The cotton boyshort underwear that changed your life
February 28, 2015 7:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm contemplating ditching my current high-volume, low-cost approach to undergarment-buying (e.g., these Hanes cheapies, which stretch out after 6 months) for a low-volume, high-quality strategy. Are there durable stretch cotton boyshorts out there that wear like iron and are worth splurging on?

Cotton-blend is fine, but no 100% nylon or microfiber or whatever nonbreathing plasticky fabrics they're making panties out of these days. Color's open, but sleek, minimalist styling somewhat preferred. No special size needed, but slightly more coverage/higher rise is better. What should I be looking at, Metafilter?
posted by Bardolph to Shopping (24 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
I've been very happy with the quality of certain Aerie boybriefs (and some of their boy shorts, although they fit me less well) that I've purchased since 2012. The key seems to be avoiding *any* trim other than those couple superfluous miniature bows/buttons. Everything with flat cotton seams & no lace has held up phenomenally, and at 7 for $26.50, the price is actually better than those Hanes you linked.

I thank Metafilter for this discovery.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:58 AM on February 28, 2015 [5 favorites]

Have you considered including "men's" underwear in your search? I find the fabric is more substantial, the construction lasts longer, and they are more comfortable than similar "women's" underwear. If you're wearing boyshorts anyway, the style is not very different. Costco has some pretty nice pima cotton boxer briefs, if you're a member.
posted by zebra at 8:01 AM on February 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

(I am male, so grains of salt all round)

Everything I've ever purchased from duluth trading is basically indestructible. The women I know who do manual labor have also had good luck with their stuff.

Their men's undershorts have served me well for years.

They have women's as well.

Be aware that they do not tend toward vanity sizing, and do not fit very curvy women well.
posted by poe at 8:12 AM on February 28, 2015

I've really liked the uniqlo ones (95% cotton), they don't really break the bank and mine have lasted quite a bit longer than the ones I was buying at Target previously (no stretching, fading, etc).

I also love exofficio (however 95% nylon) and they don't specifically have boyshorts but the hip-kini feels very similar to me but they don't seem to have that "plasticky" feel, in my mind. I hand wash mine and they last ages (at least one pair I've had for 3 years I believe). These are amazing for travel because they dry so quickly. I might eventually switch over to these entirely but I like a little bit of variation.
posted by AnneShirley at 8:13 AM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Gap does stretch cotton underthings and in my experience they launder well without stretching out of shape or having the elastic at the leg snap.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:29 AM on February 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck with these. Modal, not cotton, but they come across as just a softer version of cotton and are just as breathable as anything else I've bought. Definitely more pricey than the Hanes but after a year or so I haven't noticed any wear or stretching and they're super comfortable.
posted by exutima at 9:05 AM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Keep your undies out of the dryer, no matter which new brand you choose. The heat ruins the fabric, no matter the quality.
posted by jbenben at 9:28 AM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding Aerie and Gap undies; mine have lasted for years with no special treatment (machine wash and dry on medium, that's it). Aerie's been doing a lot of weird frills and lace stuff lately, so Gap might be your better bet. Gap tends to run a size large.

I haven't found modal to wear very well, though it is soft, and ExOfficio undies just don't feel right to me. YMMV.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:25 AM on February 28, 2015

Thirding Gap - don't get anything with lace or funny stuff, as those fall apart and itch. I bought a bunch of pairs early last summer and all are holding up well except one, and even that one is holding up better than a lot do now.
posted by Frowner at 10:33 AM on February 28, 2015

Jockey women's cotton panties, full stop. Everything else I've tried is garbage and falls apart/de-elasticizes after a month or two. Plus, you can get sets of all black, which, if you're like me, is a dealbreaker. And bonus, you can throw them in the dryer and they're fine. Who has time to air dry their panties? Honestly?

I know they have boyshorts, but you may like the modern brief more. It's higher rise.
posted by theraflu at 10:52 AM on February 28, 2015 [6 favorites]

These Commando boy shorts in cotton are awesome and exactly what you're looking for, although they're expensive at $30. I am slooowly replacing all my Uniqlo, Hanes, ExOfficio, American Apparel, Hanky Panky, Spanx, etc. with them, because they wear like iron and just do not ever twist, pull, shrink or fade. Plus they're invisible under clothes and there is zero embellishment. You can get them on sale once in a while at Nordstrom: that's when I stock up.
posted by Susan PG at 11:48 AM on February 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

I love these, from Target, and they're my daily go-to, barring the need for something specific for an outfit. I hand wash them like all my delicates and find they last and wear just fine (and I say that as broke Cosabella refuge.) They also happen fit my curvy parts better than most boy shorts. Not really a step up, but I wouldn't feel compelled to go back to Cosabella if I won't the lottery.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:14 PM on February 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck with the Aerie boy briefs as well- and nthing the advice to avoid lacy or "fancy" ones- the plain colored ones have lasted me the longest, and they're super comfortable.
posted by MadamM at 12:49 PM on February 28, 2015

Jockey makes the best underwear. Cotton, comfortable and can make it through the drier like the poster said above. Their underwear lasts for years.
posted by Toddles at 1:50 PM on February 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

Nthing Jockey. The difference between Jockey and Hanes is like night and day. I love my Jockey's!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:01 PM on February 28, 2015 [4 favorites]

1000% MeUndies Women's Briefs, if you're asking about underwear that will change your life. I've been KonMari-ing and got rid of all my underwear I don't absolutely love, now these are the only things left in my underwear drawer. Amazingly comfy, and perfect style. /shill.
posted by moons in june at 2:02 PM on February 28, 2015 [4 favorites]

Those of you recommending MeUndies: can I ask how you determined your size? They seem to list women's clothes in either men's pants sizes, or else dress sizes, neither of which are measurements I ever ever use. Do they have hip sizes listed on some secret page?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:45 PM on February 28, 2015

Maybe it's not so dignified to admit, but I bought some Aerie briefs in 2007 and I'm still wearing them. So yeah, get those.
posted by Cygnet at 3:03 PM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

I recently bought the same knickers OP wears and really like them so am following along with great interest, but some have suggested brands that don't seem to have cotton boyshorts (or which otherwise don't fit the criteria). Jockey does not. Duluth does not. MeUndies does not have cotton or boyshorts. Aerie's selection is mostly lace. The only cotton boyshorts Gap sells are "ultra low" rise.

If you're suggesting a brand, maybe link directly to the cotton boyshorts in question in case they're easy to miss via Google? If Jockey is making cotton boyshorts I must be informed...
posted by kmennie at 4:06 PM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have been wearing Thunderpants since a friend brought a pair back from New Zealand for me 8 years ago. That original pair? Wore out about 6 months ago. I cannot really emphasize enough how sturdy these are. They come in some delightful prints and regular solid colors. They will ship to the States, though there is an American stockist now, too.

They make two cuts - the hipster fits more like a boyshort. The original sits higher on the waist. I love both.

Wash on gentle, don't put them in the dryer and they'll outlast your favorite pair of jeans.
posted by minervous at 6:11 PM on February 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

Nthing the Gap. Their boyshorts are my favorites, and every pair has so far lasted me years without any particular sign of wear.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 10:51 AM on March 1, 2015

I just wear dude's boxer briefs. The material is heavier, they last forever, and they are hella comfortable. I've had some Fruit of the Loom from Old Navy for about a year and a half now, and they're still going strong:
posted by joycehealy at 11:14 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Hey, folks, noting that this isn't so much "what underwear/general brand do you like?" but a more specific request asking for "durable stretch cotton boyshorts ... that wear like iron and are worth splurging on."
posted by taz (staff) at 2:15 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've heard good things about the PACT boyshort. They're made with fair trade manufacturing practices to boot.
posted by forkisbetter at 7:20 AM on July 25, 2015

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