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 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.
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 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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.