Briefs or boxers: the eternal debate
There's more to both than meets the eye

by Mark Sproxton
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 07/97) - There is a long-standing debate that divides many a Yellowknifer, as well as countless others around the world.

Its importance is minimal in the grand scheme of things. But the decision is made each morning, more or less. And, of course, it deals with an issue close to many people's, well ... brains.

To put it simply, people like briefs, or they like boxers.

Although it is not a topic of frequent discussion, people have strong opinions on the subject.

On one side there are those who swear by the brief. Proponents say they are more comfortable because of the extra support they provide to the lower tummy, and in the case of males, other parts of the anatomy.

As Kramer on TV's Seinfeld once said when asked what kind of underwear he prefers: "My boys gotta have a home."

The brief-style undergarments are perhaps most traditional in that they are similar to the diapers we all started our lives wearing.

They are smaller, more rounded and cut higher on the leg than boxer shorts.

As one Northerner wanting to remain anonymous put it: "Briefs keep everything in place, boxers don't."

(For the purposed of this article, thong underwear doesn't meet the material volume requirements to be considered underwear.)

But that does not mean the longer, more squarely cut, boxer shorts are without merit.

"Boxers are by far more comfortable," said Kevin, who asked his last name not be used. "Except when you're wearing shorts in the summer. And they're definitely a no-no when riding your bike."

Boxers are also associated with freedom, allowing the wearer or user a little more breathing space in areas that don't often see daylight.

The other advantage of boxers, people say, is they have more practical uses.

Traditional briefs make better head gear than boxer shorts -- no one can argue that. But a needle and thread can turn a pair of boxers into fully functioning shorts acceptable at most any social occasion.

And for those with a bit of imagination and sewing skills, boxers can double as colorful, decorative curtains.

So if that daily routine of walking over to the underwear drawer seems a bit humdrum, think of the importance of your selection and if you're not happy, maybe it's time for a change.