A great outfit starts with a great base. That means it totally matters what type of underwear you’re wearing. Keep in mind: your body type, activity, occasion, and the type of bottoms you plan to wear all play a role in what you choose. Just make sure you’re comfortable with them. Here’s all the information you need the next time you go underwear shopping.

In the battle between boxers and briefs, which side are you on? Whether you’re team boxer, team briefs, or both, we’ve rounded up reasons why each one is a top contender.


With a looser silhouette, boxers allow for more air circulation and are more breathable. This makes them great for combatting sweat, odor, and uncomfortable heat. The unstructured, full-coverage fit also allows you to move freely without feeling constricted. Love wearing slim-fit pants? Then you’ll love slim-fit boxers with a more close-fitting cut.


If you’re all for a snug fit, briefs are your best bet. They provide support and lift, which are great for reducing heat and moisture. And since they don’t have excess fabric, they fit seamlessly underneath all your pants. Also check out hip briefs, which feature a comfortable lower rise.


  • Is your underwear feeling a bit too tight or restrictive? Try a contour pouch with stretch, and consider the placement of seams and the height of the lift.
  • Have a shapeless bottom? Choose underwear with a stretchy, synthetic blend fabric, which conforms more to the body and gives you more shape than cotton pieces. Also, try a low-rise design.
  • Find your waistband constantly peeking above your clothes? Keep your underwear under control with low-rise or mid-rise designs.


  • If your underwear is leaving marks or chafing the skin, you might want to size up. If it’s still irritating to the skin, consider switching to design without an elastic waistband or leg bands, or to a synthetic blend fabric like microfiber or modal. Or try boxer briefs, which will also protect your legs from rubbing.
  • Feel like your underwear is too hot and doesn’t absorb moisture? Avoid cotton underwear and opt for breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics like microfiber. And make sure to stock up on compression shorts for sports and workouts.
  • Ride-up a problem? The elastic leg bands might not be tight enough, which could be preventing your underwear from staying anchored. You just have to find ones that fit you—properly fitting underwear should never ride up.


  • Wondering how often you should go underwear shopping? If you’ve only got a few pairs on rotation, it’s a good idea to replace your underwear every 6-9 months.
  • Pay attention to the elastic waistbands and leg bands. They can wear out and fray over time, which will feel uncomfortable on the skin and no longer provide the support.
  • Laundry time! Check out the label of your underwear and set your washing machine to the attached instructions. Then, turn them inside out (it helps reduce wear and tear, and makes for more thorough cleaning) and wash separately on the delicate cycle.
  • For an extra boost of freshness, use stain remover before tossing them into the wash, and add color-safe bleach.
  • Just air dry! Throwing your underwear into the dryer can break down fabrics and destroy elasticity.
  • Don’t forget to regularly care for your underwear by trimming loose threads and removing pills to keep them lasting longer.