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A Brief Survey


Men’s underwear has evolved far beyond the simple boxers-versus-tighty-whiteys duality. Briefs now claim to be high-tech, ecofriendly, supportive yet not claustrophobic, and of course … enhancing. An enthusiastic panel of boxer-wearing co-workers went against type to test twenty pairs of the knit variety to see which of the newest man-panties are worth the wear.

Calvin Klein Gripper Trunk
Aside from the “bizarrely wide, glittery waistband,” our panelist liked the mesh look. “They flatter the butt cleavage, like a Wonderbra for your bum.” The tester didn’t love the fit, though. “They were cut like the underside of a wrestling singlet, which made them a bit uncomfortable to sit in” ($22 at Calvin Klein Underwear, 104 Prince St., nr. Greene St.; 212-274-1639).

2(x)ist Soy Contour Pouch Brief
The narrow cut and powdery blue-and-green colors of these environmentally friendly briefs (they’re made from soybeans) struck our tester as a bit feminine, but the prominent crotch pouch brought back a masculine feel. And the fit? “Like you’re wearing nothing at all,” he said ($19.50 at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., at 50th St.; 212-753-4000).

Techwick Lightweight Boxer Brief
The breathable, moisture-wicking fabric worked for our reviewer. “I was running around in the rain all day, but the weather in my pants was totally dry,” he said. The fit, not so much. “They’re a bit constricting. I’d like to have a little more breathing room” ($20 at Eastern Mountain Sports, 591 Broadway, nr. Houston St.; 212-966-8730).

H&M Boxer Brief
“They seemed a little tight at first,” but after a while, our critic forgot he was wearing them. The design wasn’t such a hit. “My wife thought the racing stripe on each side was ridiculous.” The fabric didn’t do well in the laundry: “The black pair turned brown after one wash” ($19.90 for a three-pack at H&M, 640 Fifth Ave., at 51st St.; 212-489-0390).

Emporio Armani Boxer Brief
Best Value
The logo struck our tester as too prominent, but he liked the fit: “Very streamlined, but with enough extra space in the crotch to allow for some freedom. No wedgies, no riding.” They’re cut for “skinny, assless men like myself” ($19.50 at Emporio Armani, 601 Madison Ave., at 57th St.; 212-317-0800).

Hanro Modern Boxer Brief
Pricey, but the pants-down winner. Swiss brand Hanro is known for its fine-cotton-knit women’s lingerie, but our tester raved about his briefs. “A really nice cut, a comfortable fit, and they didn’t ride at all. They contour to your body.” How deep was his love? “I kept them on for two days” ($64, starting February 1, at Saks Fifth Avenue).


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