You are surfing the ‘net late night shopping for some new, hot gay underwear. There is lots to choose from, and a lot of it looks great (on the model, who also looks pretty good in general) and you are starting to reach for your credit card to treat yourself.

Great move, why not? Far too many gay men spend a small fortune on their clothes, hair and skin and then kind of fail at underwear. However, lots of guys come up against a bit of a problem when shopping for gay underwear online. Which size are they? S, M. L, XL?

Going by those letters alone will rarely get you the perfect fit – and the perfect fit is what you are looking for – as every brand tends to size at least a little differently and there is a country of origin based sizing differences. For example, often ‘S’ in Asian brands would barely fit a Ken doll. And what’s considered large in Europe is often very different in the US.

The key to avoiding fit faux pas is knowing what your real waist measurement is. Almost every brand offers a sizing chart – even if it’s a little hidden away – that translates their letter based gay underwear sizing system into actual waist measurements, so knowing what yours is is a must.

And by waist measurement, we mean your actual waist measurement. Not what it was in high school, not what it probably is based on the jeans that fit you best, what it really is. And this will involve measuring your waist and doing so the right way. A bit scary maybe if you’ve been skipping the gym lately or throwing back one too many calorie-heavy cocktails, but something that should be done before you make any gay underwear purchase.

And yes, there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do this to get an accurate measurement. Here’s how it should be done.

Step 1: Take Off Your Shirt

You’ll get a far more accurate waist measurement if you are at least stripped to it. Unless you usually wear your underwear tucked into your shirt in which case you need a lot more fashion help than just a new pair of undies.

 

Step 2: Find a Tape Measure

Ideally, you have a tape measure in that emergency sewing kit you keep in a drawer. Or you’ll remember to buy one the next time you’re out. In a pinch, you can make use of a length of string and a ruler.

 

Step 3: Locate Your Real Waist

Don’t laugh. Lots of guys don’t actually know where their real waist is. The area you are looking to measure is where the tip of your hips meets the bottom of your rib cage and where things are fleshier. Just below your belly button.

 

Step 4: Measure

Hold one end of the measuring tape at the central point of our waist, wrap it around your body until both ends meet and then take a peek at the number. In fact, we recommend you do it a couple of times to make sure you get the same result every time.

 

Step 5: Convert

When you note the number down there’s one more step. If you measured in inches, ask Siri (or your preferred AI, or a Google search) to convert the measurement into centimeters as well. Or vice versa. As the fashion world – and actually the world in general – still can’t agree on a standard unit of measure for clothing you’ll find it’s very helpful to know both!

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