(New to our “Underwear 101” series? Check out the introductory post here, and see all “Underwear 101” posts here.)

Are you well-versed on the ins and outs of MicroModal? Should you opt for polyester underwear at the gym? And what’s this elastane you keep hearing so much about?

We understand if those questions elicited a blank stare. With so many men’s underwear choices on the market, it can be tough to know which material to wear—or why that matters.

Fortunately, Jack Adams is here to help. We’ve looked at some of the most popular underwear materials, made recommendations for when each comes in handy, and showed examples of how we work each material into our lines.

MicroModal

LUX Trunks by Jack AdamsThe first three words that come to mind when you imagine MicroModal: Comfort, comfort, comfort.

The luxurious fabric feels soft, sleek, and silky to the touch, not unlike cotton. Made from beech tree fibers, the biodegradable MicroModal fabric has a few distinct advantages over cotton: It feels snug against your body, resists shrinkage after repeated washings, and is less likely to fade or pill after multiple uses.

What It’s Good For: MicroModal’s versatility makes it a popular choice for everyday wear. Slip into a pair on a long flight, in the boardroom, or when you head out on the town.

How We Use It: Our Air Trainer Boxer Brief offers a contoured pouch for added support, and it sports a horizontal fly for quick access; the lightweight, yet durable LUX Drift Collection uses the material in a cut that moves with your body and offers plenty of room in the front and back; and the LUX Collection helps you feel comfortable and confident with a cut that won’t leave you tugging, pulling, or grabbing at ill-fitting underwear.

Cotton and Cotton Blends

Sport Tek Briefs from Jack AdamsWe’ve all worn cotton underwear. Our parents probably bought us packs of cotton underwear for holidays and birthdays, and it remains the most popular underwear material for most adults.

And, for good reason: Cotton is cheap, breathable, comfortable, soft, absorbent, and durable. When you purchase a pair of underwear made from cotton (or a cotton blend), you’re getting a high-quality fabric that ably meets your basic needs.

What It’s Good For: Cotton isn’t the sexiest fabric on the market, but it’s ideal for day-to-day use. Don’t wear it to the gym—cotton absorbs sweat and water, which takes longer to dry than Dry-Fit materials—but you’ll enjoy in most other scenarios.

How We Use It: We like to put an innovative spin on the classic material. Our Sport Tek Briefs are made from a kinetic punch-hole fabric that improves breathability and comfort—all while adding a subtle, sexy lift in the back.

Polyester

Hayden Briefs by Jack AdamsThe synthetic fabric is typically used with swimwear, but polyester holds its own as a thin, yet durable material for everyday underwear. The lightweight fabric resists chemicals, won’t fade after repeated uses, and tends not to pill or show signs of wear.

What It’s Good For: The thin fabric hides well under tight-fitting clothes and feels cool against your body. The material isn’t very absorbent and might feel itchy or stuffy on hot days, though.

How We Use It: Our Hayden Brief is made from a polyester blend that hugs your body for a slinky, bold fit, while our Sportsman Brief is designed for maximum support, thanks to a lightweight mesh that keeps you cool, dry, and comfortable.

Nylon

Zen Brief by Jack AdamsNylon doesn’t get much publicity as a high-quality men’s underwear material, but we’re fond of its long-lasting performance.

The durable, synthetic fabric won’t fade after repeated uses, feels soft on the skin, resists normal wear and tear, and offers a lightweight alternative to heavier materials, such as silk or cotton.

What It’s Good For: Nylon is viable in the gym or at home; its synthetic, microfiber construction creates a durable, long-lasting pair that stands up to regular use.

How We Use It: Our Zen Brief is made from a see-through mesh fabric in the back and a contrast panel in the front for a sleek, sexy look, and the supportive pouch offers plenty of room in the front.

Elastane

Striker Trunks by Jack AdamsEven if you’ve never heard of elastane, chances are good you’ve worn it before. You might know the synthetic fabric by another, more common name: Spandex.

The versatile material is extremely lightweight, stretchy enough to accommodate most athletic activity, stands up to repeated washings, and resists sweat and water.

Jack Adams doesn’t make underwear solely from elastane, but you’ll find it in many of our lines; MicroModal and cotton might offer comfort and support, for instance, while elastane provides the elasticity that makes a pair ideal for working out.

What It’s Good For: You’ll feel most comfortable wearing elastane at the gym, given its tightness, elasticity, and moisture-resisting properties.

How We Use It: Our Striker Trunks are engineered for high-output activity, thanks to a breathable design and hugging form-fit, while our Pop Collection caters to that fashion-forward man with a selection of vibrant colors and superior comfort.

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