Men may care less about their underwear than they do their socks, but a good pair should support and flatter. It’s also important that it breathe and avoid chafing. In recent years, a slew of direct-to-consumer brands have been reimagining men’s underwear, creating a wealth of choice — but it’s essential to know your preferences before stocking up. We spoke to stylists, fitness experts and men who know their underwear well to determine the best options based on fit, comfort and style.

Men’s underwear has traditionally been a private garment. Historically, it has been “pressed close to the body without being visible in public,” as sociologist Valerie Steele writes in her book ‘Clothing and Sexuality’. But since the 1950s, men’s underwear has become more and more visible, largely thanks to innovations in fabric and an emphasis on style and attractiveness in advertising and popular culture representations.

Loincloths – a single piece of cloth tied around the waist – were the first and primary form of men’s underwear dating back 7,000 years. Prehistoric men wore loincloths for protection and style.

Boxer shorts are the classic underwear style, worn since your dad was a lad, and so called because they look like the shorts boxers wear. They’re skin tight but not restrictive, and a great undergarment for most men.

Long boxer briefs are a variation on the standard boxer brief with a longer leg (3cm, 6cm or 9cm on the thigh) that’s favoured by those who want more coverage or have larger thigh circumferences. They’re a good choice for cold weather sports and work. men’s bamboo underwear

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