Mike from California: I’m taking up wrestling again, and I need to buy a singlet. I see that the styles nowadays are much different than those I used to wear when I wrestled back in high school, so I was wondering if you had any advice on choosing one, tips on getting the right size, and the differences between all singlets out there today.
The Underwear Expert: You picked the right time to re-enter the ring, Mike, as wrestling singlets are a hot item nowadays. A few men’s underwear brands have gotten into the game and now offer styled up singlets, like the Go Softwear American Jock Action Mesh Singlet, putting this one-piece garment usually reserved for wrestling matches into a whole new style arena. Since you’re in search of a singlet designed for actual wrestling competitions, we have a few tips to help you find the singlet that will take you to victory.
First up is fit: as a general rule, the singlet needs to have a snug fit that doesn’t allow for sag or excess fabric, anything an opponent could grab onto. Choose your size based on your chest size, as you would a T-shirt. If you’re a medium T-shirt, you’d be a medium singlet. And don’t worry about the singlet looking too small before you try it on–today’s high-tech fabric blends are designed to stretch to your body’s shape, giving you that snug fit and comfort you’re after.
While we’re on the topic of fabric, you want a resilient fabric that will keep its stretch, retain color, and–most importantly–breathe while you wear it, so stay with a blend around 80% nylon, 20% elastic.
Today’s wrestling singlets come in a variety of cuts and styles. The three main cuts include, full cut, which resembles a tank top and boxer briefs in one, the FILA cut, which is similar to a full cut but with larger arm openings, and the low-cut, which is open on the front, sides and back, and resembles a boxer briefs with suspenders attached. For actual matches, wrestling regulation most likely requires the typical full coverage, but the FILA cut and low-cut varieties are ideal for practice. Plus, less coverage means you stay cooler.
Styles of wrestling singlets run the gamut, from traditional solid color to a look that’s all-out gladiator. Since you’ll spend more time practicing than at actual matches, it’s a good idea to stock up on a few basic styles to carry you through the practice schedule as well as your choice performance styles, when looking your best is paramount to the competition. For practice, we recommend the Matman Lycra Wrestling Singlet, made for durability and comfort, as well as the Rated M Play Singlet. Our top choice for the performance category goes to the N2N Ultra Skin Singlet (pictured above) for its burst of bright color and low-cut look that shows off your body.
A few other design details to keep in mind are elastic leg openings to prevent the long legs from riding up as your body moves and double stitching construction to extend the overall life of your singlet. Also, the way you wash your singlet will drastically affect how long it lasts. We recommend washing in warm water on the gentle cycle and allowing to air dry. You definitely want to get the scrubbing action of a washing machine to dislodge sweat and bacteria, but keep out of the dryer, as the intense heat will spell trouble for the elastic.
Good luck with your foray back into wrestling!