REAL Women's Boxer Briefs

Updated on September 14, 2014

One Woman's Impassioned Quest

Maybe you hate teeny panties. Maybe you are an athlete. Maybe you are of larger size. Maybe you are trying to create a comfortable DMZ between your thighs. Maybe you are tired of getting overheated in synthetics and microfiber. Maybe you are tired of all the extra fabric that comes from pouches.

Whatever the case, you are like me. You are a woman who is on a quest to find real boxer briefs made for a woman's body, made from cotton fabric, with a genuine long-leg. And NOT some deceptive key-word stuffed web page trying to sell you an annoying panty, boy short or piece of shaperwear.

This is IT, my sisters! I am on the quest to find real women's boxer briefs. I'm going to put my money where my nether regions are and actually buy some of these things and wear them until we find what we are looking for.... Are you with me?!

The Underwear Quest - I want to wear what I want to wear!

comparison of women's vs men's boxer briefs
comparison of women's vs men's boxer briefs

In my personal history, I've worn very nearly every style of underwear known to woman-kind. Some of that comes from the eras in which I've lived and some from being a person who is interested in costuming. What's both surprising and not, is how often the undergarments worn by women are not all that comfortable.

I don't know exactly when I first tried on a pair of men's boxer briefs, but I can tell you that the style was probably only a year or two old, that the brand I tried were Calvin Klein's and that I got them while doing a spate of outlet shopping with my mom. In short, they were super cheap and it seemed like a fun thing to try. I wanted something to wear under a sarong while camping that wasn't outerwear-shorts and would keep my thighs from chafing.

Those boxers babies did the trick and I must have shown at least a half dozen women my underwear during that week of camping. They'd say "I just can't wear a sarong even though it's boiling out, my thighs would kill me." I'd peel back a sarong flap to flash a bit of boxer leg and the reaction was always the same. "Ooooh, that's so smart!"

So, roll forward in time... I still like the concept of men's boxer briefs but they have a few fit issues. They presume I'm a taller human (the one time I met former Squidoo community head Megan Casey, her first words were "Oh my god, you're a peanut!") and they presume I have boy stuff that needs a pouchy space between my legs. But at the same time, I am after that longer leg you get with a proper boxer brief. And I'm cheesed at all those people on the internet who keyword-mark or name things that end right at the thigh crease as being "boxers." My thigh poochies curse you!

When you look at the pictures included here, you see the most-typical items which are referred to as boxer briefs online. The girl version certainly is brief, so brief the boxer part seems to be missing. And thus, an underwear quest was born....

It's a Conspiracy!

Seriously, how come now that women are the predominant consumers we still get stuck with tons of stuff made in ways we don't like? How come a man who wants his underwear to come down 4"-6" inches in the leg has no problem? How come men can find this in nice cotton knit? Who decided that any woman who might want to do the same needs to be squeezed within an inch of her life by industrial spandex?

An Underwear Dictionary - or, how a costumer thinks of underwear

Not only did I major in costuming in my undergrad years, but I spent seven years working for a company that made lingerie. Between classes where I had to memorize a ton of names of historical garments and then working in a professional manufacturing setting, my take on underwear comes with words that mean certain things. I'm going to share some of those words and interpretations with you here because you will better understand what I'm talking about later. Your personal experience and vocabulary may vary.

  • Bikini - this is a triangle of fabric in front, full-coverage in the rear and fastens across the hips with thinner straps
  • Bloomers - a period-style of underwear that is loose cotton, fits up to the natural waist and goes down to or just below the knee. Slightly puffy-cut legs and often finished with a gathered knee and a ruffle.
  • Briefs - these often bear the nickname "granny pants" these days, as they refer to underwear that rises to the waistline and covers the entire rear and hips. Mostly white.
  • Boxers - the male style of underwear that is like a pair of shorts. These used to be just plain white (old school military) or plaid and baggy (yay, 80s!) but modern variants tend to take their styling from athletic wear and often some in knits now.
  • French-Cut - this refers to women's underwear that has a very high-cut leg opening, offering a very narrow front and leaving the entire thigh crease open.
  • G-String - when I worked for a women's wear company, this meant our tiniest panties which were a small triangle of fabric in the front, and about 1/4" elastic used to make side and backstraps. Almost no coverage.
  • Pettipants - More of an underwear cover than underwear itself, these are frequently ruffled and worn by square dancers and other performers to hide their actual underwear but meant to be seen under skirts when twirling.
  • Thong - If you hear me talk about thongs, I am speaking of small profile underwear that is most-often entirely crafted from fabric but also entirely edged in elastic for the snuggest fit. The backstraps on these tend to be the 1" width mandated in the states of Texas and Florida as required for "dancers."

Focx boxer briefs
Focx boxer briefs | Source

Test #1: Focxers

imported British boxer briefs, designed by women for women

Maybe it was because it was late at night and maybe it was because it was the night before my birthday, but the very first pair of women's boxer briefs I'm tested were made by Focx in the UK. Part of why I started with these was that they were the first thing I found after a few hours of web hunting that entirely fit the bill. Designed for a woman's figure, cotton, a true boxer brief cut.

These are the original style by Focx, they have a note on their website that the new cut is a bit longer in the leg. I got these because they were on sale, and between the exchange rate and shipping, these are still some pricey pants. (In England, "pants" are underwear and "trousers" are outerwear, in case you didn't know.) These do have a fly like men's underwear, but the ladies who make these call it a "keyhole" and it lines up for female anatomy.

The sewing and seaming is excellent. I tend to live in jeans and don't own a car, so comfort and non-bunching while walking is an extremely big deal to me. These boxers didn't slide down, and they didn't ride up too much. I'd say a 9 out of 10 on holding their position. When I'm not walking around I tend to be parked on a ball chair in front of a computer, and that's a great way to test bunching. Not bunchy at all, yay!

I've owned these long enough to go through a few seasons, and can report on their fit under jeans. It's great. They are fine in my skinny jeans, or the fleece-lined babies I pull out to get through the depths of winter.

If you can bear the expense (these are still WAY cheaper than bras for busty gals), I recommend you give a pair or two of these a try.

Comfort Choice boxer briefs
Comfort Choice boxer briefs | Source

TEST #2: Comfort Choice Boxer Brief

ordered from Roaman's

I gave up wearing white underwear when I went off to college (and I'm not a pastel pink panty girl either) so I had to hunt a bit to find the Comfort Choice boxers in black. It wasn't too hard given I had an actual brand name to guide me.

These are thinner cotton than the Focxers, with a higher waistline and a slightly longer leg. I'm very tubular/apple-bodied and I can see how some sisters who are very strongly hourglass-shaped might not get a good fit from these. They are really straight-up-and-down. The waist band is quarter-inch covered elastic. If you like a lower rise in your jeans/trousers, you'll find that not only do these boxers come up higher than the waist on your pants, but they then start to roll down.

These boxers are less bulky in the crotch than the Focxers with their keyhole.

purple/grey women's boxers by GWBB
purple/grey women's boxers by GWBB | Source

Test #3: Girls Will Be Boys

a US-based underwear manufacturer

I found the GIRLS WILL BE BOYS (GWBB) brand thanks to a recommendation in the comment box at the bottom of this lens and went to check them out right away. Right fiber, excellent color options, appropriate sizes, prices pretty much par for the course.... so I ordered two pair in purple. Shipping was fast (items were in stock) and packaging was good.

These are some of the closest in boy-style and yet they do entirely away with any sort of front pouch or opening and really, that's sort of nice for reducing bulk in the crotch. Waistbands do not roll down, but they are that screaming advertising logo all the way around that ultimately makes me wish it wasn't there. Legs are a touch longer than original Focxers but fit well and do not ride up too much under those skinny jeans I love.

This company wins on color options (LOTS of great solids) and they are domestic, which saves me gazillions on shipping from overseas. As of now, this is my go-to underwear.

The Valley Of Fire Three-Way Challenge - whatever you're thinking, it's just about underwear


Here's a literal field test report from the spring of 2014, in Nevada's own Valley Of Fire State Park. This is the Silver State's oldest and most-lauded state park. I've been camping here with a group in (mostly early) May for a decade now. At first I was just attending this four-day fire circle gathering, but now I also volunteer and hold multiple roles of responsibility and oversight. And this year, as one of any number of new things I try each year to make my experience more pleasant, I compared the three styles of women's boxer briefs across three weeks in a climate totally the opposite of what I live in, in super-active conditions.

I spent a week and a half at my fave women's retreat, then spent a handful of days in Las Vegas, and then hit the desert hard for pack-it-in-pack-it-out, with wild winds, temps and sand, sand, sand. The lowest temps I was outside in may have gone as low as the upper 40s, with that being driven by intense wind. I know the one last April Saturday I was in Las Vegas, and out walking around slightly lost, it hit 100. That just sucked. My Seattle-attuned-body just gave me the finger all day. It didn't matter how much water I drank.

I wore cut-off shorts, skinny jeans and had long underwear to supplement the shorts as an option. I had a garment that could be either a skirt or a shirt, and did both with it. And I had a couple sarongs. I had some boy cut panties for a couple nights where it was all about the psychedelic yoga pants (bet you didn't know I was one of those, did you?) but for the most part, I was wearing boxer briefs. In the end, no pair ever gave me a total fail. This means I never had to stop what I was doing and "fix" my underwear or change out of a pair that had turned hateful. And given that we had limited bathing available, that's important.

Under my cut-off shorts, all variants of boxer briefs were perfect. Just really happy campers. If I decided to suddenly jump into the leggings/long-underwear under the shorts, the GWBB did best and Focxers did the second best. The ComfortChoices' just aren't fitted enough to stay *perfectly* smooth under so other fabrics and they bunched enough I made sure to not wear them when I was doing a lot of pants layers.

Because my Focxers are the older style with the shorter leg, they can actually do okay under those fancy yoga pants of mine. The bold pattern distracts from any line left by the boxer leg, which is really slight anyway.

Under the thrift-store, I'm-going-to-the-shower-or-its-boiling dress, I actually liked the ComfortChoice the best as they were the most leggy and lightest in the heat of the day.

For sarong wear, the bold logo waistband of the GWBBs makes them more of a style liability unless you want to advertise. To me, I don't mind if a logo waistband shows above jeans, but I don't want it with a sarong. So the ComfortChoices, with almost no waistband, worked well for pairing up that way.

Questions & Answers

    Fellow Underwear Questers, Tell Us Of Your Adventures! - Have you triumphed? Or has the grail eluded you still?

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      • profile image

        Amy 2 months ago

        I purchased vlez underwear and I couldn't be happier. They are so comfortable and incredibly soft. Reasonably priced.

      • profile image

        Alex 4 months ago

        Try TomboyX. They're a little pricey, but the product is great and they have a wide selection of lengths, fabrics, and prints. They also come in extended sizes

      • profile image

        Christina 5 months ago

        Boxers are for boys

      • Berta CD profile image

        Berta CD 6 months ago from MA - USA

        I wear women's satin panties every day in a plus size to fit my 50-52 inch waist and 52-54 inch hips. Lady Grace and Catherine's were great locations to make such purchases but they no longer offer them. Where can one who loves to wear what women no longer seem to want to wear find panties, in my plus sizes, made of this exquisite feminine fabric? Having worn those miserable "tidy-whitie" male cotton restrictive briefs for many years I will never wear them again now that I've enjoyed the comfort, feeling and coolness of satin or super silky nylon panties.


      • profile image

        Jennider 6 months ago

        I Need boxers to cover my thighs so they don't rub together but I am having trouble finding what i like I need waist 47 inches, inseam 8, length 14 (or covering thighs), cotton fabric. I am 4'8 in height. I prefer colors like white,black,grey

      • profile image

        NBetty 7 months ago

        I love wearing longer boxer brief undies---panties irk me like a tag at my neck. My biggest issue is that I can never find them in my size. Women's/Juniors' are always too large and girls' sizes fit but their "boy shorts" are usually nothing more than panties that are 1/4 inch longer. So, to solve this, I've been wearing boys' boxer briefs and they are perfect. However, I have been wanting to find something more feminine, so I must thank you for this article. Hopefully, I'll find something that fits.

      • profile image

        Joselyn 8 months ago

        Tomboyx brand. Best around. A bit on the spendy side but comfy as hell and worth it. I own nothing but tomboyx now and won't wear anything else. PS just a customer not paid for the recommendation or review.

      • profile image

        Just Someone 10 months ago

        I am plus size... size 16-18w in jeans and 2-3x in tops. All my weight is in my stomach and thighs/butt but more stomach. I finally got fed up w/ women's underwear a few years ago. I tried the "boy shorts". what a joke. I was sick of the chafing. I bit the bullet and bought a package of men's boxer briefs and I have not looked back since. Some are too tight in the leg because the don't stretch, but I deal w/ them. I will only wear my women underwear for a dr. appt. or if I'm dressing up. (which never happens because not only do I work in a male dominated industry, I own no nice clothes, no shoes and no dresses. ;) I looked at the underwear you posted about. The Tomboyx costs $27 for ONE pair? and the comfort choice plus size only goes to 15. I'll stick w/ my mens boxer briefs, $16 for 4 or 5 pair. I'll never be uncomfortable again. Now let's just hope I dont' end up in an ambulance for anything. LOL

      • profile image

        Becky 14 months ago

        I found this while looking online for girls underwear. I was hoping someone would be fed up with the current choices for their little girls like I am. my 5 year old is always picking at hers and I just wish I could find something to make her comfy.

      • profile image

        peglomaniac 15 months ago

        How long I have waited for this sisterhood!

        I have two wonderful pairs of ladies boxers that are fairly short, but loose fitting that I purchased in about 2009 or 2010. Had I known the shortage that was about to ensue, I would have purchased every pair on the shelf!

        Thank you Rae for this enlightening post.

        What I am looking for is boxers that are loose fitting and not plus size ... if we're talking true dressmakers size, I am about a 10, but the fashion world has me at anywhere from a 6 to a 14! Grrr.

        Anyway, if anyone has any advice on where I can find, or the name of loose fitting women's boxer shorts, I'd love to hear from you.

        I am currently hooked on longer legged boy shorts (which are generally snug fitting) only because they seem like the next best choice but I wan't a loose fit. Short or long does not matter, just so long as they're a loose fit. :)

      • profile image

        Annika 15 months ago

        It's annoying we have to spend a lot of money just because we want comfortable underwear...

      • profile image

        CM 15 months ago

        Here's MY story,

        I have been wearing men's boxer briefs for years. Usually Jockey micro fiber. Women's underwear SUCK!! And women's boxer briefs are impossible to find that aren't too short, too long, or completely made of cotton. I like the micro fiber, moister wicking materials. I want them to come just above mid thigh and to not roll up, AND I would like some in white ( also impossible to find). I did find some Under Armour that I LOVE but, of course, they stopped making that style. SO my search continues. Thank you for your research. I am glad that I am not alone in this HATE of women's traditional underwear. Who invented these anyway??? A MAN.

      • profile image

        Breanna 15 months ago

        Try tomboyx brand. They offer many different lengths and colors for women

      • profile image

        Mandy 19 months ago

        I have a very strange body shape, my boobs and hips are about the same measurments but my waist is 10inches smaller and I have no gap between my thighs. This makes any kind of bottoms hard to fit and as a result I can't wear anything that sits on my hips cause they don't stay up. I can only wear "granny panties" but it's impossible to find anything with a long leg to wear in summer under my skirts. I'm doomed to wear bulky bike shorts which actually make me feel hotter. Hopefully I'll find something from the brands you've suggest, if not I may have to try wearing guys undies. Perhaps you should make some suitable undies, I'd pay to get them posted to Australia :D

      • profile image

        tomboy1 22 months ago

        Very nice article, I have been in the same predicament, have you heard of Foxers, they have a bunch of different styles that are made of soft cotton.

      • profile image

        Nancy 2 years ago

        Women Within Fitted Boxer Briefs, also their Bike Shorts {the latter go nearly to my knees!!)--cotton/spandex & tagless!!!

      • profile image

        indasaid 2 years ago

        Great post Rae. Spent most of this morning looking for womens boxer briefs. It's hilarious to google and find so many womyn on this same quest. Can't wait for my TomboyX to arrive. I then found GWBB; so glad to find them reviewed here. I'll likely try GWBB next (and maybe even Focxers).

      • profile image

        Happyrocker 3 years ago

        Thank you for your research! I'm going on a cross country motorcycle trip this summer and have been searching for real, cotton women's boxers that breathe and reduce the whole rash, infection war that is so common with the polyester 'pretty' underwear that were designed to look pretty- never functional !

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

        boxergirl, it's my dream to someday not have to wade through tons of keyword spam to find good underwear. Then again, I'd like to not have to hunt for good underwear at all. They should be easier to find!

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

        DT, it just got cold enough for it to be necessary to wear long underwear under my jeans and over my boxers now. Sheesh...

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

        crystalwriter, I am still on the hunt for new styles and new brands if people think there's something worth looking at out there... It's obvious there are a LOT of us who are looking for this type of underwear.

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

        Thanks for the feedback, Phantom! I have lost some weight over the last year and need to get some new sizes and see which styles fit me the best with my new size and shape.

      • profile image

        boxergirl 3 years ago

        Thanx for this read. I was really surprised when I searched this so much would pop up. I'm going to definitely look for these brands. Thanx again. ...

      • profile image

        DT 3 years ago

        well.. I took the the challenge ordered a couple pairs of boxers..I feel ir pain .. Lol I just don't understand why it's so difficult for women to get comfortable boxers lol

      • crystalwriter profile image

        Crystal A Murray 3 years ago from Corydon, Indiana, USA

        Thank you for all this research. I've been considering having some underwear custom made just so I could get all cotton and no elastic in the leg band areas where it causes a rash. Boy shorts have worked somewhat but always ride up. I don't know which I'll try first, but since I tend to stay in pajamas just to keep from wearing underwear, I'm willing to invest in whatever I can to find comfy undies. Now, if you can only find me a bra that doesn't roll, bunch, ride, etc., and has a nice thick coverage in the front, so I can wear shirts around my boys without feeling like I have to keep my arms crossed. :-)

      • profile image

        PhantomFan 3 years ago

        I tried two of the bands that you recommended. The first one was the Comfort Choice boxer briefs. They feel more like shorts and are very comfortable to wear. I also tried the GWBB ones and was very surprised at how comfortable they are. They are shorter than the Comfort Choice briefs but they were still very comfortable under the heavy duty tactical pants that I wear for work. I had been wearing spandex under my pants, but it was hot and I started looking for something cooler. I'll buy both brands again.

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

        @mccall57: Yay! That's exactly what I want to hear! And the fact that I've ground tested a few pair out in your precise neck of the desert sure can't hurt. By the way, I think have a line on a style variant with some elastic around the leg hole... So check back in a few weeks.

      • profile image

        mccall57 3 years ago

        I got online today expecting to do a couple hours of research looking for the same thing and was happily surprised that this link was in the first 5 that popped up. You have done the research and test sampling for me! I now have a place to start. And I actually live in Las Vegas- those chafing thighs are not fun under work dresses and slacks. I can't wear those spanxy things unless I want a very uncomfortable rash in a very inconvenient location. Finding a product that is lightweight stretchy cotton, not bulky, long enough legs to cover thighs but short enough to not show under a dress hem, and not roll around the waist- I thought it would be an impossible task and was trying to figure out how to make my own! Thank you for a great place to start!

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

        @BestRatedStuff: On-body testing is the way to go! Plus I just have some great underwear now.

      • BestRatedStuff profile image

        BestRatedStuff 3 years ago

        What a great idea, thanks for trying them out and giving us a good idea what to expect.

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

        @ijleague: The websites for everything is listed.

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        ijleague 3 years ago

        OMG! where can i get them..?!?

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        susan-w-miller-37 4 years ago

        GWBB make the best! You have to check them out.

      • profile image

        stylefit12 4 years ago

        Girls Will Be Boys Women's Boxer Briefs are awesome! I finally found a comfortable yet stylish pair of underwear!

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

        @Brandy910806: Wow, I had not heard of them. I just put in an order. I'm curious to see how these do....

      • profile image

        Brandy910806 4 years ago

        Type GWBB in the google search bar. It stands for girls will be boys. You will love the boxer briefs they have! I just ordered some... They haven't come yet.. But let me know what you think!

      • schwarz profile image

        Rae Schwarz 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

        @prchrgirl: I am hoping to test some new candidates for comparison soon!

      • profile image

        prchrgirl 4 years ago

        thanks for sharing. have you tested any more?