Men's Undies Advice
September 12, 2016 8:07 AM   Subscribe

What the heck kind of (mens) underwear should I buy, and where?

My current underwear collection consists almost exclusively of flannel boxers. I honestly can't even remember why, as a middle school aged kid in Florida, I initially gravitated to flannel, but over the years it's become my go-to because they're soft, not at all constrictive, and have enough friction and structure that they won't slide up and down inside my pants.

But they also suck. They're hot, their extra mass means they can look bad under a suit in some angles, they're increasingly hard to find (and increasingly expensive when you can find them), the fit varies wildly between manufacturers, and holy hell do they hold on to sweat. I need something new. But I have no idea what to try.

I have a couple of pairs of simple cotton briefs and boxer briefs from Uniqlo, and I'm not super keen on them for reasons of both constriction and shape change (by the end of the day they generally fit very differently than they did when I put them on), so I'm pretty sure I'd like to stick with boxers, although I'm open to other ideas. I also recently bought a pair of knit boxers that I immediately got rid of because it basically felt like wearing a diaper made out of old t-shirts.

So where should I be buying underwear, and what specifically should I be buying? What do you swear by?

Additional info: 33 years old, cis male, 31 inch waist.
posted by saladin to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
by the end of the day they generally fit very differently than they did when I put them on

This is more or less always going to be an issue unless you gravitate toward high percentage (or 100%) lycra/spandex/etc.

There are a million and one men's underwear brands. Can you try a few out, see which styles and compositions suit you best? Like any article of intimate clothing, there's no substitute for a test drive.

I'm a sweaty dude, and I've settled on these stretchy trunk-style undies for the last two years. They're thin enough that they breathe well, dry quickly, and don't constrict too tightly (but just tightly enough). But I have no brand loyalty. I try underwear when it's on sale and will happily jump ship when something better comes along.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:20 AM on September 12, 2016

I like the Calvin Klein "micro modal" trunks. I buy them on Amazon.
posted by primethyme at 8:21 AM on September 12, 2016

MeUndies' fabric is really, really nice. And affordable.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:22 AM on September 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

2nd MeUndies
posted by French Fry at 8:25 AM on September 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Something like 4,000 people want you to try these.
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 8:27 AM on September 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a discount code for MeUndies if you want to try them. MefiMail me. They're a little pricey for my tastes (I usually get Banana Republic on sale) but the fabric is pretty great.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:31 AM on September 12, 2016

I love the Calvin Klein micro modal trunks as well, but they are expensive enough that I found these David Archy modal trunks which are also great and much cheaper.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:37 AM on September 12, 2016

Fourthing MeUndies. My husband and I went monthly for a year and my god, is it amazing underwear. (Unless you go through underpants really fast, 12 pairs was all we needed, so no more subscription.)
posted by Kitteh at 8:40 AM on September 12, 2016

These Equipo boxer briefs are excellent. Similar to late afternoon's suggestion, but NOT cotton.
posted by cnc at 8:49 AM on September 12, 2016

I live in my Uniqlo Airisms. They're super comfortable, breath extremely well, pack down tiny for traveling (and will dry out overnight if you wash them in the sink), keep your junk from getting too swampy, and generally go for around $10 a pair. Seriously the best.
posted by themadthinker at 8:56 AM on September 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

My brother swears by Ex Officio moisture-wicking boxers. Personally, I just wear regular Gap boxers in fun patterns (although they don't really have those anymore).
posted by kevinbelt at 9:04 AM on September 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Jockey boxer-briefs. I even like the multi-color pack, as it makes it easier to remember which ones are dirty when traveling, for instance.

They're not super tight, but they are snug. I find them on sale at Macy's... buy 1 pack of 4, get 2nd pack of 4 50% off.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:06 AM on September 12, 2016

My husband loves Uniqlo Supima ones. He talked about them for an entire day after he got them and regretted not buying more.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 9:07 AM on September 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another vote for MeUndies...
posted by Perplexity at 9:32 AM on September 12, 2016

Mack Weldon boxer briefs are terrific.
posted by nicwolff at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2016

The Tommy John Second Skin are not cheap, but they are very, very comfortable.
posted by Silvertree at 12:01 PM on September 12, 2016

The Ex Officio ones throw off moisture like crazy but I also find them pretty unflattering and not cut very well for my body. I recommend against Jockey for men, as every pair I've tried has been very small for the stated size or had some part of it horribly out of proportion.

If you want to try something very different than what you're used to, try men's bikini cut. They provide good support with minimal fabric (short of a thong) so they don't tend to bind or ride up and stay cool during the summer. I've found the JC Penny house brand (Stafford) to provide a good combination of quality and cost for them.

2Xist boxerbriefs/trunks might be worth checking out.
posted by Candleman at 1:26 PM on September 12, 2016

I switched to meundies a few months ago and definitely love them.
posted by Jacob G at 7:16 PM on September 12, 2016

My sister has very strong opinions on what is the done thing in men's underwear, and buys it for her husband who is about your size.

Anyway, she says: "You should never wear boxers of any kind if you care about fit at all. They are too bulky and too obvious under clothing, particularly suits. From a fashion perspective, boxers are a bit dated. It is likely that you will prefer or adapt to boxer-briefs more readily than you will to briefs. Boxer-briefs come in a variety of lengths: short, which is nearly brief-like; mid-thigh, which is standard for workwear and day-to-day; long boxer briefs which come close to the knee should only be worn for workout and serious athletic purposes. Low-end boxer briefs (ex. Hanes, Fruit-of-the-Loom) feature looser-fitting legs-- this is a no-no. Boxer briefs should be fitted about the thigh, and there should not be sag in the butt area. Low-end and all-cotton boxer-briefs are especially prone to this.

"If you like to wear fitted or tight jeans or slacks, err on the shorter side of boxer briefs. (Or, try briefs!) Under Armour are a great choice if the primary concern is chafing, breathable fabric, and looking presentable in your underwear. Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani, or Dolce are great choices for special occasions or if you are looking to impress. Ergo is a great niche brand for 'anatomically correct' comfort-wear, supposedly it is 'ergonomic.' Oryx is a similar concept to Ergo.

'For added sex appeal, try a pouch-front boxer-brief style. They are meant to 'enhance your profile.' Obviously, your mileage may vary. As an FYI, brands like Andrew Christians, Papi, Clever, and 2Xist have a gay following, and that may or may not work for you, and it doesn't really matter since they are, after all, just items of clothing. Regardless of orientation, some people like the unique colors, prints, and flattering fit."

I am a boring person with little interest in underwear, and I like the cotton-spandex boxer briefs from American Eagle, of all places. (Guess who picked them out.) I prefer boxer briefs because they cut down on chafing, and because they can be flattering without being showy. Non-special ones that I personally like are the Calvin Klein micro-modal boxer briefs, or the Old Navy packaged short-leg boxer-briefs that are not all cotton, but lately the fit has been all over the place so I can't really personally suggest those any longer. I hated the Airisms because they rode up too much on me, but if you're on the slimmer side you might like them.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:23 PM on September 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

I am a long-term aficionado of the Ex Officio boxers. They're much lighter and less bulky than traditional cotton boxers, and much more comfortable in heat (I live in Houston) than anything designed to fit more snugly (even the Ex Officio boxer briefs are less comfy to me).

I'm enough of a clothes horse that I check for read-through in pants, and it's just not an issue -- even with my suit pants.

Oh, and as a bonus, they're designed to dry quickly, so hotel-sink laundry is totally doable (and I've done it, on unexpectedly-extended trips).

They're a little expensive, but last and last and last. Highly recommended.
posted by uberchet at 8:58 AM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

+1 for the Ex Officio. Tried one pair and then replaced everything with them. Never looked back.
posted by quite unimportant at 3:41 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the great answers everyone. Gave the Ex Officios a try and they've been great so far. Going to also try Uniqlo Airism and MeUndies, just to be scientific, but extremely impressed with my first pair right out of the gate. So long, flannel!
posted by saladin at 2:43 PM on October 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Update: Ex Officios are the clear winner for temperature/breathability, but look ridiculous, very 90s Eurotrash. MeUndies are the clear winner for overall comfort, but look sort of dumpy, like the softness of the material somehow makes your whole body look a little soft. Uniqlo are the winners on price and look, but are substantially less comfortable than either other option. I bought two pairs of the Ex Officios, will buy many more MeUndies, and don't plan on buying any more Uniqlos. Thanks again for the answers!
posted by saladin at 4:28 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older How to be a good assistant coach for kids' sports   |   What does cilantro taste like? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.