Best boxer briefs for men

(Photo: Courtesy of Calvin Klein)(Photo: Courtesy of Calvin Klein)The world of 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 Classic

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(Photo: Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger)(Photo: Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger)

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,

(Photo: Courtesy of Jack Wills)(Photo: Courtesy of Jack Wills)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,

Best Budget Pair(Photo: Courtesy of Gap)(Photo: Courtesy of Gap)

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,

(See also: The complete guide to suits: 57 rules of style)

(Photo: Courtesy of G-Star)(Photo: Courtesy of G-Star)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,

(Photo: Courtesy of Sunspel)(Photo: Courtesy of Sunspel)
The James Bond

The Brits wear Sunspel — even the Brit. There is a kind of obsessive attention to fabric at the brand, and in this, their most modern and fitted brief, the Egyptian cotton counteracts any rigidness from your pants. Also: colors. Nice colors.

Low-waist trunk ($35) by Sunspel,

(Photo: Courtesy of Schiesser)(Photo: Courtesy of Schiesser)Best High-end Pair

And the Germans, it turns out, know how to make undergarments. Schiesser does, anyway, and has since 1875. The cut is just so, the fabric breaths but feels sturdy, and the button-front pouch keeps everything in place.

Cotton boxer brief ($60) by Schiesser,

The Soft Pack(Photo: Courtesy of Etiquette Clothiers)(Photo: Courtesy of Etiquette Clothiers)

Etiquette Clothiers are a new brand on a mission to redefine basics. And boxers are pretty basic. Unless they're this soft — like downy-supima-cotton soft.

Luxury trunk ($54) by Etiquette Clothiers, etiquetteclothiers

(Photo: Courtesy of Paul Smith)(Photo: Courtesy of Paul Smith)The Upscale

These here trunks from Paul Smith aren't "designed" so much as they're engineered. They're trim, but they don't bunch up (thanks to that four-button front). Nice striped detailing up at the hem, too.

Four-button trunks ($65) by Paul Smith,

The Downscale(Photo: Courtesy of Hanes)(Photo: Courtesy of Hanes)

A three-pack of Hanes, of course, is still just as suitable as it was for Michael Jordan 20 years ago. They still have the best elastic in the game, and sometimes, well, you just want your underwear to stay on, to last, and some things never change.

Mid-leg boxer briefs ($13 for 3) by Hanes,

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