Men’s underwear. It’s the item in every man’s wardrobe that very few people get to see, yet it’s still essential to get right. All those faded, overstretched or even ripped undies you’ve got kicking around in your top drawer… yeah, they’ve gotta go. Undies are a big deal.
But what might seem like a simple task of picking out the right style of underwear can be trickier than you think. Are you a briefs or boxers kinda guy? Maybe you prefer a bit of extra length and opt for our long boxers? Do you prefer your undies light or dark and with seams or without?
Our Ultimate Guide to Men’s Underwear is here to break down all you need to know to give your top drawer the overhaul it deserves.
A brief history of men’s underwear
The earliest record of the closest resemblance to underwear for men was in Ancient Egypt around 7,000 years ago: a loincloth. Not far removed from a nappy (not a good look), men’s underwear thankfully evolved around the 13th century into a style we’re more familiar with today.
Slip-on loose undershorts that finished at the calf became the number-one choice for gentlemen everywhere. Soon came the Renaissance period which saw men’s undies becoming a bit tighter and shorter (it was knee length now!). The following centuries saw little change, until the 1930s when briefs first appeared.
For the remainder of the 20th century, the debate was always centred around boxers vs. briefs. This led to the birth of the boxer brief, surely a way to end the debate for good. Yeah, that didn’t quite work.
The late 1980s and early 90s saw the rise of brand names being proudly displayed on the waistband of men’s undies everywhere. The idea of becoming loyal to a label and swapping out all the other pairs in your drawer became a thing, which brings us to today. The battle of whether you prefer briefs or boxers rages on, but the importance of quality, comfort and sustainability is more vital than ever.
Picking the right style of underwear for you
Among all the decisions a man has to make in his life, picking the best men’s underwear for you is up there with the toughest.
What worked for you as a teenager won’t necessarily work for you as an adult. What you think suits you best, might not actually work for you practically. This is because you have to consider body shape, the best support and the best fit. Here’s men underwear types decoded.
We’ll keep this brief – briefs are a staple in many men’s undies drawers. Traditionally designed with a Y-shaped fly in front, briefs provide great support and are less prone to bunching or rising than other styles of men’s underwear. Ideal for guys with larger thighs or for men working at a desk all day, briefs might not be to everyone’s taste – but they’re definitely a firm favourite.
Traditional men’s boxer shorts are loose and offer little support. They tend to feature an elastic waistband and a button fly and provide maximum comfort, breathability and coverage. More contemporary boxer brief styles combine what guys love about briefs and boxer shorts, being cut like a tapered boxer with the snug and supportive fit of briefs.
Do you prefer your undies to have a bit of extra length? If so, long boxers are the way to go for you. The longer length offers great protection from irritation and chafing and also makes them an excellent choice for guys with skinnier legs. Perfect for wearing underneath slim-fit pants, compression trunks underwear is also ideal to wear when you’re planning to work out.
Why bamboo is the best fabric for male underwear
Once you’ve chosen the right underwear style, you’ll want to pick the perfect fabric. In our humble opinion, bamboo viscose is by far the superior material for your undies. Ultra-soft, comfy and breathable, men’s bamboo underwear is an absolute dream to wear. And that’s just the start of it.
One of the key benefits to bamboo fabric in men’s underwear is the fact that it’s so damn comfortable. Light, luxuriously-soft and gentle on the skin, bamboo provides comfort like no other fabric. It’s also thermoregulating, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer, and anti-static. Let’s face it, no one likes clinginess.
Another huge advantage of bamboo underwear is the fact that it’s the number one choice for health. Antibacterial and antifungal, bamboo contains a handy bio-agent that helps to fight off nasty bacteria that could be living in your briefs. Bamboo is also hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking and breathable. Let your boys breathe!
Last but not least, bamboo viscose is an eco-friendly choice. Although comfort and health might be what initially spring to mind when picking out your undies, it’s an added bonus knowing they’re kind to the environment, too. Boody bamboo is grown organically without pesticides, fertilisers and artificial irrigation. Find out more about the benefits of bamboo.
It’s in the details
Once you’ve locked down your ideal style and fabric for your undies, next you’ll want to consider the finishing touches. What colours do you prefer? Do you want a waistband or not? Are you someone who likes variety who prefers to go with what you know?
As the saying goes, it’s all in the details.
Ok, not that many people get to see your undies (hopefully!), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still consider colour. Sure, you can opt for bright hues and prints that go in and out of vogue, but here at Boody, we’re huge supporters of the slow fashion movement - think neutral, timeless.
Our range of men’s underwear comes in a curated selection of neutral hues such as Charcoal, Black and White. All of these shades suit everyone and avoid trends and fads – they’re staples in every man’s top drawer.
With seams or without?
As mentioned in our brief history of men’s underwear, elastic waistbands became a prominent feature in the 20th century. Led by big-name brands who encourage wearers to want to show off their logo, waistbands are also a comfy and stylish feature of men’s undies.
That said, not every style needs to feature seams in their waistband. Our Original Underwear was designed with a seamfree waistband, in case some guys find them irritating or just want to keep it simple. Below we break down the key differences between our Original Underwear and more recent Everyday Underwear.
Our Original Underwear
Our Original Underwear is the range of men’s undies our customers fell in love with. Sleek and minimal, these bamboo underwear styles are seamfree making them an ultra-comfy choice. Our original undies also feature contour ribbing for support. Whether you opt for our Original Briefs, Original Boxers or Long Boxers, comfort comes first when it comes to our classic, seamfree undies.
Our Everyday Underwear
Our more recent range of men’s undies is our Everyday Underwear styles. Drawing inspiration from designer labels but with our perfect fit and fabric added into the mix, our Everyday Underwear is different from our original range because the styles are more structured and feature seams for an even snugger fit.