Trends For Men
Wondering what’s en vogue when it comes to men’s underwear? Sit back and relax, because we’ll bring you up to speed. But, the short answer is, everything from newer cuts to drastically different colors, and even quite a few high-tech fabrics.
Thankfully for us, gone are the old days when underwear were an afterthought in most men’s wardrobes. Today’s marketplace boasts underwear with better overall form and function than, really, ever before. (No more loin cloths, no more trousers, and yes, no more ill-fitting boxers.)
Like in fashion more generally, some underwear trends certainly have more staying power than others. But the three trends we’ve rounded up? Let’s just say we have a feeling that they’re probably here to stay. Below, explore new directions that your underwear can take you.
Why Trunks Are Winning Out Big-Time Over Boxer Briefs
Step aside, boxer briefs: there’s a new sheriff in town.
Trunks are relatively new to the men's underwear scene, but they sure have made an outsize impact in a short amount of time. Trunks are like boxer briefs in that they offer real support to your family jewels and more coverage than a brief. The difference is, trunks have a shorter fit. Subsequently, they show off more of your thighs. But, why the spike in popularity?
Well, boxer briefs have a longer, more traditional, conservative look to them that likens back to the underwear of the olden days. (Hundreds of years ago, men’s underwear were worn all the way down to the mid-calf region – imagine how salacious wearing a pair of boxers, even, would be to their sensibilities.) As time goes on, though, the drawbacks of wearing a longer pair of underwear – endless bunching, the dreaded “swamp ass” in the heat – are more and more apparent. In turn, shorter-cut underwear are becoming way more desirable, especially among younger men who are gravitating toward newer designers. (Savage X Fenty, anyone?)
Nowadays, it’s likely that your much-older brother, your dad, or even your granddad wears a boxer or boxer brief. Not the picture of sexiness, IMO! Trunks, on the other hand, represent a modern cut that gives your thighs room to breathe. A man has significantly better mobility in a pair of trunks or briefs than he does in a pair of boxers or boxer briefs.
Men with shorter builds also tend to look their best in trunks rather than boxer briefs, as trunks make more sense proportionately. On top of that, men who are active, especially runners who wear shorts that fall mid-thigh, know that having underwear like boxers or boxer briefs peek out of your shorts is distracting, unseemly, and uncomfortable. Trunks, on the other hand, fit seamlessly under a wider range of athletic shorts, giving you more gym-ready options.
In all, the trendy customer of today is wearing trunks and briefs regularly and sometimes jocks and thongs, depending on what they’re dressing for. Boxer briefs just aren’t cutting it.
Fortune Favors the Bold-Colored Underwear…
Tighty whities have a reputation that precedes them, and one that continues to evolve over time. But one thing they certainly aren’t known for? Color.
Men are really beginning to embrace fashions in colors as bright, bold, and diverse as they like, in and out of the underwear department. Whereas older styles relied on muted colors – we all know the whites, blacks, grays, and navy blues of multipacks – newer styles come in genuinely fun colors and patterns that are meant to be seen and enjoyed. Think: the Garcon Model jockstraps in greens and pinks that evoke the colors of watermelon; Papi undies in a watercolor-esque blend of blues; old-school Cellblock 13 jockstraps in bold yellows, purples, pinks, and even rainbow colors encircling pink waistbands. (Black-and-gray multipacks, count your days.)
For decades, women’s underwear designs have been much more playful and color-forward than men’s, so we welcome any tipping of the scales! Who says men’s underwear can’t live up to exciting menswear in tones you might not expect? If trends over the last 20 years are any indication, color is here to stay.
Pump is an underwear brand that embodies that rich use of color, known for its sexy designs and famously vibrant men’s underwear. Choose from deep purples to electric blues, dreamy oranges, and just about all the colors you probably wouldn’t find in your dad’s closet. Trendier colors tend to come in trendier cuts, so trunks, briefs, and jocks, for the most part. When you want to grab attention, a pop of color is a surefire way to do it. So, go ahead and reach for a mint thong or something. Whichever color you choose, always wear it boldly.
… Just Be Careful When It Comes to What You Wear on Top
Now, your choice in a hot new color is entirely up to you, but we do have advice when it comes to how to pair your underwear with your bottoms.
If it’s a summer night and you’re wearing white linen pants, for example, you’re still going to want to opt for a more neutral tone that’s as close to your skin tone as possible, so it doesn’t peek through. Tans, browns, and grays are all goodies depending on your skin tone. This is when you’ll want to hold back on color, along with when you’re wearing thinner, lighter-colored shorts and pants in general.
If you’re wearing a dark tone up top, you’re still going to want to opt for a darker tone of underwear down below; too light a color will peep through. Dark blues, dark purples, and dark greens all tend to do the trick. Not sure if you’re pairing your underwear with your bottoms to perfection? Just have a look at your butt in the mirror before you step out, and you’ll be well on your way.
Textiles That Suit Your Every Need
Believe it or not, there’s more to men’s underwear than cotton-elastane blends! (But, darn do they feel good.)
Don’t get it twisted. There’s a reason that 95 percent cotton, 5 percent elastane blend is the cost-effective industry standard it’s become: it’s hella comfortable, feels distinctly nostalgic to the touch, and allows for the stretch necessary to make a pair of underwear last. That said, there are times and places for other fabrics entirely, and a great deal of innovation goes into developing just that. Many premium products are made with a cotton modal blend, which offers an even softer feel.
In the last decade, underwear brands have developed different kinds of fabrics to suit different needs, be they comfort-related, performance-based, or even ecological. For example, C-IN2 is a brand that sells cotton-polyester blends to achieve “that cozy feeling you get from wearing your favorite worn-out T-shirt,” proving one’s choice in fabric can make a real difference.
When it comes to activewear, polyester-spandex blends are fantastic at letting you breathe down there without sacrificing softness in the process. A favorite for sleepwear due to how comfy it is, modal is fabric that’s risen in popularity as an alternative to cotton: look and you’ll find more modal-elastane blends on the market today than ever in recent memory, including plenty of underwear for the everyday guy. For the man who wants to feel as unencumbered as possible in his underwear, the brand Wood avails itself of tencel, a fabric used to achieve peak stretch.
On the planet-friendly front, underwear brands like CDLP and even us at Underwear Expert, are bringing fabrics like lyocell to the fore. A silk-like form of rayon, lyocell is a semi-synthetic fabric primarily made from renewable wood sources. It also happens to be deliciously soft and the stuff of dreams when it comes to making underwear. See how much you miss when you’re only reaching for cotton?
Whether you’re an underwear expert or just starting to build out your underwear wardrobe, it pays to take note of what’s in. The underwear today are bolder than ever before, favoring all sorts of colors, cuts, and textures that had yet to be explored, until recently. Even if you aren’t following menswear trends religiously, it’s good to know what directions that brands and other customers are moving in before you decide what to buy. Don’t be afraid to shop around, trying new brands in the process and finding out what suits you best.
Curious what’s next in the world of men’s underwear? Find out for yourself! With our monthly subscription box, you can curate what you want, when you want it. That way, you can always be on-trend in a well-fitting pair of undies.