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Mid-length boxer brief vs. trunks: Which do you need?

At a casual glance, mid-length boxer briefs and trunks may not look that different. Both are form-fitting shorts that provide a lot more support than the classic boxers. Both offer some extra coverage and protection from chaffing, compared to classic briefs.  

But once you put them on, you’ll start to see the subtle differences. Trunks are notably shorter than mid-length briefs and will have a more square shape on your body. Mid-length boxer briefs, on the other hand, are longer and offer more coverage, and they are more rectangular in appearance. 

So how can you tell which pair of underwear you should be wearing? There is plenty to consider before you make a decision. 

What are you wearing on top?

If you like low rise pants or short shorts, then consider wearing trunks. The thinner waistband and shorter legs will stay hidden under your more revealing clothing choices. If you’re wearing thick denim, stiff dress pants, or itchy fabric, boxer briefs will do a much better job protecting your thighs from chaffing and other issues. 

Body type makes a difference

Your body type will play a role in how well your undies fit you. Mid-length boxer briefs are cut to end past the thickest part of your legs. This makes boxer briefs a better fit for many taller guys with thicker legs. But if you are on the shorter side or you have slim legs, boxer briefs may be a little loose around your legs, and trunks are more likely to give you a snug, comfortable fit.

There’s another factor to consider here. If you have a square-shaped posterior, boxer briefs can add a little shape for a more flattering look. If you have a rounder rear, trunks will be more suitable for showing off what you have. Ultimately, it’s about what looks right to you when you look in the mirror. 

Check the weather

Plenty of people can wear trunks and mid-length boxers without any issues, year-round. But when it’s cold outside, the mid-length boxer brief has more fabric to keep you warm. On the flip side, come summertime, less fabric means you stay a little cooler - especially if you’re going to be exercising or lounging in the sun. But there’s a little more to it than the cut.

When it does get hot, the last thing you want is a pair of underwear that holds water instead of moving it away from your skin. Moisture-wicking fabric will keep your skin dry and help fight off the summertime crotch smells that plague lockers rooms once things heat up. As the water evaporates, it will keep you cool where you need it most and you can avoid heat rash and other uncomfortable side effects of sweat. So whichever underwear style cut you choose, make sure your skivvies use high-tech fabric that keeps you cool and dry.

The modesty factor

On special occasions, you may want to dress to impress - even down to your skivvies. It’s important to choose the pair of underwear that gives you the confidence you need to feel relaxed in a state of repose. The close fit of both trunks and mid-length boxer briefs gives your rump a boost and streamlines things so you can look great, no matter what your body type is. But there is one key difference. 

The mid-length boxer brief offers a little extra coverage on your thighs for those who prefer to cover up more. If you’re feeling a little bolder and prefer to show off your natural beauty, the shorter length of the trunks is a much flashier choice. 

Find what feels right

If you’re like most men, you probably haven’t given much thought to your underwear since back in grade school. But take it from us - there are plenty of reasons to branch out, and different cuts all have their time and place. Your underwear should look and feel great, you owe it to yourself to find the kind you can look forward to putting on each day. 

In fact, there’s no need to declare your loyalty to a single style of underwear! There are plenty of occasions that call for different types of skivvies. There’s nothing quite as cozy as relaxing on the couch in a pair of boxer shorts, and you can’t find better support for high-intensity exercise than briefs.

No matter what the occasion, Tommy John has your back. All of our underwear is designed to be adjustment-free, so you’ll never have to deal with bunched fabric or chronic wedgies. And we love to encourage a little experimentation - so if you aren’t satisfied the first time you try a pair of our underwear, you can exchange it or get a full refund, no questions asked, with our risk-free guarantee.