I remember thinking to myself, “I did it again…”

I’ve made this mistake before, countless times, over and over throughout the years.

Once a year or so, I find myself needing to buy a few new pairs of boxer briefs. I hate doing it, so I just go for the most affordable 5-pack I can find at my local Target, or a 3-pack of whatever’s hanging out in the corner of the men’s section at TJ Maxx because who cares, right?

They’re just boxer briefs. As long as they’re my size and my preferred color, why does it matter?

My last trip to buy underwear was the worst, by far. I decided to try a brand I never have before—DKNY. A 3-pack of black boxer briefs in my size for $10? Perfect!

Turns out it was the opposite of perfect.

They were made from a cheaply-finished cotton that stretched and lost shape throughout the day. The elastic around the leg openings were so tight they practically cut off circulation. The rough elastic waistband dug into my hip, and the seams were so poorly constructed, I could feel them scratching me as I walked.

Enough.

It was time I started caring about the layers closest to my skin, even if no one (besides my wife, probably) would see them.

It finally dawned on me: I’m always willing to invest in items that are furthest away from my body (like coats and shoes), but I’m more than willing to skimp on the material and construction of my underwear… the layers that were actually touching my skin and have the most direct effect on how comfortable (or uncomfortable) I actually am.

I even wrote an EG article about this very subject!

So today, I come to you very humbly to say “Oh how wrong I was.”

Forget everything you’ve heard (even from me), it’s time to invest in some great boxer briefs.

Recently, I skipped the TJ Maxx discount bin and tried one, just one, new pair made from fine materials that were constructed with comfort in mind. All it took was one. I never looked back.

What to look for in a great pair of underwear

Get The Right Pair of Underwear

Where oh where did theis paradigm-shifting underwear come from? The answer is TANI. I received a sample pair of their boxer briefs, which I’ll use as an example of what you should be looking for when considering an upgrade.

Material

Usually, the best boxer briefs are constructed from man-made blends ranging from synthetic fabrics to nylon / lycra, to more sophisticated knits like Micro Modal Air, which is what my sample pair is made from.

When you do find natural fabrics being used, they’re often of the highest quality, like Swiss Cotton or Cupro.

In case you’re curious, here’s a list of fabrics TANI uses. If you were like me (underwear is underwear), you’ll be surprised to see such a wide range of consideration and options.

Beyond comfort, the most important thing to consider is this: These fabrics determine how well your underwear handles moisture.

Look guys, we sweat, and there’s no denying a good amount of sweating can happen down there… especially when the temperature warms up or if you’re engaging in a lot of physical activity.

A swampy, damp pair of cheap cotton boxer briefs is no fun. You want a pair made from material that wicks away moisture and doesn’t stay… moist.

I wonder how many times I can say “moist” in one article.

Editor’s Note: Never again, please.

Elasticity

Get The Right Pair of UnderwearSure, all underwear is elastic, but it shouldn’t just stretch out and stay that way. You want it to bounce back.

This is super important to me because I absolutely hated when my cheap cotton boxer briefs would stretch out. High quality fabric helps underwear keep its shape.

Construction

How is it sewn together? How thick are the seams? Construction is important because 1.) you don’t want your underwear to fall apart after a few washes  2.) you want it to stay put and 3.) you don’t want to irritate your skin.

One great thing about this pair of TANI underwear is the flat seams at the leg opening which seem to prevent the leg from rolling up unintentionally, which is the worst. Flat seams also minimize rubbing, which increases comfort.

Comfort and Fit

Get The Right Pair of UnderwearYour underwear should have the right rise, otherwise they’ll never stay in place. Sometimes a lower rise will feel like your underwear is falling down, and a higher rise will feel too constricting. Find the rise that fits your body best.

Also, consider how long the legs are. Do you want them to end mid-thigh, or do you want shorter legs, like trunks? This is mostly personal preference, and since you’ve most likely been wearing underwear for decades, you should have an idea of what works best for you.

If you wear slim pants (especially wool trousers and light chinos), you may sometimes see the outline of the boxers’ legs. I notice this with cheaper pairs that have really thick seams.

I haven’t had this problem with my TANI pair. In order to play it completely safe, go with trunk-style underwear that has a shorter leg.

Lastly, how flattering are they on your body? You shouldn’t look like you squeezed yourself into a pair of rubber gloves. They also shouldn’t be big and baggy like a pair of basketball shorts. A great pair fits well without being overly tight.

Paying the price

Buying a nice pair of underwear isn’t cheap.

A nice pair could set you back $20, $25, and in some cases, $50+… for one pair!

If you’re not used to paying a lot for underwear, I can imagine you’d be taken aback.

My advice is simple: Try ONE pair. Just one. See if it doesn’t become your most favorite pair ever.

Tell me you don’t look forward to wearing it every time you do laundry.

Tell me you don’t hold out and wear a few bargain-bin pairs before finally giving in and throwing on your one and only luxe pair.

This is exactly what I did. I bought one nice pair, realized it was my favorite, most comfortable, most invisible pair I owned, and decided I needed to buck up and invest in more great pairs.

Consider also the amount of use you’ll get from it compared to the price you pay.

Here’s an example: If you pay $50 for a pair, and you wear it roughly once per week for a year, you pay about $1 per use.

If that pair of underwear lasts you five years, and you’re unbelievably comfortable and moisture-free every time you wear it, is it not worth the initial money you shelled out, especially considering it’s now averaging ~$0.20 per use?

Totally worth it.

So even if you’re a little leery about giving up a chunk of change for a pair of underwear, just remember, these are the clothes that are directly responsible for how comfortable or uncomfortable you feel.

Start with one, and let them change your life.

Check out TANI, and if you decide to try a pair, save 25% by using code “EGTANI” at checkout (excluding sale items)

The Big Giveaway!

This giveaway has ended. Congrats to our winners and thanks to all who entered. Catch you on the next giveaway.

I’m super excited to be working with TANI to give away three pairs of luxe underwear to three lucky dudes (or dudettes, I guess, if you like wearing men’s underwear).

You’ve probably entered one of our giveaways before, but if you haven’t, it’s super simple! Simply click the button below to enter.

The more you share on social media, the bigger your chances of winning!

Oh, and don’t bother trying to trick us. We go through each entrant and if anything looks remotely suspicious, we toss your entry out and ban you from any future giveaways. Play nice!

More info below, just click the button. Good luck!

This giveaway has ended. Congrats to our winners and thanks to all who entered. Catch you on the next giveaway.

Show me your underwear

Just kidding! I don’t want to see that.

I do want to hear from you, though:

  • Are you in the “quality underwear is worth it” camp?
  • Or do you just throw on any ol’ pair without thinking twice?

If the latter, have you ever considered upgrading your underwear? Let’s hear it in the comments below!

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14 Responses

  1. Undershirt Guy on

    hey there barron, good information and suggestion on picking the right pair of boxer briefs (:

    i’m in the quality is worth it camp, but i’m also in the quality + value camp too.

    no doubt that tani has put a lot of thought and care into the fabric and construction of their underwear and undershirts. i’ve tried both, and have to say the fabrics are amongst the softest i’ve ever felt.

    in comparing tani to other higher-priced “luxury” underwear, tani offers a pretty competitive product. that said, not everyone is willing or has the appetite to pay big bucks for boxer briefs. for those who are, tani would be a good option to check out.

    personally speaking, i’ve found some others in the $25 – $35 range that seem to offer a fantastic overall fit, wonderful fabrics, and very thoughtful construction.

    i’m hyper-critical about anything that i’m wearing as my base layer, so these other boxer brief option fit my requirements and my pocket book (:

    thanks again for sharing your thoughts about how to choose the right underwear! i’ll be doing something similar soon!

    • Barron on

      Definitely! I think there are great options across the mid-level price point and the luxury price point. It just depends on what the reader / customer is looking for and wants to spend. Thanks for the comment

    • Barron on

      I was the same way for a long time. Until I upgraded for myself, I really didn’t see the point. But the difference in quality and level of comfort is so worth it.

  2. Dave on

    Not all 3 packs are bad. I stand by the Jockey boxer briefs. I think they are the quality that most people can afford.

    • Barron on

      they’re not necessarily “bad”. jockey, hanes, fruit of the loom, etc. are the old stand-bys that have worked for me for years.

      it’s fine if you don’t care, but like i mentioned, this article is about trying something new and better.

  3. Rob from Australia on

    I like to try new styles, but find that some cuts and materials definitely feel better. Modal is certainly more pleasant than cheap, coarse cotton, and a pouch-cut front is better than those hideous things that American Apparel sells! I will put in a word for those with champagne tastes and a beer check book though – if you spend the time, there are some good bargains in high quality underwear to be found at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack and sometimes Macy’s – my trip to the USA and Canada earlier in the year resulted in some very good buys!

  4. Dennis Flax on

    I still have not found underwear that works great for me (40+ years). I am of the “quality underwear is worth it” camp, if I could find that pair that really works. I know (given all the brands I have tried) the inexpensive and/or cheaply made kinds certainly do not. I have found a few that have come close, but nothing super. Underwear .

    • Barron on

      It’s one of those necessary evils! I will do a round-up type article soon (hopefully) that highlights some of the brands I’ve found and liked

  5. Gazman on

    Hard to see much merit in this suggestion. My threshold for undies is about $15.00 and more than happy with what I get online at ASOS or bricks and mortar at Unqilo and H&M. I’ve never been disappointed. Save the dosh to go towards that new pair of Oxfords.

    • Barron on

      If you’re satisfied with what you have, then no reason to change it. I know a lot of guys aren’t (myself included) and that’s why I started looking for better quality alternatives.

  6. duke on

    Alright, you convinced me! I usually aim for soft, high quality cotton underwear and that works for me. Though it does get uncomfortable when sweaty. I tried the Tani Silkcut boxer and thought it was great – $45 is a little too rich, but with the 25% off I decided to try one. No regrets.

    Now I might buy another while the discount is still around.

  7. meagan on

    Quality article! Always great when style meets comfort…and talking of meetings – these guys deserve a little plug in my opinion:

    claesensno1

    They marry price and quality really well (perhaps given the Euro in part) – but the pima cotton is amazing and they are new to the game – have a peek (just giving something back by way of a tip)

    Hands down best ive tried in a long long while

    Cheers,

    M

  8. Eugene Walter on

    Has any one here tried pair of thieves brand? I’ve seen them at Target and there about 12-20$ US a pair, which is maximum end of my price range. Thinking about picking one to try.