Men's Underwear Types: Everything You Need To Know
Apparently, men and women shop differently… Who knew? Men are much more likely to choose a uniform and wear it for years—and that includes underwear. Now that there are so many different men’s underwear types, though, this is easier said than done.
Although it may be tempting to just grab a pair that fits when deciding between the different types of men's underwear, there are good reasons to choose each—and not just to avoid freeballing!
Maybe you want to stay away from the chub rub club at all costs (and who could blame you), pick out travel underwear for a big trip (now that we can kind of travel again!), or choose which workout underwear fits best with your exercise of choice. Either way, you need to find which men’s underwear styles best fit your lifestyle!
So, today, we’ll go over the four best types of underwear for men, the pros of each, and the when, where, why, and how to wear ‘em. Then you can know once and for all what men’s underwear types are perfect for ya.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MEN’S UNDERWEAR TYPE FOR YOU?
There are multiple things to consider when it comes to choosing underwear, including sizes, lifestyle, comfort, and so on. Today we’ll discuss some of the most important factors to consider when picking out your new fave underwear type.
1. CHOOSE YOUR FABRIC
Besides the cut (which we’ll discuss later), fabric is one of the most important pieces of the underwear puzzle, when it comes to comfort, breathability, support, and so forth. I always recommend natural, sustainable fabrics, ‘cause they’re better for you and the planet, although synthetic fabrics can have their place, too.
If you’re curious about hemp vs marijuana, it’s not the same thing! Industrial hemp has been grown for years (and not smoked), and makes a terrific, eco-friendly fabric. You’ll reap the benefits when wearing hemp underwear, thanks to the breathable nature wicks moisture away, the antibacterial properties keep your privates healthy, plus it’s super durable and won’t wear out.
Cotton is often touted as the best material for underwear, and of course, when it comes to organic cotton vs cotton, organic is always the way to go! It’s kinder to the Earth (especially when compared to regular cotton), budget-friendly, and known for its comfort, absorption and breathability.
Merino wool bears little resemblance to the itchy long underwear from your youth that still gives you hives when you just think about it. In fact, it’s one of the softest (natural) fibers out there. That, combined with it’s temperature-regulating abilities, uber-breathability, and sustainable nature, makes it a great choice.
Tencel is still a great choice for breathable underwear, although pay close attention to the whole process to make sure it’s sustainable. Tencel wicks moisture with the best of ‘em for super breathability, is super comfortable and also durable, and is made using a closed-loop process. Closed-loop = almost zero waste!
Although Modal isn’t always made sustainably—it can be! Just make sure to check out how it’s made by the specific underwear brand, and you can enjoy this lightweight yet super-absorbent fabric without stressing out the Earth even more.
2. CHOOSE YOUR COLOR
I know color may not sound as important as fabric, fit and cut when it comes to underwear—but it actually matters, too! Here are some popular colors for men’s underwear, and which guy they’re best for. Of course, anyone can wear any color, but here are a few considerations:
If you’re a straightforward guy with places to go and people to see, black underwear is for you. Black is by far the most popular color of men’s underwear types, for good reason. Black doesn’t show stains, dirt or wear as much, looks great on everyone, and comes in every possible cut and style.
If you’re a classic guy with enough confidence to roll your eyes at any “tighty whitey” comments, white is the way to go. White is simple, classic, invisible under (nearly) everything, and easy to clean—no worries about colors running here!
For a more modern take on the classic white undies, go for nude. Now you can even get the perfect shade to match your skin—WAMA makes four varying nude color options for boxer briefs, so you can choose which one fits your skin tone best!
If you live life in the gray areas, you should definitely choose gray underwear. Jk jk. Gray is often associated with workout clothing, as it washes and wears better than both black and white. So for all my sporty guys out there, go for gray!
If you spend as much time as possible exploring the great outdoors, green underwear could be the choice for you. Green is associated with a certain freshness—definitely a good thing when it comes to, you know, underwear—and is great for your outdoorsy, sporty fellas. Also great for when you just wish you were outside.
For the guy who’s bold, passionate, and not afraid to show it—red it is! Nothing like red underwear to make a statement, whether the outside matches, or the red is hiding under more conservative choices. Just be careful when washing your red underwear, because that whole everything-white-will-turn-pink thing is not a myth.
Everyone deserves to have some fun with their underwear, and that includes you, my dude. And that’s just what patterned underwear is—fun, cheeky (not in the literal term, unless you’re wearing a cut that actually shows some extra cheek), and an easy way to inject some personality into your life, and wardrobe.
3. CHOOSE, TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY?
Another factor you’ve gotta consider when choosing your ideal underwear type is whether or not you want a fly. If you’re like most dudes, there’s a good chance you’ve just stuck to one style or the other without really thinking about it. So for your consideration: the pros and cons of an underwear fly:
- Easy access: no need to pull down your undies at all when you go to use the bathroom—simply pull yourself through the fly before relieving yourself and you’re good to go!
- Extra support: most underwear flies today offer a little extra support, especially in boxer brief and trunk styles. Rather than a simple slit in the fabric, brands will insert an added layer of fabric which can offer some extra support to your boys.
- Natural look: this extra boost of support can also help to maintain the natural shape of your junk under your pants, rather than flattening or squeezing. Score!
- Functionality: now just because the fly is there… doesn’t mean it’s the easiest to use. Lots of guys ignore the fly in their undies even if they have one, finding it simpler to just pull their underwear down a bit before urinating.
- Comfort level: while the added support can be extra-comfy for some, other men find the excess fabric around the fly obnoxious. If this is you, you might want to skip the fly altogether!
4. CHOOSE YOUR SIZE
The last thing you need to figure out when picking out your new favorite type of underwear is what size you’re going to wear. Now this may seem straightforward at first, but we all know what a pain it is when you think you’ve got your size down but then receive a bunch of ill-fitting undies in the mail. No fun at all!
To help ya out, WAMA has created an in-depth underwear size chart and explanation of exactly how to choose your ideal size for both killer comfort and support. First find your natural waist. It sits right above your hip bone, usually just below or in line with your belly button. You can also bend to the side to find where the natural crease occurs. Secure the measuring tape on one side with your finger and wrap it around your waist. Keep the tape a little loose so that it doesn’t pinch your skin when you take a deep breath.
Then simply use the chart below to find the size that correlates best with your numbers (using inches). WAMA offers men’s sizes ranging from small to 4XL.
SO! Now that we’ve nailed down the fabrics, and the best colors for your underwear—it’s time to jump straight into the best type of underwear for you and your unique lifestyle.
THE 4 MEN'S UNDERWEAR TYPES
Best For | Men who want a tighter fit for full support and coverage
Coverage | Medium-high
Length | Mid-thigh
Occasion | When in doubt, go with boxer briefs
Features | They move with you whatever you do, while keeping everything in place and holding off that chub rub
Men’s boxer briefs are definitely some of the most commonly worn styles of underwear by men these days. As the name suggests, these men’s underwear types are a hybrid between boxers and briefs, which we’ll go over more below. Imagine the length of a boxer mixed with the fit of a brief, and voila, you’ve got boxer briefs. The best of both worlds, ya might say!
Boxer briefs are a great anti chafing underwear while providing a tight enough fit to hold it all in. They’re also very versatile and will move with you no matter what you do during the day. Pro Tip: If you tend to sweat a lot, make sure you’re looking for breathable underwear, perhaps made from hemp!
(By the way, if you’re wondering the difference between hemp vs marijuana, hemp does NOT get you high, and has been used for hundreds of years for things like rope, oil, fabric and more).
Basically, though, men who want full support for their privates while enjoying maximum comfort should go with boxer briefs.
Best For | Men who want extra support without the length of boxers or boxer briefs
Coverage | Medium to low
Length | Upper thigh
Occasion | Active days where you need more mobility and aren’t worried about chafe
Features | No bunching no matter what you do and what you wear
Trunks underwear are kind of in a league of their own, as they aren’t simply a combination of other types of men's underwear. Although they are called trunks, they aren’t the same as swimming trunks. When it comes to boxer briefs vs trunks, men’s trunks underwear are similar to boxer briefs except they’re shorter in the legs, and use less material overall.
Trunks would be considered more modern and sleek compared to other men's underwear styles and are very body-hugging, so they can be very versatile. They also provide slightly more lift and support than your standard boxer briefs, with less fabric. If you’re not prone to chafing, these are also a super comfortable option for ya! And major plus—no bunching or wedgies in these babies.
Men who are confident, modern and like to dress well would love trunks underwear. Trunks are more revealing than the boxer briefs but still hold everything firmly in place— so if this is what you’re looking for, trunks are for you.
Best For | The guy who likes hanging loose with light support
Coverage | Maximum
Length | Mid-thigh or longer
Occasion | Under looser fitting clothes, for lounging and sleeping
Features | Breeziness you can’t find anywhere else
Men’s boxers are the most loose fitting men's underwear style you can find around. Boxers use more fabric than any other types of underwear for men, so if you’re looking for extra coverage, boxers may be calling your name.
Boxer shorts are called this because they’re long in the thigh and loose fitting, resembling, well, shorts. They also got their name from the shorts boxers wear during matches—fun fact alert! They can technically even be worn as shorts, although do so at your own risk (the risk of your business being exposed to randos, mostly).
Men who don’t want any restrictions and don’t mind extra fabric (especially when comparing, say, boxers vs boxer briefs should go with the boxers style. If you like to let your package breathe with nothing but a layer of fabric between said package and pants, boxer styles of men’s underwear will be perfect for you.
Best For | The guy who wants uber support, comfort and security with the least amount of fabric
Coverage | Low
Length | High cut, at top of thigh
Occasion | Under shorter shorts, during high impact workouts to hold it all in place
Features | Minimalist design that provides just enough coverage for full support and lift
Men’s briefs are probably some of the OG styles of men’s underwear still available today. Most men have worn these at least once in their life, although perhaps just as a child (not that these are just for kids, no way!). Briefs often go by the term “tighty whities,” even though they’re widely available in different colors and patterns.
Briefs have a minimalist design that gives you full support and coverage where it counts, without all the extra fabric found in other types of men’s underwear. The classic cut of briefs work under any type of pants and shorts—just make sure they aren’t too tight to prevent jock itch. That’s just no fun for anyone.
Men who like to stick to the basics, are cool with less coverage in the boxers vs briefs debate, and prefer a tighter fit all-around, should check out briefs. They’ll support you where you need it most, with nothing more and nothing less!
CONCLUSION: MEN'S UNDERWEAR TYPES
The four different types of underwear for men, listed above, are the most common options for men today. Whether you choose boxers, briefs, boxer briefs, or trunks underwear, one of these men’s underwear types should be the perfect fit!
And hey, if you’re like a lot of other guys… once you find the men’s underwear styles that fit into your world, you’ll be set for life! And don’t forget, opting for natural fabrics such as hemp, linen and organic cotton will guarantee comfort, breathability, support—all with less cost to the planet. Always the way to go!
So, tell me—what’s your favorite style of men’s underwear?