There’s a certain push and pull in the menswear world, a dividing line some argue tells you when to skimp and when to save on your clothing purchases. Frugality is all well and good, but make sure you chase deals and sales on your nonessentials like a patterned button-down or collectible pair of sneakers. But if you look to skimp on the basics you will come to regret it.
We’re talking T-shirts and socks, sure, but we’re also talking about the need to buy better underwear. As with anything in life, when you’re using an inferior product – in this case, wearing an inferior pair of bargain-bin underwear – you can absolutely feel the difference.
If you’ve been in this boat before, you know it can throw your whole look and your entire day off. Now does it sound like a big deal to buy better underwear? You bet.
The right fabric and fit makes all the difference, and your underwear drawer is one area where we say it sure does pay off to spend more. Plus, you’re not only buying better underwear for yourself, if you catch our drift. Do yourself a favor and invest in some of the best underwear for men, then thank us later. Here are three categories to get your shopping search started.
The Best Briefs
You know that trusty merino T-shirt you can’t live without? The kind that’s naturally anti-microbial, durable and designed to fight odor? As it turns out, that material makes for a perfect set of underwear, especially in a goes-with-anything black you can wear underneath day-to-day ensembles (if you’re as neurotic about matching as we are). It’s quite literally a quality upgrade you can feel.
It’s hard to go wrong with a brand perhaps best known for its underwear (or rather, its underwear-focused advertising campaigns). But Calvin Klein delivers quality and bang for your buck with a helpful five-pack of cotton boxer briefs, blending no-frills colors with an aptly named Classic Fit design. The iconic logo waistband should retain its shape through consistent wear, too
Some guys just prefer the coverage and old-school feel of boxer briefs made the old-fashioned way – in this case, made in the U.S.A from ultra-soft cotton – and Flint and Tinder nails the mark quite nicely here. There’s nothing overly fancy about these boxer briefs, which should prove an ideal three-season underwear option – and for good measure, you can save a bit of extra cash by shopping a bundle of three to keep you covered multiple days of the week.
Beating the heat comes down to more than just wearing lightweight layers in the visible parts of your ensemble – performance boxer briefs are an innovation you need in your corner, to say the least. The odor-fighting nylon-blend fabric moves with you, wicks away sweat and keeps you cool, while the contrast stitching is a nice design touch and the color options are subtly stylish for an added touch of confidence (it’s true).
The Best Boxers
Boxers are an outstanding choice if you want a set of cooling underwear to add to your sleepwear rotation, but the NYC-based basics brand has gone above and beyond with this pair. Specifically, they’ve slimmed down the fit enough to the point where you can wear these moisture-wicking, technically focused boxers underneath pants or shorts without missing a beat. The anti-odor finish and stylish colors and patterns are just icing on the cake.
Suffice to say, Marine Layer really went for it by calling this pair the “Best Boxers Ever,” but they just might be onto something. The tie dye color makes them sleepwear-worthy in the right setting, if it’s especially hot out, but beyond that, the specs are impressive in their own right. Viscose meets spandex for both softness and stretch, and the thick waistband won’t bunch up or fold over. While you’re at it, get some breezy Marine Layer chinos and a soft T-shirt to round out your next casual ensemble.
Everlane designed its Uniform Collection with everyday wear in mind – it’s a set of men’s essentials you can mix and match with ease, from classic jeans to crisp Oxford shirting and now, of course, basics. The use of Supima cotton, amped up with a helpful touch of elastane stretch, gives these a soft feel on your skin — plus plenty of mobility. Visually interesting colors like Heather Grey or the olive-esque Kalamata turn them into a surefire sleepwear option.
Your boxer shorts are likely due for a major upgrade – forgo the types of pairs you might have worn in college and instead go for something a grown man might wear, like these premium Sunspel boxer shorts. Sunspel, you might recall, makes T-shirts and polos approved by the likes of James Bond (and the man who plays Bond), so you can be sure these breezy boxers are more than up to snuff. Think of them like a serious splurge, one you won’t want to live without.
The Best Bikini Underwear
Some guys prefer or need a more streamlined feel when it comes to underwear, and a bikini-style set of briefs is one way to keep things cool. They’re especially useful if you prefer shorts with a shorter inseam, and this pair from Tommy John goes all-in on the details, including moisture-wicking fabric that, according to the brand “dries 4-5x faster than regular cotton.” If it’s a more sleek fit you seek, this style is but one option to consider.
Perhaps you’ve encountered the super-premium experience that is shopping the well-curated, well-designed array of tailored clothing from Proper Cloth – if not, consider these next-level briefs a great starting point. They give a whole new meaning to the phrase “better underwear,” using soft modal fabric, a jacquard waistband and hidden seams. Think of them like bikini briefs for special occasions or for pairing up with tailored styles whenever the occasion strikes.
You might be used to turning to Hugo BOSS for razor-sharp tailoring or dress trousers, but every slick look has to start somewhere – and that somewhere might as well be with a pair of the best underwear for men, right? Kill two birds with one stone as you shop for tailored BOSS essentials by picking up these comfortable-as-can-be stretch cotton briefs, with four color options up for grabs in an agreeable three-pack.