National Underwear Day!
On August 5, 2018, National Under Wear Day will celebrate its 15th anniversary. Hurray!
The e-commerce retailer Fresh Pair started this call to recognize our undergarments. Fresh Pair believes that everyone should feel confident and comfortable when wearing their skivvies. After all, as any Victoria’s Secret model will attest to, these small clothes are a big deal. They are a wardrobe necessity. Think of how uncomfortable denim jeans and woolen sweaters would be without them. Unbearable chafing!
To pay tribute to this awareness of underclothes, I have dug through the proverbial laundry basket and scrounged up a bit of history on the subject. Let’s begin our brief overview regarding briefs, starting with the ancients. Before fruit was spun on the loom, the undergarment of choice worn by our forebears was the loincloth; a piece of fabric fashioned around the hips and groin.
It may not sound like much to us, but at one time, this little scrap of material was an international sensation. Ancient people all over the world wore them, including: the Egyptians, Japanese, Romans, Europeans, African tribe members, the Incas of South America and the Icemen of the Tyrolean Alps in Austria. In many tribes across the globe, the loincloth tradition still exists today.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the loincloth lost its appeal in Western society. Many people accepted that during the Middle Ages men in Europe wore a shirt and braies (underpants similar to modern-day shorts) and women wore a smock and no pants. Although, some believe women had to make modifications to their wardrobe for their menstrual cycles each month. A recent discovery at a castle in Austria in 2012 suggests that some women may have worn a bra and underpants during the 15th century that resembles the modern day versions worn today.
As the decades passed, women wore various types of corsets and pantalets. It wasn’t until the 1930s the contemporary pattern of women’s underwear was created, praise the panty gods!
Men experimented with different styles of undergarments as well. Nether stockings were common for a time among the male aristocracy. Many others practiced the art of tucking their shirts under their genitalia. In the 1700s, it became customary for most men to wear knee-length drawers that were a tight fit. By the mid-1920s, things improved when men donned boxers designed by Jacob Golomb from the Everlast company. Everlast we salute you!
No matter what your undergarment preference is, on August 5 going commando is not an option. (But, for all you panty haters who like to go all naturel, click here and here for information on National Go Commando Day.) So slip into a comfy pair of boxers, bikinis, boy shorts, or briefs and celebrate the evolution of the underwear!