There is a diehard group of men who prefer to skip wearing underwear, and “go commando.” We’re not sure if underwear isn’t manly enough for them, if they just like being contrarian, or if they are simply not concerned about the various and sundry icky things that may be left behind in their trousers on a day-to-day basis. For most of the rest of the world that prefers to keep things under there under wraps; underwear left the world of the common, tighty-whitey world long ago. It’s now possible to find it in so many styles, fabrics, colors, and patterns that making a decision about what pair to wear is almost as complicated — and statement-making — as the rest of your wardrobe. Here we’ve attempted to cut through the noise a bit, offering our selects for the best briefs, boxers, and boxer-briefs; in a variety of price points and styles.
Briefs are probably the most iconic representation of men’s underwear, growing out of swimwear styles from the south of France. In the 1930s they took the world by storm, first selling from the legendary Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago, Ill.
“Jockeys” are practically the “Kleenex” of underwear and were, in fact, the briefs first sold back at the height of the Depression. The iconic shape of the brand’s white cotton brief has defined the very essence of “underwear” since 1935. The clean, comfortable look is updated with this lightweight version; packable and fast-drying for easy travel.
You won’t find the founders of most underwear companies featured on their product packaging or on the brand website. Todd Sanfield is the exception. The fitness model turned entrepreneur launched his underwear collection as a creative outlet, and now his briefs are a go-to for Instagram bodybuilders. Show off the muscles from your WFH workouts with these clean-cut sport briefs that offer support and movement.
There’s just something about a classic pair of tighty-whities. They look great on just about every guy, and keep everything — more or less — under control. In Sunspel’s case, this 100% cotton brief is also extremely comfortable. The company knows what it’s doing, having been in business since 1860.
Hanes updates classic briefs with FreshIQ, its advanced odor-protection technology that combats stank; yet the premium 100% cotton fabric still feels as comfortable as a broken-in t-shirt. (Just as cozy, the heathers are a cotton/poly blend.)
The simplicity we expect from the Calvin Klein name is embodied in this low-rise trunk in silky microfiber fabric. The ergonomic design, with the iconic logo waistband supportive-fit pouch, and extended leg panels make for ultimate comfort.
UnderGents brings briefs into the 21st century, updating a classic silhouette with moisture-wicking Cloudsoft fabric (95% micro modal/5 % spandex) and “Vitruvian Man” multi-panel construction.
Made of silky, comfortable Lyocell fabric (a kind of rayon) with a bit of stretch, the CDLP Y-Brief offers a minimal silhouette with a lower waist and an enhanced pouch for comfort and fit. The fiber is naturally anti-bacterial. Machine wash warm, but hang dry.
Boxers were born in the 1920s, first developed for pugilists by Everlast. For many men they are still the only underwear to wear, and are particularly popular with would-be fathers because their loose construction tends to keep “the boys” cooler and more — ahem — productive.
Mack Weldon has updated the woven boxer with stretch and added a more tailored fit. These are mostly cotton, with some spandex; engineered so they won’t ride up as you’re wearing them. We think the two-button closure is also a cool look for lazy days around the house.
If you’re going to go luxury, let’s go all the way. Tom Ford elevates the classic silk boxer with this pair featuring a black velvet waistband and signature jacquard logo. Of course, they’re made in Italy. There are 11 colors available, but we think the nude says it all. Save these for date night or your most sophisticated lounging.
These ring-spun woven 100% cotton boxers from the king of prep feature a comfortable three-panel construction. The three-pack features a solid, a stripe, and a plaid; each patterns worthy of a fine dress shirt.
This updated take on the classic features a modern fit in a classic silk medallion pattern. Dubbed the “Brindisi 58,” they’re streamlined and comfortable and feature a magnetic fly closure.
Another classic representation of the classic silhouette, Hanro is considered to be one of the most luxurious underwear companies on the planet, originally founded as a knitwear company in Switzerland. These boxers get the benefit of all that experience with a superior fit and amazing comfort.
Update your underwear drawer with classic style at an excellent price. The two-pack underwear set features mid-rise boxers with fly buttons.
Perfect for every day during the winter, or just for lounging around anytime; L.L. Bean’s classic tartan boxers are 100% cotton Portuguese flannel.
Best Boxer Briefs
Peanut butter and jelly. Gin and tonic. Bacon and eggs. Some things just go together. Somewhere along the line some smart underwear designer decided to put the comfort of knit briefs together with the flattering coverage of boxers for a perfect combo.
What’s better than a super-comfy pair of underwear? A pair that are customized just for you. Nice Laundry offers a classic brief in five colors, with eight selections of embroidered icons to fit your personality or mood.
These artful boxer briefs feature a five-inch inseam and are made from a comfy blend of Modal, cotton, and Spandex. Also available in solids and plenty of great patterns.
Featuring quick-dry fabric, these boxers are perfect to wear for some extra support during your workout, but comfortable enough to wear all the time.
Boody takes your favorite boxer brief and upgrades it with a fabric derived from bamboo. The (mostly) sustainable fiber makes for a smooth-as-silk knit that will keep you cool and comfortable.
Another entry in the bamboo category, Tasc blends bamboo with organic cotton for moisture-wicking, anti-odor performance that’s breathable and lightweight.
We’d love these boxers for SAXX’s BallPark Pouch (a 3D hammock-shaped pouch to keep everything in place), but this great modern camo pattern, excellent fit, and moisture wicking capability hit it right out of the park.
Gone fishin? These are just for you: The premium, bamboo-infused fabric is odor-resistant, antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, and highly breathable; it also features stretch and softness for comfort. Finally, they offer UPF 50+ sun protection if it turns out to be that kind of day.
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