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Underwear (Men)
by, January 10, 2006 10:01 AM

Boxer-Briefs, Tighty Whities, and more...

There are three major types of men's underwear in use today: Briefs, Boxer-Briefs, and Boxers.

Since the end of World War II, men's underwear has undergone several revisions. The WWII generation became accustomed to plain boxers while in service. As civilians, they continued this, sometimes wearing floral type prints. Their sons favored mostly briefs, invariably white. In the 1950s and '60s, if one had stripped a high school class full of boys, they would have seen a sea of white briefs.

This began to change in the early 1970s. Briefs in various colors began to appear. By 1974, it was not unusual to see teenage boys wearing red, blue, or green briefs. The shift away from white briefs had begun. In the 1980s, colored briefs became even more acceptable and utilized.

The "Boxer Rebellion" among teenage boys began around 1990. As the decade progressed, more and more boxers began to appear. The colored and white briefs became less cool to be seen wearing in the lockerrooms. Derisive names such as "tighty-whities" came into vogue for those still using that style of underwear. Also in this decade, the compromise underwear style, the boxer-brief, rose in popularity. By the year 2000, boxers and boxer-briefs had fully supplanted tighty-whities in common usage among male teenagers. The white briefs our parents had worn now became unfashionable.

There are practical advantages to each style of underwear, notwithstanding the "coolness" factor. Boxers are often considered to be more comfortable, and have the property of not showing any obvious 'lines' through clothing. For those desiring not to have any "OPL" (Obvious Panty Line) boxers are an excellent choice. The downside here is that boxers also are lacking in 'male support' characteristics. For any strenuous athletics, they are not recommended. Also, boxers can tend to ride up the legs, depending on the material and relative tightness of the pants being worn over them.

Briefs, on the other hand, offer good support. They are probably better for activities such as running, playing basketball, climbing at the rock gym, or similar pursuits. Some guys feel too constrained wearing briefs, as a contrasting point.

Boxer-briefs may well be the ideal compromise. Essentially, they are briefs with additional material extending part-way down the legs. The consumer pays dearly in added cost for this extra material. Boxer-briefs can be twice the price of briefs in many retail outlets. But they do have a more updated look for those guys concerned with lockerroom appearance. And of course they are substantially less revealing than regular briefs.

On balance, a guy should choose the underwear he likes or feels most comfortable in. With any luck, few if any other people will be seeing what type of underpants you have on anyway. Certainly, the "embarrassment factor" will be less if you have to strip down to boxers rather than briefs, if a guy is concerned with this aspect of underwear choice. A good suggestion may well be to have a few of each type to afford a choice depending on the planned activity or situation for that day.

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