A Brief Guide to Becoming a Male Underwear Model

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There’s no ifs, ands, or butts about it—male underwear modeling is all about confidence, comfort, and a hint of cheekiness. Whether you’re a boxer or brief kinda guy, here’s what you need to know to get started.

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What is a male underwear model?

These are male-presenting and -identifying models who use their bodies to showcase briefs, boxer briefs, boxers, jock straps, thermals, and more. Work might include social media campaigns, print magazine shoots, and runway appearances for brands such as Calvin Klein, Jockey, Saxx, and Uniqlo. 

What does it take to be a male underwear model?

  • A good aesthetic: While you don’t need to have the six-pack abs seen in ’90s Calvin Klein ads, general modeling requirements include an appealing look, which usually means a fit, toned bod. Usually, male models are at least 5-foot-10—but that’s not always the case, as indicated by the 5-7 Jeremy Allen White’s viral underwear campaign
  • Confidence: Male underwear models require an extra dose of confidence—you are working in your skivvies, after all. 
  • Communication skills: Responsiveness to instruction and feedback from agents, clients, and photographers will give you a leg up in the industry. 
  • Charisma: While you might be the only one actually pantsless, you need enough charisma to be able to charm the pants off everyone else in the room.
  • Drive: Many try and few succeed in this modeling niche. A competitive edge will help ensure you spend extra hours at the gym, apply to the latest casting call, and beat out the competition.

Steps to become a male underwear model

Underwear model

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1. Prepare mind, body, and spirit. Underwear modeling requires more exposure than other types, so ensure you’re ready to drop trou by following a strict diet and exercise regimen, as necessary; practicing good sleep hygiene; and consulting with friends and family about your plans to lay it all out.

2. Get a feel for it. Practice poses, learn your best angles, and try out different looks with a friend or professional photographer. 

3. Look for gigs. Browse our comprehensive modeling auditions and casting calls database to find and apply to commercial, print, fashion, fit, and event modeling gigs. You might also see if a local male underwear or swimwear brand needs anyone to model for them.

4. Make a modeling portfolio. Your modeling portfolio should include a professional headshot, body shot, creative shot, location shot, and closing shot, plus ones specific to the underwear modeling industry, like lower-body and stomach shots. 

5. Promote yourself on social media. Post professional photos across your accounts, particularly on image-forward platforms like Instagram. Use hashtags such as #maleunderwearmodel, #mensunderwear, #malemodel, and #briefsmodel, and tag underwear brands and modeling agencies.  

6. Network. Find and attend men’s fashion and fitness events, especially underwear and swimwear expos. Use social media and in-person meetings to connect with relevant professionals like other models, underwear brand execs, agencies, and designers. 

7. Seek representation. Attend open calls and model searches to try and connect with agents. Submit your materials to agencies, keeping in mind that reputable agencies won’t ask you to pay upfront or do anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Famous male underwear models

Tyson Beckford, David Gandy, Shaun Ross

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  • Tyson Ballou: Ballou’s rugged looks made him a shoo-in for runway and editorial shoots, including stripped-down campaigns for Calvin Klein and Emporio Armani. “You’re just there to try to make the best project outcome you can, so…try to work with everybody,” he said of how he’s managed to stay on top in the cutthroat industry. 
  • Tyson Beckford: One of the first Black male supermodels, Beckford has lent his look to Ralph Lauren Polo Sport, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein, plus made an iconic appearance in “Zoolander.” “In fashion, there’s a lack of strong male images,” he said of the industry’s need for diversity. “And there’s a huge lack of strong African American images.”
  • Sawyer DeVuyst: Trans male model DeVuyst made waves when he modeled for a Thinx period underwear campaign. “Just getting an image of a trans man out into a public space was very exciting,” DeVuyst said of the experience. 
  • Nyle DiMarco: The model and deaf activist became a household name after winning “America's Next Top Model” in 2015 and “Dancing with the Stars” in 2016, and has done underwear ads for big names including Calvin Klein and 2(X)IST.  “We want to see authenticity happen,” he explained of his hopes for better representation of disability.
  • David Gandy: I’ve done my share of underwear shoots,” said the British model, best known as the face of Dolce & Gabbanna’s Light Blue, who created his own underwear line for Marks & Spencer. “I don’t see myself, though—I see a character. In many ways, on set I’m like an actor. I find I’m very critical: My body could be better; should I have done a different pose?”
  • Shaun Ross: The first male albino supermodel, Ross has starred in videos for Beyoncé, Katy Perry, and Lana Del Rey, wearing only leafy briefs in the latter. He also appeared in underwear campaigns for Marshal Apparel before making his move to the music realm. “I am not considered what’s seen as the standard model,” he noted, “but after working so hard and seeing a change in the industry, the opportunities grew larger.”