Have you ever put on a pair of your briefs and thought, “I don’t think I could live without this pair”? I know I have, and hopefully what follows is a whole new phenomenon in the men’s underwear community, which we will be calling “Underwear Essentials”.
Inspired by various websites I’ve come across, like Hype Beast’s essentials page along with several other “pocket dump” and “everyday carry” blogs around the internet, I wanted to create a place for UNB bloggers (and hopefully some of our willing fans) to share which pairs they can’t live without, and explain why that’s the case. These posts are not just about the photo and a lame description of each pair, no. The true purpose of creating something new with “Underwear Essentials” is for our readers to gain an understanding of how each collection has developed over time. How certain brands, fabrics, designs, and/or their designers have shaped the preferences of the wearer. In other words, while the photo above is incredibly simplistic, containing all of the underwear I couldn’t live without-it is really a representation of what I have come to know and love about men’s underwear.
My underwear represents a way for me to express myself even if it’s only on an interpersonal level. Due to the size of my collection, everyday’s choice is something I look forward to from the time I turn the shower on. Any one of several factors can impact my decision each morning. The first question I always force myself to answer is, “what is my mood like?” From there, some of the usual questions come into play. Like, “what’s today’s weather going to do? Is it going to be sunny, hot or cold, overcast, rainy?” Primarily for me, the style I choose is guided by the day of the week and my mood, and lastly, the clothes I’ll be wearing.
Ever since I got my first couple of pairs in the mail about a year and a half ago, Andrew Christian has been my favorite underwear designer. I am in love with the Almost Naked and Nano Fit lines, his use of rayon fabric (made from bamboo fibers) provides an overall fit that compliments my long, 6-foot-4 athletically built frame. The Almost Naked Sport Brief (bottom two pairs in Column 1) is by far my favorite A.C. design and I love the Navy and Turquoise colors the best (I own just about every color option). The Almost Naked Infinity Brief (bottom pair, column 1) and Air Sculpt Brief (Top Row, Far Left) also feature rayon which helps to create Andrew Christian’s patented “anatomically correct pouch” which is ideal for guys like me with bigger bulges. I also thought I’d include Andrew Christian’s Ace Air Jock Pro Brief w/Show It Technology (Top, Column 2) which is a hybrid cross of a brief and a jockstrap. It’s actually made of 90% cotton and features the “Show It Technology” pouch. I tend to wear them on Fridays a lot, maybe because I like showing off at the end of the week, who knows?
#JockstrapWednesday anyone? I almost always go with a jock on Hump Day, and I always wear them when working out. I love all of the Andrew Christian Jocks that feature rayon fabric and my current favorites are the lavender Slim Focus Jock, the Cool Flex Jock w/Show It and finally the Trophy Boy Jock (All In Column 3). As I mentioned briefly before I am somewhat generously endowed and I find the pouch on Andrew Christian jocks to be much more forgiving during workouts, and I love wearing them during the weekdays from time to time. It’s for those exact same reasons that I included the Obviously For Men Chromatic Low Rise Jock (Bottom, Column 4) which I have in red and navy. It’s a great jock that really performs well, especially during workouts.
You can never go wrong with a pair of Calvin Klein briefs. While my love for Andrew Christian underwear is unwavering I must say that the ultimate essentials in my collection are the three CK Briefs pictured (CK Body Hip Brief, Micro X Hip Brief, and the Steel Collection Hip Brief). I have multiple colors in the Micro X and especially the Steel collection and I always default to one of those two briefs when I can’t make up my mind or am in a rush. I also threw in my favorite pair of Trunks, which was the design that led to my obsession, but tapered off quickly when I rediscovered briefs. It’s from a Limited Edition run CK put out a couple of years ago that I’ve made sure to take good care of. Nobody beats CK Underwear in terms of design, quality and overall comfort. If you don’t own any of these three briefs, (or a pair of their trunks) open a new tab to your favorite online underwear retailer right now and buy as many pairs in these collections as you can afford. The reasons you must is simple-unparalleled fit and construction, and they look great on everyone.
At the start of my underwear journey, I had a love-hate relationship with C-IN2. That is, I loved the majority of what they were offering with their “Pop Color” briefs but hated that a major American label’s brief had a design that just couldn’t contain my boys while remaining comfortable everywhere else. Enter the C-IN2 Sport Brief design about a year or so ago. Problem solved. The higher cut leg openings compliment my athletic shape and naturally provide a much bigger pouch which is so comfortable for my goods.
How do a thong, let alone several thongs make any man’s Underwear Essentials? As I found out over a year ago, you can’t answer that question without getting the courage to try one (or several). To me there really isn’t a better feeling than feeling like you’re wearing nothing while getting the best support any style of underwear can provide. Aesthetically speaking I’ve steered clear of the athletic styles since I graduated from the ranks of “novice wearer,” but I love the new Nano Fit Thong from Andrew Christian (Top Right). My go-to thong is the Cover Male Thong (Yellow Thong) simply because it has the most traditional thong design available. Overall, my favorite thong brand is Gregg Homme and my favorite thong is the Pump Up Thong (White and Red Thong). Gregg Homme uses a synthetic fabric called “Polyamide” which is almost like a very structured silk material. They use it in the Boytoy G-String which I could honestly wear every day, if I didn’t have so many other designs and pairs of underwear I love. If you are questioning what you’d wear one under, look no further than a suit or suit pants which fitted in the seat, or the increasingly popular, skinny and straight leg styles of men’s jeans. Yes, you can see pantylines on men and they are just as unattractive as they are on women.
These are the 19 pairs out of a collection that is nearly 10 times as big that I just don’t think I could live without. I can honestly say that my experiences with trial and error in the ever-expanding world of men’s designer underwear shaped this Essentials portion of my collection- a fact that is so true, it took me less than a minute to pick out the pairs you see here. The underwear you see in these pictures are the pairs I could live with for the rest of my life. In one way or another they give me everything I need out of a pair of underwear in any situation I’d find myself in.
Now think about your collection. What styles and designs can you not wait to wear again after the laundry is folded? Do your essentials match the utility your body requires in all the situations you find yourself in? Let us know by submitting a hi-res picture of your Underwear Essentials along with a description of your favorite pairs and how they have shaped you as an individual as well as your own personal understanding of men’s underwear.