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Trends: Boxers or Boxer Briefs

July 21, 2020

It’s easy to get caught up in the externals — concentrating on looking for the right jacket, the right pants and the shoes to top off the outfit. But without good fitting men's underwear, you’re starting off on the wrong foot. Putting together a great outfit means starting with the right foundations. Your underwear sets the mood (and determines your comfort) for the entire day. 

Thanks to consistent new arrivals, men now have more choices than ever before when it comes to underwear and the idea that men should stick to plain old boring styles is rapidly becoming an old way of thinking. Different styles, bright colors and personality in our underwear are the new ideals. But with all of the change, you’ll find two styles of underwear topping the popularity lists — classic boxers and their new cousins, men's boxer brief underwear.  

Let’s take a moment to check out boxers and men's boxer briefs — the advantages of each, plus some of the most popular fabrics that they use.  


The Advantages of Boxers

Boxers are one of the classics of the underwear world. Whether they’re plain and comfortable cotton or brightly colored silk, you can bet most men have at least a pair or two of boxers in their underwear drawer. Here are a few of the factors that explain the timeless popularity of these staples. 

  • They provide a comfortable loose fit. Well-fitting men's boxer shorts made from quality fabrics can be extraordinarily comfortable. Paired with the right pants, you’ll enjoy an easy and breezy fit. One important qualification though: boxers aren’t usually a good choice under tight-fitting pants since the fabric tends to bunch up. But with the right outfit, they’re ultra-soft - like wearing nothing at all!
  • They’re versatile. Picture performance boxer briefs and you’re just as likely to picture a lazy Sunday morning cup of coffee on the couch as you are a business suit. Boxers have earned a reputation as do-all garments. Perfect as underwear, but also great for bedtime and lounging. 
  • You can choose from colorful and fashionable patterns and prints. Boxers seem to lend themselves to fun colors and patterns. Splurge on some brightly colored or cheeky boxers and start your day by slipping on something fun.  

The Advantages of Boxer Briefs

Boxer briefs may share part of their name with boxers, but they’re very different beasts. While boxers are loose-fitting and provide minimal support, men's boxer briefs conform with your body and provide a firm foundation for your private parts. Boxer briefs function differently than boxers in some significant ways. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of wearing boxer briefs. 

  • There’s a reason they're bestsellers. Their form-fitting design works well under your clothes. If you’re rocking slim-fit pants, the loose fabric of boxers won’t do. Boxer briefs, on the other hand, conform much more closely to your skin, letting your pants hang freely and move easily with you.
  • They provide support during activities. The waistband boxer briefs made from synthetic and spandex blends provide excellent compression and support for the muscles of your glutes and thighs from your waistband down. If you’re on your feet a lot during the day, you’ll appreciate how well they’ll work for you.
  • They offer flattering fit options. Boxer briefs come in a variety of leg lengths. These different lengths can have a big effect on performance and how they fit and flatter different body types. Boxer briefs with longer legs provide extra support to the muscles of the thighs and are a great choice for workouts and sports. Shorter cut legs, including trunk-style pairs, provide a slimming look for many men.
  • You’ll find plenty of colorful designs. Advances in fabrics and dye sublimation have resulted in a multitude of colorful options for pack boxer brief shoppers. Whatever you decide to spend your gift cards on, classic solid colors, like those found with the Willy California 602 Boxer Briefs, are one way to go, but if you like a splash of color you’ll find plenty of exciting designs from many makers.  
  • You can choose from a variety of fabric options. With boxer briefs, you can dress for comfort or performance with moisture-wicking technology. You can choose boxer briefs spun from soft modal fabric or cotton for a soft feel or, go for high-tech performance with synthetic and spandex blends to get a performance edge.  

Let’s Talk Fabrics

We’ve mentioned how both boxers and classic boxer briefs are available in a variety of different fabric options. There's cotton, microfiber, silk and so many more to choose from. When you’re shopping for that perfect pair of undies, the fabric you choose will have a big effect on your comfort and how well your new undergarments perform. Let’s take a look at some of your choices and see how they perform. 

Cotton

Cotton is an all-star choice for underwear. All-natural, cool and soft, it stands up well to wear and washing. Of course, cotton does have a few drawbacks. Cotton boxer briefs will absorb moisture, so it’s not a good choice for active situations. Also, cotton fabrics can stretch over time, so your underwear can lose support. That’s particularly a drawback for boxer briefs which are designed to provide more support down below. Cotton classic blends, like cotton/nylon and cotton/spandex can help alleviate some of these issues.  

Modal Fabric

Modal fabric is made from the pulp of beech trees and is prized for its soft feel, durability, color-fastness and coolness. If you want to take a step up from cotton to a more luxurious fabric, modal and slightly thinner micro modal fabrics are excellent choices for ultra-soft boxers and boxer briefs. You will not be disappointed if you choose a pair of modal boxer briefs. 

Synthetics

Two tried and true favorites are nylon and polyester. Both of these fabrics combine a soft and silky touch with light weight and quick-dry capabilities. That makes either an excellent choice for stretch boxer briefs, especially when they’re blended with a bit of spandex. You’ll find boxer shorts in nylon and polyester as well, with the fabrics standing in as a substitute for silk. 

Spandex and Elastane Blends

If you’re an active guy, look for performance boxer briefs that incorporate spandex or elastane into the fabric blend. This option will help you achieve a comfort flex fit. These materials add two very useful features to fabrics like cotton or nylon — compression and stretch. Just like leggings for the ladies, boxer briefs with these materials fit closely and provide support to your leg and glute muscles, while still allowing free movement. That makes these pieces of underwear ideal for sports and workouts at the gym. 

Silk

This venerable natural fabric is still one of the finest fabrics available, and you can find it used in many premium underwear offerings. For a truly luxurious and comfortable piece of clothing, consider a set of silk boxers, perfect for both dressing up or lounging on the couch. 

Wool

Thinking scratchy? Think again! High-quality merino wool is soft and comfortable. Even better, it’s breathable and odor-resistant. Wool is the best option for long leg boxer briefs during the cold seasons, blended with a touch of stretch fabric, merino wool boxer briefs are excellent for rugged outdoor activities.  

Choose One, or Choose Both

Boxers and boxer briefs may have similar names, but they occupy two different ends of the men’s underwear spectrum. But your life doesn’t have to be about binary choices. Each is great at what it does. So, show your versatility and flexibility by covering all the bases by purchasing a multipack of both, creating a lineup of great-fitting, high-quality underwear in your drawer. Different days will bring different choices. Pick a pair and have some fun building your look from the bottom up!

When it comes to finding clothes you can wear all the time, Willy California has you covered. Check out the website for active and innovative athleisure wear.