One of the most frequent underwear questions that comes my way is about sizing. When it comes to something you'll be wearing against your body all day, you want to make sure that the fit is perfect. Therefore, to answer the age-old question, YES! SIZE MATTERS...at least when it comes to underwear.
When finding the perfect fitting underwear, there are a few things to take into consideration. The first is cut. We all have our preferences...from boxers to briefs to thongs, there's a cut for everyone. For some it's all about fashion, others focus most on comfort. Some find boxers to be too loose, some find boxer briefs too constricting on the thighs (i'm in that group), some find briefs to cut their thighs the wrong way, and some think thongs are too uncomfortable.
Once you select the cut you like, the next thing to consider is the pouch. Contour or "bulge" designed pouches have become the norm and you're likely to find many brands offering at least a few of these options, some brands (N2N, Ergowear, Andrew Christian) even specialize in these designs. Some guys find that these pouches give them exactly the comfort, support, and room they need up front for their package while others find that there's too much room and they don't fill them out as expected. Give each a try once in your life and figure out which works for you.
Now that we've addressed cut and pouch design, let's get to the most important thing when it comes to finding the perfect fit...the size chart. YES! You actually need to look at those things when it comes to buying underwear, especially when you purchase online. I find so many guys who rule out certain styles or brands all together because of one bad purchase. When I ask them what size they are and what type of pouch they prefer, I often get vague answers such as "I've always been a medium". WRONG! Just because you're a certain size in one brand doesn't mean you'll always be that same size in other brands.
Yes, it's true that most brands follow a consistent size chart, but it's still good to double check when you order. I also find that some guys who are towards the top of a size range will often find it more comfortable to go up to the next size. There are also situations when those at the lower end of a size range may be more comfortable going down a size if there's enough room in front, such as having a bulge design pouch.
So here are my general guidelines when it comes to finding the right fit:
1. Read the size chart
2. If you are well endowed, look for a bulge designed pouch. If you're not as endowed, stick to classic pouches
3. If you are at the high end of a size range and enjoy a roomier fit, consider going up a size
4. If you are at the low end of a size range and prefer a snug fit, you might go down a size. Just be sure to pick the correct pouch design that works best for your equipment.
My final piece of advice when it comes to finding the right size, read reviews. Many sites have customer reviews listed right along side the item you're considering buying. Someone else has already tried them so read what they have to say. If multiple reviews address sizing, pay attention and order accordingly. A little bit of time reading can save you a lot of headaches in the end...not to mention saving you money by ordering the right size for you, the first time. Happy Shopping!