Use this index to discover everything you need to know about underwear. Find terms and definitions, from A-Z.
A roomy pouch designed with enough depth to contain a man's package and hold it slightly away from the body. This reduces rubbing and painful compression.
Snug fitting underwear styled after a brief but featuring high cut legs and less rear coverage than a traditional brief.
A men's underwear style that combines the length of a boxer short with the snug fit and support of a brief. The long length provides light athletic support and anti-chafing benefits, making the boxer brief a sought-after sports essential.
Loose-fitting underwear with an elastic waistband, so-called because of its resemblance to shorts worn in boxing matches. The leg of a boxer short can be a variety of lengths but is always loose on the leg. Their relaxed fit makes them a great sleep option.
Traditional, snug-fitting underwear with no leg and full rear coverage. Briefs can have a functional fly or no fly at all.
Cotton is a natural fabric made from the fibers of the cotton plant, cherished for its durability and comfortable softness. Though 100% cotton fabric is the time-tested classic, much of the cotton used in underwear has been blended with a small amount of spandex (elastane) that helps to retain the shape of the garment.
This extra-soft cotton is called combed because the shortest, additional fibers are removed (as by combing) leaving only high-quality yarns with excellent strength and softness. Many intimate apparel companies use combed cotton because it feels so good against sensitive skin.
A polyester-based fabric that wicks moisture away from the body to keep you cool and dry. Coolmax is commonly found in athletic style socks and undergarments.
A pouch that is shaped to contain and slightly define a man's package.
Also known as spandex, this synthetic fiber is known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, making it an ideal addition to lingerie fabric blends to yield a perfect fit. Elastane is frequently added to cotton to help the garment retain its shape.
Stretchable fiber, yarn, or tape made from natural or synthetic rubber. It is used to create most waistbands and leg trims in intimate apparel because of its high level of resilience.
Enclosed elastic waistband
A waistband in which the elastic strip has been covered in the same fabric used to make the garment.
This flat seam is made with a special stitching technique that forces the seam allowance to lie against the garment rather than hanging loosely from it. Overall, flatlock seams allow a garment to sit flatter against your body. Additionally, they are easy to layer over, and they reduce seam chafe.
The front opening at the pouch of certain styles of underwear. Typically constructed of two overlapping fabric panels, flys can feature buttons or snaps to keep them closed, as in the case of boxer shorts.
A term used to describe styles of underwear with waistbands that rise well above your natural waistline, covering much of the lower abdomen and, in some cases, reaching up to your navel.
Underwear and shapewear designed with a waistband that rises high above your natural waistline to provide support and a slimming effect to your tummy and hips.
The vertical inner leg seam on the legs of a pair of pants or underwear with long legs, such as a boxer brief.
A decorative woven or knitted pattern sewn onto fabric, named after its inventor, Josie Marie Jacquard.
A horizontal fly-front pouch at the front of men’s underwear.
A textile made by interlacing yarn in a series of connected loops to make a soft fabric with natural stretch.
A term used to describe styles of underwear that fall below your natural waistline, and don't peep above low rise, hipster pants, and jeans.
A registered trademark of the DuPont Company for their spandex fiber. What that means for you--a high-quality spandex fiber that is woven into fabrics, such as cotton, to help them retain their shape.
This minimal coverage style consists of a thin waistband and a single string that goes between the buttocks and is attached to the pouch in the front.
A thong has a waistband with a piece of fabric (as opposed to a string) that goes between the buttocks and is attached to the back, offering slightly more coverage than a g-string.
A smooth, stretchy fabric made from extremely fine filaments. Because microfiber is so lightweight and breathable, it's used to make a variety of garments, from bras to boxer briefs.
A term used to describe styles of underwear that fall at or about your natural waistline.
A natural fabric made from the cellulose fibers of beech trees. Modal is soft and silky to the touch, and more absorbent than cotton, making it a favorite underwear material for both men and women.
A family of synthetic fabrics made from strong, resilient fibers. Also known as polyamide.
A synthetic knit fabric noted for its soft feel, durability, and versatility of use.
A man-made fabric made from the natural fibers of cotton, wood chips, bamboo, modal, and a variety of other vegetable matters. Rayon is soft, absorbs moisture well, and has an attractive luster, making it an ideal fabric for a variety of uses.
Rear seam (underwear)
This seam, sewn into the underwear down the rear center portion, causes the shape of the underwear to trace that of your body, creating definition and preventing "uni-butt."
A term applied to underwear that does not feature side seams that could potentially cause visible lines along the hips.
A synthetic fiber is known for its exceptional elasticity. Also known as elastane and Lycra Elastane. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, making it an ideal addition to lingerie fabric blends to yield a perfect fit. Spandex is frequently added to cotton to help the garment retain its shape.
Cotton fabric that has been blended with a small amount of spandex (elastane) that helps to retain the shape of the garment without sacrificing softness.
Snug fitting underwear that features longer legs than a brief, but shorter than a boxer brief, usually shorter than a 3 1/2 inch inseam.
Undergarments worn under clothes, next to the skin