Briefs are a type of undergarment, made both for females and males. For women, it is a longer type of underwear with more coverage than the thong. For men, briefs are more than that. They are worn for support for the toolbag, and are also made with an opening (much like the fly of boxers) so that any male can fish out his penis and urinate with. (among other things)
They are considered unhip by youngsters, and many are ridiculed for wearing them. Many find their confining characteristics to be very uncomfortable. But still, it all comes down to personal preference.
Also, the effect of a wedgie is harsher, what with its elastic around the leg openings.
When i gave him a wedgie, i could almost FEEL the briefs riding up his crack !