underwear has come a long way since the days of Michael Jordan and Marky Mark: fancy elastic, fine materials, and a lot of other nice things you wouldn't think were totally necessary for something so simple.
And in many ways things have stayed the same: Every man has his favorite kind of undergarment, and every man has probably worn it for a very long time. But we can all agree that, every once in a while, you need to refresh the top drawer. Boxer briefs being the preferred style of underwear around these, uh, parts, we tried on a bunch of pairs. Herewith, some options:
The whole Marky Mark thing is a thing of the past, but Calvin Klein still makes some of the simplest, best underwear in the world. Their basic briefs sit low on the waist — just below the waist of your jeans, where they should — and high on the thigh — you know, for comfort. This helps to explain why 2012 marks Calvin Klein Underwear's 30th anniversary.
Micro Modal Trunk ($26) by Calvin Klein
The Strong and Sturdy
The good people at Tommy Hilfiger cut a more traditional silhouette — a bit longer in the leg for extra coverage — and use a cotton/elastane mix to provide a little pushback from the fabric. They won't wear out as quickly as your regular old boxers, is what we're saying.
Boxer brief ($25) by Tommy Hilfiger, tommy.com
The Really Strong and Sturdy
The jersey on Jack Wills boxers is surprisingly hefty, which isn't at all a bad thing. As much as a barely-there pair of underwear can be nice, sometimes it's good to have a strong pair, too, especially as winter approaches.
Hosington jersey boxers ($24.50) by Jack Wills, jackwills.com
Best Budget Pair
Elastic waistband, sure, but elasticized leg openings? Boxer briefs from Gap will shadow your every move — perfect for those without such muscular legs and/or with tighter pants — and at a great price, too.
Solid boxer briefs ($12.50) by Gap, gap.com
(See also: The complete guide to suits: 57 rules of style)
The Undressed Man's Best Friend
Plaid is pretty standard on boxer shorts, but a good plaid is hard to find on a pair of briefs. It's a thin plaid, but G-Star offers a roomy fit and a good look and she'll like 'em, too.
3301 Harding ($30) by G-Star, g-star.com