There’s nothing like the feeling of new underwear – that crisp fabric taught over your skin, that gentle thwack of the waistband. But choosing the right underwear can be tricky.
The main men’s underwear shapes are boxer brief, maxi brief and trunks. Some brands use different names for their cuts, though.
Cotton has been the default fabric for men’s underwear since time immemorial. It’s breathable, absorbent, and feels pretty darn good. It’s a decent choice for everyday wear, but it can get uncomfortable in the heat or during physical activities and exercise.
For this reason, many people opt for a cotton blend, which can provide the best of both worlds: comfort and stretch-ability. You’ll want to look for blends that are 90% or higher in cotton to ensure you are getting the highest quality underwear.
Modal, also known as micro modal, is another popular option for underwear. It’s a soft, natural fabric made from the cellulose fibers of trees like beech, birch, and oak. It’s twice as soft as cotton and is more breathable. It’s a great choice for men who lead active lifestyles and like to be comfortable all day long. It’s also more environmentally friendly than cotton, requiring less water to grow and generating no harmful byproducts.
Linen is a breathable fabric that offers antibacterial qualities and cools the body. Historically, it was used in undergarments as it can be easily blended with other fabrics such as cotton or wool. Linen is a popular choice for medieval men’s underwear and can transform any costume into an authentic ensemble.
In the 1930s American hosiery company Cooper’s introduced briefs modeled on French briefs and swimwear. These sexy underpants featured elasticated leg openings and waistbands, a Y-front design and a name woven into the waistband. This innovative new style offered a more masculine support than traditional underwear and was an instant success.
The late 21st century has seen a return to underwear that enhances or ‘constructs’ the idealised male physique. Australian brand aussieBum designed a product called the Wonderjock, which uses seams around the pouch front to ‘push up’ the crotch. Garments from Gregg Homme and C-IN2 feature integrated ‘rings’ that encircle the testicles, providing additional ‘lift’.
Spandex is a stretchy fabric that holds its shape and doesn’t lose its elasticity over time. It can be found in men’s briefs, boxer briefs and thongs. If you’re vegan or have strict ethical standards, check the label of your spandex underwear to make sure it’s not made from animal-derived materials.
Spandex can help prevent chafing and is ideal for active men who want to move freely. Its moisture-wicking, antibacterial and breathability properties are also a plus.
A new men’s underwear fabric to watch out for is bamboo fiber, which is softer than cotton and doesn’t have a strong scent. It’s also incredibly lightweight and breathable, which makes it a great choice for summer. It’s also naturally antibacterial and wicks moisture well. This fabric can be found in men’s trunks, briefs, boxer briefs and a-fronts.
Microfiber men’s underwear is made of a soft, breathable fabric that is designed to pull moisture and sweat away from the skin. Depending on how they’re woven, some types of microfibre underwear can even be used to keep athletes drier while they work out by pushing moisture away from the skin in their groin and genital area.
Microfibre underwear is also odor resistant and quick-drying, so you won’t have to worry about bacteria growing in your underwear or feeling uncomfortable when you sweat heavily. However, some people prefer to avoid microfiber underwear for environmental or ethical reasons. The polyester in these underwear requires a lot of chemicals to produce, and some individuals may be sensitive to the synthetic materials or plastic particles that are released during manufacturing.
Fruit of the Loom’s tag-free micro modal underwear is a good example of a comfortable, soft, and sleek pair of underwear that will fit nicely under most clothes. Micro modal is a fabric made from beech tree fibers and is often compared to silk. It’s also more durable than cotton underwear and doesn’t lose its softness after many washes or wears.men’s bamboo underwear