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How to choose the right underwear for literally any occasion

Your underwear is a critical fashion choice. Frankly, if you don’t put the same thought into your skivvies that you do into every other piece of clothing, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice. 

But you may have noticed that underwear options have exploded over the last few years. Trunks, briefs, boxers, thongs, boxer briefs… which is right for you? And what style should you pick when you’re gearing up for a workout / day at the office / chill evening at home, etc.? If you feel overwhelmed, we’ve got your back. This handy little guide will help you get savvy about your top drawer.

Doing physical labor: Boxer briefs

If your job involves a lot of bending, lifting, and moving, you need sturdy undies that can keep up with a little sweat. They should also be form-fitting to offer plenty of support. Tommy John’s Cool Cotton collection is durable enough to stay in one piece but designed to handle a lot more moisture than the cotton undies of yesteryear.

Doing office work: Trunks or briefs

But what if you’re working at a desk? You still need all the comfort you can get - but that means less material, and lighter material. When you’re sitting for extended periods, smaller skivvies - either trunks or classic briefs - will leave you comfy and airy. For the best material, check out our Second Skin briefs. They’re silky soft, and the breathability can keep you feeling cool even in stuffy work slacks. During the heat of the summer, these boxer briefs will help you banish swamp-crotch for good.

Hitting the gym: Briefs or boxer briefs

When you’re planning on going full speed, there are two major factors you want to look for in your underwear: Support and sweat control. (It’s also crucial that you bring a fresh pair of underwear to put on after your post-workout shower.)

For support in men’s underwear, that means skipping the boxers and choosing something with more support. Briefs or boxer briefs will keep you supported upfront and in the rear, as you move, climb, hop, or squat. For sweat control, check out the 360 Sport collection for sports underwear with fabric that can keep you dry, no matter how intense your perspiration gets. 

For women’s underwear, opt for fuller coverage panties. There’s a time and place to get cheeky with a thong, but the gym isn’t really one of them. Choose a style that will keep your booty from uncomfortable bouncing and that will stay in place with you no matter how intense your stretching is. For fabric, shop Tommy John’s Air Collection - it’s a light, breathable fabric that dries in a flash and is guaranteed not to show through your workout pants. 

Skinny Jeans and other tight clothes: Briefs, thongs, or boyshorts

Nothing ruins the sleek look of your favorite pair of skinny jeans like a visible underwear line showing through. The same goes for silky dress pants or skirts. Visible underwear line (aka VPL - visible panty line) is a hazard for men and women alike, as it can make you seem sloppy no matter how clean your outfit is otherwise. For men, properly sized form-fitting briefs will be perfectly invisible under skinny jeans or tight slacks. To find your proper size, view our underwear size chart.

For women, thongs are the ultimate in discreet underwear. They’re usually invisible under even the tightest dresses, skirts, and form-fitting pants. But if you’re wearing skinny jeans, boyshorts can give you a bit of extra protection from denim. And because they reach farther down your thigh, the seam may even be more discreet than briefs

Tommy John’s Air Invisible collection offers underwear that won’t show panty lines regardless of style or cut. No matter what you’re wearing, these skivvies stay perfectly hidden.

Lounging around: Boxers or classic briefs

When you’ve got nothing on your agenda but chilling, you should celebrate with the comfiest pair of underwear in your dresser. This is where boxers can shine brightest. There’s nothing like the breezy, open-ended nature of old-school boxers to keep comfy while you sprawl and laze the day away.

Both ladies’ and men’s briefs have gotten a bad rap for looking dated, but they’re actually a cozy choice for a lazy day. There’s less fabric on your legs so you have more freedom to stretch and move, and they do a great job of keeping everything in place. Tommy John has given an essential update to this classic style for men and women, perfect for a quiet sunday.

Date night: Whatever makes you feel sexy

When you’re vibing with another person, there’s nothing more important than confidence. That might mean skivvies you feel comfortable being seen in. It might also mean stepping out of your comfort zone.

Let’s review the options: High waisted undies with a high cut lengthen your legs. Form-fitting undies with rear coverage can give your butt a boost. If you have a naturally round rump, a thong is a spicy way to capitalize on it. Trunks can help guys show a little more thigh. And hey, if you feel most comfortable in old-school boxer shorts? Wear them. Tonight is about underwear that makes you feel sexy in your own skin.

No matter what style you choose, don’t wear old, tattered undies! Even if you have no plans to disrobe, you deserve better. 

The bottom line

When it comes to premium men's underwear, a stylish look is only part of the battle. Underwear should also fit like a dream and be cozy no matter what the occasion is. If you’re fighting to keep your underwear in place or dealing with itching and irritation at the seams, it’s time for an upgrade. Shop Tommy John’s collection today to find your perfect fit.