In March, I wrote an article for this site explaining why I, a straight woman, think more men should wear sexy underwear — for the sake of equality, self expression, and fun. I wrote it on a bit of a whim, and had no idea it would hit such a nerve. Thousands of reads and hundreds of comments later, I felt like a follow up or two might be called for.
A lot of readers jumped into the conversation and had great insights, so I’d like to share a few with you. Then we’ll get to what we’re all really here for: readers’ favorite men’s sexy underwear brands!
Many women shouted some version of “right on!” or bemoaned the bashful or conservative ways their own men dress.
One woman wrote, “I love my boyfriend in tiny underwear, and just think it would be great if men could suggest their junk the way women can suggest breasts and have it not be threatening and/or ridiculous.”
Another argued that the scope of masculine fashion was particularly limited in the US: “men in western europe, japan, south korea, and many many other places have long blurred gender binaries when it comes to fashion. tight jeans, bright colors, speedos…have never been a problem. american sartorial masculinity is super retrograde.”
Unrelatedly but hilariously, another woman, referring to the featured men’s underwear brand, Cocksox, wrote, ”It’s just silly. If I was wearing underpants with a band that said VAG-BAG in giant letters around my waist, nobody would think that was sexy either.”
Many men wrote in, but their feedback was more varied.
One man rejected the idea that underwear can be as sexy an accessory for men as for women, ” It’s unflattering. I have a perfectly acceptable body, but it’s not amazing, and it’s a male body. Sexy underwear for ladies works because there are curves to hang it on.”
Quite a few men detailed their own paths to finding underwear that suited their identities and expressions. Some felt they had struggled against social expectation and women’s judgments.
“As a man who has occasionally been teased, by both men and women, about his European style underwear I personally don’t understand many peoples aversion to anything that offers less coverage than oversized boxers. But I also don’t understand why men in this country don’t buy properly fitting clothes, both of which probably point to the fact that in this country we don’t like the male form. I am of the opinion that both men and women should stop shaming men into baggy jeans and oversized tee shirts, and embrace the allure of the male body.”
There was so much meat in these men’s underwear comments that I think they deserve a separate article. Their comments and experiences suggest a new branch to this conversation, more specifically about what it’s like to be a man who likes to wear women’s styled lingerie, and what brands and styles they prefer. Keep your eyes out for this in the future.
For now, here’s a roundup of reader favorite men’s underwear, ranked according to my own taste (I know, I know, not especially objective–but being a lingerie writer grants me some privileges of judgment, right?), as well as the shopping experience on each company’s website. Many were new to me, especially the non American brands, and I’m excited to have a new #1 top favorite.
On a side note, a funny thing just happened to me while trying to rank these ten brands. I couldn’t bring myself to relegate any to the bottom two. Mind you, I’m not even saying these are the two worst brands out there. On the contrary, I’m saying these are ten reader FAVORITES. Just as I’m about to decide on #10, I’ll find something redeeming about it, like a WHOLE SECTION OF METALLIC! I think that I’m cheering so hard for men’s underwear as an underdog, that I want them all to win.
# 10 Joe Snyder
I am generally never that interested in generic supersexxxy lingerie, for men or women. It’s fun and has a place, and it’s a huge business, but as a designer, these hackneyed expressions of sexuality bore my eyeballs. This is the context for my putting this otherwise perfectly nice brand in number 10. Somewhat nonsensically, the motto that follows you through the website’s shopping experience is “MAKE YOUR BEST CHOICE IN A WORLD IN WHICH CHANGE IS THE RULE.“ I don’t know what change Joe Snyder has in mind, but I recommend that some of you step away from your computers pronto, and change into this Gold Metallic Short:
Aside from the aforementioned shopping section devoted wholly and exuberantly to metallic men’s underwear, there is a section exclusively for camo, which contains 27 units, and a lot more. This brand traces its roots to 1977 when it was launched in Mexico with the objective of “support[ing] men’s virility.”
#9 Body Aware
I was a bit turned off by Body Aware’s homepage banner which in red, black and white, screams “BASICALLY AMAZING” — and then goes on to fail at amazing me, in either basic or auxiliary ways. But once I forgave this false promise, I found some pretty cool things after all, if not quite amazing. I enjoyed the silliness of the Twig and Berries.
And on the more basic end of sensualwear, these silk boxer briefs seem comfortable and luxurious. They have some spandex content so they shouldn’t stretch out too much. If boxer briefs aren’t your preferred silhouette, the same fabric is cut in others, like a brief, thong, and long johns.
This site commits the grievous offense of automatically playing music when you visit. It must think it’s 2003. I mean, isn’t it embarrassing enough that we are cruising this site at all? Don’t call us out with that smutty music?! I had a general feeling of discomfort while on this site. In lingerie commerce, some companies choose bluntly to pedal sex in the form of their goods, rather than the more subtle and creative challenge of imbuing their product with the promise or proximity of sex. Andrew Christian is not going for subtlety. Their homepage features a picture of two near naked men making out on a couch while 3 others take snapshots. Enough said.
I do, however, like the creatively designed underwear and the fun way cutouts are used. Not only in the expected places like the rear, but also as little alluring design flourishes, as they might be used in womenswear, but rarely are in menswear.
N2N clearly announces itself as high end eroticwear, albeit with elevated fashiony-looking models and photography (as opposed to sex-industry-looking shoots). One particularly pouty model bites his finger modelishly. Another is so turned on by his own attractiveness that he appears to be undressing himself, thumbing his own waistband down his own hips. He’s not wrong. These are some very appealing undergarments, and they are thoughtfully designed as individual pieces and as a collection. The price range reflects this sexy but unsleazy sensibility, with the simplest underwear starting modestly at $10 and going up to $48 for these really cool cutout sheer bicycle shorts.
#6 Ginch Gonch
Ginch Gonch has a 70′s porn vibe to it, with its loopy cartoonish font and big snug briefs. It encourages us to “Live like a kid!” I don’t know about you, but my childhood did not involve this guy:
The site is straightforward, as are the offerings, which are mainly funny printed cotton underwear for men and women.
Hom was founded in 1968 in France and claims four “fundamental values: masculinity, style, independence, and being different.”
To support this value statement, Hom offers six separate collections organized by lifestyle concept. For example, there is “HO1″ which stands for “Horizontal Opening No1″ and is the signature style of HOM. There’s also “Temptation” for “a modern seducer [who] cares about his physique and for special occasions wears delicate luxury underwear to please his partner.” “Black Addict” may be a poor translation but seems full of goodies. “The Black Addict man regularly practices sport to keep fit and uses cosmetics…he’s attractive and likes to show it.” He can show it all in the Shorty Crocodile:
This company takes a technological approach to selling underwear. Their claim to fame seems to be “Lift tech,” which purportedly “lifts and supports the buttocks… its innovative design creates a ‘lifting effect’ thanks to hidden bands technology.” In addition, “seamless microfiber visibly enhances the masculine package.” A customer can really target his areas with different products, which are organized both by style and feature. Features include “padded, lift, package, anti-bacterial, and asorbtek.”
I’m curious to know how these actually work. Women have long been a target market for “solutions” undergarments that shape their bodies to some idealized version (look all the way back to corsetry and foot binding). It’s interesting to see high tech shapewear spreading throughout the men’s market.
I may or may not, if I were benefitting from underwear-provided butt uplift, choose to advertise this happening on the waistband of said magic underwear. But perhaps the Rounderbum man is happy to share his glory with the heavily branded elastic waistband on all Rounderbum’s products. (See photo at top of article.)
I don’t especially love the aesthetic of Ergowear, but I can see that it takes a different approach to shaping from other brands I’ve seen. Many men’s underwear brands rely on seaming for the most protrusive look. But Ergowear takes a pouch approach to presentation in its “Feel” collection.
The brand does also offer plenty of seamed options (for example in its 3dX section), and offers to tailor your online shopping experience according to things like “tender, ergonomic, and breathable.”
This is good underwear. How do I know? Because the website features no live models, only simple sketches of the products on dummy males of middling attractiveness. The implication seems to be that Obviously is obviously such great underwear that they don’t need hotness to vouch for them.
Designed in Australia, Obviously uses high quality materials like Bamboo Rayon, Licensed Lenzing Modal, and Lycra, which, they claim “have significant health benefits over regular cotton and synthetic underwear fabrics, they are highly UV resistant. Non Genetically Modified (GM) fibres, and Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly.”
#1 Bruno Banani
On its site, Bruno Banani brags under its logo that it’s “Not for Everybody.” It’s a surprising marketing tactic for a brand that offers a wide range of all sorts of manly garments that seemingly ARE for everybody, if they’re lucky enough to stumble across this brand. There’s plenty of fun and fashion, but nothing tacky. The biggest selection seems to be under what we’d call boxer briefs in the US, but are “shorts” in German. The fit is snug and generally without a fly, and there’s variety in fabric from cotton-based to synthetic, and fun prints as well as simple stripes and solids. I also appreciate that the items aren’t overbranded like a lot of men’s underwear — just a small strip at the top WB that says Bruno Banani.
For a smaller silhouette, there are “Sportslips” which are briefs, as well as “strings” which are thongs. A few of my women readers commented that their men were looking for simple, comfortable thongs — I think we have a winner with this brand.
For a little roomier attire, there are a few gentlemanly pajamas, and also a smattering of “lederjacken” and “socken” to complete the underwear look.
A BIG thanks to all of you readers for your thoughts and your men’s underwear brand tips. Keep ‘em coming!