The best men’s underwear brands make up the foundations of every well-rounded wardrobe. But unless you’re really desperate for a fleeting serotonin hit, shopping for underwear ain’t all that fun. The underwear business isn’t exactly trend-oriented, which makes the process of hunting down a new pair mercifully straightforward—if not especially exciting.
But it’s one worth taking seriously. Because right now the market is crowded with choices, from wily upstarts promising to solve all your chafing problems to heritage labels touting anti-bunching formulas they’ve perfected over decades of rigorous trial and error. Looking for a classic pair of supima cotton boxer shorts, or a stretchy pair of moisture-wicking, spandex-enhanced boxer briefs? You won’t have to look far. Intrigued by lofty-sounding fabrics like micromodal or breathable elastane blends? There’s plenty of brands that’d be thrilled to hear it.
Frankly, it can all get a little overwhelming. So to help you make sense of the mind-boggling array of options, we went deep on all the underwear worth your time—from high end versions you’ll genuinely consider washing by hand to ultra-cheap undies you can order by the multipack when the laundry machine threatens to go kaput. No matter your preferences, the best men’s underwear brands are up to the task. If you’re eager to replenish your supply—or overhaul your underwear drawer entirely—these are the only names you need to know.
The first name in designer underwear didn’t start out that way. Before Calvin Klein was a billboard-dominating global superbrand, it was an upstart American label credited as the first to slap its name on a pair of briefs, setting off a seismic shift in the men’s underwear market in the process. After all these years, buying a pair of boxers stamped with that iconic Futura font still feels like a small luxury, an indulgence only you, your underwear drawer, and a select few others will ever be privy to. If you’re looking for undergarments with a bona fide cultural pedigree, Calvin Klein is the place to start.
Not too many brands boast a century-long history of expertise in their given field, let alone in the underwear arena. But Hanes isn’t just any old brand. First established in the early 1900s, Hanes has enjoyed the type of prolonged relevance lesser brands struggle mightily to approximate. The company has since expanded into other categories—you might swear by their famously tagless T-shirts—but underwear remains the crown jewel of the empire. It’s almost ironic that Hanes undies tend to be sold in bulk, because they’re apt to last long after you’ve come down with a hankering for a new pack.
Like Hanes, Jockey has been around in one form or another for a long time. With roots that stretch back to the late 1800s, Jockey—named for the type of support then associated with the jockstrap—is widely credited with inventing the classic Y-front brief, an innovation that set the template for underwear styles that still dominate the market today. Jockey remains the brand to turn to when you’re in desperate need of no-frills underwear built with the same attention to detail—and near-indestructibility—that first put the company on the map.
If you’re looking for top of the line underwear made by a master of the form, Hanro’s got you covered. The Swiss brand has been churning out decadent loungewear for the world’s most discerning dressers for close to 150 years, and its stellar selection of undies is no exception. Touting the craftsmanship of a humble pair of boxer briefs might sound ludicrous (they’re boxers, for god’s sake!) but slip on a pair from Hanro and you’ll immediately feel the difference. The brand’s serious design chops coupled with a legacy of technical innovation means these are not-so-basics actually worth investing in.
Prefer your underwear built to the exacting specifications of a NASA spacesuit? Saxx is the brand for you. Every pair the company makes comes tricked out with its proprietary BallPark Pouch technology, the (slightly cringe-inducing) term Saxx uses to refer to the hammock-shaped pocket that lends its undies their signature support. Breathable mesh panels and an ergonomic nine-panel construction guarantee all-day comfort, while flat out seams promise to eliminate chafing and that telltale shimmy we’ve all had to do when something gets caught where it shouldn’t. (Oh, and FYI: If you subscribe to our Fall Best Stuff Box today, we’re tossing in two pairs of your choice—entirely free.)
Mack Weldon, a relatively new entrant in the underwear arena, built a business by overthinking the details—in the best way possible. In practice, that means quick-drying, odor-fighting trunks that won’t quit on you when you need ’em most, whether you’re halfway through a grueling workout or an equally grueling workday.
Ever wondered what could possibly prompt someone to love a brand so much they refuse to wear anything not stamped with its name? You’ve clearly never met a real Lo Head. Ralph Lauren engenders so much adoration among its most ardent fans that depriving them of the chance to rep the brand in underwear form would be almost cruel. Even if you don’t know your Purple Label from your P Wing, the brand’s briefs are a great introduction to what it does best.