A guide to the various fashions and fits of men’s underwear. This guide will cover boxers, briefs, boxer briefs, jockstraps, specialty underwear, and more.
In today’s fashion-savvy culture, a male’s underwear choices seem endless. Designers have sculpted the business of men’s underwear into a multimillion-dollar industry that’s exciting, fresh, and never short on variety.
The Lowdown on Boxers and Briefs
The easiest way to find your best-fitting boxers or briefs is to experiment with the underwear’s fabric, cut, and enhanced features.
“Tighty Whites” and the Classic Brief
Typical “classic” jocks, or briefs, consist of spandex-enhanced fabric, usually cotton, with a smooth or finely ribbed texture. First sold in the USA by Jockey in 1935, briefs typically feature a vertical fly for comfort and function. However, modern-day companies popularized the y-front brief as well as the horizontal fly.
The first briefs were nicknamed “tighty whities” for their monotone white color. Generic briefs such as these became wildly popular throughout the 1950s. Today, classic briefs remain on the Men’s underwear market in hundreds of solid colors, prints, and stripes.
Classic-style briefs are still made today by underwear companies who started this trend:
Everlast: The Original Boxer
Sports apparel company Everlast first introduced elastic-waist “boxer trunks” to the American market in 1925. Noted for their loose fit and two-button fly closure, boxers were designed in a wide array of plaids, solids, and prints. Varying sales of boxer trunks have often made it #2 to men’s briefs. However, the comfortable boxer short remains the undergarment of choice for men of all ages.
Today, several fashion houses use signature prints and logos on boxer shorts, as well as fun designs.
- Ralph Lauren
- Joe Boxer
Fashion icon Calvin Klein was amongst the first to advertise his famed signature label on men’s briefs, making Calvin Klein underwear one of the best-selling brands in history. Thanks to attention-grabbing billboards featuring rapper/model Mark Whalberg, “Calvins” continue to portray an image all their own. Spring 2022 saw the new Calvin Klein X collection of square-cut briefs, trunks, and jocks, as well as hunky model/actor Kellan Lutz.
Materials such as bamboo, silk, and even milk proteins have been incorporated into boxer brief fabrics to enhance the softness, shape, and dryness of men’s briefs, trunks, and boxers.
Bamboo A similar feel to rayon, the eco-friendly bamboo fabric offers antimicrobial properties, offering luxe comfort while keeping perspiration off the body. Companies like C-IN2U have made bamboo briefs and boxer briefs part of their regular collections.
Milk Protein underwear boasts characteristics such as a look that’s free of wrinkles and super soft. UK underwear company Olaf Benz was one of the first to premiere a calcium-rich collection of Men’s briefs, thongs, and trunks in 2022.
Trunks and briefs are fashioned with bulge-enhancing cups, anatomically correct pouches, or even bottom pads designed to exaggerate the shape of a male silhouette. Designer and reality TV star Andrew Christian made headlines with his Shock Jock collection, which features the “maximum frontal enhancement” with insertable shaping cups.
The boxer brief is a wildly popular phenomenon in the world of men’s underwear. This tight-fitting version of trunks features groundbreaking innovations, depending on the company and intended performance. Elastic logo waistbands are the usual look with boxer briefs.
Amongst the most popular brands of boxer briefs:
- Calvin Klein
This backless undergarment is designed with a single “cup” and waist-circling straps to offer adequate support during athletic activities. Designer jockstraps are a popular part of the Men’s underwear market, with a focus on fashion colors and logo waistbands as well as a suitable fit.
Boxers or Briefs?
The age-old question is, “Briefs or boxers?” There is no right or wrong answer. A man’s ideal type of undergarment depends on his individual lifestyle, comfort, and fashion sense.