The Best Underwear for Your Body Type

Whether you’re tall, short, rangy, stocky, or heavy, we’ve assembled the best looking—and most comfortable—drawers for you.

The Best Underwear for Your Body Type

Whether you’re tall, short, rangy, stocky, or heavy, we’ve assembled the best looking—and most comfortable—drawers for you.

If you haven’t noticed, the world of men’s underwear these days has become surprisingly complex, with more options to choose from than the paint section at Home Depot. You’ve got tighty-whiteys, boxers, hybrids, trunks, jocks, Supermans. And even if you’ve got your style game down to a science (and you’re feeling comfortable), how do you even know if you’re wearing the right pair of skivvies for your body? Could you be doing even better?

Yes, you could. A lot better. We called up Mark-Evan Blackman, the head of the menswear department at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, for his advice on the best underwear for any body type. Blackman based his decisions on two factors: which underwear will be the most comfortable for your body type (given the fit), and which underwear you’ll simply look the best in. After all, clothes should give a man confidence, and the same applies to his drawers. And for more great style advice, check out the definitive style rules for men over 40.

mark wahlberg underwear

Body Type: Medium Height and Weight

What to Buy: Boxer Briefs

Men of medium height and weight—all you mannequins out there—have the widest range of options. “They are the norm,” says Blackman, “and the market is built for the norm.” When it comes down to it, your choice is a matter of personality. “If that guy is wearing a brief, that’s saying, ‘Look at all this.’ If he’s wearing a boxer, he’s very much hiding his assets.”

Blackman recommends the always-versatile boxer brief for getting the best of both worlds. They’re comfortable, they’re flattering, and they’re not flashy in a way that suggests you’re overcompensating for anything. But make no mistake: even if you’re not super muscular, you’re ready to wear something tighter than boxers.

Best Life pick!

underwear

Standard Boxer Brief, by Hugo Boss

$26; Buy now at amazon.com

underwear adrian brody

Body Type: Thin and Tall

What to Buy: Knitted Boxers

“In many people’s estimation, this is the ideal body type for fashion,” says Blackman. The tall, thin man, the theory goes, can pull off any article of clothing of he wants. So if you’re long and rangy like Adrien Brody, you can probably wear what you want. But Blackman recommends the knitted boxer. It offers a relaxed, comfortable fit, and the looser fabric will accentuate your thinner physique.

Don’t confuse these with the woven boxer, however. Woven boxers are little more than pieces of flared fabric hanging between your skin and your clothing like drapes. (Yes, these are the same boxers your dad wears.) Ultimately, they’re weak on comfort and even weaker on support. “Things flop around all day,” says Blackman. “There’s too much fabric.” In short: if things heat up in your bedroom, you don’t want to take off you pants and look like you’re wearing a skirt underneath.

Best Life pick!

underwear

Cotton Sporty Knit Boxer, by Hanro

$70; Buy now at amazon.com

underwear zac efron

Body Type: Stocky and Short

What to buy: Briefs

Men of this build should definitely go for less. “Chances are you’ve got some musculature there,” says Blackman, and that means showing off your bod. But hey: you worked damn hard for that body. You’ve earned those briefs, buddy.

Best Life pick!

underwear

Cotton Stretch Brief, by Tommy Hilfiger

From $21; Buy now at amazon.com

underwear vince vaughan

Body Type: Tall and Pudgy

What to Buy: Boxer Briefs

The key to looking your best is proportion. “If you’re on the heavier side, if you have a longer leg, you should wear a boxer brief,” says Blackman. It will tighten up the body, providing a more sleek silhouette for the wearer. Also: boxer briefs won’t ride up on you like boxers do. We’ve all received—or dished out—enough wedgies for a lifetime.

Best Life pick!

underwear

Pima Cotton Boxer Brief, by 2(x)ist

From $14; Buy now at amazon.com

What to buy: Cotton Sport Boxer Brief by 2(x)ist

underwear jonah hill

Body Type: Short and Pudgy

What to Buy: Briefs

If you have love handles and you’re on the shorter side, you want as little coverage as possible. While a boxer brief will slim down someone taller, it will have the opposite effect on a much shorter guy—and bring to mind one of the most dreaded of adjectives of all: “round.” Meanwhile, a brief will elongate the body and solve that problem. Bonus: you’re also avoiding all of that uncomfortable bunching that comes from a boxer.

Best Life pick!

underwear

Men’s Air FX Micro Hip Brief, by Calvin Klein

From $13; Buy now at amazon.com

underwear

Body Type: Ultra Skinny

What to Buy: Nothing. Go Commando.

If you’re the type of guy who makes men like Iggy Pop and David Bowie look obese, well, kudos. “I don’t think anyone wants to see that body type in underwear. Period,” says Blackman. Rock star sex appeal demands as little coverage as possible.

So, if you were to wear a pair, he recommends the tiniest pair of briefs, to keep the proportion in sync with the body.

Best Life pick!

underwear

Enhance Brief, by Cocksox

$25; Buy now at amazon.com

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