Men’s Socks & Underwear Buying Guid
Men’s Socks & Underwear 101
Types of Underwear
Men’s Boxer Shorts
Men’s Boxer Briefs
Types of Socks
Men’s Athletic Socks
Men’s Dress Socks
Men’s Work Socks
Men’s Socks & Underwear Buying Tips:
• Choose mid- or low-rise briefs to wear with low-rise jeans
• White socks are only appropriate in casual settings and during physical activities like sports
• Novelty socks can be fun at casual parties or holidays, but keep them away from formal events and the workplace
• Socks that reduce odour and wick moisture are best for the gym
• Wool socks offer a balance of breathability and insulation, making them a good year-round choice
• A liner sock made from a wicking material can be worn under a wool sock to retain heat on especially cold days
Underwear Fabric +
Cotton, Lycra, spandex, nylon and silk are some of the more common materials used to make men's underwear. Look for a material that suits the outfit and situation. For stressful boardroom presentations and physical activities, choose durable synthetic materials that wick moisture away from the body. Soft materials like cotton or silk are the best choices for lounging around at home, where comfort is king.
Underwear Waistbands +
A firm elastic waistband is the key to proper fitting underwear. Most underwear types have a sewn-on waistband, but some boxers come with the elastic band sewn into the underwear itself. With either choice, the waistband should be snug but not constricting and made with soft materials to maximize comfort and reduce friction on the skin.
Flies and Pouches +
A fly provides convenience and comfort, while also contributing to the look of a man’s underwear. Button flies, often found on boxers, are a classic gentleman's style. A horizontal fly supplies increased airflow in tighter-fitting underwear. Briefs and boxer briefs feature a distinguishing pouch that offers added support during physical activities.
Underwear Height +
The waistband on men's underwear should be even with or sit just below the waist. Briefs and boxer briefs come in high-, mid- or low-rise fits. Choose a cut that feels comfortable and matches the style of pant. For example, pair low-rise underwear with low-rise jeans. Boxers usually sit on the waist, so wear them with high-rise pant cuts.
Sock Fabric +
Socks are almost invisible with the right fabric, covertly helping a man’s feet stay comfy and at the perfect temperature no matter the season. In the hot summer months, look for lighter material like cotton to maximize coolness. Thick wool socks are perfect for the winter. For running, hiking or exercising, consider a synthetic material, like acrylic or polyester, to wick moisture away and help prevent blisters. At the office, a sheer material like silk can give an outfit a consistent look.
Sock Length +
A sock’s length is important for both comfort and style. Ankle socks are great in hot summer weather when working out or relaxing in a pair of shorts. When wearing pants, socks should be long enough to cover any skin that could be exposed while sitting. This means wearing either crew-style socks, which reaches to the mid-calf, or full-knee socks, which are popular for formal occasions and staying warm in the cold outdoors.
Sole Reinforcement +
Added fabric in the sole and heel help socks stand up to rigorous activities. In addition, a pair of socks with a sole reinforcement offers extra comfort exactly where it's needed. If you find your socks are wearing out early in the sole or heel or if you spend long periods standing, look for pairs with a sole reinforcement.
Diabetic Socks +
Diabetic socks are non-binding and use non-elastic materials to encourage blood flow and reduce the chance of foot ulcers. Diabetic socks often have funnel openings to hug the leg without being too restricting. Always consult your physician when buying socks for someone with diabetes to ensure you buy the right product.
Sock Seams +
A man’s socks need to be comfortable in many different shoes. Since shoes vary in fit, look for socks with inverted seams or no seams at all. That way, they're more likely to suit a wider variety of shoes. For specialized activities like sports, choose socks with reinforced seams for increased strength and durability.
Sock Weight +
A sock’s weight, or thickness, is key for keeping feet at the perfect temperature, no matter the activity or accompanying footwear. Often, a sock’s material will dictate its weight, and some materials should be thicker to take advantage of their benefits. For example, cotton and wool socks are more comfortable and warmer when they’re thicker. Acrylic and other synthetic materials should be thinner to be breathable and wick away moisture more effectively.
Shop Accessories & Related Products:
• Air drying is a gentler and more affordable alternative to tumble dryers and can help socks and underwear last longer
• Keep clothes out of direct UV light to help the colours last longer
• Cold water can keep dyed fabrics brighter for longer
• Always wash underwear and socks with like colours
• Never use fabric softener or bleach on nylon or polyester fabrics
• Socks and underwear rarely need ironing
• The direct heat of an iron can damage the fabric of socks and underwear
• Always losing socks in the wash? Keep pairs together in a lingerie bag or with safety pins or office clamps
• Turn socks and underwear inside out before washing to reduce abrasion