Saturday, December 20, 2014
 
  Boy wearing Union Suit

The History of Mens Underwear

Men have not always made fashion statements in their underwear. John Wayne never did. It used to be, a man would simply throw on his long handles, step outside his cabin and gun down a moose. All a man used to seek was some sort of underwear that would not bulge, bind, gap, chafe, or sag, something that would not shrink in the wash, something that — when hung out to dry — would not attract enemy fire.

WWII soldier wearing standard issue tie side drawersWas an apron of fig leaves the first underwear? Probably not, because it didn't go under anything! 5,300 years ago, a man was walking around in a loin cloth. Until the Civil War, undergarments were made at home, by hand. Like many of today's products and technologies, men’s underwear was significantly improved during both World Wars.

Before long, a whole new industry began to take hold to fulfill America’s voracious new appetite for clean, durable undergarments. Both man and machinery combined talents to fuel the growth of the undergarment industry. And along the way, advertising mirrored the changes. The Saturday Evening Post and artist J.C. Leyendecker, made history with the first national print ads for men's underwear.

 
 
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