Looking fashionably spick and span is an art many people have mastered, but closer scrutiny reveals that the allure not only lies on the outside, but on the inside too, courtesy of the under wear.
Back when underwear items were simply to be worn and not talked about, the rules were broken when actor Mark Wahlberg became the face of Calvin Klein underwear in a fashion advert that flaunted the CK brand of boxers and made him extremely famous.
Besides showing off Mark's well-toned physique, which had hitherto not been seen in his music videos as a member of the Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, the advert unveiled a new era of "underwear advertising" ushering them into the spotlight as fashionable pieces that magazines and billboards swiftly took up.
While most men would assume that boxers and briefs are an everyday wear with a fraction choosing to go without, many men tend to overlook the basics and the advantages that a well-picked out underwear provides.
You wouldn't think there would be a lot to learn about underwear apart from wear it, change it, wash it, repeat — but there is actually more than that involved.
Perhaps a few tips on "underwear basics" will help give a second thought the next time you go shopping, after all, these under garments help to protect the ever treasured "family jewels".
So, is it boxers or briefs?
Even as the range of under garments varies from common briefs -- broken down in to mid-rise, low-rise, high-rise, boxer briefs -- to the rare men's G-strings and thongs, boxers and briefs take the biggest share of the crotch market with most men owning either of the two.
For ages, many have been spoilt for choice between the two with debates being held over which of them is a better pick. Well, if at all one feels too confused, the boxer briefs are a good place to start as they incorporate both aspects fashionably.
However, an intrusive look into the debate reveals that boxers are lightweight loose shorts with an elastic waist and an open/button up fly that hangs loosely without offering any snugness or support. These aspects make them a favourite thanks to the comfort and aeration they offer.
But wearers have to be keen enough to avoid 'boxer bunching' (showing through one's pants). What many may overlook is that boxers give more breathing room while briefs give one support, thus picking any of the two is a matter of personal choice and preference.
Contrary to popular belief that briefs may lower one's fertility, medical research has proven that only the "tighter briefs" may cause such effects so if you can pick the right fits, you are good to go.
Comfort is key when it comes to picking your boxers and briefs, after all you are stuck in them for as long as you prefer and like most men with 8 to 5 work schedules, a whole 8 hours or more.
Fabric type plays a vital role in determining how comfortable the underwear feels on your body. The best option is to pick soft fabric that can breathe, and has the right amount of stretch to it.
Cotton is the most commonly preferred material thanks to its lightweight feel and breathing capabilities. Additionally, it can stretch out easily, making it comfortable to move around in.
Thanks to modern-day busy schedules, most men go for comfort first, and it is no wonder that most designers prefer using cotton for their underwear creations. The downside to cotton is that, it wears out pretty fast and may fit poorly over time because of its stretching capabilities.
Talking about soft and breathable, silk fabric comes in as the second most popular because of its comfort and cooling effect. Silk may not work well with briefs but is fine with boxers.
Their light and breathable nature makes them a favourite for many and can be worn casually during those lazy days in the house.
The flipside to the silk however is that woven silk may not have too much stretch to it, and may not absorb moisture too well too, thus making "sweat" in the nether regions an issue.
Fortunately, many designers are handling this quite well by blending the silk with stronger fibres to enhance its versatility while still ensuring that it stays light and breathable.
While cotton and silk stay on top of the drawer, so to write, first timers and those with inadequate underwear know-how may find themselves settling for synthetic fibres which range from nylon, acrylic to polyester.
Their downside is that they do not breathe too well and may be quite uncomfortable for day-to-day wear. In tropical climates, wearing this material may prove arduous as they absorb heat and do not offer the much desired cooling effect.
A few quick ways to know what works best for you on a daily basis would be that if you're the athletic type, and if you need that extra support, go for the briefs as they help to keep the family jewels in place.
Stock up on an assortment of underwear as this may help whenever you need a quick change up. Impressively, some men wear up to three different pairs of underwear a day: boxers to work, briefs to the gym and a third pair after showering, thus you should always go for whatever suits your daily lifestyle.
If at you feel undecided, get the best of both worlds by giving boxer briefs a try. Not only do they give you a peek into the boxer and briefs world, but women love their sex appeal.