Enhancing swimwear in public? What about boxers? Underwear collecting and more.


The questions keep coming in and I have some more responses and answers for you. Hopefully you found the last reader comments and questions article useful and interesting so here’s more to share. We cover a broad range of topics including package enhancing swimwear etiquette, missing boxers and underwear collecting.


In regard to male enhancement swimwear, do you think it's o.k. to wear a low rise style swim brief (having male enhancement) to a coed (male/ female) health club for lap swimming purposes, or do you think it would be too revealing and not appropriate. Most of my time will be spent in the pool or hot tub rather than walking around. I do not have greatly "toned" muscles or abs but am not overweight either (6'1", 160lbs.).

...Mark in Pennsylvania

Hello Mark,

This is actually a somewhat complex question to ask because there are quite a few factors going on here. First thing would be what the social climate is in your community. If you live in a very conservative area it can be a bit more likely that you’ll get stares or looks that are not necessarily approving (not that we should be overly concerned about what others think). On the other hand in some other communities it wouldn’t be considered a big deal at all to wear a very brief form-fitting swimsuit. Part of how you feel and/or react to the attention and the way other people will react to you will be based on the kind of energy you project while wearing the swimsuit. If you are timid or act overly self-conscious, then you’ll probably attract more attention than if you can wear the garment with confidence and a casual nature. That is of course related to your personal level of comfort with your body and how it is revealed in public and how sexy/good the swimsuit makes you look. I think as long as you choose swimwear that follows the rules of attire for the health club then you should feel the freedom to wear what you want, and what makes you feel good about yourself.

Having said that you should be able to wear anything, I do think that from my personal perspective there are some better choices and then there are some not so great choices given the context. It might be a good idea to take a “stepped” approach to your swimwear adventure. In order to test the waters at your local health club I might suggest an initial trial with something a little less revealing (but still enhancing of course) like a squarecut in a darker color. It’s a little tougher to find examples right now given that it’s the middle of winter here in the US so the fashion cycle isn’t really focused on swimwear but here are some examples:

C-In2 Stellar Swim Army Trunk with Sling Support
X3D Squarecut
Andrew Christian Competition Squarecut

N2N Champion Trunk
Tulio Anatomic Squarecut

I’m suggesting something like those examples that have a more racing-style competitive look since it will convey the image that you’re wearing this swimwear for its functionality and that you are serious about the exercise rather than trying to be provocative or titillating. The darker color suggestion stems from the fact that white and lighter colors will absolutely show off your package outlines (regardless of a liner) much more prominently and it might be pushing the envelope a bit depending on who else is there at the pool.

If the first test works out well (and really, it shouldn’t be a big deal at all) then I say you can graduate to something a little more brief but still cool and sporty like these examples:

X3D Swimsuit Inter
AussieBum Storm Wonderjock
Andrew Christian Lifesaver Bikini

N2N Collegiate Trunk

Another option you could try out in order to ease your way towards that low-cut swimsuit is to use an intermediate cover-up over your briefer gear while walking around the club and then taking that off once you get to the water. AussieBum sells several short styles that can work well as an interim cover up between changing rooms and the pool like the Legends short:

AussieBum Legends Short

To address the enhancing issue more directly I think if you are already above average then I would avoid making yourself even more prominent since your package will become really obvious and too much of a focus for a coed club. On the other hand if you are more on the average size-range and would feel more confident with some extra lift or definition then something along the lines of the C-In2 Sling, Andrew Christian “Show-It” or AussieBum Wonderjock could fit the bill well.

I would emphasize that it’s really about wearing 1. What you want to wear, 2. What makes you feel good about yourself and 3. What is fashionable and designed well for your body type. Definitely spend the effort of getting the right size and cut of swimwear since something that is too tight around the waist will only emphasize un-toned parts of your body and certain curves and pattern cuts are going to work better on some body types over others. I realize I haven't given you a definitive answer but that's because I can't put myself entirely in your shoes. To do that I'd probably want to know where you live, the kind of health club, if there is already a precedent set for wearing form-fitting suits etc. If you really want my opinion and only speaking for myself, I would go with an enhancing squarecut to split the difference between a regular swim trunk and a swim brief. Lastly and most importantly, have fun getting exercise and into shape since the more workouts you do at the pool you’ll look even better in whatever gear you wear!

I think this particular question could benefit from another reader poll so here we go readers...




What swimwear wearing advice would you give to Mark for the coed pool?

Regular Swim Trunks
Short Swim Short
Regular Squarecut
Regular Swim Brief
Enhancing Squarecut
Enhancing Swim Brief

view results


I just found your web site online after purchasing underwear online. I have always been searching for such a site. I have some recommendations. I notice that you do not review boxers - is it that you do not consider those underwear in the traditional sense? Also, how do you select your brands for review. There are some brands that I have found to be very comfortable such as Report Collection sports brief, CIN2 low rise no sling but I do no see those on your site. I would love to hear what you think about those. Also, how many pairs of underwear do you own? You don't have to answer but it would be good to do a story on your site addressing this issue of owning lots of underwear which some people consider to be an underwear fetish. But I believe you can never have too much underwear. I have over 90 pairs in over 20 brands (CK, Nautica, Hanes, Jockey, Polo by Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, 2 Xist, CIN2, Unico, Undergear, Tactics, Toot pants-ya from Japan, Andrew Christian, Papi, Clever, Go software, XXX, Merona, DT, Report Collection, DKNY, JustusBoys) and I am wondering if that is considered too much?

I recently took stock of all of my underwear and I am trying to see how much money I have spent on my collection. It would be good to do a survey on your site to see how many pairs people actually own and something else that has always interested me is what is the longest period of time that you have owned a pair of underwear that remains in great condition after wearing and washing several times - for example I have had a pair of Calvin Kleins for the past ten years - no holes, the waistband has not stretched, only the color has faded and they even look great with the faded color.

One last suggestion - can you get readers of your site to submit pictures of their underwear drawers - maybe a competition - would be good to see how people store their underwear - do they fold them and arrange in some pattern or do they just have them all stuffed in a drawer or clothes bin. Prize could go to the best arranged drawer.

I have made your site my homepage in my browser and I will be visiting regularly to give my comments on your reviews of underwear that I also happen to have in my underwear collection.

Once again congratulations on a great site.


William covered a lot of topics and I’ll try to answer all the questions but I may not go into huge detail here.

C-In2 Classic Boxer
On boxers, I absolutely believe they are a valid and popular form of underwear, especially in the US. I personally have never worn them and have no interest in starting to wear them which partly explains their absence from the reviews. I think everyone should wear what they feel comfortable in and it just happens to be that for myself, boxers just doesn’t feel as good as a nice pair of briefs or squarecuts. One other contributing factor for not including boxers in the reviews is that there’s simply a lot more product innovation and design occurring in other underwear styles right now over boxers. Again, that doesn’t mean that some boxers aren’t very well designed and innovative-they’re just not my area of focus at this time.

The underwear I select for reviews is sometimes planned and sometimes random. It may depend on what I just bought recently or thought was particularly interesting to highlight on the site that day. If I really feel positive about a pair of underwear I like to share that knowledge, and if it’s really bad, I consider it a useful caution for others as well. Some general goals for the review selections that I try to keep in mind include:

  1. Review underwear that is currently available for purchase. Principally, this blog is about consumer information so there’s little point in covering something that isn’t in production or readily available for order at the time of the review.
  2. Highlight international designers in order to not make the blog entirely US-centric.
  3. Do not discriminate based on price points, e.g. cover department store brands as well as designer lines.
  4. Try out underwear that I don’t normally wear e.g. thongs or long-johns (exception of course for boxers).

  5. I also try to be responsive to reader requests when they come in. It can be tough to always follow-up quickly but I definitely put those requests into future plans whenever I can. I’ll take a look at the Report Collection line next chance I get.
How many pairs of underwear do I own? I really don't know, I haven’t done any official counts lately but I’m sure it’s a lot. I own many dozen more pairs of underwear than what’s been reviewed on the blog to date and sometimes it’s a variety of patterns and colors of the same style like the C-In2 low rise brief which is one of my favorite all-day briefs. Sure 90 pairs is a lot of underwear, but I’m the last person on the earth who would say you should not buy any more. I think as long as you aren’t having financial management issues based on your underwear purchases then it’s pretty much an open field for you to buy whatever number and variety of undergarments you wish. There are so many designers, cuts, styles and patterns on the market today it can be fun to try out all the new gear. Let’s put it this way, the reverse (having too few pairs of underwear) can be a lot worse! I'll definetely think about adding another reader poll soon regarding numbers of underwear garments owned but just so I don't create "poll fatigue" look for that in the near future.

Calvin Klein Body Hip Brief
As far as long-lasting underwear I’d say I’ve had good experiences with the Calvin Klein Body line of underwear. I’ve owned many pairs and they have held up well. My C-In2 briefs also seem to hold up well throughout time. There are quite a few factors that can influence the long-term wearability of a pair of underwear including manufacturing quality, fabric composition and of course how many pairs you own in order to cycle through the days. Since I do own quite a few pairs I can keep underwear around for quite a long time since I may not wear the same pair in a while which is a good way to keep your favorite picks in good shape. You should check out the reader poll from the 1st Edition of Reader Comments and Questions and make sure to add your opinion about which underwear brand/designer lasts the longest.

On underwear collection photos… I know some of the other underwear blogs have featured reader underwear collection photos and I’m open to featuring those if there are readers interested in sharing. We’ll see if that could be a contest in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.

So William, hopefully I was able to answer at least some of your questions and thanks very much for reading and writing!

I’ve had more reader comments and questions come in this last week so I’ll try to get back to you soon. Feel free to add your comments to this article or e-mail.


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