Guide To Mens Underwear Types

Confused by the different men’s underwear types? We’ve decided to put together a comprehensive guide to the different men’s underwear cuts.  So sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the underwear fashion maze!


Boxers are without question the most popular mens underwear type. There are two distinctive boxer cuts which are quite different in terms of fit.

Boxer Shorts

Boxer shorts are a loose fitting type of underwear that offer wearers freedom of movement. They don’t offer a lot of support up front. Boxers are usually made in cotton or jersey and have an open fly, or buttons.

Traditional Loose Fitting Boxer Shorts
Boxer Shorts

Most traditional style boxer shorts feature a gathered elasticated waist and a baggy leg. Many men have had issues with this type of underwear bunching up under tighter fitting clothing.

That said, this style is great for breatheability, and many men find them very comfortable for loungewear and sleepwear.

The more modern type of boxer shorts still offer the looser fit that many men value, but with a slimmed down leg. This makes them more practical for wearing under tighter fitting jeans and trousers. Some men with slimmer thighs find that this is a more body flattering version of boxer shorts.

Good For: Breatheability, Ease of Movement

Boxer Briefs

Boxer briefs are close fitting, and offer the pouch support of briefs whilst offering more coverage. This type of underwear will usually reach down to mid thigh, although some styles are a little shorter.

Men's Boxer Briefs
Boxer Briefs

The boxer brief is one of the most popular men’s underwear types. The cut exploded into popular consciousness in the 1990s thanks to the famous Calvin Klein ad campaign starring Mark Wahlberg.

Boxer briefs are enjoyed by men who value the tight fit, and the protection they offer from chafing. They are often higher around the waist than briefs meaning extra coverage all over.

Men with larger bottoms and thighs will find the additional coverage gives them a much better fit than that offered by briefs. Larger males can find briefs sit too low, making for an uncomfortable experience during everyday wear or exercise.

Good For: Everyday wear, sporting activities, good coverage combined with support.

Boxer Pouch Types

As one of the most popular underwear cuts, there’s a really large variety of pouch types to choose from to get the best out of your boxers.

What Are A Front Boxers?

If you’ve been browsing boxer shorts and keep seeing references to A fronts, you wouldn’t be alone in wondering “What are A front boxers?”.

A Front Boxers Meaning

A Front boxers have the same side opening as Y Front briefs. This is a convenient feature for those visits to the urinal. The boxer version has an altered shape to accommodate the boxer brief cut and support pouch.

The name of the cut comes from the pouch shape. An A front is wider at the bottom as per most structured pouches, and then tapers towards the top. It will usually be formed in two parts with a seam up the middle. Meanwhile, the A shaped pouch is contained within an inverted V shape in the crotch area. This construction creates a secure pouch which offers a good level of support, and allows for the creation of a side opening.

This type of boxer offers the best of both worlds in that it has a highly structured support pouch and a convenient side opening which is often only found in more traditional, loose fitting underpant styles.


A versatile men’s underwear cut offering coverage at the rear combined with a supportive pouch at the front.

Most men have at least one pair of briefs in their underwear drawer because of their comfort and versatility. The minimal fabric leaves the legs exposed which means they can be comfortably worn under just about any type of clothing.  They will appeal to any male who wants good support without any more fabric than is necessary. Out of all the different underwear types available, men’s briefs have the most variation in the type of underwear cuts.

Here’s a quick comparison of the different brief cuts you can choose from. 

Bikini / Micro Briefs

Bikini Briefs
Bikini Briefs

The bikini or micro cut is deliciously tiny and one of the most popular types of male briefs on the market today.

Bikini briefs will tend to be cut higher at the leg, with a waistband around 2-3cm wide.

If you still want full rear coverage and good support a bikini brief is a great choice.

Good For: Comfort, Support, Rear Coverage

Tanga Briefs

Mens Tanga Briefs
Tanga Briefs

An easily distinguished cut, tanga briefs do not have any fabric around the tops of the legs. Rather, the front and rear sections are attached to the waistband in two “triangles”.

Popular with men who want to avoid any restrictive fabric around the top of their legs.

Good For: Unrestricted movement and great support.

Midi Briefs

The Midi Brief Cut

Midi briefs offer deeper side coverage which is closer to that offered by traditional men’s underpants.

With a depth of 10-12cm these create a retro look and will appeal to men who would appreciate a little extra coverage around the hips.

Good For: Smoothing out love handles and the stomach, creating a smoother shape under clothes.

Mini Briefs

Modus Vivendi Camouflage Low Cut Briefs - White S
Men’s Mini Briefs

The mini cut offers an option with side coverage somewhere in the middle of that offered by Midi and Micro briefs. Depth can be around 3-8cm.

Mini briefs are slung around where the natural waist would be making them a popular and comfortable fit.

Good For: Anyone who wants a small cut brief with little more fabric around the hips.

Strings / G-Strings

Men's String / G-String
String / G-String

Men’s Strings can only be described as underwear at its most minimal. A pouch is attached to an incredibly thin “string” of fabric that extends round the waist.

At the rear, another thin string runs from the waistband round to the base of the pouch.

The support you get from a string will not be as good as you’ll get from other men’s underwear types. Many men wear these for bedroom fun, or because they really don’t like restrictive underwear.

Good for: Fans of fetish or sexy underwear, men who take minimalism very seriously.


Doreanse Sexy Cotton Modal Plain Thong - White S
Men’s Thong

Male Thongs offer a little more in the way of fabric than their string counterparts. You may find thicker elastic waistbands on thongs, and there’s likely to be a tiny “V” of fabric running down from the waistband.

Thong fabric is tapered where it will run between the bum cheeks. There’s a lot more variety in terms of cut with thongs. Some offer a fusion between briefs and thongs with fuller coverage at the front and a thong rear. The extra fabric on offer means you’re likely to get better pouch support.

Good For: Fans of barely there underwear who want great pouch support.


TOF Paris Fetish Jockstrap - Black S

It’s all about what’s up front with a jockstrap. Featuring a fully supportive front pouch with nothing at the rear except some elasticated straps to hold everything in place. Jockstrap underwear is very popular with men who value it’s sporty credentials. The pouch on a jockstrap tends to lift the package up and away from the thighs, eliminating nut crush, sweating, and chafing.

Jockstraps are hugely popular amongst gay men, with brands such as Andrew Christian having really taken it out of the lockerroom and into the realms of high fashion. There’s an almost infinite variety of styles available, with lots of enhancing features to make your bod look great.

Good for: Sexy and sporty styling, great support, enhancing bum and crotch.


Bruno Banani Enter Hip Short

Low slung, and sitting neatly on the hips. Hipster underwear can be created in just about any of the cuts you’ve read about above.

Hipsters sit below the natural waistline making it essential for anyone who likes to wear low slung trousers and jeans without showing off the waistband of their underwear.

Good For: Anyone who likes low slung trousers.

Long Underwear

Addicted Long John - Navy XL
Long Johns – Updated!

A traditional style updated to suit modern trends, long underwear has it’s roots in the thermal all in one type garments that became popular in the 19th century when nobody had any heating or hot water.  Longjohns were originally called “unionsuits” and were an all in one suit with a rear flap so the wearer could go to the lavatory without exposing any more skin than was necessary.

Thankfully, long underwear has evolved since then to a much more stylish offering. You can find lots of fashionable long johns and base layers, as well as men’s leggings.

Good for: The dedicated outdoorsman who likes to stay warm in style, body conscious gymgoers.


Men's Bodysuit Underwear

Supremely sexy, the male bodysuit is an all in one men’s underwear solution.

They are often smooth and sheer, sometimes featuring naughty see through fabric or thong backs. Some are practical and designed to be worn for warmth. The top half can be anything from a simple t-shirt to a strappy minimalist wrestling vest, the bottom boxers, briefs, thongs. You name it, someone’s designed it.

Good For: Adventurous men’s underwear fans, blokes who hate the gap between their underpants and t-shirt.

Extra Underwear Functionality

No guide to undies would be complete without an honorable mention to the extra functionality that can be found in most men’s underwear types.

Boosting Pouches

Bulge Boosting Pouch Underwear
Bulge Boosting Pouches – Add Inches

Need a bit of a boost in the bulge department? From padded pouches, to cups, inserts, and rings and slings; bulge enhancing underwear is at the core of many men’s underwear ranges.

If you feel like you need a bit of a lift, you’ll find a pouch that gives you the appearance of extra inches or a sculpted package.

Ergonomic Pouches

Ergonomic Men's Briefs
Ergonomic Pouches – Hang Free

Prefer to hang a little more free? Need a bit of extra room up front? Ergonomic pouches give support with a light touch. For men who still want to wear underwear but don’t want to feel restricted.

This extra roomy pouch type is also popular with well endowed men who find it difficult to find underwear that can comfortably accommodate them.

Slimming Waistbands

Men's Underwear with slimming waistband
Slimming Waistband – Sleek Fit

Many boxers and briefs offer waistbands that are designed to minimise love handles and create a flatter stomach.

Often these are cut slightly higher and have a thicker waistband to create a slender look under clothes.

Performance Fabrics

Performance Fabrics in Men's Underwear
Performance Fabrics – Often Used For Sports

Moisture wicking, quick dry, super stretchy, extra support. There’s a huge array of performance fabrics on the market today.

Often associated with sports underwear, but there’s a growing range of beach to bar wear featuring fast drying functionality.

22 thoughts on “Guide To Mens Underwear Types

  1. Ian says:

    It seems from what i have seen that all young guys wear baggy black boxers. I wear all types and especially briefs, I know you can’t reveal statistics but is there a general split in what guys wear. If you wear a thong you feel the odd one out these days when you see guys pantsing boring black boxers. Would love to know the stats from your view as to what guys actually wear.

  2. m.kandel says:

    I am only 24 years old and still prefer the old standby white underpants since I like to tuck my shirt in the underpants. The only drawback to wearing them like this is that the waistband of my underpants always shows above the top of my pants, but that’s something I have learned to live with even though I’m sure it’s a fashion “faux pas”. I would also be interested in seeing stats of boxers vs briefs and also stats on how many guys tuck their shirt in their underpants and have them showing above the pants like mine.

  3. justin says:

    Like m Kandel, I also find tucking my shirt inside my underpants is more comfortable, aids package adjustment and keeps me neat (and warmer in winter). I do not intentionally show the waistband of my boxerbriefs, but can occasionally be caught with a narrow amount showing, which I can live with. From recent gym visits I can confirm that more guys use this method than you might think, about 50%. My Granddad confirms that all men used to have to dress this way, when underpants were not elasticated and needed to be supported by braces.

    Hope this info is useful.

  4. Rory says:

    I have been brought up in a three generation household, where both my Father and Grandfather always tucked their shirts inside their underpants. Grandad has always worn braces so I did not realise that he wore his underwear this way until he told me the secret of why his shirt was always neatly tucked in, but i have often caught a glimpse of Dad’s briefs above his trousers, and whilst I don’t deliberately want to show my undercrackers, I have always been taught to wear them this way, and have never thought of dressing any other way. Besides, how could I make the appropriate adjustments during the day without dropping my jeans?

  5. Ed says:

    Like Rory, I have always tucked my shirt inside my underpants without giving it a second thought. My mates and I often strip to our knickers when we are at home, so any concern that my undies may show above my jeans has never crossed my mind. My Dad, brothers and cousins all dress this way so I thought it was universal. Am i wrong?

  6. Jack says:

    I have just been on a fitness regime, and have shed a couple of inches from my waist. I cannot afford to replace my underpants, so have adopted this methos of dressing, as I can hitch both my jeans and underpants up togrther. Would recommend it to all you guys. My gf thinks it very sevy if she can see the top of my boxers.

  7. Rich says:

    What is it with the elastic waistbands of guys underpants these days? they don’t last 5 minutes! Consequently, I have started tucking my shirt inside my knickers – I can now hitch them up as required, or clip them in my braces. I doubt this is fashionable, but it is comfortable and efficient!!!

  8. Liam says:

    My school will not tolerate shirt tails hanging out, and I have suffered a number of detentions and penalties because, being tall, my shirt will not stay tucked in. Reading this thread, I have tried tucking my tails into my underpants, and whilst my fellow students have ribbed me for having my the waistband of my drawers showing above my belt, I have not received any further detentions. I have pointed out that anyone can see my knickers on the washing line, what is the problem with seeing an inch when I am wearing them?

  9. shiv says:


    My penis is medium sized and each time i wanna wear skinny jeans,or any type of slim fit trousers my privates are always like sort of sticking out and i get put off wearing them. i dont know if its because my underwear.At the moment im wearing the slip style of underwear. which undedrwear would you recommend to wear with skinny jeans ??

  10. David says:

    When I was at school, loads of lads tucked their shirt in their yfronts or boxers and I still do. So do many guys at my gym. Italian boys often tuck theuir shirt in their pants – keeps your shirt looking well tucked in and sharp. And OK, sometimes my waistband shows at the back if I bend down ,but hey, we all wear pants eh?

  11. Tim says:

    Yes, I tuck my shirts in my briefs too. I like the feeling and I like the look. I know that sometimes the waistband shows but actually it doesn’t bother me. I’m quite happy to show off my underwear.

  12. Jason says:

    Both my Dad and Gramp have always tucked their shirts inside their underpants and since I have never really thought about it, I do as well. After reading this post I have started monitoring the situation at school and in the gym, and would guess (unscientifically) that about 50% also dress this way. I now realise that on occasions my knickers may show slightly above my pants, but nobody has ever made an issue of it. I have now tried not tucking in, but do not find it as comfortable or as warm. I don’t see the showing of a flash of elastic as a major issue, unlike those guys who really sag their pants!

  13. Ian says:

    It’s good to hear that so many guys are tucking their shirts in their underwear. I’ve always done it but thought it was very uncommon these days. Where abouts do you guys live? I’m in the UK.

  14. Mark says:

    In answer to Ian’s question on what guys actually wear, I am more than happy to share that information. I only wear thongs and bikini briefs. I find them a lot more comfortable than being encased in the thick strip of material which constitutes a boxer brief or hipster. I buy my underwear a size down, so the fit is snug and everything is well supported. Once you have decided to go for something a little different and tried these, I think most guys would find it hard to argue against the fact that they are by far the most comfortable and supportive underwear types. Once you have got used to pants that fit “up the bum”, they are surprisingly invisible and it feels like a far more natural fit. They are much less “sweaty” and there is never the need to keep re-adjusting which seems so prevalent with conventional types. Seems to me that we are crushed by ridiculous peer pressure today, which makes us less likely to admit to what we wear, but I do understand the problem. I work as a postman, which is a pretty conventional male orientated environment. The bikini briefs do leave some visible brief line, not a problem for me generally, but I won’t show a line at work as there are some pretty unsubtle women in the office who would be sure to comment, so I wear the thongs here instead. I think most guys can find a solution to underwear that works well for them, often by combining a couple of different types, but, if we could all wear exactly what we wanted quite openly there would be no problem. The Europeans have got it absolutely right! For me, smaller is far more comfortable and decent underwear is an essential requirement. After all, we have far more to support than women, so we actually need the tighter briefs!

  15. jimfromengland says:

    I have tucked my shirt in my underpants for as long as I can remember. Funny but I never thought much about it until one day I noticed my best mates underpants showing over his trousers and I thought how horny it looked. I checked around the changing room and realised that roughly half of us tucked. My dad and al lmy mates dads tucked so it never felt strange to me and it still doesn’t. My neighbour and his son both tuck into their boxers so guys still do.

  16. Kel says:

    I’ve always tucked my shirt into my underpants. It keeps everything tidy, and is very comfortable. I don’t wear boxers, but like slips and Midi briefs M&S are the best for me. When I was at school quite a few of us tucked into our underwear. OK so they show when I bend over, but that’s cool. I have also noticed that some women tuck their blouses into their panties also. It’s great to know that other guys dress like I do!

  17. Peter Richards says:

    I have always been and will probably always remain a tucker. My Dad tucked and so did most of my school friends and later other guys at work. I know my Jockeys often show but I really have no problem with that and no one ever jokes about seeing my briefs what the hell does it matter. On a really practical front adjustment is much easier when needed and on Alex’s practical front I do rather enjoy a sighting of a waistband so it seems only right to give a glimpse of mine.

  18. Michael says:

    Like I have read in these comments, I also like to tuck my shirts inside my underwear. I have been dressing this way for quite some time now. It is more comfortable this way and my shirts stay tucked in better with them tucked into my underwear. The waistband of my underwear is shows above my pants in the back most of the time. I see no reason to change the way I dress and will continue to do this.

  19. Javed says:

    When tucking my shirt in, I was always taught by my parents to tuck it into my underwear, and I have never questioned it. I thought it was quite usual, and I cannot remember anyone ever mentioned that my underwear was showing above my pants. In fact, that possibility had not crossed my mind. So, I have been surprised to learn that I am in a minority! That said,I am comfortable, so shall continue to use this method.

  20. Tim says:

    Good to see this thread is still going. I think we tuckers need places to share our preference. It would be great if more people tucked. I tuck my buttoned shirts and my polos and t shirts too. Always have and never mind showing the occasional glimpse of waistband. In fact I really enjoy the occasional sighting of others who do it.

  21. Blokes Undies says:

    This thread gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling every time it gets added to. Thanks Tim and team, you’ve kept me company all the time this blog has existed. There will always be a spot here for you, tucked securely into Blokes Undies. I might even give you a shirt tucking post of your very own one day soon.

    Keep calling back, we love your tucking work!

  22. Nigel Arkwright says:

    I’m yet another from the UK (where warmth and comfort have been at a premium this winter) who always has and I guess always will tuck my shirt and/or T-shirt (whichever I’m wearing) into my underpants, Jockeys in practice, and am happy to show off a strip of waistband at the back without making an issue of it. Like Tim I enjoy looking out for the occasional sighting of others who do likewise, in fact on the qui vive for that – only the other day I saw someone tucking into his briefs in the changing room at my local sauna. Happy to reciprocate with a sighting for the benefit of anyone else who likes the idea.

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