GUIDE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MENS UNDERWEAR
This is the ultimate guide to mens underwear by online underwear retailer VOCLA. We’ve been selling men’s underwear at VOCLA for a over decade. Our customers constantly ask for help and advice. Whether a recommendation for an appropriate underwear style, or questions about help with materials, colours or features. The underwear market has significantly changed over the last decade. In particular, underwear is far more innovative than it was before. Underwear is the first item of clothing you put on in a morning. And it’s the item of clothing closest to your body (and your ‘precious’ parts). Yet it sometimes receives the least attention. If you find the most appropriate underwear for your body shape and your needs, you’ll therefore be much happier. We promise you. This mens underwear guide takes you through four areas to consider, some help and advice, when selecting the best underwear:
- Underwear Styles
1. GUIDE TO MENS UNDERWEAR STYLES
The different styles of men’s underwear have different advantages and can help with health (reducing heat, sweat, moisture build up, itches and rashes), comfort (reducing scrunching, ride-up or chafing, giving you a snug or loose fit) and support (providing support or creating a natural hang free feel).
The three main styles of men’s underwear are briefs, boxer and jockstraps. But there are also some less well-known or hybrids such as jock briefs. This guide to mens underwear helps take you through these.
- A–shaped front cut.
- Shorter than a boxer, therefore helping easier leg movement and exposing the thighs.
- Fitted style helps provide support and comfort, keeping your package neatly contained with everything held in its place.
- Side material is unlikely to ride up.
- Everyday use for those who are quite active.
- Those who sit down all day and don’t want underwear to ride-up.
- Moderate sports.
Mens briefs have an A-shaped front, full coverage of the butt and a higher cut leg compared to a boxer. Therefore, helping with easier leg movement. Variations occur with the position of where the waistband sits (hip cut or low-rise) and the introduction of technologies, such as frontal enhancement. Some briefs have a very high-cut leg which helps with more movement, making them better for sports. The cut can flatten you at the front but most modern styles have a contoured pouch that helps give a little support and definition.
MENS MINI, MICRO, BIKINI + TANGA BRIEFS
- Full coverage at the front and back but using the minimum amount of material.
- No side material on a tanga, helps with easier leg movement.
- Simple but practical design.
- No waistband, the elastic is sewn inside the seams, therefore less pull around the waist.
- High cut legs, therefore helps easier leg movement.
- Everyday use for those who are quite active.
- Those with large or muscular thighs will find a better around the leg
Mini and micro briefs have low rise waists and very high cut legs. Tanga briefs have no side material. Therefore, easier leg movement and less chafing. All styles provide full front and rear cover. The leg openings on many mini briefs are elasticated. Mini and micro briefs tend not to have a waistband but instead have elastic sewn within the seams. This therefore pulls less on the waist and be more comfortable. Tanga briefs tend to have an elasticated thicker waistband.
- Front cover, protection and support.
- Open back, therefore helping greater air circulation and a better fit under tight pants or sportswear.
- Elasticated jock straps can provide some butt-lifting.
- No fabric between the waistband and thigh, therefore easier leg movement.
- Sporting activities.
- Under tighter fitting pants, bike shorts, uniforms.
- Those with large or muscular thighs.
The male jockstrap only has pouch cover to provide support and protection. The rear has elasticated jock straps which help support you and tend to lift the buttocks. This minimal design makes it great for physical or sporting activity. But it can also be a hot look!
MENS BOTTOMLESS UNDERWEAR (JOCK BRIEFS + BOXER JOCKS)
- Frontal coverage.
- Side seams provide more material than a classic jockstrap.
- Open back helps greater air circulation and gives the ‘bubble butt’ look.
- High cut leg helps provide easier leg movement.
- Moderate sports/physical activities.
- Underneath tighter fitting pants.
- Everyday use in warmer climates or if you tend to get a little warm and sweaty at the rear.
The jock brief, or bottomless brief, has very similar features to the jockstrap but it is perhaps more of a fashion item, being slightly less functional. The backless brief has a front pouch and side seams. You are less exposed than with a jockstrap but this creates slightly less leg movement. The cut of the design helps to create a nice ‘bubble butt’ look. Some jock briefs have inbuilt leg straps which can help lift the butt but most just have a back opening without any straps. They are ideal underwear if you wear tighter-fitting pants or if you tend to get hot and sweaty at the rear. The open back helps provide better air circulation which can help combat this. The style is also available as a backless boxer.
MENS BOXERS + TRUNKS
- Boxer briefs and trunks have a fitted style, boxer sorts are loose fitting.
- Trunks have the shorter leg, boxers have longer leg lengths.
- Usually have a mid-rise waist, sitting at the hip.
- More cover compared to other styles.
- Everyday versatile use
- Moderate sports
The boxer brief provides the best of both briefs and boxer shorts. The style is fitted like a brief, with a snug fit. Therefore keeping everything in its place. However, it is not usually as tight as a brief. The longer leg is characteristic of a boxer brief or trunk, providing more coverage, but tends to be shorter than a full boxer. The cut does not flatten your front like a brief. A boxer trunk usually has a square-cut design with a shorter leg than a boxer brief. But this is not always the case. A boxer brief is versatile, working well under many types of clothing and is therefore a popular everyday choice.
MENS THONGS + G-STRINGS
- Front pouch.
- Thin elasticated waistband.
- No leg straps – a piece of material or string runs down the butt crack to connect the pouch and back waistband.
- Open back provides greater air circulation and gives the ‘bubble butt’ look.
- A thong has a piece of aesthetic material to the top rear of the underwear.
- Warmer climates – the lack of back material helps to circulate air, keeping you dryer and cooler
Mens thongs are similar to mens G-Strings but there is a subtle difference at the back of the product where there is a small piece of material inserted into the garment at the top of the thong. It has no real purpose. It’s just an aesthetic preference. The front pouch is held to the back waistband with a piece of material running down the butt crack, rather than around the legs like a jockstrap. This may be preferable for guys who find the elasticated straps on a jockstrap to be tight and uncomfortable.
2. MENS UNDERWEAR MATERIALS
A mens underwear guide would not be complete without a good look at materials. Underwear materials can affect the following:
- The feel of the underwear against your skin
- How long the underwear will last and hold its shape
- The stretch and therefore fit of the underwear
- How difficult the underwear is to care for
- Whether the underwear can help with temperature control, moisture and sweating.
Underwear materials can be made from both natural and manmade fibres. They have evolved over time. Some of the more modern innovations work to wick away moisture, keeping you dryer and reducing bacteria build up.
TYPES OF UNDERWEAR MATERIALS
The main types of material used in mens underwear are as follows:
- Mens cotton underwear – Cotton is a versatile fabric. Its soft, comfortable, and breathable characteristics make it a popular choice. Cotton is extremely easy to care for. Some underwear is 100% cotton but other underwear can be a mix of cotton and other fibers. Typically spandex to provide stretch. Cotton tends to be a more affordable fabric. The better the quality of the cotton, the softer the fabric.
- Rayon underwear – Rayon is a man-made manufactured fiber made from regenerated cellulose of plant material. There are two main types:
- Mens bamboo underwear – This is made from the pulp of bamboo grass. It is a light but strong fabric. Bamboo can help wick away moisture and therefore help to prevent bacteria build up. It can be useful for those with more active lifestyles.
- Mens modal underwear – Modal is very soft and smooth, providing a luxurious and comfortable feel. It is more absorbent than cotton which can help reduce sweat and moisture. The breathable characteristics keep it dryer and cooler. Therefore, it’s a great option for physical activity.
- Mens mesh underwear – There are three types of mesh underwear:
- Micro mesh underwear – tiny holes in the material help to ventilate you, helping to keep you cool and dry for longer.
- Large weave mesh – for example fishnet mesh. The large weave has ventilating properties, allowing the underwear to breathe and air to circulate. But it’s also totally see-through!
- Sheer mesh underwear – sheer mesh has a smaller weave. Therefore it’s partially see-through and a great sexy look.
Which Materials are Best?
- Sports – bamboo, modal, tactel, mesh. All these have ventilating properties and some help to wick away moisture. They will keep you cooler and dryer for longer.
- Everyday use – cotton or modal. Both are soft to touch and easy to care for.
- Warm weather – bamboo, modal, mesh. Becuase they have ventilating properties to help keep you cool.
- Sex appeal – sheer mesh, silk, leather, latex. These materials have appealing aesthetic characteristics
3. GUIDE TO MENS UNDERWEAR FEATURES
There has been a huge level of innovation in underwear features over the last decade. This mens underwear guide gives a brief overview. However, we do have a number of articles available on VA Style which look at enhancing underwear features. Here are some of those features:
Front Enhancement + Support
Frontal enhancement and support are not quite the same thing. However, the same technology can provide both. Providing support involves lifting the package, moving it upwards and away from the body. The benefits are a reduction in sticking, sweating and squashing. Enhancing underwear provides an increase or re-shaping to the front profile. The main ways in which enhancement and support are provided are:
- Push-up underwear – This usually involves a U-shaped piece of fabric or a front strap which the package sits across, with the package resting in a front pocket. The fabric holds the package upwards and keeps it away from the body, providing support and enhancement.
- Pouch underwear – Pouches are provided at the front of the underwear. Sometimes these are re-enforced pouches that provide additional room at the front and sometimes the pouches are larger to provide extra space such as the Andrew Christian Trophy Boy collection.
- Padded underwear – Padding is inserted into the front pouch. This is shaped to change the front profile. Therefore, the pouch looks fuller and rounder in appearance.
Underwear technology can re-shape the buttocks by pushing them upwards and outwards, creating that lovely bubble-butt look. This can be done in two ways:
- Butt lifting underwear – These work like the straps on a jock. The straps are tightly fitting which pushes the buttocks upwards and outwards. The straps are usually inside the underwear, possibly sewn inside the fabric. The Andrew Christian FlashLift collection is a good example, where the straps are sewn into the material.
- Butt padded underwear – Soft pads are sewn into the back of the underwear to reshape the profile of the buttocks.
Aside from underwear technologies, there are also functional practicalities to consider.
- Underwear with pockets – somewhere to put your money or iphone?
- Slimming underwear – softer elastic in the waistband which pulls less
- Fly front underwear – perhaps a personal preference
- Tagless underwear – no itchy labels!
- Lace-up underwear – tie up fronts that give an adjustable fit around the waist
- Extra large pouches – even more space for the big boys!
4. UNDERWEAR COLOURS
Lastly, another thing to consider is the colour of the underwear. Although largely driven by fashion trends, there are some practical aspects to consider:
- White underwear will likely need to be washed separately and on a hotter wash. It will stain more easily and will generally darken with time
- Darker underwear is less likely to show stains. However, it would be highly unsuitable under white or partly transparent clothing
The days of black, white and grey underwear as a choice of colour are simply over. VOCLA stocks a huge range of colours. Shades of blue are really popular. But there are also more unusual colours such as gold, silver, orange and pink. And there are also designs of multiple colours. You can get mens striped underwear, camouflage underwear and underwear with graphics and prints.
Hopefully, this men’s underwear guide has given you a lot of information to start your search for the best underwear for you needs. But if you have any questions, please feel free to contact VOCLA on our Live Chat system.