You wear underwear more than any other individual article of clothing. If you sleep in your underwear, you’re literally wearing it twice as much as you wear pants, shirts or even socks.
Men wear underwear all day, everyday. So why is underwear an afterthought for most guys? Why do we buy the cheapest underwear we can find? Why do we put up with cheap cotton riding up our legs throughout the day?
I recently got rid of all of my old, cheap underwear and replaced it with comfortable, high quality underwear that feels great and lasts much longer.
It was one of the best wardrobe upgrades I’ve made in a long time, and I hope you’ll consider doing the same thing after you finish reading this post.
Do you remember that old Hanes commercial with Michael Jordan? Two women are sitting on a park bench guessing whether guys walking by were wearing boxers or briefs.
Out of nowhere, MJ saunters up in these baggy pleated trousers and says, “They’re Hanes. Let’s just leave it at that.” Then the all to familiar jingle plays: “Wait’ll we get our Haaaanes on you!”
With all do respect, Mr. Jordan, you can keep your Hanes to yourself.
The problem with Hanes, Jockey, Fruit of the Loom and other bulk underwear brands is that they’re meant to be thrown away and replaced regularly.
They’re produced as cheaply as possible, which means they’re made from crappy fabrics using shoddy (and probably unethical) manufacturing techniques.
Think about it…you can get three pairs of boxers for $10. Someone made those, then they were bought by a department store, shipped halfway around the world and sold to you.
Imagine how cheap the materials and manufacturing had to be to make that possible! Some things had to be sacrificed in this process, and those things are durability, comfort, design and fit.
Fit is crucial for smaller guys. You don’t want excess fabric around the crotch, hips and thighs, especially if you wear slim pants.
The crazy thing is, even more expensive brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Polo are guilty of making baggy, ill-fitting boxers.
Given the choice, why would you want all that extra fabric inside your pants?
Boxers vs. Boxer Briefs vs. Briefs
This comes down to preference, but I will say one thing: if you’ve been wearing boxers your whole life, give boxer briefs a try.
The main difference between boxers and boxer briefs is the width of the legs. Boxers fit like shorts, leaving space between your leg and the fabric.
Note: Tani boxers (shown above) are slim, so they fit more like boxer briefs. Traditional boxers will have more room through the seat and leg.
Boxer briefs, on the other hand, sit snug against your leg.
Trunks are like a hybrid between boxer briefs and regular briefs (i.e., traditional underwear). They’re a little bit shorter than boxer briefs, which is actually perfect for shorter men.
Briefs are the shortest option. I find them to be less comfortable than trunks, but some guys love them, so it’s up to you to try them on for yourself.
Buying New Underwear
If you’re ready to replace your worn, baggy cotton boxers, here’s what you should look for in a good pair of underwear:
- Sits close to your body (no excess material)
- Antimicrobial, moisture-wicking fabric (pure cotton is not the best choice)
- Stretchy fabric (it should move with you without riding up)
- Durable construction (retains shape and feel after lots of washes)
- Flattering cut and design (men should look good in their underwear too)
You’ll be hard pressed to find underwear that meets these requirements in stores like Target and Kohl’s, or even GAP and Macy’s.
For that reason, I recommend buying underwear online. You can always send it back, and many stores offer free shipping and returns.
If you want the best, I recommend giving Tani – the company that sponsored this post – a shot.
I’ve tried many popular high end underwear brands like Mack Weldon and ExOfficio, and I can honestly say that Tani is a personal favorite.
Tani boxer briefs are just more comfortable, plus they don’t ride up at all throughout the day, which is rare.
Yes, they’re way more expensive than bulk department underwear, but isn’t it worth it? Most men are willing to invest in quality pieces, like dress shoes or suits, so why not invest in underwear too?
You’ll definitely get a lot more wear out of it!
I spoke with Tani CEO, Adam Dinkes, and let me tell you: this man is passionate about underwear. He truly hates “throwaway underwear” and thinks that most men don’t actually know how comfortable underwear can be.
Adam explained that the Tani brand has Asian roots, which is why their products tend to have more of a petite fit compared to many American brands.
His primary goal is to create a new standard for men’s underwear that’s all about quality and comfort, even if it costs more than most guys are used to paying for underwear.
Of course, the most common objection to buying this kind of high end underwear is price. Who wants to spend $35 or more on a pair of underwear?
To ease the financial burden, I would recommend checking out the Tani sale section.
You can also find a more affordable brand, but remember: you usually get what you pay for with underwear, so don’t skimp!
So…boxers or briefs? Leave a comment below!
I disagree with Hanes quality. I bought Hanes 100% cotton underwear in 2014, I wear them regularly and they’re still in good shape. Not the best looking underwear I have but they’re comfortable.
Briefs, hands down for most occasions. Tani, Mack Weldon have it nailed down. To each his own, but in the sprit of debate, I’ll put out my potentially unpopular opinion. A modern gentleman is a guy who applies logic and reason to every aspect of his life, seperate from social constructs that distract, and chooses the right option for the situation. I’m an engineer and minimalist and I live by two values – “make it simple, make it work” and “form follows function”. Form follows function is a design principle associated with late 19th and early 20th century architecture and industrial design – the shape of an object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose. Simply put, briefs are designed with function in mind and all other underwear styles are just fads, style trends driven by marketing and insecurities. Underwear is exactly that, under-wear, just something to keep your junk supported and not touching your daily rewearables, like jeans. It’s not intended to be an entire second layer. Puritanical prudence aside, there is really no logic behind adding extra fabric to cover your legs which are generally hidden under outerwear anyway. Not a fan of all the extra fabric material waste (environmentalist in me considering the billions of men wearing double the fabric adds up!) just to cover a little upper thigh so others guys or girls don’t challenge my fragile ego 😉
Hey, Brock, good insight. I wanted to give Tani a try a couple of years ago, but I stubled upon a video on YouTube about a brand that makes good underwear with some funky patterns, called MeUndies. I’ve been wearing them for 2 years and I have to say, I’m really impressed. They’re not Tani expensive, a pair is about 24 dollars, and I find them super comfortable and durable. They’re made out of micromodal and elasthane. Have you tried them?
Underarmour boxerjocks FTW if you have bigger thighs and/ or bigger junk. They are breathable, supportive and made to fit a larger athletic build. They no longer make a brief option, but I think the presence of legs is better, as they may help counteract undue pressure and creepage on the front. I could never find a CK style which fit me correctly. I only use Hanes for their baggy woven boxers to sleep at night.
Dapper Shortie says
The thing that guys don’t think about when you start to get clothes that actually fit is that briefs give you the thing women have delt with and hated for forever. The panty line!
I hate boxers. I hate them because I don’t my bits flopping around but I bought a premium pair of boxers briefs from a different company. They were great. I have some Tommy hilfinger and they are thick, hot, and the leg bands are thick bans that show through dress pants. These were supper thin and light.
So, I agree that if your trying to class up your look you don’t want the dredded panty lines 🙂 upgrade. It’s worth the money in more ways than one.
Tani calls XXL 40″ when it should be 46″. I’ll shop elsewhere.
Just this year I splurged on all new underwear after trying a view brands such as Saxx and Mack Weldon as well as a few others. I have to say hands down Tommy John fits and feels the best!! Brock have you had a chance to try these? If not it’s a must!! and for anyone looking to order a pair, make sure you order the “second skin” ones. Worth every dollar!
Nick M. says
I’ll have to check these out. I’ve been wearing Underarmour Boxerjocks and they are pretty comfortable.
My biggest problem with some of the more high-end boxer briefs is that they don’t have a fly (like the Tani’s). Trying to use a urinal without a fly and without pulling your pants down is a challenge I don’t want to have to face on a daily basis!
Brock – any recommendations on boxer briefs with a fly?
That’s a good point. Some high end options some with a button fly or a fold over fly. I think the button fly is most convenient/comfortable. For example, the Tani boxers have a single button fly.
Pankaj Malik says
Hi Brock, hope u r good,
Jockey is not less expensive, 400 Rs., and I can’t spend more than this Brock. How do you rate this brand, in India it is considered as best and little expensive among people like me.
What kind of underwear would be comfortable under Jeans and Slim trousers for a 5.6 slim men?
I’ve been taking Brock’s advice on clothing for a while now and he hasn’t steered me wrong yet. I had to order my first pair of Tani Silk Cut Trunks on his recommendation of the silk cut boxer briefs. I just prefer Trunks because they look better on a short guy. Can’t wait to get them and see how they compare to what I have been wearing. Plus, with the code, it totally brings it in line with other high end underwear brands. Thanks for the code Brock.
Glad to hear it! Let us know how you like them.
Well, I got one pair to try out and they are by far the most comfy pair of trunks I now own. I definitely need to get a few more. I always look forward to putting the ones I have on. Not only are they extremely comfortable, but they look good too and sexy looking undies never hurt. I have some ExOfficio which are comfortable but they aren’t super fashionable. I just wish the Tani were a little more affordable.
Excellent find Brock. You never let me down when it comes to fashion. Keep it coming!
Timely post, as my underwear drawer could use a refresher. I wear briefs (usually CK or 2xist) because I don’t like the extra fabric bunching up on boxer briefs or trunks. Perhaps with better brands like Tani this would not be an issue. I just might give those Tani boxer briefs a try!
Once you wear the best, you can’t go back!
I just checked their site and Tani makes briefs too. Have you tried them or only the boxer briefs?
I tried the briefs too. Very comfy, I just prefer the shape of boxer briefs over briefs. That said, the Tani briefs are much more comfortable than other briefs I’ve tried (CK, Adidas, Hanes, etc).
I never understood the importance of high quality underwear until I tried some myself. My brother had been wearing Calvin Klein underwear for years and I actually used to tease him about about being vain and paying so much for underwear. But he swore by them.
So I finally bought myself a couple of pairs for my birthday to see what all the fuss was about. I noticed the difference immediately. The fit and comfort was like anything I had experienced before. It felt like I was wearing nothing at all. They have also lasted me for years. Far longer than the cheaper brands I used to wear. So much so, that I have saved money in the long run. Now I refuse to wear anything else.
So I fully support your point, Brock, that investing in quality underwear is definitely worth it.
Also, to answer the question you posed: boxer briefs. More support than boxers and they look better than briefs.
Well said, sir.
I would like to agree with those who suggested that briefs were more comfortable than boxers. However, I will give Tani a try, thanks to Brock, but my guess is I will end up going back to briefs.
No pics?! How do we know they really fit?
They’re Tani. Let’s just leave it at that.
“…even more expensive brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Polo are guilty of making baggy, ill-fitting boxers.”
“…you usually get what you pay for with underwear…”
Seems to me these statements can be taken to be mutually exclusive; but perhaps I nitpick.
Although this article is aimed at traditional boxer-wearers for the most part, I’ve worn all type of underwear, and I still find briefs the most comfortable and the best fit for a man my size. The major problem I find is that if you have thin thighs (I do), the leg openings tend NOT to be form-fitting, as it were. And if you have a higher waist (I do), the crotch on most briefs can be “restraining.”
I’ve tried every one of the styles you show, and the best fit I have ever found was with Golden FOL briefs. However I now am having success with Mossy Oak trunks, so we’ll see how they endure.
I believe the more obvious problem here is that many men (most?) tend to keep underwear too long, neglecting to trash them when they are past their prime.
Good point. I’d actually put the brands I mentioned in the first statement in the “mid-range” category. They’re not expensive underwear, but they seem more high end than Jocket, Hanes, etc.
I guess my point is, they’re not any better. Still baggy, 100% cotton, low quality.
You’re definitely right that most men keep their underwear way too long. But, I would say that if you buy high quality underwear (and take care of it, like you would a dress shirt), you can keep it much longer.