I promised myself back in January that I wasn’t going to purchase any new underwear until after my holiday to Australia in April – kind of needed to do some serious saving! However a 40% weekend extravaganza sale on Calvin Klein underwear soon changed my mind and I went and purchased two pairs of their new X range. I went for two pairs of the cotton trunks version in black and neon pink – the latter colour only appears to be available in the UK at the moment!

I’ve given the underwear a thorough testing on your behalf, having worn them a number of times and in a variety of circumstances (at work, working out, walking round and simply lounging round the apartment) and with a range of clothing (gym gear, work clobber and casual clothing) and all I can say is these are some seriously comfy underwear.

The soft and stretchy cotton/modal material helps shape the trunks to your body whilst keeping everything nicely supported all day long. The wide waistband is made from a soft touch material and feels great against your body. The trunks fit well, although they do suffer from the usual leg rising issue when I was working out in them, but the soft material means they don’t really become uncomfortable. Having said that, it really is a minor niggle on a great pair of underwear.

Overall I was really impressed with these trunks – they are seriously comfy, fit well and are suitable for use in all circumstances. Will I be buying more? Definitely!

Fit 4
Materials 5
Construction 4
Look 5
Daily Wear 4
Overall 4.4

So when browsing for a new pair of underwear what grabs my attention? What exactly am I looking for?

The obvious starting point is briefs or trunks? And to be completely honest the answer depends entirely on my mood at the time!

After deciding whether it briefs or trunks, the first thing that grabs my attention is colour – I love bright and bold colours. I try to avoid purchasing black or white underwear unless it’s a killer style or design. Aussiebum and Cin2U score highly for me on the colours front.

The next thing I look at is waistband design. I like funky colours or a bold design or both if possible! I love the CK steel waistband design as the silver colour with the CK name in the same colour as the underwear looks great in my opinion. Aussiebum have some funky waistbands – such as the bamboo and flaunt range – but the winner here has to be the 2xist optic range. The stunning, dual colour waistband starts with one colour and blends into another complimentary colour with a whole range of shades in between.

The final thing is the design of the underwear and whether it offers something that is a little bit different. This is not a huge deciding factor as I have plenty of traditional designs in my drawer but if the pair has a certain something, it usually seals the deal. I’m quite a fan of the seamless design of the Aussiebum bamboo range for example. The enhancing feature of the wonderjock range helped sell a pair – initially out of curiosity I must confess. That said, once I’d got a pair, another two or three followed – I find them very comfy and the extra little help always helps.

So there you go, a quick round up of what grabs my attention when buying my underwear! Feel free to let us know what you look for when choosing your underwear…

In celebration of the recent Winter Olympics, I thought I’d put together my very own medal podium, celebrating my favourite three designs of underwear.

In 3rd place and winner of the bronze medal, AussieBum;’s Undies range. This underwear – based on the classic brief design – are really comfortable, offer just the right level of support and more important come in a wide range of bright colours. Made from hardwearing ribbed cotton with a stylish white trim and waistband these are a staple of my underwear drawer and will be for time to come. They can be worn under pretty much anything and are comfortable from the start to the end of the day.

In 2nd place and only just beaten to gold are the 2xist Optic Trunks. These trunks are super (actually, super-super) soft and almost feel like you are not wearing anything. The trunks come in a variety of bold colours and have a contrasting dual colour waistband. The only down side to these is that the material is quite thin and stretchy and by the end of the day tends to suffer in the pouch support area due to this. Also, watch out on sizing – 2xist seem to have really over sized them so always order a size down. If it weren’t for the cost of obtaining these in the UK, I’d have a drawer full.

Finally, in first place and taking the top spot on the podium are the Calvin Klein Steel Trunks range. Soft, comfortable, with a stylish, wide, steel effect waistband this underwear offers just the right level of support from dawn till dusk. Available in a wide range of bright and interesting colours, they look really great under a nice pair of jeans. As mentioned the waistband is nice and wide and so looks better on guys with a decent physique as it’s the quite firm, not that this alters the comfort level! Having said that, my physique is far from perfect and I still reckon they look cool! I’ve always been a fan of the CK range – before the Steel range, pro-stretch were my preferred CK underwear, but these not only win gold in the CK range, but are my gold medal choice overall too!

In the first part of the underwear battle, I looked at the differences and similarities in the styles of underwear on both sides of the pond.  Let’s pick up the battle and move on to other aspects!

The biggest difference the 3,000 or so nautical miles causes is cost.  Designer underwear is more expensive in the UK than over the pond.  UK underwear fans tend to pay the same amount in £ (pounds) what our US friends pay in $ (dollars) for the designer gear – i.e. if a pair costs $22 in the US, we’re likely to pay around £22 for the same item. With the exchange rate currently at around 1.55 dollars to the pound, that makes quite a difference! That said being said, there is plenty of affordable underwear out there; just don’t expect it to have CK or AussieBum on the waistband.

Costs can be cut if you’re not set on having the latest style as we have a couple of discount chains which tend to sell the less popular or last years styles at cheap prices.  Usually these are traditional boxers rather than trunks and most of the time only in very limited colours, often just black or white.  But if you’re just bothered about the name on the waistband, it can save you some money.

Underwear designed and produced exclusively for a particular clothing chain is much more popular in the UK. Ask many UK guys what is in their underwear drawer and the answer is likely to be M&S, Next, or something similar. All names that will mean nothing to most people outside of this particular island.  These are large clothing chains that cover virtually every town in the UK.  The underwear offered by these chains range from the budget to the luxurious, all styles, but are usually quite restrained on colours; the majority being darker shades which is not to my taste at all.  I’m all for bright colours! That said, they do produce some very comfy underwear and in days gone by when I wasn’t working and was a poor student, they more than sufficed!

So, there you have it…a quick round-up of underwear styles and buying habits this side of the pond.  One thing worth pointing out is that all of what I’ve written is based on my personal observations and not any statistical analysis.  Feel free to comment away!

Where do I start – let’s take a quote from Alice in Wonderland, “Begin at the beginning…” and in this case, the beginning is a little about me.

I’m a 32 year old big kid! I studied until I was 27, travelled the world for a year, and now work to travel more!  I’ve visited Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, USA, Canada, and Morocco among others over the last few years and love exploring new places and cultures.  Outside of work and travel I love photography, torturing myself in the gym, watching hockey (Go Bruins!), and have a large interest in technology and computers (Apple especially).

On the underwear front, the first brand I remember buying was a pair of CK briefs while visiting Boston.  At the time, I was a broke student and they cost a fortune in the UK.  Seeing them at an affordable price meant they had to be purchased!  Since I started earning my own money, I still like CK but they have been superseded by 2xist, AussieBum, and Andrew Christian.  Style wise, I used to be exclusively a trunks man, but recently have started wearing briefs and rather like them!  The one style I’ve yet to try and want to sample is jockstraps.  Watch this space to see how that works out!

Along with reviewing some underwear, I’m also going to be writing some tips on underwear purchasing in the UK and offering some views on the market over here versus the states.  Let the underwear battle commence!

On the style front, the UK is a bit more restrained in what you can buy in the shops compared to the US.  You would be hard pressed to walk into a department store or use an online version, and purchase a jockstrap.  Sports stores stock the specialized ones and rarely one can pick them up in discount stores.  If you want designer jockstraps and a choice to boot, the web is your destination of choice.

The most popular styles in the UK are easily boxer briefs or trunks with traditional boxers the next most popular option.  Briefs, especially among many younger guys, are not that popular of an option.  I particularly like them…designer brands only though!

I’m no expert on style names, but what the US calls bikini briefs, in the UK, they are called Tanga briefs.  It would appear this is the case from recently doing some research.  I’m sure there are more differences between sub-styles, but the main styles match up well and as long as you know whether you are after a pair of trunks, briefs or boxers, you’ll be in the right ballpark either side of the ocean.