For many, underwear is a touchy subject. It’s simply not a matter of public discussion. But if nobody wants to talk about it, then how can you get the best pair of underwear for yourself? How do you know that you’re getting the pair of boxers or briefs you need for your daily activities?
As for underwear, many guys would say that they prefer boxers for comfort. How did boxers become popular? Do you know what fabric or material to choose? Do you know which style suits your level of activity best? Do you want to know how often you should dispose of old boxers? There’s a lot of things to consider, and it’s quite a lot to take in, and we know that. That’s why we came up with this Ultimate Guide in buying yourself your perfect pair of boxers.
What are boxers and how are they different from other types of underwear?
Boxers are the comfiest go-to underwear for a lot of guys. They’re basically breathable, loose-fitting shorts that don’t offer much support to the groin area. They’re great for casual and easy-going events or just chilling in your house. They give a lot of room for your crotch area to breathe and move. Also, guys with generally larger back portions will find boxer shorts comfortable and less intimidating. The downside to it is if you’re wearing figure-hugging pants, most boxers have a tendency to bunch up and make your crotch area look odd (as if you’re wearing diapers).
Though we have to note that boxers aren’t always baggy and loose. If boxer shorts aren’t your thing, then maybe boxer briefs will suit you better. Boxer briefs basically bring the best qualities of boxers and briefs together--the comfort of boxers and the support of briefs. It offers maximum coverage, comfort, and breathability and is perfect for any body type. This is also great for long activities but may get uncomfortable if you don’t choose the right material.
There are a lot of underwear options out there in the market if you’re incorporating different activities into your daily life. There are also a lot of boxer varieties out there to choose from if you’re not comfortable with what’s out there. For example, you might want to wear briefs if you’re going to wear pants, skinny jeans, and other clothes that have a snug fit. Or you might opt for boxer briefs instead if you plan on going to your weekly workout sessions.
General Criteria for buying men’s boxers
For us, there are 5 important things you need to consider before you go shopping for your new pairs of boxers.
Comfort- In any article of clothing you buy, especially underwear, comfort comes first. If you’re a brief guy who’s considering buying a few pairs of boxers, you have to think about the material, fit, and feel of your current pairs of briefs before you go browsing for other types of underwear. If you’re a boxer guy who’s looking around the market for boxers of different materials and designs, it’s good to research into the materials and the fit before you decide on your purchase.
Support- Boxer shorts and boxer briefs offer different levels of support, and so do other types of underwear for men. If you’re living an active lifestyle, it’s good to invest in boxers or underwear that offer you the maximum amount of comfort and support as you’re going about your day. Looking into the contouring and pouches of some boxer shorts or briefs is really helpful if you’re particular about the support.
Material- While we have a separate section for this below, we need you to know that some materials may feel soft to the touch but aren’t necessarily good for you. Sometimes, some cotton boxers may look and feel nice but are actually made of cheaper cotton that doesn’t last very long.
Longevity- Buying in smaller batches often is better than buying a one-time big-time batch. This makes sure that the underwear in your rotation is in good condition and last longer. Also, if you either gain or lose weight, you don’t have to throw as many pairs of underwear out.
Price- We can all agree that we want to get the best out of our money. Having a budget for your underwear shopping is a great way to start. Though there are people who think that investing in quality underwear works best in the long run. Whatever you decide on, it’s entirely up to you.
Fabric and material
Men’s boxers are made of different materials. Below are just briefs (get it?) of the most commonly used materials used to make boxers and similar undergarments.
Cotton- This is the most popular material for boxers because it’s the most absorbent, breathable, and the most widely available material out there. They usually come in blends with other materials like spandex or polyester. Fair warning, though. Softer cotton doesn’t always mean it’s high quality. Look into certifications on the package to see the quality and sourcing of the cotton used in your pair of boxers.
Microfiber- Trademarked by Lenzing in Austria, this material is made with polyester, polyimide or rayon extracted from beechwood and is softer than cotton. This material is highly breathable and shrink-resistant. But it’s also prone to pilling and is not as strong as cotton when wet.
Micro Modal Air- This is the finest material available in terms of softness, breathability, and thinness. It’s softer than silk and retains its color and shape despite washing. It’s used in high-end underwear and is really on the pricier side.
Silk- This is a great classic option for boxers, but not a lot of manufacturers produce silk boxers nowadays mainly because it’s such a fragile fabric. It always needs to be hand washed but is really soft and light to the touch.
Bamboo viscose- This material is gaining popularity for its comfort, and breathability. It’s made of 95% bamboo pulp and 5% spandex, making it an environment-friendly choice. It eliminates odors, is cool to the touch, and is hypoallergenic. The best part? It feels like cotton, but it doesn’t chafe your skin!
Most men don’t have an idea of what their actual size is. It’s all a game of wild guesses. In addition, trying on underwear in dressing rooms isn’t really advised for sanitary reasons, of course. The best way to find the perfect fitting pair of boxers for you is to take your measurements first before going out to buy, or at least have yourself measured at the store. That way, you can make sure that you’re buying the right-sized pair of boxers for you. Wearing ill-fitting underwear is a one-way ticket to most infections and discomfort, so you better have your measurements taken.
Most manufacturers go with these standard measurements:
Size S- 28”-30”/ 71-76 cm
Size M- 32”-34”/ 81-86 cm
Size L- 36”-38”/ 91-96 cm
Size XL- 40”-42”/ 101-106 cm
Other buying tips and FAQs
We’ve collected some other tips from underwear and boxer connoisseurs and the average guy alike. What do you do with old underwear? Can you machine dry silks? How do you store underwear? We’ve got the answers for you.
What color or style should I buy? Can I still buy goofy prints even if I’m a grown man?
Honestly, the design and print of the underwear you want to buy are entirely up to you. Although, the main rule is never to wear dark underwear with light pants, for obvious reasons, of course. The ideal color underwear to buy for light-colored pants would be nudes or greys close to your skin tone. If you’re wearing dark pants, you can wear whatever you want. And if you want to wear something goofy or kinky to bed or in the house, it’s definitely your call.
Should I cut out the brand tag?
Brand tags and those sewn-on silk care instruction tags are unnecessary, and you can snip them off. But it helps if you take note of the care instructions first before getting rid of them so you won’t treat your underwear the wrong way (i.e. wash them in chlorinated bleach, machine dry, etc.)
How many pairs of underwear should I own?
In an ideal world, having around 20 pairs of underwear seems like the most sensible amount to have at a time. But frankly, who has time to buy that many pairs of underwear? We recommend having 14 pairs instead, especially if you wash clothes once a week. That way, you have a fresh pair every day.
How often should I buy new pairs of underwear?
This really depends on the underwear you’re working with right now. What materials make up your underwear? How often do you wash them? How intense is your physical activity? If you feel that you need to replace some old bacon-garter ones, then it’s time to buy new pairs.
How many pairs of underwear should I buy at a time?
Luckily, most manufacturers sell underwear in packs. It’s great to buy boxers and other underwear in packs as it’s more cost-efficient. A pack of 3 or 5 should be enough at a time.
My white underwear has discolorations. Should I wash it with bleach?
Unless stated otherwise in their care instructions, do not wash white underwear in chlorinated bleach. This will damage the elastic material that makes your underwear nice and stretchy. It’ll also reduce your underwear’s lifespan. If you need to remove some stubborn stains, best go with non-chlorinated bleach.
What kind of underwear will make me look hot?
That really depends on your partner, but according to a lot of guys, you can never go wrong with black boxer briefs. They’re nice and figure-hugging without making your member look underwhelming. Black hides most stains and it’s very appealing and slimming, too.
How do I clean and store my underwear?
It’s best to consult your underwear’s care instructions first before doing anything. But your best bet is not to wash in overly hot water and let it air-dry instead of machine-drying it. If you plan on using your washing machine, place your underwear in a washing machine-safe bag and hang to dry in a cool, dry place. Also, to keep moths away from your clothes, store your underwear with lavender or cedarwood.
My crotch area is always itchy since I bought a new pair of boxers/underwear. What should I do?
You should first go to the doctor. If your doctor rules out every other disease and points the cause to your new underwear, your new pair might be a little too tight, not washed properly, or made of a material you’re allergic to. Read over our guide and research some more so you’d avoid this scenario in the future.
What should I do with old and worn underwear? Should I just donate it?
No, underwear is not something you’d want to donate. If your underwear doesn’t fit well or has holes in it, it’s time to let it go. Upcycling may be an option, so looking into your local community’s upcycling facility may help you choose what to do with it.
Boxers really are one of the comfiest types of underwear there is on the market, and there are so many types and materials to choose from. We hope that after reading this, you’re planning to buy a fresh pair soon. As always, good luck!