Boxers or Briefs: Which Is Better?
Since their inception in the early 20th century, boxers and briefs have been battling it out in a tightly contested back-and-forth, with both styles spending time in the top spot.
Today, between the free-fitting comfort of the boxer and the tried-and-true performance promise of the brief, there may be no clear winner. The rise in popularity of boxer briefs has added another layer of complexity, too—so where do we start?
With all the options on the table, it can be difficult to determine which type of underwear you should choose. That’s why we’re writing to bring you up to terms with the most popular styles, features, and functions for your undergarments.
Today, we’re looking specifically at the differences between boxers and briefs. We’ll break down the benefits of each (with a quick look at boxer briefs as well) before going over a few features that are universally essential, whichever style you go for.
Let’s get started!
What Are the Benefits of Boxers?
Boxers were invented just before the brief as an alternative to the shorts that fighters wore in the boxing ring. They were designed originally for performance, but over time shifted to a role with equal focus on comfort and leisure uses.
That isn’t to say that boxers can’t be used for exercise. They have a strong suite of benefits for any occasion—and often, it’s down to preference.
Generally, the key benefits of boxers are comfort, freedom of movement, and style.
Boxers are most well known for their comfortable feel, thanks to a loose fit, longer inseam, and generally thin, soft material. The design of boxers gives a completely relaxing feel, which is perfect for just that—relaxing in-home or an easy night out with friends.
Knowing what kinds of situations you wish to plan for is an important factor when choosing your underwear. The comfort and freedom of boxers are ideal for lounging around the house or sleeping. However, they may not be your preferred choice for more active settings such as a workout or a day on the trails.
Freedom of Movement
Many prefer boxers as they do all the most important work of underwear without adding too much restriction. The loose cut, however, does mean boxers offer less support than other styles—but the excellent comfort more than makes up for it if comfort is what you’re looking for.
Not all athletes prefer high-support underwear during exercise, so it’s important to test what feels best to you. Freedom of movement can synergize seamlessly with a good workout, so don’t rule boxers out of your sportswear arsenal until you’ve tried them.
Aesthetics might seem, at first, like a lesser concern for underwear. After all, most of the time, they should be out of sight, right?
Choosing the right style for your fashion sense is about much more than just what others think. It’s important that you know you look your best from top to bottom. This can give you a deeper sense of confidence as you go through your day than you ever thought possible.
Don’t believe us? Try a pair of sleek and stylish boxers like our Bambare Boxers and see for yourself.
What Are the Benefits of Briefs?
Briefs owe their long-lasting popularity to a superior support set-up balanced with a close yet comfortable fit. Popular for athletic and formal settings, briefs offer packed in performance across a minimalist profile.
With the right material, a great pair of briefs can rival any style of underwear for comfort. The smaller profile with no length along the legs is ideal if you prefer the least fabric beneath your pants as possible.
Many appreciate the comfort that comes with a high-support, closer fight, particularly during days where you’ll be active and constantly moving, as a looser fit in some settings may result in chafing or similar interactions that are uncomfortable for some.
The main benefit of briefs is the superior support they offer. The close-fitting shape balanced with freedom of movement keeps everything where it needs to be while still allowing you to move as needed, perfect for life on the go or more intense workouts.
Some styles have even begun to be engineered with special supportive contoured pouches, although the benefit of such designs is completely up to personal preference.
In any case, briefs are perfect for your active lifestyle, equally versatile on game day or the day of the big meeting.
In providing a supportive feel, briefs also offer protection where you need it. Nothing’s worse than feeling knocked around with no protection—which is where briefs quietly shine, keeping you padded and comfortable through your entire day.
The comfortable and supportive feel not only protects you physically it also protects your peace of mind. The best underwear is a pair you don’t have to think about throughout your day. Underwear should stay out of sight and out of mind, doing its job with no fuss.
What About Boxer Briefs?
Boxer briefs have risen in popularity over recent years, and with good reason. As the name implies, they strike the balance between the designs and benefits of boxers and briefs, giving equal parts comfort and support over a longer profile with thigh coverage.
Many prefer boxer briefs for the middle ground they find in fit, between a loose, free feel and a close, high-support fit. The key to doing so is keeping the fabric closer to the leg than boxers without taking the close fit as far as briefs across the overall profile.
Boxer briefs are an excellent option for a lifestyle that faces diverse challenges throughout the day. They pack a serious performance punch, strike with equal strength in formal settings. After your long day’s finished, you won’t even want to take them off yet when you hit the couch to relax.
What Features Should My Underwear Have?
No matter what style you go for, make sure you choose a pair that uses only the best fabrics.
Cotton, the traditional undergarment fabric, certainly has some benefits but carries some cons that make it far from ideal. In addition to sustainability concerns, traditional cotton has poor moisture-wicking capabilities, and the material is often not particularly breathable.
Synthetic fabrics are also popular in underwear but score poorly amongst sustainability categories. Chemical treatments, in particular, make them poor for the environment and even dangerous for your body, as they can cause fabric allergy breakouts.
One ideal fabric that has risen in popularity through modern innovation is bamboo. At Tasc, our bamboo fabric blend is one of the best on the market, offering all the most essential features a fabric could have, in addition to a super soft feel and highly sustainable production means.
Organic cotton is another fabric to look for. It provides all the greatest benefits of cotton in a much more sustainable package.
Fabric is an important consideration because it determines many of the most important features a pair of underwear may have.
Here are some of the essential features that any pair beneath the belt needs to have.
There’s no area of the body that threatens to create lasting odors more than the area covered by your underwear. That’s why it’s crucial to choose underwear that can resist odors, minimizing them in the short term and preventing absorption in the long term.
Thankfully, bamboo contains all-natural anti-odor properties. No longer are chemicals needed to stave off the stink—choosing bamboo fabric takes care of the work for you without adverse environmental effects.
Another challenge our underwear face is stepping up to the sweatiest area of our bodies. Without the capabilities needed to stay dry, a wet pair of underwear will not only impose discomfort but potentially rash and increased odor.
Moisture-wicking is a fabric quality that causes the material to draw moisture (aka sweat) from the surface of your skin and push it to the outside of the fabric, where it evaporates.
Bamboo has excellent moisture-wicking capacity, being one of the best fabrics for staying dry and comfortable.
Breathable and Lightweight
One of the main reasons for sweat and stink beneath our underwear is overheating. Breathable fabric and lightweight composition are two of the main tools in the fight to stay cool, so selecting fabrics with these qualities is the only way to go.
In combination with moisture-wicking, breathability and lightweight qualities work together to protect your body’s natural thermoregulatory processes.
Whether you’re looking for a pair of performance underwear for your weekend sport’s league, or just something more comfortable to slip on for bed, boxers, briefs, and boxer briefs can all have something to offer.
Stay tuned to Tasc Performance for all the latest guides, trends, and innovations to keep your wardrobe at its best.