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What’s the Difference Between Briefs and Bikini Briefs?

Key differences and side-by-side examples.

Comparison of briefs underwear vs bikini briefs underwear.

Nowadays, men have a wide variety of underwear choices at their disposal. Whether it’s design, fit, style, fabric, or brand, there’s no shortage of options for men.


Even the longstanding classics are receiving upgrades and stylish new takes on the original designs.


For example, one of the most popular variations of the men’s classic brief is the men’s bikini brief.


You may be wondering, though, what gives bikini briefs their own special designation?


The main difference between classic briefs and bikini briefs is that bikini briefs have only waistband on the sides, connecting the front and back fabric panels at the top.


Classic briefs, on the other hand, have a few inches of fabric that extends down from the waistband and rides along the side of the leg to create one consistent garment of fabric.


Read on for more notable bikini brief characteristics, as well as some examples from a few of the leading brands in men’s underwear.



Bikini Briefs Are Low-Rise


Compared to the classic briefs design, bikini briefs are typically low-rise.


This means that the waistband sits right at your hips and slightly below your waistline.


Some men prefer this cut simply as a more comfortable fit on their body type, while others like the way it fits under pants.


Comparing the low-rise of bikinis vs briefs.

This low-rise design isn’t exclusive to bikini briefs, as you can find low-cut brief styles, as well as low-cut thongs, trunks, and more.


However, a low-rise fit is a usual feature of most bikini briefs.




Bikini Briefs Have a Narrow Cut


The signature of bikini briefs is their narrow cut that does away with the more concealing nature of traditional briefs.


Traditional briefs tend to encase the whole pelvic area, whereas bikini briefs utilize a pouch fit in the front.


Many men find that a pouch lends more comfort and breathability.


Certain designs may even provide some lift and accentuation for your anatomy.


Comparing the narrow cut of bikinis vs briefs.

The back of the bikini often looks similar to that of briefs, but again with a slimmer cut than traditional briefs that can even trend closer to a thong.


Keep in mind, however, that all bikinis have a back that covers some portion of your glutes (whereas thongs run between the glutes).




Bikini Briefs Use Less Fabric


Not surprising with their open-leg design, bikini briefs use less fabric than the classic briefs do.


While the design of briefs is cut to surround and wrap the pelvic area in fabric, bikini briefs forego the extra fabric on the hips and upper legs altogether, opting for just the waistband there.


Comparing how bikinis use less fabric than briefs.

The fabric then runs between the legs and connects at the waistband on top.


This results in smaller fabric panels in both the front and the back.


The front is typically designed as a pouch for both comfort and support to your anatomy while the back can vary in cut but typically covers most of your glutes.


This minimal fabric design allows for greater mobility, a freer fit, and an overall sexier look when compared to traditional briefs.




What to Look for When Purchasing Bikini Briefs


If you’re looking for a high-quality pair of bikini briefs, there are a few characteristics you’ll want to keep an eye out for when browsing.


As we covered above, bikini briefs will have a comparatively narrower cut, use less overall fabric, and sport a low-rise fit.


Of course, different underwear brands will go about this in different ways.


But the brands that give extra focus to essential characteristics like fabric type, seam detailing, and waistband fit tend to be brands that you’ll come back to time and again.

Look for premium fabrics that prioritize softness, breathability, and moisture-wicking.


These qualities will ensure a comfortable and distraction-free fit that works great for all-day wear.


Also, remember that there’s nothing quite as important as the waistband when it comes to making or breaking a pair of underwear.


Look for trunks that emphasize a comfortable and secure waistband that stays put without pinching.


We recommend the Obviously PrimeMan Bikini Briefs and the Jack Adams Bikini Briefs.



Available on Amazon: Obviously PrimeMan Bikini Briefs


The Obviously PrimeMan Bikini Briefs are crafted with an extra soft and naturally sweat-wicking micro modal material and a feature a special anatomical design.


These bikini briefs also have a flattering low-cut fit that rests at the hips and stays in place with a secure and comfy waistband.



Available on Amazon: Jack Adams Bikini Briefs


The Jack Adams Bikini Briefs pair a streamlined look with luxuriously soft modal fabric and a natural contoured pouch that perfectly conforms to your anatomy for all-day comfort.


These bikini briefs also utilize flat seams to reduce unwanted friction and a layered elastic waistband for extra comfort.


For more great bikini brief underwear options, check out our picks for the Most Comfortable Bikini Briefs.



What to Look for When Purchasing Briefs


If you’re shopping for briefs these days, you’ve likely noticed that there’s no shortage of options available to you.


In fact, there’s a wide variety of fabric choices, garment features, specialty designs, and more.


So, if you’re a bit overwhelmed by all the options and not sure where to start, here are a few characteristics that high-quality underwear brands tend to focus on.


A great pair of briefs will pay special attention to design and construction.


Look for briefs that mention flatlock stitching or chafe-free seams for an extra comfortable fit, as well as a stay-put waistband that won’t roll or pinch.


Also, don’t forget about finding a roomy fit in the front for your anatomy.


Look for mention of a contour pouch that provides comfortable support.


These features tend to make for a great blend of comfort and durability that’s perfect for all-day wear and last for a long time.


We recommend the Tommy John Second Skin Briefs and the David Archy Bamboo Rayon Briefs.


Man wearing Tommy John Second Skin Briefs.

Shop at Tommy John: Tommy John Second Skin Briefs


The Tommy John Second Skin Briefs are a great silky soft option for everyday wear with a non-pilling micro modal spandex fabric blend and a stay-put waistband.


These briefs also have a comfortable contour pouch in the front with a signature horizontal fly and a comfortable stay-put waistband.


Man wearing David Archy Bamboo Rayon Briefs.

Shop at David Archy: David Archy Bamboo Rayon Briefs


The David Archy Bamboo Rayon Briefs feature an extra soft and smooth bamboo rayon fabric with a 3D U-pouch for comfortable support.


These briefs utilize a versatile performance design that’s lightweight, breathable, and naturally moisture-wicking.


For more great brief underwear options, check out our picks for the Most Comfortable Briefs.


Looking to add a new style to your rotation? Discover the different underwear types that are available to men.

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