When I started out as a journalist, I didn’t think this would be my beat. Six months into my men’s underwear experiment, I couldn’t be happier about this unexpected detour in my fledgling career…
What I thought would be a pretty straightforward process — figuring out the most-loved Aussie underwear brands, loading up a cart, getting them delivered, and taking them for a spin — quickly turned into a far more daunting task than I’d anticipated. Why? Because there’s a lot more to men’s underwear than meets the eye…
It’s not just a case of figuring out your size and favourite colour. Fit, support, fabrics, comfort levels, design and — even more importantly — sustainability credentials all come into play. That’s before you even get started on the purchasing experience, packaging, delivery, and customer service. Sometimes, none of these things even matter and a pair will simply grab you the grounds of having a good vibe.
And yet, never easily deterred, I soldiered on, trying out 15 different pairs for over 6 months each in a quest to deliver DMARGE’s readers with an honest and unabashed analysis of the best underwear available in the antipodean world. I want you all to feel well-supported and well-informed in equal measure.
Whether or not the extensive time and effort invested in this mission will be up to you dear reader, not me. All I know is that I’ve tried my very best to distil six months of effort into a few pithy and to-the-point lines so that you can make an educated decision. Read on and see what you think.
Short for time? Here are the Take-Aways
|Best Overall:||Tradie – No Chafe Boxer|
|Best For Exercise:||Lululemon – Built To Move Boxer|
|Best Value:||Uniqlo – AIRism Boxer|
|Best For Relaxing:||Uniqlo – Supima Boxer|
|Cheekiest:||Knobby – Bamboo Staples Boxer|
|Best For Sustainability:||Stonemen – Essential Boxer Brief|
|Best Pouch:||Sparx – Classic Bamboo Boxer|
|Best Bamboo Boxers:||Boody – Everyday Boxer|
Why Trust Us?
As I said above, there’s a whole rat of factors to consider when choosing the best men’s undies, factors I didn’t even realise existed until after this experiment began. That’s why I initially set out to try and test each pair for a whopping 24 hours so that I could get acquainted and give you a review of how it performed in a range of different activities.
However, it soon became clear that 24 hours wasn’t going to cut the mustard. That’s why I’ve returned with an update after six months of extensive use which you can see below — was divided into three main states of activity, which included resting, light movement, and intense exercise.
When resting, I was primarily looking for comfort and support. Light movement included anything beyond the bounds of my own home but excluding the walls of the gym; office work, committing, going to the supermarket, and such.
Finally, intense exercise was all about hitting the gym or heading for a run, which are my two main forms of exercise. This puts a high stress on the underwear’s ability to provide comfort and support while also giving its moisture-wicking capabilities a good t too.
TLDR: Each pair of underwear was evaluated for a range of important criteria including but not necessarily limited to quality of fabric, fit, level of support provided, breathability, moisture-wicking capabilities, eco-friendly and organic cotton credentials, as well as overall comfort. Factors such as the waistband design, placement of seams, and level of elasticity were also considered.
The 6-Month Update
After 6 months of non-stop usage, I thought it would be worth updating this guide with two things:
- First, I’ve updated the list below with a couple of new pairs that I’ve tried out (including the iconic Calvin Klein) and re-jigged the running order to reflect my personal rankings.
- Second, I wanted to share which underwear brands and styles are still in regular rotation, how they are holding up, and which pairs have, sadly, been cast into the rubbish bin for not meeting the long-term benchmark…
9 tried and tested pairs remain after 6 months in rotation while the following pairs have all been gotten rid of…
- Mitchdowd – Basic Hipster Trunk
- Bonds – Guyfront Trunk
- Tradie – Man Front Trunk
- Sparx – Classic Bamboo Boxer
- Bonds – Total Package Trunk
- Debriefs – Short Leg Trunk
Our Definitive List Of The Best Men’s Underwear Available In Australia
Mitchdowd - Basic Hipster Trunk
Rick Astley was still a chart-topper when Mitch Dowd burst on the undergarments scene in 1987 with their then-revolutionary hand-painted boxers. After selling 150 pairs in his first week — and a hell of a lot more after that — the business we know today was born. After a big expansion in 1993, it quickly became an industry leader in the antipodean world. And yet…
I think we can all agree that when it comes to underwear, comfort is key. That’s why I was excited to try out these boxer shorts that were advertised as soft and snug-fitting. Upon trying them, I have to say that I was not disappointed in the slightest… at first. The fabric was incredibly soft to the touch and felt great against my skin. The snug fit around the waist and thigh also gave me a sense of security and support that is essential in any good pair of underwear.
However, as the day wore on, I started to notice that they were beginning to bunch up considerably. By the end of the day, they had ridden up so much that they felt more like skimpy briefs than actual boxers.
Despite this slight inconvenience, I still have to give props to the packaging. It was basic but sustainable, made from recycled materials, some derived from mushrooms. It’s great to see companies making an effort to be environmentally conscious, even when it comes to something as simple as packaging.
The bottom line: All in all, I would say that these boxers are definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a soft and snug-fitting pair of underwear. Just keep in mind that they may start to bunch up as the day wears on, but if you don’t mind a little bit of bunching, give these a shot.
Delivery Time: 3 Days – Morning Delivery
Stone Kin - Essential Boxer Brief
Stonekin (formerly Stonemen), born in Bondi but based in Byron, has undergone something of a metamorphosis in recent months and years. Specialising in curated prints on super-soft cottons, they put in some real hard yards to elevate men’s underwear in Australia. With a sincere focus on ethical production processes, the brand recently rebranded from’Sontmen’ to ‘Stonekin’ to keep its branding as inclusive and progressive as its manufacturing.
Stonekin boxer shorts should, theoretically, be an excellent addition to any wardrobe. Their USP is undeniably their softness; crafted from a blend of 95% cotton and 5% elastane, the material is incredibly soft to the touch. This makes them just as handy for lounging around at home and even sleeping in as they are for light activity throughout the day.
However, sizing is where these fall down. Not literally, quite the opposite, in fact: erring on the small side, these became uncomfortable to wear for an extended period, trucking up and causing friction in all the wrong places. If sustainability trumps comfort for you though, then their sustainable approach and packaging might be enough to win you around.
The bottom line: Stonekin boxer shorts are a top-drawer choice for anyone who prizes softness and sustainability above all else. While I found the sizing to be a bit leftfield, if you spent some time picking the perfect fit, I’m sure you’d be good to go.
Delivery Time: 5 Days – Morning Delivery
Bonds - Guyfront Trunk
Bonds hit a massive milestone this year: its 100-year anniversary. This alone should tell you a good deal about this brand as companies that don’t make their customers happy rarely stick around for so long. Initially a small manufacturer of women’s hosiery, the brand has since evolved into an Australian icon catering to the needs of Aussies everywhere, including blokes.
However… while the Gutfront Trunk may have felt pretty good to the touch, I really did encounter some issues with this particular pair of underwear.
Design-wise, these were decent but wholly unexceptional, lacking any standout features that caught my eye versus the other pairs in this ranking. Honestly, I found the waistband and pouch to be pretty unattractive. Far worse, however, was the fit: not only was the rise far too short for anyone who sits at the taller end of the spectrum (my lanky self very much included), but they tended to bunch up very quickly when exposed to any activity.
The nail in their coffin, however, was a terse review from my partner who described them as”unflattering”. Given she’s the only one who has to like my undies other than myself, they simply had to go.
The bottom line: While the Guyfront Trunk had a few positives to its name, mostly its association with an iconic Aussie brand, it fell way too short in a number of key areas to be ranked any higher.
Delivery Time: 4 Days — Morning Delivery
Tradie - Man Front Trunk
A relative newcomer to the illustrious world of men’s underwear, Tradie was founded by Ben Goodfellow in 2010 and has rapidly expanded from producing undies alone to offering Aussies a whole collection of workwear, boots, babywear, tools, drinks, and even beauty products.
Beyond boasting a unique and boundary-pushing company culture, Tradie’s main goal is to create comfortable and durable products that look as good as they feel while taking care of Mother Earth along the way.
What caught my eye first was the design of the Man Front Trunks; the brightly coloured waistband — I went for a light blue — adds a touch of youthful vibrancy to the boxers, a nice change of pace from many brands who try to be terribly serious about their product design. This colour follows through to the trim of the fly too, creating a well-rounded, elevated look.
However, this was as good as it got. The fit was fine but not exceptional. The fabric was fine but far from super-soft. Worst of all, they bunched up a lot throughout the day, which I simply can’t stand. In fairness, I may have been harsher on these because I had the opportunity to compare them directly with a far superior pair of Tradie underwear… see more below.
The bottom line: These weren’t the best trunks I tried and they certainly weren’t the best from this otherwise excellent brand. However, they’re still a very solid option for anyone who wants to add a vibrant pop of colour to their underwear drawer.
Delivery Time: 5 Days — Morning Delivery
Sparx - Classic Bamboo Boxer
A true rags to riches tale, the founder of SPARX began his career as a Deliveroo rider in Bondi, but hung up his big blue backpack after nearly getting hit by a bus and deciding it was time for a new direction… That venture turned into SPARX, an attempt to make men’s underwear that didn’t ruck up or chafe in the way that so many of them did, especially when you’re on two wheels. Now, SPARX is an industry leader in comfortable but performance-engineered underwear.
First impressions count in all areas of life and your underwear is no exception. SPARX did well in this regard with their boxers coming in exceptionally premium packaging which made up for a less-than-perfect delivery time. Upon opening up the black envelope in which they arrived, I was pleased to find three smaller packets, each containing an individual pair of underwear. Again, premium vibes.
SPARX’s USP is the unique pouch built into the front of the boxers, supposedly giving your crown jewels plenty of room to maneuver and preventing any unwanted, chafe-inducing contact with your thighs. I was sceptical about this but, I must admit, it worked exceptionally well. However, the price for functionality is paid by form, with the pouch eliciting some less-than-flattering comments from my partner. While I like the idea of the pouch, I don’t love being laughed out of my own home.
The bottom line: The odd-looking design was a detriment to an otherwise great pair of boxers that excelled, especially, in its premium packaging. If you’re less vain than me, I recommend giving these a try.
Delivery Time: 5 Days – Morning Delivery
Bonds - Total Package Trunk
For a deeper dive into the Bonds brand history, scroll up. For now, let’s focus on the second pair of their boxers I took for a long-term trial…
You’ll notice a trend in this list emerging very soon: sporty, performance-first boxers tend to rank much higher than their cotton counterparts, providing better support, sleeker design, and greater durability in the face of activity across the board.
This is the first example of that trend: these boxers were a far superior fit to the pair above with no riding-up or discomfort to mention, making them a great option for all-day wear. In terms of design, they felt equally elevated, the sporty look adding a cleanliness and streamlined dimension to the look that made me feel a little more sophisticated and out together throughout the day.
However, while these definitely have merits they ultimately felt like a less accomplished version of some high-ranking boxers on this list. Scroll down to see what I’m talking about… Regardless, I’d recommend you give these a try.
The bottom line: A solid choice from an iconic brand even if newcomers ultimately beat them at their own game.
Delivery Time: 4 Days — Morning Delivery
Debriefs - Short Leg Trunk
Launched in Sydney in 2017, Debriefs is the definition of a hungry challenger brand looking to take a chunk of the Australian underwear market for its own. Boasting “unmatched” comfort, durability, and sustainability in their approach, Debriefshas marked itself out as one to watch.
And straight out the gate, I was definitely impressed: the simple, clean design gives them a grown-up, mature vibe that some guys will gravitate towards. The boxers also have great moisture-wicking capabilities and a highly stretchable fabric that makes for a comfy experience. Their USP is the signature fly, designed for easier access closer to the waistband than you might be used to. Honestly, I thought this was a bit so-so, but it’s good to be different I guess.
However, I found the leg length to be a little lacking, leading to ruck-ups throughout the day. Plus, the signature fly, in addition to being a bit useless, also created a weird bagging and sagging of material around my prized parts; I didn’t love this as a look.
The bottom line: Debriefs are definitely worth considering for their clean look and comfy materials, even if the pouch is a bit leftfield.
Delivery Time: 2 Days — Morning Delivery
Calvin Klein - Cotton Stretch Trunk
Calvin Klein was my go-to underwear for many years before writing this article, so although I must confess a touch of nostalgic bias, I’ll do my best to write about them with an objectivity unimpeded by memories of my teenage years.
These are incredibly comfortable to wear. Made from 95% cotton with just enough elastane to keep you mobile, I know scores of men who swear by Calvin for their underwear. As well as being comfortable, the design is as classic and minimal as you’d expect from such an iconic label; the boxers are a plain colour — black being the most popular but with many available — and a waistband that either blends seamlessly with the body of the trunk or, should you so wish, contrast to provide a pop of colour.
Some could rightly criticise these for being, first, a little low-tech compared to some of the other brands out there and, second, a little pricey, especially considering their simplicity. However, simplicity is really what this underwear is all about: if you want a pair of underpants that look cool, feel cool, and do precisely what they say on the tin with no bells and whistles, it’s hard to go wrong.
They also arrived in an unoffensive little package made from recyclable materials within 4 days from order. While this isn’t exactly rapid, it’s exactly what they advertise, so I shan’t complain.
The bottom line: Very soft, very comfortable, and boasting all the benefits that come with wearing a very cool label across your waistband, these were my go-to underwear for many years and for good reason: they may be pricey, but they’re incredibly dependable.
Price: $33 ea. ($99 for 3-pack)
Delivery Time: 4 Days – Morning Delivery
Boody - Everyday Boxer
Boody’s founders David and Neil — who bring fashion and medical experience to the table respectively — have always said that the brand emerged from their shared passion and drive for widely accessible sustainable fabrics that support an everyday lifestyle, and everything to come out of the brand so far suggests that they’re on the right track. Always putting simple and effective designs ahead of trends and fads, this Sydney-based brand now sells in 15 countries and counting.
Sustainable and minimalistic packaging was the first big win for Boody, which also boasted some credentials of the products therein: hypoallergenic, thermoregulation, antibacterial and breathable… or so the magic box said.
After an extended trial run, I can safely say that they live up to all of these claims. Not only were they incredibly well-fitted through both leg and rise, negating any risk of riding up or bunching, but they were so comfortable that they came good on their promise of being “totally unnoticeable” in the best way possible.
However, the material was a little thinner than their competitors, meaning they wore out quite quickly over the six-month period. More surprising was the long label that came attached to the boxers which threatened to tickle my taint at every turn; I recommend cutting this out as soon as possible.
The bottom line: These are a strong recommend, even if the thin material means you might need to repurchase sooner than others.
Delivery Time: 4 Days — Afternoon Delivery
Uniqlo - Supima Boxer
Established as a textiles manufacturer way back in 1949, UNIQLO is a Japanese brand that has become ubiquitous in the world of everyday fashion. Now with over 1,000 storefronts around the world and increasingly mind-boggling sales figures online, textile production and quality remain at the heart of their mission. As a result, they’ve won the hearts and minds of shoppers around the world who hold them in high esteem as the go-to for wardrobe basics… including underwear.
Comfort is king, and these boxers certainly delivered on that front. Even better, they fit very nicely too, holding up well when resting, walking around, and even hitting the gym. Having said that, these wouldn’t rank as the single best pair for intense exercise — read on to see where that title goes – but these are brilliant all-rounders.
However, they let themselves down a little on packaging and delivery time; not only were they slow to arrive but the packaging seemed incredibly wasteful — not a good look in a sustainability-obsessed market.
Bottom line: Despite the drawbacks, they’re still incredible value at only $9.99 a pair, offering a level of comfort that’s impossible to beat at that price point.
Delivery Time: 7 Days — Afternoon delivery
Knobby - Bamboo Staples Boxer
It was the hot and dusty Queensland summer of 2011 that sparked now-CEO of Knobby, Rob, to revitalise a long-suffering and incredibly plain underwear drawer by launching what he hoped would be the most imaginative underwear brand in the bizz. Though it didn’t officially get going until 2014, the brand has now made its mark as a brand led by sustainability, originality, and creativity, taking a sizable bite out of the Aussie underwear market.
The premium and sustainable packaging made for a stellar first impression and really sets the scene for an exciting, unprecendent kind of unboxing experience. The product inside was well worth the hype, with the fit being a standout feature: long legs provided good coverage while the waistband was sturdy enough to stay put but stretchy enough to always be comfortable. The bamboo fabric was incredibly soft and, so far as I could tell, comes good on its hypoallergenic claims. They also deliver the perfect amount of support for the crown jewels, never too tight but never leaving you in freefall either. Top drawer.
The only aspect that gave me pause was the neon green leopard print inside of the pouch where your essentials rest. It definitely raised a smile out of me, but I can imagine that it might not be everyone’s idea of a good time. You have been warned.
The bottom line: These are great across the board. If you like neon green leopard print, they’re a veritable no-brainer.
Delivery Time: 5 Days — Morning Delivery
Uniqlo - AIRism Boxer
For more on UNIQLO’s illustrious history, scroll up. For now, let’s talk AIRism…
As discussed previously, the delivery time and packaging were simply not up to the mark, nowhere near it, in fact. However, even with these less-than-desirable elements, the quality and value for money of these boxers are completely unparalleled.
Compared to the Supima variant dissected above, these offer a significantly more athletic design that boasts moisture-wicking, odour-crunching, and even colour-controlling technology. A thoroughly futureproofed pair of undies, these will set you up for freshness all day long. At only $14.90 a pair, they’re also an absolute bargain offering unmatched value for money.
The bottom line: Though a few brands outperformed them on pure quality terms, nothing tops this in terms of bang for buck, full-stop.
Delivery Time: 9 Days — Morning Delivery
Step One - Boxer Brief
Another newcomer to the sector, Step One was founded by Greg Taylor only six years ago (2017) and entered the fray with a noble aim: to eradicate the ride-up that men all too often suffer from their undies — especially those, like me, who are a little larger in the thigh department— forevermore. While I had some difficulties getting hold of my order, their customer service team were a delight and dispatched a new pair in record time.
The boxers themselves are nigh-on flawless and well worth the unexpected wait. They have a long-legged and performance-engineered fit offering a lot of stretch and those all-important moisture-wicking capabilities. The presence of chafe-reduction panels between the legs was not only a game-changer in terms of keeping pain at bay but also, surprisingly, had very little impact on the look and feel of the boxer, which maintained a premium and elevated feel.
They did ruck up just a touch after extended use, however, and, like the Lulus below, felt slightly restrictive when you’re trying to relax and get really comfortable.
The bottom line: Despite a couple of very minor drawbacks, Step One delivers on their promise of innovative functionality and will be a life-changer for men with big juicy hams.
Delivery Time: First order Did Not Arrive; Follow-Up Order Arrived In 2 Days.
Lululemon - Built To Move Boxer
Lululemon‘s story is a well-known one: Founded by Chip Wilson in 1998 Vancouver, he was one of the very first people to identify and monetise the global phenomenon that yoga has now become. As well as designing yoga and athletic wear for every wardrobe — churning out innovative takes on yoga, running, cycling and gym gear like there’s no tomorrow — they also put community at the heart of everything they do.
Right off the bat, I was impressed by how quickly my Lululemon underwear arrived and the packaging in which they came; a translucent zip bag felt very space-age and offered the sustainable advantage of being very easy to repurpose and reuse. I was also equally impressed by the fit of the underwear, which offers a very long leg and almost unrivalled support for your most-essentials. Given that these are designed with the gym in mind, I worked them hard but didn’t notice any rubbing or rucking at all.
These were absolutely perfect for exercising in and that’s why they’ve made the #2 spot on this list; in that environment, nothing else comes close. As you may expect, however, the same level of support and coverage that makes them perfect for the gym is also what makes them slightly less suited for chilling at home, so bear that in mind.
The bottom line: They may not be the best for lounging around, but nothing touches Lululemon when it comes to high-intensity movement.
Delivery Time: 3 Days — Afternoon Delivery
Tradie - No Chafe Boxer
Tradie’s short history but meteoric rise has been chronicled earlier in this article, so scroll back up if you happened to have missed it. For now, all eyes on these show-stopper undies, please…
I can confidently say that these were the winners on every single front. From the incredibly wide range of sizes that made these boxers more accessible than any other on this list to the raft of innovative features they offer, these earned their place at the top of the men’s underwear pile.
The first thing I noticed about these was just how lightweight they were; in the very best way possible, I felt like I wasn’t wearing anything at all. Because of this, they were perfect for pretty much any state of activity, including intense exercise wherein their long leg and “No Chafe” claims really came into play. Let me tell you, they’re not lying; I didn’t encounter any rubbing or rucking at any point, thanks in part to the carefully double-stitched hems.
Though I found the addition of a fly to be kind of unnecessary — I’m not really sure how many men actually use this feature? Or am I the weird one? — but that’s me really clutching at straws for drawbacks. Overall, these delivered on every front I threw at them.
The bottom line: Buy some, you won’t regret it.
Delivery Time: 5 Days — Morning Delivery