What Your Underwear Says About You

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What Your Underwear Says About You

Words by Ms Jodie Harrison

7 June 2020

Getting naked is fun, isn’t it? Especially if you’re lucky enough to have company. It’s the penultimate reward of a job well done. You’ve done excellently so far at wooing them into this moment. You’ve dedicated weeks texting them within two minutes of them texting you. You’ve used emojis to help you translate those things you often find entirely untranslatable: your emotions (the tempura prawn is your current favourite). You’ve taken them to so many new restaurants your credit card is hot enough to sauté kale on. You’ve even met their work friends, ex-boyfriends and parents. Now it’s naked time… almost. There’s just that last hurdle to overcome: your underwear.

There’s nothing quite like a person being near to naked to really highlight the paltry sheath between them and, well, complete nakedness. It’s just you and your pants. Which is why they need to speak volumes about the man under them. So be honest – if you saw your underpants for the first time, what would you make of them? Read on to see which pant camp you fall into (and hopefully not out of) for when that special moment, erm, arises.

You like short shorts. You like shorts so short, in fact, that they are actually now referred to as “briefs”. Why? Well it should be obvious. You are utterly ripped, a Renaissance muse in the waiting, a visual gift for anyone lucky enough to get this close. The brief allows your finely tuned oblique muscles to “pop” and, in white, it really offsets your bronzed skin tone. In summary – you’ve got the body, so this revealing style is nothing less than a lone sailboat on an ocean of dreaminess. Aside from the obligatory hours in the gym, whitening detergent is a must when wearing this style, because nothing says “keep out” like a pair of saggy discoloured underpants. Black might be a safer option, albeit slightly less magnificent.

A perfect fit: for keen sportsmen looking for precious support, or lovers of skinny jeans.

Shop briefs here

You’re a traditional type who enjoys the open air, Sunday mornings and… ironing. Yep, the truth is, boxer shorts look their best when pressed, so unless you have a genuine affection for getting steamy with your Philips GC2040 (an alluring name, it must be said), these are not the drawers you are looking for. If you do, then bravo, because there are lots of options available from designers such as Derek Rose, Emma Willis and Sunspel. The extra fabric and looser cut allow for a little more playfulness in terms of print (patterns on tighter styles are just asking for trouble).

A perfect fit: for the sartorial type who likes his trousers loose and his style sharp. Also complementary to those generous of waist.

Shop boxers here

For you, boxer briefs are the modern choice. They combine the best of both worlds, suited to most body types and holding everything in place without drawing too much attention (yes, we’re looking at you, Mr Tighty-Whitey). They are undoubtedly snug, however, so are best avoided if you are, shall we say, an early riser and don’t want to scare the old lady who lives opposite your bedroom window. If you are willing to invest, look no further than German underwear label Schiesser. For the past 130 years it has been crafting well-made underwear in appealing subdued colours with comfort and quality at the forefront of its designs. The connoisseur’s choice, in our humble opinion.

A perfect fit: for the casual, understated type who wears both slim and loose trouser shapes.

Shop boxer briefs here

An aspiring comic, you like your underwear to be an extension of your “colourful” personality. You miss the glory days of your teens when you could adorn your manliness in an array of Looney Tunes characters or cleverly positioned arrows and get away with it. Nowadays, women don’t seem to find it funny. Admittedly, the “Large Package Handle With Care” pair were a mistake on a first date. That lady from accounts now eyes you with pity every time you go to the post room (genuinely large packages actually exist there). Patterns and prints should be a satisfactory replacement, but who are they kidding? Paisley over a pair that says “Pull Down in an Emergency”? Pah!

A perfect fit: for no one. Anywhere. Ever. If pattern appeals, however, the likes of TOM FORD can help.

This is always something of a surprise for anyone on the giving end of an impromptu trouser rummage: no underpants. You are a fast-and-loose type who enjoys the feeling of freedom and life on the edge. You are also, undoubtedly, not Jewish. Sans pants is a choice best suited to those desensitised to cotton, canvas, wool or (and we cringe at the thought) zips. Luckily for you, sweatpants are now widely accepted and encouraged, especially when paired with a softly tailored jacket or coat. Zip-free and comfy has never felt so good. Just don’t, we beg you, go running like that.

A perfect fit: for men without shame. Sure, it may seem like the liberal and thrifty choice, but rest assured, what you save in underwear you spend in trouser laundering.

Shop sweatpants here

Who, what, underwear

Illustrations by Mr Joe McKendry