What your underwear says about you

Worried your pants are pants? Here’s how to big up your smalls

Let’s talk pants. There are few subjects as overlooked as underwear, but what lurks beneath your belt is often make or break when it comes to women. The fairer sex are said to judge men on their outfits, so when you’ve undressed – here’s a handy guide if you’re uncertain what you’re doing in that department – your underwear is your outfit. And, be you a boxer man or a proponent of the tighty whitey, each pair of pants sends a different message – so make sure your smalls are bigging you up.

What your underwear says about you

Boxer briefs

Cutting to the chase, this is what you should be wearing. We don’t care who you are, what you do, or what you find comfortable, boxer briefs are the most acceptable, failsafe and versatile men’s underwear out there.

But like all good things, from beer to the humble , boxer briefs have been ruined by various variations and over-complications that nobody ever asked for. So here’s how to spot the perfect pair – and sidestep the hipster hipsters that have pervaded this perfect part of the underwear market.

You want to be looking for boxer briefs that a snug without being tight, made from a good-quality stretch-cotton, and are long enough in the leg to look like shorts, without going the full mid-thigh cycle short. Colour-wise, go block and dark. We’re talking black, grey, navy or a racing green. White is just asking for trouble, and garish pants patterns are for people who aren’t interesting enough to begin with. Tick these boxer boxes, and you’ll never go wrong. Stray from this pants path and, well, let’s see shall we?

What your underwear says about you

Boxer shorts

Before you boxer buffs get your knickers in a twist, let us admit: we recognise and respect everything these traditional pants have done for us. But, just as they’ve quietly and graciously done their job for decades past, it’s now time for them to bow out with the same silent civility. Because, let’s face it, they’re terrible.

Boxer shorts, for some reason, are amongst the baggiest items of clothing many men own. And where’s the sense in that? Underwear, to all intents and purposes, is meant to form a hidden base layer that holds everything in place and keeps you comfortable. Boxers, with their surplus of material and shapeless cut, tick none of these boxes. They ride, they bunch up under trousers, and seem to serve no other purpose than throwing another unnecessary layer into the mix.

But don’t despair, boxer-lovers. There is hope for this humble design yet. Because the boxer short, in all its baggy glory, is the perfect pajama. In a soft material – anything from linen to silk will do – boxers shorts are the height of nighttime comfort. So retire your boxers from everyday wear, gents – their night shift has started.

What your underwear says about you

Briefs

There’s a certain type of man who can get away with wearing briefs, and that’s a boy. If you no longer attend school, then you’ve outgrown briefs and should stay as far away from them as you possibly can. Although borderline acceptable in the novelty underwear stakes, these are as inappropriate for everyday wear as pants could possibly be – and while you think they make you look athletic, everyone else thinks you look pathetic.

Tighty whiteys are the worst of the worst. Bad colour, bad cut, bad choice. Instead, revert back to our first option – the boxer brief – which literally gives the brief legs and makes it infinitely better than the shorter alternative.

What your underwear says about you

Jockstraps, G-strings and Commando

If you need us to tell you, you don’t deserve to know.

Further Reading