When Was Underwear Invented? A Complete History
Underwear: one of the most essential inventions mankind has ever invented.
That sentence might sound funny, but it’s absolutely true — try and imagine a world where we had no underwear. Life would be pretty uncomfortable.
Underwear is the thing that separates and protects our goods from the rest of our bodies.
It’s time to educate ourselves on the history of underwear and who we have to thank for gifting us with the most important clothing apparel that we own.
The History of Underwear
Back in the day, people didn’t really cover themselves up.
Society wasn’t anything like today’s modernized world, and there was really no reason to cover up unless the climate called for it.
At this point, we were fully evolved as human beings, so it still is a little weird to think about how nobody thought to cover up their most important parts.
Whatever their reasoning was, let’s take our time machine way back in the day to a time when people first began covering themselves to protect against the elements.
Underwear Dates Back to 5000 BC
It’s taken thousands of years to perfect the art of underwear, and it all started with the first recorded use of loin cloth to cover prehistoric men’s nuggets.
Even back then, people still had chores to do and errands to run. Their errands were a little different then, as men typically had to hunt and gather their food in order to provide for their families and communities.
It seems they got tired of experiencing the ever-feared groin pain, so they began to start covering their private areas.
Underwear in the Middle Ages
As society began to progress, it became more and more common to not expose yourself in public.
It was definitely still a thing — especially with peasants and slaves who simply wore what was comfortable (nothing) during harsh labor.
For the people that could afford it, loin clothes were still the most common type of clothing to cover your private parts. Wealthier men wore something called braies, while it’s not really known if women wore any type of underwear before the 15th century.
People simply just didn’t write about underwear, so most of the information comes from artwork or archaeological discoveries.
The 1600s: The Invention of Briefs
Finally, in the 1600s, someone stepped up to the plate and made wearing briefs and underwear a common practice.
Unfortunately, this was only common with royalty and wealthy members of society. The first brief was a long 13-inch shorts-style garment that kept everything where it needed to be.
For women, however, it was a different story. They continued to suffer through skin-tight dresses with nothing to protect them.
Peasants, slaves, and other poor members of society continued to wear loincloths and almost anything they could find to cover themselves up. At this point, it still wasn’t shocking to see someone engage in harsh labor wearing absolutely nothing.
The 1800s: The Invention of Women’s Drawers
After spending thousands of years in the dark ages of underwear, women were finally able to wear drawers.
They weren’t the most simple or comfortable garment, but it was sure as hell better than nothing. These drawers were almost like our modern equivalent of leggings that started at the waist and tightened around the ankles.
Again, these were in no way practical, comfortable, or even stylish — but it was a major victory for women they were finally able to properly protect and cover themselves up.
The 1930s: The Dawn of Modern Men’s Underwear
After who knows how many years, the age of underwear enlightenment was finally upon us.
It was now a common thing for every man and woman to own and wear underwear consistently, even for the poorest members of society at that time.
Underwear wasn’t reserved for kings, queens, and wealthy merchants — it was now meant and expected for everyone.
Underwear experienced a steady production and use throughout the 1930s to 1980s until a man by the name of John Varvatos changed the game.
While Varvatos was running the menswear at Calvin Klein in the early 1990s, he created something that would change underwear forever: the boxer brief — a hybrid of boxer shorts and underwear.
How Underwear Has Changed Over Time and the Future of Underwear
As the fashion industry expanded, so did underwear. Unfortunately, this growth directly translated to climate change and harsh carbon emissions.
Underwear companies are now looking at the most sustainable ways to upgrade and change the underwear industry for good, All Citizens is one of those companies.
More Focus on Comfort and Performance
Rather than focusing on appearance like most brands, All Citizens dedicated themselves to creating underwear that is packed with features.
The Paradise Pocket, Grip Thighs, Mesh Breathe Zones, and a quick-access horizontal fly are all new to the underwear world and have been introduced by All Citizens.
Each has a special use and have been vital in creating the most comfortable, sustainable, and consumer-friendly pair of underwear on the market.
As we said, the fashion industry brought forth some of the worst pollution out of any business sector.
At All Citizens, we’ve made it our goal to make a huge dent in the unsustainable nature of the fashion industry. We make our underwear with recycled polyester and plastic bottles to get them out of landfills. We use an eco-friendly high-performance microfiber fabric, which works for all weather and all activities. And, we add reinforced stitching to key stress points in order to ensure the underwear doesn’t get holes or rips.
A company is only as good as its impact on the global community, and All Citizens makes its mark with our For All Social Mission.
For every pair of underwear purchased from our social mission lines, All Citizens donates something to a community in need — like clothes to the homeless or planting trees in the Amazon.
More Accessible Prices
Finally, we wouldn’t be in the game and dedicated to making a change if we didn’t have the most accessible prices around.
We’re truly dedicated to democratizing comfort for all, one pair of underwear at a time. Our pricing is half the price of competing premium brands.
Underwear for the Modern Man
All Citizens makes underwear for the modern, sustainable man, plain and simple.
We’re here for the foreseeable future to democratize comfort for everyone, everywhere. We hope you’re with us on this journey, and we’ll see you on the path towards sustainability.
Brief History of Men's Underwear | CNN
Underwear in the Medieval Period | Thought Co