Saturday, August 19, 2017
 
A-Shirt and Yoke Front Gripper Shorts

 

Major Events of the 1950s


Lucy and Desi Arnaz - I Love LucyThe 1950s were the years of the family. Returning GIs and the new emphasis on kids led to 75.9 million births from 1946 through 1964. Baseball, drive-in theaters and television became major family pastimes ... with everyone watching "I Love Lucy" (pictures left) or "Gunsmoke" on TV ... or the new 3-D movies, viewed through gray Polaroid lenses.

Marlon Brando - A Streetcar Named DesireMarlon Brando (pictured right) appeared on screen in a T-shirt in "A Streetcar Named Desire." He was followed by the teenage idol, James Dean, also seen in a T-shirt in "Rebel Without a Cause." They made the T-shirt a classic form of underwear-as-outerwear for the rest of the century.

Rocky MarcianoRocky Marciano (pictured left) held the world heavyweight title from 1952 until 1956, and he gave rebirth to the trend toward boxer shorts as underwear. The men who dropped the first hydrogen bomb were, perhaps, wearing Hanes "Fig Leaf Briefs," but Elvis Presley no doubt donned classic "Y-front, Hip-Taped" Jockey briefs for his hip-swinging, crowd-pleasing concerts.

President EisenhowerWhen the US Supreme Court declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional in 1954 and Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, President Eisenhower (pictured right) knew that he would have to use force to guarantee integration. Ike, no doubt, made that decision still wearing his baggy army drawers.

But the public was on another wave length. In 1953, Carter’s Trigs asked in the New Yorker, "What does Santa wear under his red suit?" By mid-decade, Arrow was hawking "novelties, fancies and colors" in boxers, tie sides and French backs.

By the end of the 1950s, even Jockey was deviating from its classic briefs to offer "Skants" of stretch nylon. Wash and wear was the latest thing in shorts, and knitted boxer shorts had made a splash. Briefs, broadcloth shorts, T-shirts and athletic shirts were all still about $1.00 apiece. Peace and prosperity had been accepted ... and were expected.
 
 
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