As strange as it sounds, more conversations should be had about underwear and all the variables that surround it. From health to comfort, fashion and desire – choosing the right undergarment is quite the decision. That should never be taken lightly.
The recognition for the intellectual property (IP) of underwear has been massive, Victoria Secret sets of lingerie, Calvin Klein boxers or briefs even the children novels/movie series Captain Underpants and many more have either directly used or lightly associated themselves with underwear and its countless variations and applications.
Looking at all these factors as a whole, it would stand to reason that although most people wear it every day. There are few people who understand either the history or the reasons why underwear became such a key part of a person’s daily dress. However, if there is one thing we are committed to do is to educate, so come with us as we explore the historical significance of a fresh pair of underwear.
History Of Underwear
It is commonly said that the first forms of underwear were already attested in ancient Egypt however underwear actually started as an outer garment back in the 5000’s BC and appeared for cavemen and cavewomen as a small piece of fabric wrapped around the waist and through the leg called a loincloth.
With good reason as there are climates there are too cold for both men and women to go around completely naked as they have to preserve their more intimate parts. As time went on both Roman men and women wore a loincloth or shorts called subligaculum. Women also wore a band of cloth or leather around their chest called a strophium.
While women’s undergarments were multi-pieced structures, they didn’t include any fabric in their intimate parts. They featured constricting corsets, stiffened bodices, metal skirt structures, and occasionally woolen hosiery underdresses depending on cold climates.
For comfort purposes, they wore chemises – a long nightie-like garment – as sleepwear. In fact, the word drawers was invented because underwear was drawn on and the word pants derived from a character in an Italian comedy called Pantalone. He wore garments that came down to his ankles, when most men wore ones that came to the knees. In 18th century England they were called pantaloons. In the 19th century, the word became shortened to pants.
In Britain, pants came to mean long drawers that covered the whole leg. The garments worn over them became known as trousers. When men wore loose trousers for a sport they were sometimes called knickerbockers. However, women’s underwear were soon called knickerbockers too. In the late 19th century the word was shortened to knickers – and also where the New York Knicks got their name. In the USA women’s underwear are called panties, which is obviously a diminutive of pants.
Even though the concept of panties basically meant industrial and plain pieces of fabric, undergarments turned into tightly fitting underwear and started to become more decorative and less modest as they were worn. As for the men, in the 1920s boxer shorts were first put out into the world: loose-fitting underwear for men, featuring an elastic waistband inspired by the shorts worn by boxers. And from that the sleeker briefs became commonplace ushering the seemingly eternal boxers versus briefs debate. There are many other points of conversation regarding underwear that need discussing. As in the science behind good underwear usage and how often underwear should changed. Oh, and why the newer the underwear the better for both males and females.
The Science Behind Regularly Buying New Underwear
By tweaking both fabric technology and garment design, scientists with a passion for creating better underwear have made great strides recently. First, they have recruited underwear in the fight against bodily wetness and odour. Second, they have found some ingenious ways to make underwear fit and feel much better on the body. Third, they’ve discovered new ways to make underwear behave itself and stay put all day.
Choosing the materials also makes a lot of sense because what underwear is made of matters more than how worn out it is. Wearing cotton underwear is important because they are breathable and don’t allow moisture to build up so easily, potentially resulting in an infection. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics like nylon and Spandex hold in moisture and don’t dry easily, boosting a person’s irritation and infection risk. Everyone should clean their underwear properly between wears. If that means adding bleach to the wash cycle to take care of all of the bacteria then by all means do it.
Although, there are times when underwear have been washed one too many times. This is when replacements have to sourced regardless of whether it’s women’s underwear or men’s, most recommendations for how often to replace underwear are between 6 to 12 months. The old underwear could now be used to patch clothing, make rags, thrown away or used as stuffing for knitting or creating toy animals or sewing pillows. Remember not changing underwear every day could lead to bad health.