HEY MAN, DON'T GET YOUR BOXERS IN A BUNCH
By now, you know the importance of a wardrobe full of foundation pieces that will keep you ready for any and all occasions. So why do so few guys extend this investment-minded strategy to their…well, foundation? Us ladies were quick to pick up on this “a little goes a long way” concept when it comes to creating a base layer that makes us feel as good as our clothes look – and it’s the perfect time for you guys catch up.
The lowdown on leveling-up your underwear:
1. BASE LAYERS AFFECT YOUR ENTIRE OUTFIT
Ready to take a page out of our book? Give your base layers the spotlight when it comes to seeking a shortcut for everyday confidence. “If you have the right fitting underwear, everything else fits better. Women would never wear a baggy bra or saggy underwear. In the same way, men look and feel much better when they take a 21st century approach to their base layers,” says Tom Patterson, Founder & CEO of Tommy John. We couldn’t agree more.
As suits and pants become slimmer, take both comfort and appearance into account when choosing your underwear. Combatting visible lines (what us ladies call VPL, or “visible panty line”) has been a long and hard-fought battle for women, but it’s relatively new territory for you fellas. Luckily, plenty of brands have made improvements to both material and cut that will change how you feel and look in your clothes.
But this isn’t just a ploy on the part of marketers to get you to buy more expensive undergarments. Adding an extra boost of confidence every morning starts with your base layer, so it’s time to switch your underwear from the “Save” to the “(mildly) Splurge” category. According to Patterson, “Underwear is often the last upgrade in a guys closet or life,” which is crazy, considering underwear fits, fabrics, and functionality have changed more in the last two years than the last 25.
2. NOT ALL UNDERWEAR IS CREATED EQUAL“Guys are realizing that comfortable, high-quality underwear options do exist.” notes president of Tani USA, Adam Dinkes. That’s right, guys; a 5-pack of boxers need not be your only source of underthangs. Look to big brands innovating their lines as well as online-only options emerging on “I made it ‘cuz I needed it” platforms like Kickstarter.
What kinds of improvements? Think: more comfortable stitch placement and waist band width. To find the style that’s right for you, Dinkes suggests, “Buy two or three different pairs to see how they feel, how they fit, and what you find most comfortable.” Most importantly? Don’t assume the style (or even size) you’ve always worn is the most comfortable. Try some new fabrics and some new shapes. Odds are there’s a whole new world of comfort out there.
3. FABRIC MATTERSLet’s do a quick rundown, shall we? Moisture-wicking: Pulling moisture away from your body and drying considerably faster than traditional cotton is an ideal undergarment quality regardless of season, so keep an eye out for this to be a component of most new lines. Antimicrobial: Your first line of defense against imminent sweat? The bacteria (and odor) resistant antimicrobial property of certain fabrics in a lot of garments today. Look for this on the label next time your shopping for active or everyday underwear. Micromodal: The finest of undergarment fabrics that results in a seriously soft feel with an almost airy weight. It’ll dry quick and offer an endless stretch – making it perfect under your skinny jeans or three-piece suit. Classic cotton: Already known for its cool, dry comfort, updated cotton fabrics now dry considerably faster for a soft feel that will remain durable. Polyester/spandex blend: Compression shorts are known for this combination that tends to feel tighter than most fabrics, while feeling flexible enough for any workout you put them through. …and these are just a sample of the vast fabric choices you have at your disposal. Since what you wear and where you go constantly changes, keep your underwear rotation up to par for maximum functionality.
4. FIT SHOULD CHANGE FOR FUNCTION
We can all agree that you wouldn’t pull on sweatpants for date night at a five-star restaurant, so why do so many guys treat their underwear as “one occasion fits all?” If it sounds ludicrous to wear baggy boxers from your college days under an slim-cut Italian suit…that’s because it is.
“Loose boxer shorts are really becoming a dinosaur on the market since pants are more fitted and men want a more streamlined based layer.” says Patterson. There is an ever-expanding array of options available to you guys based on fit and fabric for any occasion or preference. As advocates of occasion-based undergarments, we promise there’s enough room in your dresser drawers for micromodal briefs to wear with your suit, cotton boxers to sleep in, and spandex compression shorts for your next workout.
5. WE NOTICE
The generalized truth stands that “a well tailored suit is to women, what lingerie is to men.” Makes sense, right? Except we absolutely take note of what’s under that dapper suit you’re wearing. When it comes down to that point, no one really wants to see the other in tattered undergarments that read more “eh” than enthusiastic. Oh and take it from any woman ever – the last thing we want to see are public adjustments. By understanding how guys move, the balance of form and fabric, and innovating every last detail, new brands have found ways to fix your fit…so you don’t have to.