…UnderWearUnderWearUnderWea–oh. *clears throat*
Boxers. Briefs. Tighty whiteys, nut huts, banana hammocks, undies, knickers, knockers, wedgie ammunition–the list goes on and on. Given our impressive list of “alternative” names, we thought we knew everything there was to know about the great cotton (sometimes) wonders. We did a little digging, and boy, were we wrong. Here’s what we found out.
Before we do, though, I should be honest. If going commando is more your speed, you can go ahead and leave right now; I don’t want to waste your time. However, if you crave a little padding between you and those pantalones you’ve got on, then this is where you need to be. The Gentleman’s Guide to Everything’s Guide on How to Wear UnderWearUnderWear…son of a biscuit.
The first thing you need to know about underwear is that, unless you’re also wearing a cape, they’re called that for a reason. They go under things. Namely, pants. Now that we’ve scooted that elephant out of the room, on to point number two. Much in the way you’d buy a car, you should know what you need out of your undies before you buy. If you spend the majority of your day in an unfathomably uncomfortable office chair, you should shoot for a little more support and padding to make sure you’re in the comfort zone all day. If you’re one of us that work for a living, a breeze now and again may not be the worst thing ever, and a looser fit may help avoid…chaffing. Did you cringe? I cringed.
To help you make the right choice for you, we’ve broken down the types and fabrics most commonly found on the market to help you make the right choice.
Boxers vs. Briefs
The age old debate. Most will chalk it up to personal preference; if you don’t know by now what you prefer, then you likely never will. On top of that, boxers come in a much wider array of colors and patterns. That said, how many people are really going to be seeing those things? Black works fine. Just pick something you like and go with it.
While that is a sound way to settle things, our research led us to a topic that we imagine will be somewhat important to men–sperm count. Now, according to some, boxers and briefs actually have some impact on your little guys, specifically when it comes to temperature regulation. Contrary just just about everything you’ve ever heard, the hotter things get, the worse it is for your swimmers. How does that factor into the debate, you ask? Boxers allow a looser fit, promoting a healthy air flow and a lower temperature, while briefs tend to hold that heat in, potentially damaging your goods. How about that?
-Higher Sperm Count(High Chance)
-Tendency to ride/bunch up
-Large waistband (irritation)
-Extra room for your business
-Possible sperm count loss
-Low risk of riding/bunching up
-Lower profile waistband
-Low sperm count possible
-High wedgie risk
-Lower profile waistband
-Not good to lounge in
Now, the crux of the argument. No matter which of the cuts you enjoy, there are several different materials that are available. Having a good idea of what you’re dealing with can really help narrow down the ballfield. Couldn’t resist.
Cotton: It’s what’s for dinner. Widely available, cotton is one of the most common materials not just for underwear, but for just about anything. Generally considered among the heavier of fabrics, cotton usually provides a great deal of support, padding and breathability. It isn’t the best for moisture management, however; if you plan on sweating a lot, try a different material. Average prices range about $6-8 a pair, so cotton is definitely an all-around choice on a budget. Typically blended with modal or polyester for optimal properties, you’d be hard-pressed not to find it in your underwear drawer.
Polyester/Nylon: While nylon can be found around the waistband of most undies, both it and its “cousin” polyester can be found all on their own in some underwear. Both materials are lightweight, have excellent color retention and are fairly durable, but they can be a little too moisture permissive, allowing for the occasional soak-through when the swass is just too bad.
Consider yourself warned. On average, these beauts will run you about 10-12 bucks a pair–definitely not impossible.
Rayon/Silk: Extremely lightweight, both of these materials have a smooth, comfortable feel that comes second to just about none. The luxury comes with a cost, however, as both tend to wear fairly quickly, especially in damp conditions. Definitely options you want to leave in the drawer when you hit the gym, unless you have that kind of money. If that’s the case, care to leave us tip or two? These luxury dream undies will run you about 30-40 a pair, with prices reaching far higher for more “pure” silk blends. Yikes.
Silver: Yes, you read that right. If you’re a die-hard adventurer, spending two to three days out in the woods or traveling around the world with nigh an opportunity to relax, let alone change your drawers, there is a small niche market out there for silver lined underwear. Silver, a natural anti-microbial, provides you a little leeway between changes, reducing the associated odor and germ collection until you can next hit the showers. Admittedly, the benefits are somewhat contested, and at about 40 USD a pair, a spare set of something more affordable may be a better option. Don’t knock it til you try it though, right?
Modal: The fine folks at “MeUndies” have been making extra comfortable underwear out of a material called modal for a while now. Modal, while a close relative of rayon, is produced under much more stressful conditions that result in a much stronger and still somehow softer material. I’m convinced the whole process comes down to witchcraft, but the overall performance is hard to argue with. While modal is frequently spliced in with other materials in mainstream underwear, fully modal underwear are an entirely different creature. Priced about 15-20 bucks a pair, modal undies are a great balance of high performance and affordability.
Alrighty, underwear-ers. There’s your breakdown. Every option has its pros and cons, but as long as you know what you’re looking for, you’re now armed with a little more knowledge. Again, we can’t make the call for you, because frankly, it’s your ass if we do. Try a few things out, see what works for you, and go from there. If you’re feeling a little constricted, try a different fabric or a looser fitting style. If you’re noticing a good amount of leaking through, test-run a different fabric and see if it absorbs/disperses better. Like you, we didn’t know all of these options were out there, but with all these puzzle pieces, hopefully you can put something together that works for you. Got some recommendations or info we may have missed? Pass it on! We’d be happy to hear from you.