What women really think of men's pants

From boxers to briefs, a man’s underwear style preference can be very revealing

How much would you spend on a pair of men’s briefs? Probably not £200,000. Yet this is what someone paid at auction for a pair of plain black underpants. Although these weren’t just any underpants – they were the former underpants of the Duke of Sussex, allegedly worn on the fateful night he encountered dominatrix Carrie Royale in Las Vegas in 2012. Very cannily, Royale didn’t merely kiss and tell; she also swiped the Duke of Sussex’s briefs as a trophy, selling them at auction to a San Diego strip club owner who is “trying to build a shrine” to the Duke.  Push Up Sports Bra

What women really think of men's pants

His briefs are technically called trunks, a hybrid between briefs (which are, well, briefer) and boxer briefs (which are cut like shorts). They’re an increasingly popular style; a modern take on the Y-front that holds none of the stigma. For, like everything else in our wardrobes, our pants say much more about us than we might think. The notion that women don’t have opinions about men’s pants is as fanciful as the idea that men don’t have opinions about women’s. Given that men now have as many underwear options as women, perhaps it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff (or should that be chafe?). What do your pants say about you? Read on to find out.

We all love Marks & Spencer, and we all love Marks & Spencer’s underwear. But a man in Marks & Spencer pants? It’s giving “my mum bought me a three-pack for Christmas” vibes. Likewise Next, Matalan or Tu – all solid, dependable brands, but not the most dynamic choice when it comes to underwear. If your mother is still buying your pants, you need to have a word with yourself. And also with her. 

Where are these pants from? You wouldn’t like to say. You wouldn’t even like to hazard a guess as to which decade they were bought. Their washing instructions faded long ago, and the label determining their purchase point disappeared along with it. All you can say with certainty is that the elastic is grey, and the fabric is somewhat saggy, possibly because it hails from an era before Lycra was invented. 

We get it: you’re a workout enthusiast for whom seamless construction, lengthy inseams and non-chafing fabric are musts. 

However much you favour a minimal amount of support and coverage, the elastic-to-fabric ratio in a thong is all wrong, and unless Magic Mike is your sartorial role model, so, too, is the look. 

You probably went to Eton, and you’ve certainly never knowingly encased your posterior in anything containing Lycra or Tencel. Nothing beats the feel – or look – of Sea Island cotton, preferably in a classic pale blue, though you’ll entertain pink gingham in summer. Few women would take issue with such a classic style.

Like everyone else, you’ve seen those photos of Jeremy Allen White in the Calvin Klein ads, and have figured that while you may never possess his six pack, you can, for £44, possess his pants. Fair play. They are persuasive ads. You’ve also chosen well, since Calvin Klein occupies a unique place in the underwear firmament. It’s aspirational, but also so ubiquitous as to be beyond comment. No one is going to recoil in horror at a pair of Calvin Klein undies, because there’s a 99.9 per cent chance they have some themselves. Like aftershave, you can’t really get to adulthood without someone buying you a Calvin Klein three-pack for Christmas. 

You might think you’re the man in your Gucci, Prada or Dolce & Gabbana underwear, but there’s something too wilfully self-aggrandising about wearing a designer logo on your waistband. It makes you seem rather insecure. Big logo, small degree of confidence. Status pants should remain in the Eighties, for surely there are wiser ways to spend your money than on a garment that not that many people will even see. Have you seen the price of Prada pants these days? £380 for a pair of white cotton Y-fronts is steep. Think of all the socks you could buy for that. 

What women really think of men's pants

Seamless T Shirt Bra Like the woman (or man) in your life, you have probably embraced Scandi style with a vehemence not often seen outside of Copenhagen, coincidentally the city of your favourite ever mini-break. Whether boxers or briefs, you love these brands because they’re well-priced, well-made and only come in tasteful colours such as black, white, navy and 50 shades of grey. Better still, the logo is never emblazoned along the elastic on repeat, lending their provenance an air of discreet mystery such as you rather favour yourself. An intelligent choice for the minimalist on a budget.