Can We Talk Boxers?

Unless you count the hybrid shoes that, despite Ivy-Style’s best efforts seem to be coming back, and maybe velcro but only on foul weather gear, the greatest innovation in men’s fashion over the last 50 years has to be the boxer brief and yet it gets very little love. Let us repair that breach.

Boxer briefs (and Blondie) were made famous by that awkward movie we keep going back to even though we wouldn’t wear anything in it – American Gigolo. You can do the googling, but there is a scene of Mr. Gere in boxer briefs, that is the first time I recall seeing them. They probably gave rise to the spandex undershorts that Andrei Agassi made famous.

Why boxer briefs? All the best design elements. There’s functionality.

OH. Wait. Huge matter of debate. Are you one of those people who tucks their shirt into their underwear as tuck-insurance? If you are, and I am not asking you personally, but if you are, you HAVE TO wear boxer briefs.

Sorry, so we were at functionality. They do everything you want underwear to do (if you have to ask…) and – well, there’s this. There is less adjusting (if you have to ask…). And, in the (hopeful?) event that someone sees you in your underwear, they look better.

Recently, I tried the Classic Fella Boxer Briefs. I am gonna start the review by saying this – there are two things a person should not try to save money on. One is a haircut, the other is underwear. The elephant in the room – this offering is at the top of market in terms of price point. But the elephant is worth the extra peanuts. Here’s why.

Waistband. It stays put. I don’t know what happened in the design, but the waistband doesn’t fold over on itself or slide up and down. You know those socks you have that you never have to pull up but you can’t find them at an outlet? This is that.

Inseam. They fit all body types (and take it from me, I have had a few body types).

But finally. I’ve done Hanes, Fruit, blah blah blah. This fabric (Italian milled cotton) MOVES with you. Underwear is not something you want to be remined you have on. It breathes, it moves where it is supposed to move and it stays put where it is supposed to stay put.

Try a pair. You will be back. These are actual garments. Of the same quality as your best tie. And if you wouldn’t skimp on what you put around your neck, then you should certainly not skimp on what you put around…

There is underwear that comes in the same packaging as the sandwich you buy out of a vending machine, and then there is underwear that is a garment. A piece of clothing, stitched and designed and packaged and sold as a piece of clothing, not coffee-break fare.

Here, one pair. Build a WHOLE wardrobe.

19 Comments on "Can We Talk Boxers?"

  1. At another site, I was reading about the abandonment of the Senate dress code. I jumped over to Ivy Style for relief only to find an article extoling boxer briefs. I must be in an alternate universe.

    • Fear not. The Senate Dress Code is being covered later this week in an Amazing Tom compilation. It’s not an alternate universe, it is an EXPANDING one.

  2. I do tuck in my undershirt. It makes everything else easier. I miss the PX/BX. They usually have/had good quality basics, including over-the-calf dress socks.

  3. And btw, chlorine bleach ruins elastic.

  4. Edward Aisthorpe | September 19, 2023 at 10:34 am |

    There are few things greater in this world than a good fitting pair of boxers. Marks and Spencers can usually be relied upon for underwear.

  5. Boxer shorts — aka “skivvy drawers” — were REQUIRED when I was in a military long long long long long ago (most new cars sold in those days had manual transmissions, and the headlight dimmer switch on the floor to the left of the clutch pedal). They were also REQUIRED when my father was in the military much longer ago. I believe boxer shorts have been around for eons.

  6. The Amazing Tom | September 19, 2023 at 12:32 pm |

    When I was young Marine officer, no one wore boxers.
    I love SAXX boxer briefs. Tommy John is pretty good too as are Under Armour Charged Cotton ones.

  7. James H. Grant | September 19, 2023 at 3:00 pm |

    Really? Until I Googled ‘boxer-briefs’ ten minutes ago, I did not even know what they were. I cannot imagine wearing those to a toga party — or anywhere else as far as that goes. Give me the old “free hangers” (boxer shorts) in 100% cotton blue Oxford cloth (white with seersucker) or Scottish tartan. When I went into the Air Force in 1967, we were issued seven pairs of white boxer shorts. The drill instructor said, “I better not catch you all in those jockey training pants after today or you will be scrubbing the latrine floor with your toothbrush.” I took him at his word and never looked back.

  8. Latex allergy forced me to return to the all cotton boxer.

  9. Charlottesville | September 19, 2023 at 4:01 pm |

    I note that for fogey holdouts, such as me, they also produce a traditional oxford cloth boxer.

  10. Andre Agassii, not the Russian spelling

  11. Hardbopper
    Don’t use bleach on cotton to whiten, it destroys the fabric. Jockey will tell you to pre- wash cotton underware with a cup of white vinegar, then wash in cold water.

    Boxer briefs look like girdles for men. There is absolutely nothing Ivy about American Gigolo.

    • I believe I made the point that AG is not Ivy.

    • Thanks Mac. I did not know about white vinegar. Would that work for OCBDs as well? As we speak, I’m doing a load of shirts, a couple of white towels and undies, in cold water. I use Spray&Wash Stick for ring around the collar. It helps, but not what I would like.

  12. John, I take it you mean that the Gere film* signalled the resurgence of boxer short, surely?
    Boxer shorts were the default men’s underpants in the early C20, as you know. The knit ‘tighty-whiteys’, ‘briefs’, ‘Y-fronts’ then took over in mid-C20 and in the 198-0s the boxer shorts made their triumphal comeback.

    ()*: ‘American Gigolo’, as you point out, is not Ivy but I do think it was an integral part of the 1980s return to a sense of elegance and style which, together with Ms Birnach’s volume, a slew of period films, etc. gave #classicmenswear, among other fineries, a reprieve from final oblivion.

  13. I think sports had something to do with the creation of boxer briefs. They provide more support than regular boxers while still avoiding the festering, rash-breeding swamp endemic to slingshots and (gasp!) jocks.

  14. Try linen boxers. Lighter and cooler than cotton. You can get made in USA. I’ve been pleased.

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