Should you wear linen underwear or polyester underwear? We say both - depending on your activity.
How moisture is managed differs greatly between linen underwear and synthetic sports underwear. To think of it in a simplified way: linen fabric transports moisture, whereas synthetic fabric deflect moisture.
When moisture contacts linen, the fibers transport moisture through capillary action (imagine a water drop touching the fabric and spreading out). This allows linen to quickly absorb moisture it makes contact with, spread that moisture out over a large surface area of the fabric, then allow that moisture to evaporate to the environment. The end result is the surface of your skin stays dry.
The opposite is true for synthetic sports fabric (for good reasons). Since the rate of evaporation is unlikely to be fast enough to remove all moisture in extreme perspiration activities, the objective now becomes to divert that moisture. A synthetic sports fabric is usually made of polyester, fairly thin, with minimal absorption ability. When moisture contacts the fabric, a slight amount will be absorbed by the fabric, and the rest will flow off from the influence of gravity. It’s a misconception that sports underwear absorb and disperse moisture at any significant rate. To demonstrate this claim, consider an adult who perspires 100ml. Think of that 100ml spread out over 3 square feet of fabric - would that amount of perspiration evaporate within 1/2 of an hour? Unlikely. What makes synthetic sports fabric dry quickly is the fact that they can hold little to no water.
The antibacterial properties of linen and polyester are also completely different. Linen provides a poor breeding ground for bacterial, so bacteria is slow to grow. The opposite is true for polyester. Polyester, and most other synthetic fabrics, provide an ideal breeding environment for bacteria and fungi. When perspiration and heat are transferred to a polyester fabric, soon bacteria will flourish, and what we perceive as odor is actually a particular bacterial growth.
Both fabrics serve their purpose in the right activity. There is no single underwear for all conditions. Although polyester is not ideal in most situations, it is the most practical option for intense physical activities. In summary, for high perspiration activities the best option is a thin polyester underwear. In other normal to moderate intensity perspiration activities the most comfortable option will be linen underwear.
|inches||27 - 30||30 - 33||33 - 36||36 - 39||39 - 42|
|cm||68.5 - 76||76 - 84||84 - 91.5||91.5 - 99||99 - 107|
These are USA sizes. Size down for European.
HOW TO MEASURE
Wrap a measuring tape around your hip bone line, making sure the tape is parallel to the ground. This measurement determines your waist size. IMPORTANT: Do not rely on your jean size measurements. Just because your jean size is 34 does not mean your waist is 34 inches. Usually, your waist measurements are greater than your jean size.
|US Men's||US Woman's||Euro||UK|
|S||4 - 6||34 - 37||2 - 4.5|
|M||6 - 8||7 - 9||38 - 41||5.5 - 7.5|
|L||9 - 11||10 - 12||42 - 45||8.5 - 10.5|
|XL||12 - 16||46 - 49||11.5 - 15.5|