Ever wondered who thought up the boxer brief and brief? For today's story, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the history of Men's Underwear.
Let's go back, back about 7000 years to the prehistoric era.
Back then in the prehistoric world men were fond of the loincloths. So much so that some Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were even buried in their precious undergarments along with spares.
Next up in the evolution of the undergarment, we have the braie and codpieces. Now the braie was more of a loose-fitting trouser type garment which was tied around the waist. can you imagine the hassle it must have been just to relieve oneself? This is where codpieces come into play. A codpiece was fitted to a braie in front which allowed men to go about their business without having to removed the entire braie. This piece was either buttoned or tied closed in front.
The 1920s brought the birth of the "boxer shorts". Surprisingly the design was not meant for fashion purposes but rather a more practical reason. The elastic band was designed by Everlast founder, Jacob Golomb for boxers to replace the leather belted trunks. Boxer shorts did not hit the market with a big bang initially, its popularity only increased a few years after the initial design was launched
Interesting stuff hey, but now what about those famous "tighty whities". They also came about in the 1930s and was inspired by actually inspired by men's bikini styled bathing suits...can you believe. Arthur Kneiblers was looking for a way to increase sales for the company he worked for, hard times during the recession. He had received a postcard from a friend in France with an image of a man in a bikini inspired bathing suit. And that is when it struck Arthur to manufacture the Y-front brief, combining the looks of the bikini and the support of a jockstrap. Considered to be a high risk at the time, but ultimately ended being a great success since it first hit the sales floor. the only challenge was the boxer short at this point
The '70s and '80s saw the transformation of underwear from basic apparel in mundane one colour palettes, to a more fashionable item with designs. Underwear took a form and shape of being tighter and sexier with bold and flashier prints. Mutating from aa purely functional garment to a lifestyle and fashion statement.
Hope you enjoyed this!
My great grandfather is the one who designed the machines to assemble the the first bikini style underwear for Cooper Industries in Kenosha Wisconsin. Fifties years later I redesigned those same machines. :)