The Best Men's Underwear To Make You Feel Like A Better Man
No pair of pants is a talisman. They're not lucky. And chances are, if you refer to your underwear as such, you won't be getting 'lucky', either. The American Pie cliches died upon the second outing of a 'Stifler's mom' gag. But know that pants can be comfortable. They can be structured. They can be flattering as a result. And, often, the sheet is only pulled back on the best men's underwear when it comes from somebody else, usually by way of a gift that we so rarely give to ourselves.
We should. Especially now. As smarter sweatpants and the looser, cozier corners of menswear continue to scaffold our wardrobes in These Unprecedented Times, you want – no, need – to be comfortable. The designer two-pack you received from an almost-ex last Christmas shouldn't be a special occasion.
Not that designer pants are the only way to go. They're a very strong route indeed, especially if you're keen to revisit the Mark Wahlbergs of poster boys past with a CK waistband and a daily exercise routine to match (best of luck with the 2:45 am prayer call). Disruptor brands like CDLP and Nice Laundry are making their own waves too. But just as we're not all built like minor Greek demigods (...right?), it makes sense that different underwear suits different body types. There are a few core tenants, of course. Breathable cotton is preferable to organ-cooking polyester. The elastic should still be elastic. Though other than that, it's about identifying your body shape and investing in the best men's underwear that is best for a man like you.
Because you won't just feel good. You'll look good. And that'll make you feel even good-er. So where to start? Where does one begin the quest for their big comfy boy small? Well, now you really are in luck.
The classic brief: a tale of two cities – one of which is having more sex than a retired HBO series about four single New Yorkers. For in this camp, the brief is an artifact of that largely Italian strain of prurience, all tied together in a tight and comfortable package south of a big brand waistband (and often seen on silk sheets and silkier advertising campaigns). In the other, it's a sensible, no-frills option that was lifted from mummy's boy territory into retro-cool waters by the likes of American Apparel, and other nodders to the Seventies.
Both approaches are absolutely fine, and the brief is a happy juncture between each aesthetic. What's more, its benefits are myriad. As the brief is largely defined by its cropped style that exposes most of the leg, it is ideal for those that have plenty of mass in those parts. But on the other hand, shorter guys stand to benefit: more leg exposed creates the illusion of a longer leg and a longer man.
Let us be clear, too. When things are snugly compacted, they can also look bigger. You work it out.
Boxer shorts are the classic sort of underwear worn by classic cinema's husbands – the sort that returned late and thought it sensible to remove their trousers before hat or tie. Yes, loose, baggy, and light has been in favor for decades, and with good reason. However, know that there are a few downsides, too (and not just the mimicry of appalling Fifties spouses).
While the cut allows for breathability and the closest thing to natural AC down below, there's a distinct lack of structure. That makes them an uncomfortable companion to closer-fitting trousers, and worse, can cause gathering around the crotch that'll make you walk funny and prompt regular rearrangements (a frown in the company of friends, an employment tribunal in the office).
But! It is good! While boxer shorts don't always lend themselves well to every day, slimmer guys have less chance to chafe and upset the pants-to-trouser ratio. And, as the providers of cool, cool air, it's the best men's underwear for relaxing, sleeping, and lounging around. We're all doing a lot of that of late.
Not quite as loose as a boxer short, but not as compact as the brief, the boxer brief (you guessed it) gets the formula just right and as such, has become something of a go-to for countless men.
What's more the fabric gives it a bit of stretch, which is important for several reasons. Where boxer shorts aren't known for their elasticity, those with more curvature can find them unforgiving. The same for briefs, though where there's a stretch, there's so little fabric to actually cover things. The boxer brief gets that just right.
Still, don't think it's a dream ticket. When cut too high, you can suffer the same problem with cuffs interfering with the comfort of your trousers, and when you go too long, it all gets a little bit gastroenterology unit. So again, go mid-length and hit that midpoint equilibrium. If it works for thousands of others, chances are it'll work for you too.