse body heat and leaves your pants feeling cool to the touch – even after a bout of cardio.
The Best Places To Buy Your Underwear…
Online stores like Deadgoodundies.com (DGU) have several advantages for men seeking something new or different. Online retailers offer far more choice in terms of brands, cuts and colours than stores, and you can shop in total privacy (DGU ships completely plain parcels too).
DGU founder Adam Davies says: “We constantly update our stock, every week and sometimes daily in peak season, so there’s always something new to see. But we also stock many classics and repeatable favourites from the best international brands, plus swimwear for men, year round. Men’s underwear has developed enormously in recent years, using yarns like modal or bamboo and creating ergonomic designs that can boost or just cool your boys. The main criteria for anyone shopping for men’s undies are of course comfort and looks, but there are many more considerations before you find the perfect pair – price, shape, fabric, sizing, pouch capacity, waistband depth and brand visibility to name a few. Plus I am always available to answer questions for customers before they buy.”
Real men should look to specialists such as Deadgoodundies.com because they stock more than 20 brands, with more arriving this year, they ship to over 80 countries and stock everything from minimalist thongs via briefs, trunks and boxers to meggings, bodies and loungewear, swimmers, socks, tees and tops. Several of their collections, or the extent of the range DGU sells, are unique in the UK.
For a readers and friends overseas, another great online store, producing wholesome and very comfortable underwear is Tani USA. Tani’s singular mission is to set a new standard in underwear, aiming to create the worlds best and most comfortable undergarments. If you feel compelled to try a new style or need some extra support, we recommend you head over to their website straight away. (Tani Trunks pictured above).
Ignore the ads. Fashion brands tend to steer toward cuts and materials which flatter the likes of Justin Bieber, not you.
If you’ve ever tried to run in baggy boxers, we sympathise. Athletic underwear comes with special requirements – it has to keep you in place and be breathable enough to cope with sweaty gym sessions. Try a jock-strap or an purpose made athletic pant, it’ll do you a world of good! A good place to visit for jock straps that will be perfect to your sporting needs is Jock Up!
The Other ‘Underwear’ You Need To Know
These days, underwear is about more than just pants. Here’s everything else you should slip between skin and clothes.
This isn’t necessary all the time, but an undershirt prevents sweat stains and means your actual shirts need washing less so last longer.
Go for a V-neck – few things kill your look like a crew neck behind an open collar – in breathable cotton. Look for tight fits in light grey – it’s less visible under a white shirt than white. Vests also create visible lines on your shoulders, so stick to tees.
White socks are streetwear’s current obsession, but if you’re not in a hoodie, stick to classic black or navy. Your socks should be long enough to show no skin when you cross your legs, unless you’re after mankles. In which case, Primark’s invisible socks let you flash yours without stinking out your shoes. Try visiting the London Sock Company for some pretty neat socks.
Instead of running between the shower, the bedroom and darting across the landing with your crown jewels on show for everyone (the postman doesn’t want to see that), consider a dressing gown. Bown of London have a variety of British made, quality and masculine dressing gowns.
How To Keep Your Underwear Looking Good
You’re not Bridget Jones (you have a bit too much between your legs for that), so you’ve no excuse for grey, saggy pants.
Wash: Obviously never mix whites with greys, off-whites or colours as they will lose their sheen. Temperature is key too – a hotter wash does more damage to the fabric, so stick to 30 degrees and, if possible, use a gentle wash cycle. Silk, because of its delicacy, should always be hand-washed.
Dry: Drying your underwear flat means they keep their shape better. Due to their delicate nature, it’s best to avoid a dryer.
Storage: If you’re keen to go the extra mile you can fold your underwear in tissue paper to preserve the fabric and keep it neat and unwrinkled. Another tip is to store garments with lavender or cedar wood – the scent will deter moths.
So there you have it – we constantly reiterate that your underwear is so important chaps. Get what’s right for your shape AND size. For more ideas on style, cut, fit and support, shop here.
We recently carried out a survey of 100 men to find out which underwear is preferred by us blokes! We found that top spot goes to Boxer-Briefs, closely followed by briefs.
Boxer shorts and Jock straps bought up the rear, if you pardon the pun, offering varied support is clearly our issue!
So there you have it…our ultimate guide to men’s underwear!
highstreetgent.com publish regular men’s underwear articles with tips, tricks and reviews. If you have an underwear brand you would like to feature, or would like to find out more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.