"Fashion in men’s underwear is rapidly changing.
Choices aren’t limited to a 3-pack of tighty-whities or voluminous boxers with goofy prints. Now, men have countless
design choices. This page is a summary of some of the new designs now available in men's underwear."
Men's Underwear Styles Glossary
Also see our:
Men's Underwear Fabric Glossary
Men's Underwear Features Glossary
Men's Underwear & Sock Glossary
Men's Underwear Style Glossary (Tops)
Men's Bottoms Glossary
The men's bikini style is cut lower than a low-rise brief. The top elastic sits approximately 4" below the waistline -
below the navel. It still provides full rear coverage. The leg has a high cut design and the front never has a working fly.
Swimwear style long associated with water sports requiring a board. Trunk style, but with legs that extend to the knee or
slightly above. The boardshort was first the uniform of surfers.
This is your traditional men's underpant. It has a full rise, meaning it covers the body from the waist to the top of the
thigh. Briefs have either an overlap fly or a contour pouch.
A man's cotton undergarment based on shorts worn in the sport of boxing. The traditional boxer is a full rise, full cut short
with a 3" inseam. It loosely covers the body from the waist to just above mid thigh. Generally, boxers have a working front fly.
The new boxer brief has the same styling of traditional biker pants, but it's cut a little shorter on the thigh length.
Designers took the best of both the brief and the boxer to create this new style. It fits like a brief, but is cut longer in
the leg like a boxer. Boxer briefs have a front fly design just like a traditional brief.
A fuller cut throughout the garment - including leg openings. Many times there will be a U-shaped panel between the legs to
reduce binding and increase wearing comfort. Traditionally, full cut boxers have a fly front.
With the new low cut pants on the market, this style has become very popular. The waistband rests on the hip approximately 3"
below the waist. It still has side fabric, and the legs are traditional brief legs (not high cut). It may or may not have a
This is a lower rise than a standard brief. The waistband sits approximately 2" below the waistline, just at or above the
navel. Other than that, it has all the styling of a traditional brief including a working front fly.
The Speedo or racing suit is a brief style swimsuit usually worn by men in swimming related sports. Worn below the lower
waist, they are secured with a drawstring at the waist, have a 1-1/2" to 3" side seam, and thin elastic banding around the legs.
Made of nylon and lycra/spandex fabric reducing drag in the water.
This can become an alternative to an athletic supporter. This brief has a front cup and a back panel, but the sides are nothing
more than the elastic waistband. This style provides for more modesty than a string bikini or thong.
This style is the lowest cut and offers the least amount of coverage in men's underwear styles (thong and jock strap excluded).
It sits approximately 4" below the waistline and has no side panels. The leg openings go all the way up to the elastic
waistband, which is a "string" style band, connecting front and back panels. String bikinis give full seat coverage,
but without a working fly.
A slimmer cut boxer with legs for a trim fit. Side vents offer comfort and leg freedom. May or may not have a fly front.
This style has an elastic waistband and a front cup. The front cup panel is kept in place by a tape that goes through the legs
and attaches in the center back on the waistband. This is a style used in athletics for more support, or when minimal coverage
Resembling men's swim trunks from the 50's, the trunk silhouette has made a comeback as underwear. A trunk is similar to a
boxer brief but with shorter legs. The trunk is form-fitting like a Speedo, but has short legs with about a 1"-2" inseam.
Compression shorts are very similar to boxer briefs and are often made from a spandex-like material of two-way
stretch fabric. Essentially flyless boxer briefs, these form-fitting garments are versatile multi-sport, long leg
Compression shorts keep the muscles warm to prevent muscle strains or pulls. They also prevent chafing and rashes.
This short offers the wearer uniform pressure and support to key muscles and often is used in place of a jock strap.
A jock strap consists of a wide elastic waistband with a support pouch that holds an impact resistant protective cup or
box to protect the testicles from injury and two straps extending from the base of the pouch around the buttocks to the
sides of the waistband.
There is a modesty issue with jockstraps. If they are worn directly against the skin and under white baseball or football
pants, they can be seen through the pants. A solution is to wear a jock strap over a pair of compression shorts.
This prevents the see-through issue.
A Jockstrap can also be worn under a pair of pants. This is a great alternative to wearing briefs during hiking, biking,
camping or other outdoor activities because the a jock strap absorbs less moisture than a pair of cotton briefs and can provide
much needed cooling. The jockstrap can also prevent scrotal chafing and impact because the scrotum is lifted away from the
thighs - very useful when hiking long distances.
A type of long underwear bottoms usually ankle length. These drawers were first worn in public by John L. Sullivan as a