Teen Son and Underwear?

Updated on February 14, 2017
K.M. asks from Napoleon, OH
28 answers

My son who is now in the 8th grade just brought up while on our way to the store that he would like to get different underwear. I just bought him all new briefs before the school year started so I just asked if they didn't fit well. He said they fit fine but no guy in the locker room wears briefs anymore and he didn't want to be picked on for the whole "tighty whities" thing.

I have bought him a mix of white and colored briefs for the last few years and I just said wear the colored ones to school. But I let him pick out some and he got boxers/boxer briefs.

Maybe it's because I'm older but I don't understand the whole tighty whitie thing, to me they are just underwear. My husband has always worn briefs, white and colored ones and he's never had any issues that I know of. Do teens really get picked on for their underwear choice? I've just never paid attention to any of that.

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So What Happened?

I think some of you misread the question. I let him get the boxers and boxer briefs he wants. I just don't understand all the hatred towards regular briefs. Colored or white they are just underwear so why would anyone pick on some for their underwear choice.

But my son has been wearing the boxer briefs more than the boxers and he says they fit just fine. What I have noticed is that he wears the boxers during the school week but in the weekend he wears his regular briefs.

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X.Y.

answers from Chicago on

Yes he could get picked on for something as ridiculous as 'tighty whities' ....kids can be so mean about the silliest things

I've made a rule with my kids; we don't go school clothes or shoe shopping till after school starts. This way they can get a feel of what the 'style' is before I spend money on stuff they won't wear.

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R..

answers from San Antonio on

Oh, just take him to Target or Walmart and let him pick out new underwear for himself.

My son started 6th grade this year and he came home after starting to change out for PE and wanted different underwear. He was the only tighty whitie guy in his class. So I took him that very afternoon and let him pick the underwear he wanted...cost me about $20-25...and he felt "normal" like he fit in with all the other guys. (To me that is priceless...because they will find other things to pick on but underwear we can control).

Boys are different from girls....so take him for new undies!!!

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

Yes, they do get teased for wearing briefs. Tighty whitey is slang. Doesn't have anything to do with color.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

I think kids get picked on for all kinds of things. I also think it is long past time to put your son in charge of his own clothing choices, at least for underwear. You can be in charge of the overall budget and veto things that are clearly inappropriate, but underwear is definitely personal. Your job, as a mom, is to believe him when he tells you that certain things are problematic. Just because you've done one thing for several years doesn't mean the rules haven't changed.

Forget about trying to understand it. And just because your husband didn't tell you anything about this before doesn't mean your son hasn't had a problem with it. Be glad that he has finally told you - which is not easy for teen boys to discuss with their moms.

Frankly, boxers are more forgiving and less tight - and boys are sensitive to how they appear to others, just as girls are about bras.

Donate the briefs to a worthy cause and let him buy the boxers he wants.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

Ug, I hated grades 5 - 8. Going to school was miserable. At that age, all anyone wants to do is fit in, and the easiest way to feel like you fit in is to do what everyone else is doing.

You're really taking this way too seriously. Your son comes to you and says he'd like to try some different underwear. Rather than saying, "Sure honey, here's $20. Go pick out some underwear you like," you are trying to rationalize it. It's not a big deal. He wants to get some new underwear. I'm glad my mom never told me I couldn't buy a certain type of underwear. I know what style feels comfortable on me, so that's the style I buy.

There's a good chance that no one would actually pick on him. They may not even notice. That does change the fact that it's on his mind. He's noticed what all the other guys are wearing, and he wants to fit in. That's all.

In the next few years there will be other ways he wants to "fit in." I think it's important not to make a big deal about the ones that really aren't a big deal. Underwear isn't a big deal.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

Yes, they do. It's his underwear. Let him wear what he wants.

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E.S.

answers from Boston on

I think what kind of undies boys like is no different than what kind of undies girls like. I bought my son briefs just like his dad's. Then came the day he wanted something else. He actually went through a couple of styles until the boxers stuck.I don't know if the kids tease but I do know that as our kids grow they develop their own preferences and we need to honor them.

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V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Um, yeah.
If teen boy wants a different kind (for whatever reason) just get them. I mean, unless $ is an issue. But if not, and it doesn't sound like that's a problem in this situation, just get him what he wants. Regardless of whether he will get picked on (and he will, most teen boys don't even wear briefs--color or no--they wear boxer briefs or boxers) who wants to wear underwear you hate? Would you? What if you had to wear "granny panties" every day? Would you be happy about that? I wouldn't.

This is just "one of those things" that you just do. Don't question it too much.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Do you like the way certain underwear fit better then others? Some women like thongs, others briefs, and still others prefer the added coverage of a boy short. Men are the same way, some like a brief, some a boxer ect. Just let him wear what he likes and stop overanalyzing it.

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J.T.

answers from Binghamton on

Heck yes! Briefs weren't cool through at least college. No guy would have been caught dead in them. At least people I hung out with... my husband wears them and I tease him. :). Half kidding. I like the look of boxers way more.

Updated

Heck yes! Briefs weren't cool through at least college. No guy would have been caught dead in them. At least people I hung out with... my husband wears them and I tease him. :). Half kidding. I like the look of boxers way more.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

Your son is growing up. He is making his likes known. He wants boxers. Get the kid some boxers.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

Yup. Just get him whatever kind he chooses.

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

Yes, it's no different than a teenager wearing the high-waisted granny panties. How do you think her classmates would respond in the locker room, when they are wearing bikini, boy short or thong underwear? I highly doubt they would say they love her panties and she looks sexy in them. They'd probably call her an old lady or ask if she borrowed her great-grandmother's underwear. Same would go for a young girl wearing a minimizing, uniboob bra when her classmates have the cute, padded, lacy Victoria's Secret stuff, or if she has an outdated bowl haircut like she stepped out of a Beatles movie set. If you can imagine that, then I am sure you can now understand the teasing a young man might go through if he is seen in dorky tighty whities.

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M.6.

answers from New York on

Kids are mean - and yes, kids will tease a kid for just about anything. Your son may just be worried that he might, or he may have seen another kid get teased for whitey tighties and doesn't want to suffer the same consequence. One thing to note is that often kids single out specific kids and tease them no matter what - 100 kids could be wearing the same kid, but if the targeted kid wears it, he/she is screwed.

I'd just hand him the money to pick out what he wants next time you are at the store. Or, if you have Amazon Prime or use Jet, have him order a couple of packages and they will arrive at the door in 2 days.

This is also a great time to talk about what happens if he DID get picked on and also about not joining the "crowd" against picking on a kid. Parents think that kids just know how to handle these situations, but they don't.

Good luck!

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

It is considered completely dorky to wear tighty whities. They look like diapers. Some kids will give him a hard time about it or snicker at him. Boxer briefs are considered cool. Buy colored ones...grey, navy, black. If your teen son is a kid who cares what others think just buy him new underwear. It's important to feel like you fit in when you are a teen. It's hard being a kid. PS - Maybe your middle school was not like this but the middle school I went to had kids would took delight in picking on people. They were complete jerks. If they saw a small reason to pick on someone they were all over it...humiliation was fun for them and their friends.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Well someone MUST wear them because they wouldn't make or stock them if they were never sold.
At any rate - he's in 8th grade and yeah - a lot of guys will want to start getting involved in what sorts of underwear they wear.
Our son went from colored briefs to colored boxer briefs - and my husband decided he likes the boxer briefs now too.
Do you get the same bra every time?
I would if I could but usually when ever I find something that's just perfect - they stop making it - and I have to look for something else.

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V.S.

answers from Reading on

I think my concern here is not that your son wants to change underwear, but rather why you don't believe the reason he's giving? Personally, I think briefs are ugly and make men look like little kids. I'm in my 40s and they were considered ugly by the guys I dated in the 90s and my husband won't wear them. And they're unhealthy. But yes, boys who have to change in locker rooms do get made fun of for wearing little boy underwear - white or rainbow.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Kids pick on other kids for lots of stupid reasons.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Fashions and styles change over the years.
Of COURSE you should let him pick out his own underwear at this age!
I can't believe you wouldn't have gotten picked on if you were wearing granny-panties at that age...

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K.H.

answers from New York on

Yes they do get teased! You essentially have been sending him in boy panties and he's tired of it! Glad you let him pick the correct ones. Good job.

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T.D.

answers from Springfield on

yes kids pick on eachother for any reason they can think of even if it makes no sense.

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C.U.

answers from Milwaukee on

There less of a chance that anything will peek out. My boys have skinny legs but other parts seem to be big enough to peek out.ugh

Updated

There less of a chance that anything will peek out. My boys have skinny legs but other parts seem to be big enough to peek out.ugh

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

No one wears white briefs anymore.

They hardly sell them in the store except to older men who just really don't care anymore.

What sells is boxer briefs. In dark solid colors. They wear the tighter knit longer leg under everything.

Boxers aren't even a great seller anymore. Just go to the underwear department of the stores and look. It's almost all knit boxer briefs.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

my son is in 8th grade and wears "tighty whities." I have asked him if he would rather get boxers multiple times and he always says no. He said he prefers his TW's because they keep things from swinging around.
My other son, 5th grade, ONLY wears boxer briefs because he doesn't like feeling squished.
Go figure.
I didn't know that boys really paid any attention to that.
I will ask my son when I get home from work.lol

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K.M.

answers from New York on

Kids get picked on for EVERYTHING! Glad you let him get the underwear that he wants:)

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

Yep, they get teased about 'tighty whities'. My son also suddenly needed new shampoo. I said we have plenty of shampoo, his reply was he didn't want to smell like a girl.

Girls also get teased about their undies. So in middle school my daughter needed to wear cute bra and panty sets.

Let your children be your guide as you go through this phase. I couldn't afford the Ambrocormbie or Holister clothes I told her she needed to find a job if she wanted those expensive clothes. She started babysitting and bought her own.

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J.C.

answers from New York on

If every girl at gym wore a jogging bra and you had on a regular bra, wouldn't you want a jogging bra too? IT's just what's in. He wants to blend. Not stick out in his tighty whiteies. Chances are, someone has already called him out on this.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I can't believe you are still purchasing clothing of any kind for your son without asking his opinion. From now on - ask him. Not just shirts and pants, but also underwear, shoes, and even socks! Even my 5th grader has an opinion on these things.

It's understandable that you don't pay attention to teen fashion and that you don't know what kinds of things make a kid a target for teasing - which is all the more reason why your child should be buying his own things when school shopping or clothing shopping (you provide a gift card, he chooses what to buy).

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