Five basic styles of men’s underwear exist, including the boxer, brief, boxer-brief, bikini, and thong. Each style offers its own look and level of comfort. Selecting a pair of underwear that fits well and looks good often depends on a trial-and-error process of trying different sizes as well as different styles.

Here is a look at the five basic underwear styles for men.

The Boxer


The boxer offers a traditional pair of und erwear for men. This style covers a man’s buttocks and frontal section completely. It sits on a man’s waistline and features leg portions that reach several inches beneath the uppermost area of the thighs. The boxer is often considered to be the most comfortable style of men’s underwear since it is not restrictive and allows the skin to breathe.

Boxers include a front fly that is more often designed to open than not. If the boxer features a tapered design, the fly is ualally more of a pouch and does not open. Typically, the full length of a boxer is at least eight inches and as much as 16 inches long. This style is highly suitable for wear with loose-fitting pants or suits.

The Brief


A man’s brief is typically considered to be a traditional style of men’s underwear. It is sold in three standard styles, including full, mid-rise, and low-rise. This style of underwear delivers firm support for a man’s genitals.

A fulI-rise brief delivers full coverage of both the front and back. It features an elastic waistband that is designed to encircle a man’s waist. Most briefs are fitted with a front opening, commonly referred to as its fly. Each brief reaches to the uppermost portion of a man’s thighs.

The mid-rise brief falls slightly lower than the waistline. It sits about two inches lower than the full-rise brief, but usually includes the same type of fly opening in the front.

The lowrise brief sits about three inches lower than a man’s waistline. This style usually includes a front fly, but sometimes it does not.

The Boxer-Brief


The boxer-brief combines the features of the brief with the boxer, offering comfort as well as support. Boxer-briefs deliver full coverage of the buttocks and frontal area, creating support for a man’s genitals. The legs of this style fit snugly on the thighs, firming and supporting them. The boxer-brief is a good choice for men who are active, play sports, or prefer to wear narrow cut pants.

The Thong


A man’s thong does little to cover a man’s frontal area and does nothing to cover his buttocks. The traditional man’s thong typically features a triangular piece of cloth to cover the frontal area. In some cases, a frontal pouch is sewn into this portion of the thong. The back portion features a band of cloth that connects the waistband with the portion of the thong falling beneath the man’s crotch.

Finding the style and size that sits well is the only way to achieve a comfortable fit.

The Bikini


Offering a bit more coverage than the thong, a man’s bikini sits low on the waistline. Depending on the style, it might fall three to four inches below a man’s waist. This style of man’s underwear is not designed with a fly. It does, however, provide coverage for the back as well as the front. The legs receive no coverage.

Comfort and preference are the two most important features to a man when choosing underwear. Therefore, if you are trying to purchase underwear for the man in your life, it is a good idea to lind out which style he prefers wearing. Color should be considered as well, but it is probably less important than choosing the right style.