Style | November 13, 2017 9:00 am

A Definitive Guide to Long Underwear

From ski trips to Netflix marathons, we've got you covered

Ah, Long Johns.

Without question in the top echelon of clothing cognomen. Forgotten hero of wintry wardrobes. And versatile enough to pull double duty as a makeshift pajama bottom.

The right pair of long underwear is an elegant and cozy solution to a number of familiar cold-month situations, from crushing a snowshoe in the mountains to wondering why you’re paying for four streaming services from your couch. Point is: a good pair of LJs goes a long way.

Herewith: a very necessary ranking of the boxer brief’s long-legged cousin, as categorized by the chilly pastime that pairs best with each.

For a robust winter hike or dusting off your nordic skis …
Patagonia Men’s Capilene® Thermal Weight Bottoms
As a general rule, Patagonia makes clothing you look down at a decade later and realize you’re still wearing. This number may last two long, comfy decades. It’s a warm but not too-warm base layer ideal for fly fishing, hiking, skiing or just kicking it. Breathable and durable, made with environmentally conscious fabric. What’s not to like?

For your next Arctic expedition …
PrimaLoft Insulated Long Underwear
Perfect for exploring glaciers in Iceland, or … shoveling your driveway. These guys share a sizable chunk of DNA with snowpants, without overdoing the bulkiness. Smooth finish on the outside in case some snow finds its way in (it always does), fleece-lined sock gaiters and a trusty back pocket.

For making snow bunnies swoon in your hotel room in Aspen …
HUGO+ Thermal + Long Johns
Whoever said Long Johns can’t be sexy must’ve been thinking of a dinner date at Long John Silver’s. These are the long-form boxer briefs you save for a snowed-in evening with the missus. Good-lookin’ waistband, soft jersey fabric, maximum comfort. Oh, happy days.

For refusing to transition your running routine to a treadmill …
Icebreaker BodyfitZONE Winter Zone Leggings
A toast to the weekend warrior. Whether you’re getting in shape for the Turkey Trot or suiting up for the annual family-wide flag-football championship, you’ve got to keep those calves toasty and safe from injury. These leggings are built for all that and far more, boasting a blend of merino wool and stretch Lycra that will conquer the chills … and your little cousin.

For finally ripping through that show everyone at work won’t shut up about …
Saxx Underwear Sleepwalker Pant
A bit looser down the leg, and that’s by design. This is the pant you’re wearing when Netflix says, “Next episode starts in 5-4-3 … You sure about this?” Yeah, you’re sure. Especially in these bad boys. Built by some folks that know their underwear, they’ve got fine Modal fabric, hand pockets and a reliable waistband. Get ready to finally join those water-cooler chats.

For adding a little extra warmth at the office …
Hanes X-Temp Thermal Pant
Consider it an economical alternative to the flannel-lined jean. A comfort boost to your commute or work day for the price of lunch. The pant is a straightforward waffle knit with a fly front and tailored ankle. Cotton blend. If it’s good enough for Jordan, it’s definitely good enough for you.