If you spend much time shopping or buying men’s underwear/gear online, you have probably noticed that many vendors offer sizing charts, or similar information, to assist guys in making their purchase. The reason is simple. Different underwear brands and undergear styles differ significantly in size and fit, depending upon a number of considerations. Even the same brands differ in how they fit from style to style (e.g., briefs to boxer briefs) or fabric to fabric (e.g., cotton versus lycra)
Add to this complexity the prices charged for men’s underwear and gear, and it is unfortunate that not all online vendors offer sizing or other information to their customers. Even when they do, it is often unclear or not easily located on their website.
As a courtesy to our readers, we have provided some further information which you may find helpful when shopping online for underwear or undergear. Remember, however much you may like the looks of a particular item on a model, in the end, it’s how that item suits you!
This information is one of our ongoing projects. We will update this page from time to time. We wholeheartedly encourage you to suggest updates you feel would be helpful to readers interested in this page’s topics, in particular. Finally, our goal here is to help educate our readers about underwear or undergear that shows off their best, not to receive some a gain. We have no relationships, financial or otherwise, with any vendor named below, and nothing was given or promised to us for including the name of any such vendor. We disclose all such relationships when making any recommendations or publishing reviews.
One Sizing Chart Does Not Fit All
One of the first dilemmas you encounter is the “one sizing chart fits all” problem…Consider this sizing chart, which is from the website of a leading online vendor.
I have personally bought different brands and styles of both underwear and swimwear from this vendor. I can personally attest that their sizing chart is not accurate – or even particularly helpful – across the many brands and styles that this vendor carries.
One site that does a particularly good job of sizing its offerings is StevenEven.com, a site not found among the “usual suspects” in online underwear shopping. Nevertheless, this site offers an easy-to-follow sizing chart for about 7 different underwear/swimwear brands.
Most notably, among the brands on its sizing chart, you will find:
Check out StevenEven.com for its other brands’ sizing information, which are displayed similarly to those above.
Size Is One Thing, But How Does Your Gear Fit?
Size is not the only consideration when choosing the right underwear or undergear. How many times have you purchased an item online, knowing the correct dimensions, only to discover at home that it fits too snug in certain places, making it uncomfortable and uncomplimentary? Or, perhaps, you discovered it was too roomy where you wanted something more form fitting? We all have, and it is disappointing.
The problem of snug versus roomy often relates not just to size, but also the “fit” of the item. When choosing an item, watch out for descriptions indicating that the item is “European cut/fit” versus “American cut/fit.” If a vendor says it’s products are more of a European fit, typically, they mean it is more contoured, form fitting or snug.
Other vendors may say the item “runs small.” For example, note how StevenEven.com’s sizing charts above clearly state if the underwear brand “runs small.” Although this is just another way of stating that the item is going to fit snugly right out of the package, in my opinion, this is the best way to convey this information to the customer.
Typically, if you want a bit roomier fitting item, most sites suggest that you go up a size when purchasing, as does StevenEven.com. Another site that makes similar recommendations regarding its line is GoSoftwear
Underwear or Under-What?
In addition to size and fit, the style and even the fabric or other material used, can affect whether an underwear brand or style of gear looks good on you. It goes without saying that a boxers fit and feel differently than briefs, or even boxer briefs. That’s a no-brainer, right? However, not even briefs made by the same designer, if made from different fabrics, will necessarily fit right, or make you look equally as good.
For example, if you have ever purchased Calvin Klein’s Body Hip Brief, you know that it wears differently than CK’s Micro Modal Lycra Bikini Brief, even though both are categorized (rightly so) as briefs and even though made by the same designer.
See the two Calvin Klein briefs below, Body Hip Brief on the left, Micro Modal Lycra Bikini Brief on the right:
Vendors Offering Comprehensive Information To Customers
A vendor offering comprehensive information to its underwear or undergear customers is one that provides information or charts related to size/fit, style and fabrics – not just one or two of these categories.
One example of a site offering comprehensive information is HisRoom. Their website has a “men’s fitting room” link that provides really useful information about size, fit, and fabrics – both for bottoms and tops (which, in this case, means something slightly different).
More examples of vendors providing useful sizing, styling or other information to its customers are: More websites and links will be added in the near future. Check back soon.
This page was last updated on December 26, 2013