Boyshorts 101: Your Complete Guide to Successful Underpants

nanu-4Here at Autostraddle, we feel a lady is at her best when she’s not wearing pants. Furthermore, we’re struck by how many of us appreciate a certain style of underwear that is quite difficult to track down. See here’s the thing: boyshorts, if you haven’t noticed, have officially outpaced the thong-tha-thong-thong-thong and are now the most popular specialty style of women’s underthangs. Like the thong, boyshorts can be worn under pants sans-pantyline and UNLIKE the thong, boyshorts are mega-comfortable.

Clearly we’ve documented our love for ladies-in-boyshorts (Girls in Boyshorts Part One, Girls in Boyshorts Part Two), and today we are going to tell you everything you need to know about getting some of your own. This is what we do for you.

Welcome to Boyshorts 101.

We’ve chosen our Top Three favorite brands and following that exposition we will share personal selections from passionate believers [aka the Autostraddle team/interns]. Then you are welcome to share your own experiences.

Also, we have a problem with the word “panties.” It’s weird right? or No? Anyone else?

The Top Three


1. American Apparel Unisex Baby Rib-Brief

riese in AA underwear
[$12 at American Apparel]

[$7.75 via]

WHY: Dov Charney’s questionable treatment of his sexy female employees and possible glamorizing of child porn in his ad campaigns aside, these briefs are hands-down the most successful foray into the desperately under-explored style terrain of “unisex boy briefs.”


+ Unlike female-catered boy briefs, these suckers offer full coverage no matter how big you think your ass is.
+ Unlike actual boy briefs, there’s really no serious penis pocket.
+ These look hot on everyone. Like really hot.
+ 400 colors
+ Will defo get you laid, possibly inspire you to jump on the bed while singing a cute song.

+ Won’t fit under tight pants, and if you’re wearing thin pants, beware of the massive panty line.
+ Not cheap.
+ Will make you feel like a dirty hipster.

Also, we used American Apparel Unisex Boy-Briefs for our 2007 Autostraddle Boyshorts, which I think we still have in stock if you want a cute last-minute holiday gift for your girlfriend! She can have our old-school pre-Actual-Autostraddle URL on her ass. We’re out of smalls. Etc.
boyshorts-aa dotted-divider2

2. Hanes Authentic Core Boxer Briefs

Hanes Authentic Core Boxer Briefs
[$6.30 on Amazon!]

WHY: If you find these, say hello! Whenever we find a pair of Hanes latest boy-briefs-for-ladies, we snag ’em, ’cause these suckers sell like hotcakes and go out of print before you can say, “take off your pants.”

+ Serious coverage — the Hanes boy-briefs travel all the way around your ass and underneath it, therefore enabling you to slip ’em under tight pants. That’s right, you no longer have to suffer getting ASSaulted by a thong all night when you want to sport your favorite pair of fancy mega-tight jeans.
+ Cheap.
+ The thin, tight cotton spandex style manages to include the stylistic lines of an actual boybrief without the extra consideration such bulkiness requires.

+ Design and availability changes constantly, so just as soon as you fall in love with a style, it vanishes from the racks at Target/K-Mart/wherever you found ’em you lucky bitch.
+ Anecdotal reports of elastic waistband falling apart relatively quickly.

See, this line began several years ago with a very traditional take on the men’s boyshort for women. It was cute! It even had a fake penis pocket, and the “HANES” logo but in a littler girlier font … but where have they gone? Now we can’t find these babies ANYWHERE:


Last year a new style cropped up — tighter than before, with an updated logo on the waistband and even! more! colors! However, these seem to be out of stock EVERYWHERE except here, where you can get them 2/$5, which is um, amazing. Either everything we like is so popular it flies off the shelves, or once again the lezbros are being ignored by the commercial mainstream!

We sort of liked the old logo better, for maximum waistband sexiness. But the new style is very streamlined, which we appreciate. Check it out:

hanes-phase 2


3. Calvin Klein Steel Cotton Gripper Trunks


[$28 on Zappos]

WHY: YES, these are actual men’s underwear… but that’s exactly why they fit so perfectly! These are the ultimate in SEXXXY with the price to match. Look at that waistband. Don’t you want to fold it over and go muff-diving YEAH YOU DO. Sorry we won’t make any more inappropriate jokes anymore for the rest of this post, promise.

+ Calvin Klein = HOT HOT SEX.
+ Very minimal “package pouch” so you don’t feel weird about the fact that it’s made for a man. You can barely even tell!
+ Best elastic waistband in the business
+ Full ass-coverage. They grip the top of your thighs… therefore – no wedgies.cess_lohan_01_v

+ REALLY FUCKING EXPENSIVE! (but try TJ Maxx & other discounters, they’re always well-stocked with Calvins)
+ Extra bulk of the button at the top means they won’t fit under leggings or anything sorz Lilo.

We have been  brainwashed by the media into believing Calvin Klein = hot hot sex, which accounts for a large portion of this style’s appeal. Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


Exhibit C, unrelated to underwear, but very related to Jenny Shimizu, who is hot and is also the luckiest lesbian in the universe b/c she did it with Angelina Jolie, which we think subconsciously contributes to our concept that Calvins=Sexy:


All the world’s an ad campaign, and the ladies merely players …


Next: The Team makes Expert Recommendations!

Pages: 1 2 See entire article on one page

auto has written 493 articles for us.


    • There’s nothing wrong with bringing your body out of line esp. If you’ve got a kick !#$ shorts.Stop.Right!Well,..let go of your seams like and b for real.

  1. I’m not the kind of person who sees a commercial or ad and says, “Oh! I want that! It’s new and improved somehow at the same time!” Even Billy Mays couldn’t get me with his antics (too soon?). BUT whenever you guys talk about a product I immediately want it with a fiery passion from deep within.

    • I think the problem at least for me (and this isn’t size-specific) is that “boyshort” style things made for females are NEVER comfortable! I hate them! Which is why in this post some of the things myself and other people recommend are undies worn by men…

      Just cause it’s made for a man doesn’t mean we can’t wear them and it doesn’t mean they won’t fit! On the contrary, you might find they fit much much better than any bottoms made for females but are called “boyshorts”.

      I swear.

      • “Just cause it’s made for a man doesn’t mean we can’t wear them and it doesn’t mean they won’t fit! On the contrary, you might find they fit much much better than any bottoms made for females but are called “boyshorts”.”

        Which is exactly why I as a male wear pantyhose. Just because they’re made for a woman doesn’t mean we cant wear them and they wont fit! They support my legs, are more comfortable than thermals in the winter and make my legs look good too.

    • As a not tiny person myself, the Cacique brand hipsters from Lane Bryant are some of the better fitting, more comfy, and not so expensive (when on sale) underpants I’ve found. Although I have a lot of feelings about shopping at Lane Bryant in general.

  2. I just bought a pair of the Andrew Christian boy briefs in pink and hot shorts in white with a little anchor. THEY WERE ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS INSTEAD OF THE USUAL $27. I AM FREAKING OUT IN ALL CAPS. That’s $54 of booty coverage for $7.41 with shipping.

  3. I wear men’s boxerbriefs and am also bad at shopping, so I tend to not be that picky. My biggest beef is that ONE frigging pair costs like, 20 bucks or something. What is that shit? It costs as much as a shirt! My kingdom for a decent men’s boxerbrief that comes in a package of 3 for 15 dollars or less. I don’t even care what colour.

  4. The ones I wear are, I think, pretty much the same thing as the Authentic Core. Except Hanes now calls them “Premium.” They have the trunks (which are shorter) and the boxer briefs (which go about mid-thigh). The best thing about them is they are really smooth and tight so they don’t ever bunch up, not even when you’re pulling on a pair of tight jeans. They’re $10 at Target for a pack of two and don’t come in any fun colours, but whatever they’re the most comfortable thing in the world.

  5. Funny, I told my partner the other day that I should start a lesbian focused lingerie/underwear company. We both prefer the more masculine colors/styles but like the softness/textures of female stuff. What’s a lesbian to do?
    On boy shorts…I would love to find a pair that fit me correctly. I’ve tried traditional men’s boxer briefs and they drive me nuts (unless I’m just sleeping in them) because they ride up! I think I will have to try the Hanes style because they have some lycra/spandex…maybe they will cling to my thighs better.
    I’m also going to try the men’s underarmor long boxer briefs. They cling and fall low enough to prevent thigh rubbage…(rubbing)…especially when wearing scrubs!
    Love this article.

    • yes! this is all i want! i loves boys’ underwear but they are made out of all kinds of rough and scratchy materials that you have to wash with fabric softener 32957 times before you want them anywhere near your body.

  6. You know who makes a really shitty boyshort? Gap. I don’t care how expensive or colourful they are; they ride up your bum like a Viking warrior rides into battle: HARD.
    I’ll be taking a peek at these though!

  7. my favorite bshorts are magenta with a white waistband from american eagle – side note, doesn’t everything at that place just ooze gaymo/sexually confused tween? love it – these shorts look superhot but unfortunately, some killjoy made a rule that you can only wear underwear once before washing (twice if you’re in college). so this article is the awesome b/c now my ass can look hot all the time, for $9.95 or less plus shipping and handling! Thanks Autostraddle!

  8. the brief version of those Hanes are my favorite thing ever.

    although everyone DOES love boyshorts.
    i just recalled one of my friends complementing me on a pair i was wearing.
    which leaves me wondering why my pants were off in her room…among other things.

  9. Great article, even though I do feel somewhat like the entire autostraddle team was just trying to seduce me by talking about their preferences in funderwear.

    Furthermore, potentially controversial statement, my girlfriend wears thongs and I do NOT object. At all. Just saying.

    p.s. your internet seduction is working.

  10. can you do an equivalent for undershirts for women? I love the hanes tagless ones but their smallest size is 34-36″ chest, and their little boys undershirts are only 22″ long.

  11. The Most comfy undies I have found r JOLIE briefs. I just bought 2 pair of the Hanes Authentic Boy briefs at $6 for 2 at Wally World and I Hate them! They have no Elastic in the legs but r stretch instead which I wish I had known before I bought them and they have Seams at the rump which r uncomfortable. The absolute Most comfy ever r Tennis underpants! Even w/the ball pockets on the sides they r comfy and give some tummy control too.

  12. If the boyshorts with faux or real fly are so hot for women, why are panties or even faux bras for men such a creepy thing (in most people’s eyes)?

    All of the reasons for women wearing mens underwear are equally valid for men to don the comfy, clingy, silkies that women wear without a second thought.

  13. i’ve been avidly following the various quests for the right underwear from a lot of perspectives for quite a while. Grace The Spot pointed out long ago that lesbian love showing their underpants. i, unfortunately, was born a male (shiver, shudder) and happen to LOVE wearing and male-modeling ladies full brief panties (back view) which i have on YouTube. Yes, i love the term “panties” when it refers to the nylon or silk undies i wear, but i think it’s just fine for women to wear boxers or boyshorts. i agree with Hose Fan but take it a step further: What good is it if nobody sees them?

  14. Although i prefer wearing feminine classic full cut nylon briefs myself (Vanity Fair, Maidenform, etc.) i did note that there were what appeared to be somewhat unisex style boyshorts, boxer-briefs or somewhere in between amongst the variety of photos in that relatively recent and controversial Diesel brand Underwear photoshoot in that law school library in Brooklyn, NY.

  15. This article inspired me to browse through the underwear American Eagle stocks.

    Now I have decided that one of the things I really need for Christmas is an awesome pair of AE boybriefs with polar bears on them.

  16. I found some adorable ones on sale at JayJays and amazingly, they didn’t fall apart after the first wash. The peenie pocket is very small so its not an issue and they have insanely bright cartoons of invader sim. And they’re low rise.
    I thought of getting Bonds (do ya’ll yanks have Bonds oerr there?) but the peepee pocket seems too generous.

  17. Dear Autostraddle,

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for publishing this article. I had never heard of boyshorts before seeing this. After acquiring some, I have been FREED from wedgies FOREVER! How nice that is cannot be overstated.

    Much love,
    A Reader

  18. The Hanes boy shorts have a discount price European cousin.

    Primark (Penney’s, if you’re in the Republic of Ireland, like yours truly) sell them at around €4 for two. I think that’s about $6/$7, for two pairs. They’re in the boy’s section, and come in a range of colors, including blue, white, black and electric green. They say “REBEL” across the front waistband. Comfy as hell, and they really last. I don’t work for Primark, but I do love my underpants.
    (Be warned, they’re usually pretty small sizes.)

  19. I stumbled across this article on my mission for decent, cheap, easily available boyshorts. I found at Target the “hanes premium boyfriend cotton boxer briefs” in a 3 pack and i’m in LOVE!! they are fabulous. so if anyone else runs across this article, check those out. super cute, boy style waistband, longer legs & no ride up!

  20. Holy cow! My client is a hetero entrepaneur that created a line of men’s underwear out of bamboo fiber. Disclosing that I’m an advid wearer(?) of mens trunk he hooked me up. Ah SCHNAP I loved them! I can run without wedgie, wear skinny jeans with vpl, and wash them without loosing shape/elastic. Check them out! BTW I dig Calvin K as well but I much prefer to support a local business

  21. Pingback: Lingerie Androgyny? When Lingerie Doesn’t Mean Femininity « The Lingerie Lesbian

  22. After a few years of Hanes boxer briefs I got tired of how clunky they felt and ended up back in lady-undies land. I’ve been pretty happy with the boyshorts by Aerie ( This is the tween girls underwear line from American Eagle so the website branding is super hetero-girly and don’t even get me started on the brick and mortar stores. However, their boyshorts are high quality and last for years, they usually have a couple fun androgynous patterns in stock, and they’re priced at 7 pairs for $27.
    Because they’re marketed for tweens their sizing runs small (not super-teeny, but the regular old do-your-head-in-with-sizeist-discrimination small). I take a 32″ or 34″ waist guys’ jeans and their L undies fit just right.

  23. why y’all so down on my favorite underwear? i own a few pairs of boyshorts, and at times i’d prefer to wear them but they’re thick so i get too warm and then sweaty, they bunch up in my pants, and they don’t fit under my skinny jeans or leggings very well. not great for riding my bike around town either because they don’t fit well under my pants and they get too warm. in short, uncomfortable, uncomfortable. i like a nice, flat, high-quality cotton, lightweight THONG. i own like a million of them all in bright lovely colors. i have a few boyshorts but meh, not comfortable.

    i’m not oppressed. i’m not even a femme! i’m just more comfortable this way because they fit my body and my lifestyle. i put it on, it’s lightweight and smooth, it stretches just a little like good cotton does, and it doesn’t go anywhere.

    i’m here, i’m queer, i wear thongs! (good, high-quality ones–the others are shit). diversity, people! you do you and let me do me. ;)

  24. The straight friends where very impressed when I knew who SJP was. Decided not to tell them it was because lesbian underwear articles.
    Also I glance back over this everytime I’m getting ready to go underthings shopping, for ideas and a reminder that I don’t have to wear the super feminine stuff unless I want to.

  25. To Intern Emily, the picture of the American Apparel briefs posted have the symbol for Dykes in the City. I was just wondering where you found them and if you know where I could buy some. I bought a pair more than 5 years ago and I’d love to get some more.

  26. I am not a slim woman but i am also not large either. I just dropped about 10 pounds. (Fucking like teenagers and stress will do this as well as being a vegan.) So i went out and tried out the idea of wearing boys underwear and it works! I had to get hanes xl but it worked! Super comfy and only $11 bucks for a 5 pack! This is amazing!!! No thigh restrictions just confort! Woohoo!!

  27. Pingback: Wedgie In American Eagle Boxers – Wedgies4Girls

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.