What Makes Underwear Breathable? Design, Comfort, and Material

What Makes Underwear Breathable? Design, Comfort, and Material

Underwear is arguably one of the most personal and private decisions in menswear because only very few people will see it, yet it’s worn daily, all day, right next to the skin. As such, comfort is crucial in underwear, and while many gents prefer one kind over another, the truth is that there are a few things that should be considered when finding the perfect pair. 

In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know to track down the best undies for you. With breathability and comfort in mind, let’s get started!

But first, where the hell did all of these underwear options come from, anyway?

We’ll tell you.

The History of Men’s Underwear Options 

Men’s undies have come quite a long way from the good ol’ leather loincloth and codpiece. Today, guys have plenty of options when it comes to protecting the family jewels. From practical comfort to pure fashion statements and everything in between, skivvies choices abound.

Boxer Shorts 

Ideal for catching some zzz’s, men’s boxers provide room to feel the cool air breeze. While this type of undie traditionally doesn’t provide much support, they are quite comfy. 

Boxer shorts were originally developed in the 1920s by a little ol’ company we all know and love today as Everlast, a boxing brand that wanted to switch from traditional sweat-inducing—and not to mention uncomfortable—leather shorts to boxer shorts made of a cotton blend. However, even with this progress, men’s bloomers still needed an upgrade. 

Briefs 

Jockey shorts, tighty-whities, briefs. Love them or hate them, these bad boys have been around since 1935 by Cooper’s Inc. Great for skinny hipster jeans, men’s briefs provide easy access and less bunching than boxer shorts while also providing full coverage.

Long Johns 

Long johns, also known as thermal undies, is a choice for the outdoorsman or simply a dude freezing his nuts off in the cold. Trapping heat and insulating the body against below freezing temps, this type of underwear can be made from a wide variety of material blends. Halting from England during the 17th century, men’s long johns didn’t really get popular until the 18th century when it came to sleeping options. 

Oh, and fun fact: they were supposedly named after an infamous knife fighter who enjoyed taking on adversaries in his underpants. You, too, can be a “long john,’ but perhaps leave the knife at home. 

Jockstraps 

Jockstraps were first invented around the late 19th century for cyclists and overall sporty vices. The term “jock’ is actually derived from “jock strap,” which means a strap for athletes,’ err, goods. Providing full front coverage with room for a protective guard, jockstraps are open in the back and have elastic waistbands and thigh bands. They can also be used as men’s lingerie if they wish because, well, ladies can’t have all the fun in that market!

Thongs, Bikinis, and G-Strings 

There are some gentlemen out there who enjoy the look and feel of a thong, bikini, or even a g-string, but it’s definitely not for everybody. Typically, these types of undies work best for men with exceptionally well-sculpted bodies who relish the look of it.

The bikini or mantie is a smaller style of brief, also sometimes called a micro brief. They expose the entire thigh, still providing full butt coverage with a small front pouch. 

The thong is a little different. It offers a confined space in the front connected by thin fabric strips, leaving the butt totally exposed, ooh-la-la!

And lastly, the g-string is a minimalist version of the thong that literally shows as much skin as humanly possible. Usually made of nylon or spandex, they can be slightly more expensive than other styles (regardless of not using very much fabric) due to the materials used.

These types of undies started to become popular around the late 20th century. 

Boxer Briefs 

And lastly, the good ol’ boxer brief! Popularized in the 1990s, this popular type of undie provides the best of both worlds in the boxer vs. brief debacle. Supportive while providing full coverage and a more modern look, these players hug in all the right places. 

Optimal for guys of any shape and size, boxer briefs will keep Junior snug and secure. Modern boxer briefs like the ones found at Culprit have the added benefits of advanced fabrics for key properties such as stretch, breathability, and moisture-wicking. 

Choosing The Best Fabric 

Speaking of fabric….

When picking the very best undies on the market, there are three crucial factors that made the most impact: support, comfort, and breathability. 

The majority of undie brands, by default, use jersey and cotton. However, with the advancement of the textiles industry, modern fabrics have sprung into the picture. And these are all pretty well-known for keeping your boys dry and cool. 

Cotton 

Let’s start with the classic fabric: cotton. 

Cotton-made undies are naturally soft, breathable, and comfortable, as well as hypoallergenic. Some say it’s the king of fabrics for underwear. However, cotton is highly absorbent and takes a while to dry, which can be a problem if you’re a heavy sweater. Sweaty balls and stank, anyone? No, thank you. 

Jersey 

Jersey is another traditionally used fabric for men’s bloomers. It is plenty soft as well as lightweight with a very natural stretch. But when choosing stretchy undies, make sure the pair yields higher elasticity. This way, your hips, waist, and man-goods all receive the support they need. 

Silk 

Now here’s yet another popular and classic choice! However, silk underpants are currently on the verge of becoming extinct because the fabric is not really all that great for undies. It’s very delicate and highly susceptible to wearing out quickly. Nevertheless, you should know that silk undies offer incredible breathability and lightness. 

Polyester 

Polyester is a thin fabric that delivers great support giving cotton fans a run for their money. Moreover, polyester is almost 50% thinner in comparison to cotton. So if you plan on rocking tight pants or skinny jeans, you can choose polyester undies to avoid pesky undie-lines. But keep in mind that polyester is not as absorbent or breathable as cotton, so it tends to stick to perspiring skin, making it not an ideal choice for sweaty boys. 

Micromodal 

In terms of fabric softness, nothing comes even close to micromodal. In fact, this luxe fabric is more absorbent than cotton, with the same buttery feel as silk, which explains why this material feels so deliciously soft against the skin. And the best part? Its closed-loop manufacturing process dramatically reduces waste and energy use, so when you purchase undies made of this superior fabric, you’re helping the planet, too. 

So, Which Style And Material is Best?

At the end of the day, it’s all about preference, but for the guys looking for support without giving up comfort, boxer briefs are without a doubt the best choice. And as for material, it’s pretty easy to see that micromodal is superior. 

Super soft to the touch and more absorbent than cotton-- if you ask us, micromodal is the bee’s knee! Just be sure to find a pair like the ones at Culprit Underwear that uses a powerful blend of 95% ultra-breathable micro modal and 5% Lycra fabric for stretch, superior comfort, and unparalleled durability, 

A Final Word 

So, what makes underwear so breathable, you ask? 

The fabric and materials used, of course!

At the end of the day, it really boils down to preference. But if you’re a dude looking for extreme comfort while supporting your junk, boxer briefs were made for you! Additionally, look for high-quality materials like micromodal and lycra for undies that are ultra-breathable to keep you cool where it matters most, your balls. 

Culprit Underwear comes in one cut—the perfect form-fitting boxer brief. Crafted using the highest quality micromodal fabric on the market, made in the beautiful USA, and eco-friendly, Culprit is your lucky pair engineered for everyday use. 

Give your meat and potatoes the love they deserve and check out Culprit today!

 

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/loincloth

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-brief-history-of-the-codpiece-the-personal-protection-for-renaissance-equipment

https://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/homestyle/10/27/mf.men.underwear.history/