Ah, the eternal menswear dilemma: Boxers or briefs? The debate has continued to rage in high fashion circles of late, but not in the way you might expect. The no-pants look has taken hold on the runways of labels like Miu Miu and Loewe and in the closets of A-list celebrities, but stepping out in public wearing bikini bottoms isn’t exactly for everyone. That’s why a certain subset of uber-stylish women and non-binary folks have turned to breezy, baggy boxers to get their underwear-as-outerwear fix.

It’s not hard to understand the appeal: When the temperatures rise, the standard options for showing some leg all come with their fair share of downsides. Skirts ride up; shorts often hug the thighs uncomfortably; skorts are hit or miss; and pants, in humid climates, are simply out of the question. Boxers—especially when paired with a flowy dress shirt, as Zendaya recently did on the Challengers press tour—provide a smart, airy, and effortless alternative. Now, labels across the fashion spectrum are offering up boxers designed specifically to be worn as tasteful shorts, from mall brands like J.Crew to streetwear imprints like Sporty & Rich.

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That innate elegance is a little ironic, given that boxers are often maligned as a sloppy and unflattering underwear choice for men. This stigma is partially rooted in the disdain that white society showed to Black men who sagged their pants during the 1990s hip-hop boom. Today, sagging is back, and has become adopted into a sort of gender-bending, non-binary skater youth culture. It’s become so ubiquitous, in fact, that ultra-femme celebrities like Beyoncé have donned boxers peeking through unbuttoned jeans to experiment with contemporary androgyny in fashion editorials. And while the consensus online seems to be that briefs are for men and boxers are for boys, that youthful flair is part of the point of the women adopting the shorts as their own.

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