This made them bulky and comparably difficult to pack.
In the UK, the term "jockeys" has not caught on and briefs are often referred to as "Y-fronts" or simply "pants". The term derives from the genericized trademark "Y-Front", property of Jockey International. The colloquialism is used even when the fly opening may differ in style, and not actually form the shape of the inverted letter "Y" fly on Coopers Jockey brand briefs. In Australia , briefs are referred to as "jocks" but should not be confused with jockstraps more specifically used by athletes which expose the buttocks.
Australians generally use the word briefs to refer to the bikini-style underwear for men, which do not have the Y-front opening. Since the end of the 20th century, a hybrid called boxer briefs has become popular. Like boxers, they have short legs, but like briefs, they are made of elastic, snug-fitting material. A shorter version of boxer briefs are called trunks. Traditional size briefs for both sexes cover the upper part of the thigh and extend upward up to or cover, depending on the design the navel at the waistband.
This style is often referred to as "full rise" or "full cut". There are also "low rise" and "mid rise" styles whose measurements vary between manufacturers. Men's briefs often feature a fly —a covered opening on the front of the garment which allows for convenience in urinating.
There are several different fly designs in common use, including the standard vertical fly, the horizontal fly, the y-front fly, and others. The use of a fly is optional, and many styles do not utilize a fly at all.
In the case of men's underwear, briefs, unlike boxer shorts , hold the wearer's genitals in a relatively fixed position, which make briefs a popular underwear choice for men who are participating in athletic activities or who feel they need more support than loose-fitting underwear can provide. In addition, boxers often ride up the body when the wearer is running. There are variations on the brief with different cuts, some offering a wider leg and others a narrower leg, names including, midi, full, sport, active, mini, bikini.
Some briefs have the cut all the way to only the waistband on the side, called a tanga brief. In the s fashion underwear was introduced in the United States, and after a period of decline, became more prominent in the s as the belief that wearing fashionable underwear was feminine declined.
The Underoos and Funpals fashion brief brands for children were introduced around that time. According to Hanes marketing director John Wigodsky, women purchased fashion briefs for their husbands for aesthetic reasons and therefore fashion briefs became more popular with men. In , in the U. Briefs also refers to a style of women's and girls' panties that is typically cut with a high waist to provide full coverage of the hips and buttocks. A control brief is a kind of high-waisted panty girdle.
French-cut or high-cut briefs expose more of the front part of the thigh, while boy briefs have short legs, similar to men's boxer briefs, often combined with a lower waist. Briefs is also the name given to costumed outerwear worn by female dancers and athletes in sports such as cheerleading , figure skating , and tennis.
These briefs are typically worn under a short skirt ; they may be attached to the skirt or dress body, or a separate garment "cheer briefs". Tight underpants like briefs have been blamed for negatively affecting semen analysis , since they may interfere with the cooling of the testes. A study in the October Journal of Urology , for example, concluded that underwear type is unlikely to have a significant effect on male fertility.
Media related to Briefs at Wikimedia Commons. And though synthetic materials have a slick, silky feel that many people love in underwear, they tend to feel less luxurious than the softer modal-blend skivvies popularized by companies like MeUndies. Travel and performance underwear needs to meet basic standards for underwear, plus excel on other criteria. The panties and boxer briefs that made our lineup met these standards for travel underwear:.
Each pair was run through a vigorous set of tests back home, including washing, drying, and sniff tests. Our ultimate goal was to determine how each pair ranked according to:. We started simply by trying everything on. We then wore the top performers for two days in a row, before conducting a sniff test.
Testers also noted whether the pair felt grimy or otherwise gross. To test durability, in addition to usual washing after wear, we washed each pair of underwear three times straight with a few pairs of jeans to simulate a rough wash.
Because drying time is an essential component of travel underwear, after running all the underwear through the spin cycle, we line-dried it. We touched each pair every 20 minutes to determine whether it was dry and order of drying time.
We then moved onto real-world testing on some trips we had preplanned. These included backpacking miles throughout the city of Portland, Oregon; six weeks backpacking the Canadian Rockies, walking from the lowest point in the Continental US to the highest; and road-tripping to the national parks of the West. And of course, wearing them on all the flights that got us to our destinations.
Afterward, we checked for signs of wear, such as breaking apart at the seams and pilling on the fabric. As we continued to test the finalists, we repeatedly checked for durability problems. ExOfficio made its name as a travel underwear company with its long-lasting classic Give-N-Go model which we also tested and is still available.
The Sport Mesh version has the features that made the Give-N-Go famous, but with a better, softer, stretchier fabric 2 percent more Lycra than the Classic. It also has a 3D front panel, a major improvement over the flat front panel on the original Give-N-Go.
Our tester felt supported and contained, regardless of his movement. What set the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh apart from the rest is that it transfers moisture away from the body better than the competitors.
It is the ideal pair of undies for sweaty activities and hot locales. It also had better odor treatment than most of the pairs we tried, a feature appreciated by athletes and lazy launderers alike. They definitely combat odor. These ExOfficios were designed with the lightweight traveler in mind. Another advantage ExOfficio has over other brands we tested is that it offers the widest variety of cuts, colors, and sizes. They are also among the most widely available performance underwear.
Our personal experience after years of wearing the original ExOfficio Give-N-Go shows that the odor-proofing antibacterial treatment eventually fades, and with it, the ability to wear them for multiple days in a row. But the fabric itself is nearly indestructible. The same can almost be said of the Sport Mesh version. During backpacking trips, the six-inch boxer brief caused our tester some slight chafing between the thighs he attributed this to the size of his thighs, as this is a problem he had with all the underwear.
This issue could be mitigated by opting for the longer, nine-inch model, which we did not test. Our tester also attributes chafing to the fact that he wore the same pair for a few days, allowing the accumulation of salt, dirt, and other substances that could contribute to or exacerbate rubbing.
Our tester also noted that although the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh wicks away sweat and dries quicker than the competition, the times when you do manage to get them soaked, they can stick to the skin and be harder to remove than our other picks. Amazon reviewers and Snarky Nomad warn that sizes run large, so size down if you can. What made the Tommy Johns stand out for our tester was that it had an easily accessible fly and the best front pouch of any boxer brief we tested.
The fly allows exit from the top not the side, which our tester found convenient. He said this design allowed for a great flow of pee while also reducing pressure on the urethra to reduce dribble. Snarky Nomad also likes the Tommy John boxer brief, despite the price tag and some pilling issues. It also lacks seams that can rub in an area that really should not be chafed.
Another benefit of the Tommy Johns is the wide range of sizes—from small to 4XL. However, color options are more limited compared with ExOfficio.
The company also offers free return shipping labels within 30 days for unused products. The Patagonia Active Hipster has soft reinforced openings for the legs that prevent wedgies or riding up. We also enjoyed how the underwear is seamless, reducing areas where chafing or rubbing can occur.
Some Amazon and REI reviewers complain that the fabric is thinner than on earlier models, but we found that to not be a problem. Patagonia has an even thinner model, the Barely Hipster Briefs , which we tested last year. It bunched and moved around, but the Active Hipster stayed perfectly glued in place. We noticed no loose seams or pilling issues so far, but will continue to test for durability. Patagonia has among the best return and repair policies in the industry, but does charge for a return label.
Our biggest complaint and a common one among user reviewers is the cutaway tag. It must be cut to not rip the stitching in the seam. Wool also has natural antimicrobial features that can reduce your chance of developing infections, or at least reduce odor.
Merino does have its drawbacks as a travel underwear: The National Institute of Health says that one way to reduce your chances of developing vaginitis, including yeast infections, is to choose underwear made of natural fibers. Natural fabrics often allow the transfer of air and moisture aka breathe better than synthetics like nylon.
That heat and moisture confined against the skin could be a factor related to yeast infections. The problem is cotton takes a long time to dry—meaning that moist, sweaty environments will stick around for awhile, which as mentioned above are ideal environments for bacteria growth. They wick, breathe, and have a drying time equal to or better than synthetics.
Plus, the natural antimicrobial features of wool can reduce the accumulation of bacteria better than treatments in synthetics, which can wash out over time. Like our previous runner-up pick, the Ibex Balance Brief , the Smartwool underwear are made in Turkey with 72 percent merino wool, 22 percent nylon, and 6 percent Spandex.
Nonetheless, this pair proved to be almost as comfortable and just durable as our top pick and previous runner-up pick. Of the underwear we tested, the Smartwool are among the easiest to find in stores and online.
We found that medium-coverage underwear stayed in place, and skimpier underwear gave wedgies over time. Similarly, the merino pairs we tested tended to bunch up from rubbing against our pants.
The Airism underwear was also quite durable and held up through several handwashing cycles with no signs of wear. Travel gear reviewer Snarky Nomad loved them. After trying all the options, our male tester noted that the Uniqlo Airism could have been a touch more supportive in the front pouch, but liked them overall, concluding: We think this is a result of the shortened inseam leg length combined with a taller rise the distance from the crotch to the waistband , which can cause different fit issues on different body types.
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