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Dumb questions about base layers

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Hello forum,

I'm trying to get some consensus on what "acceptable" clothing is when running / working out in a gym. When I used to work out regularly, I just wore just regular boxer shorts, football shorts, socks, t-shirt and comfortable trainers. Since I've been looking at getting back into it, I've been told that I should invest in a few decent base layers / tights, which I've done, and I've noticed the difference in how my muscles feel just in day to day life; I prefer wearing them. (I'll use the term "base layers" to include both base layers and tights).

However I've had conflicting information on what the "correct" way to wear them is. Some people have told me to just wear them with nothing underneath - they are, as the name suggests, a "base" layer - the layer closest to skin. While I find this to be very comfortable, it is also very revealing (I'm male). While the ladies can get away with this (and I've even read it's healthier to do so), I question how appropriate it is for a guy to do the same. (To be fair, some of the people giving me advice have been ladies). Others have told me I should always wear underwear underneath, but only certain types (not cotton) as otherwise I could end up with chafing of the inner leg, and the the wicking effect of the base layers is reduced. I've tried (at home) with both cotton and non-cotton boxers and haven't found them to be particularly effective at wicking or decreasing how revealing they are, and they can indeed be uncomfortable.

So I looked for other ideas. From reading other forums, it seems, generally, that runners tend to say stick with just the base layers as some shorts can block ventilation and decrease the wicking ability of the base layers and throw on a long t-shirt (in both length and arm) for modesty, but cyclists suggest regular sports shorts over the top. Gym people seem to sit somewhere in the middle. I have seen guys in the gym wearing base layers that don't reveal much but I can't seem to get the same result when I wear them so not sure what they're doing that I'm not.

Finally, someone told me "wear whatever's comfortable". That would be base layer on its own, and I'm pretty sure I'd get thrown out of a gym for exposing myself if I did that. 

So I'm getting very conflicting advice and I'm looking for opinions. I'm thinking the base layers with nothing underneath and a pair of shorts over the top would be the best bet, then a base layer shirt on its own, no t-shirt (and socks and comfortable trainers!).



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