• Emery Smith

Period boxers - a small review

Period underwear has become popular in recent years as a practical and eco-friendly solution to the monthly bother that is menstruation. However I think there is a still a significant lack of more gender-affirming styles for non-binary and trans-masculine people who may still have periods.


I have previously sewn my own period boxer shorts before, by sewing an additional gusset panel into the bottom of the underwear, to which a winged pad can be attached.


Unfortunately I don't have much free time for sewing at the moment (8 month old baby's fault) but was in desperate need of new period undies given the arrival of my cycle, so I wanted to try some ready made ones.


I found three versions on sale in the UK with low cost or free delivery that offer a boxer short style for when on your period; two with a built-in absorbent section, and one with the means for attaching a pad with wings.


(There are some great US brands out there like Aisle and Toni Marlow but unfortunately shipping and customs fees to the UK tend to be prohibitive.)


My measurements are hip 39 inches and waist 38 inches for reference.


Thinx Boy Shorts


Thinx are a US company but I purchased a pair from Selfridges online who are a UK stockist. These were the most expensive pair (I did get 10% off by signing up to the website) at £36.


I purchased a large. Overall the fit was ok, the rise was just low enough to sit under my postpartum belly. The waistband was quite thin and soft. Overall they were pretty comfy.


Selfridges only stocked black although they are also available in navy direct from Thinx. The material is shiny, almost like cycling shorts and it's double layer, nylon on the outside and cotton on the inside.


I found on a light day of my cycle I could wear these for 8 hours or so. But in heavy days it was much less. I found using a wingless pad as a booster on heavy days worked well and gave me good protection against leaks.



Modibodi Boy Shorts



Modibodi are an Australian company but have a UK website and distributor. Shipping is free and fast. These cost £26 at full price but I found a 15% off code on Instagram.


This is a UK size 16. I found the fit not quite as good as the Thinx. The waistband is higher which means it digs into my belly a bit. The material is a bamboo elastane mix which is nice and soft though and they come in this deep blue colour as well as black.

I found the absorbency to be similar to the Thinx. I would not wear them alone on a heavy day without an additional pad inside but on lighter days I'd wear them around 8 hours.


Spectrum Outfitters 3in1 boxers



Spectrum Outfitters are a UK based company run by, and for, trans people. They sell chest binders as well as boxer shorts.


These boxers feature an additional hidden layer inside like a pair of briefs that you can attach your pad too. This part fits more snuggly and you can see the outline of it slightly from the outside.They also have a pocket at the front you can put a packer in if you like.


They are made from cotton and come in just black. I like these as you can use them with standard reusable pads with wings.


I took a bit of a guess with the sizing and went with XL-XXL. I think they may have updated the fit and sizing chart recently so I'm not sure what this translates to now.


The fit is good, I like the longer length compared to the previous two. But I do find that without a packer they tend to be a bit baggy at the front.


The waistband sits just below my belly and is quite wide, so has a tendency to fold in half on me. That's not really too much of a problem though.


Cost-wise these are £16.50, the cheapest of the three.


Conclusion

Overall I like all three of these boxers and use them all when I'm on my period. I get the most out of the Thinx and Modibodi ones by using them as an outer leak-proof layer with pads as well. The benefit of the Spectrum ones is I can use my reusable pads with wings and also they dry a lot quicker as they don't have the absorbent panel. But all three suffer from not fitting me quite right over my tummy pooch area.


So think I'll be soon sewing my own again after all!


Have you tried any of these brands, or do you know of any others?

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