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Catherine from Fresno, California: My young son recently asked me to get him some new pairs of underwear because he says he’s too old for his kiddie briefs. While shopping for them, I was overwhelmed by how many different ones there were! Especially all of the pouches, there were fly openings, horizontal openings, no openings. And what is contour? What are the differences between them all and why are there so many options?
The Underwear Expert: We can only imagine how lost you were in the men’s underwear section. Sometimes we envy women and their one choice when it comes to the style of crotches, which we believe is most always a closed front. But, with guys it differs and it really all depends on personal preference. Talk to your son about what he likes, or better yet, take him shopping with you. Buy a few different types so he can try them out and later decide on which one he is most comfortable with. They all offer different benefits and have their pros and cons.
When it comes to men’s style of pouches there are four main ones, which you covered. A fly opening is the most common one, a vertical slit off the side or on the center of the pouch. These were probably on those kiddie briefs you mentioned, and are designed for easy access when it’s time to relieve oneself. They are also on many, if not all, boxer shorts. But this is also the con: slippage does happen with fly openings. Try a pair of Charles van der Pear Boxer Shorts. These have a fly opening, but they also are made with an inner liner for support and layer of protection.
To prevent slippage, horizontal openings have been recently making an appearance on the market. The opening runs horizontally across the top of the pouch, which also makes it easy to get to when you really have to go to the bathroom. But, the downside to these is, it’s harder to get the entire package out, but they are great for active guys because everything will stay inside while moving. Jack Adams makes many pairs of undies with this type of opening; we really enjoy the Army Fly Jock Brief.
If you don’t like taking chances, a closed front pouch is your best bet. This ensures that everything stays where it needs to be, but it is not the roomiest and doesn’t really allow for any movement. If you want everything to stay in place, then a close pouch may be for you. Every style of underwear from Wood Underwear is closed, and they are actually flattering unlike most closed whitey tighties we come across.
As for contour pouches, that’s a whole other spectrum of men’s underwear and we’ll save that for the next question.
See more about Contoured Pouches on page 2!