Mens underwear is not something that you generally hear guys talking about openly. In fact, most of the time what a man chooses to wear under his pants is often the farthest thing from peoples minds. This is strange since the development of one of the most basic staples of a mans life has had a long and interesting history.
The days of the Loin cloth are well over thankfully but in order to fully understand how men’s underwear has evolved through the ages it’s important to understand the different types and when they developed. Let’s look at the most common types on the market over the years.
The first undergarments that we would be able to recognize as the predecessors of modern undergarments were simple linen drawers. Popular in the Victorian era, these knee length pantaloons featured lace up sides at the waist, and a lace up front fly to allow standing urination.
The development of commercial knitting machines in the 1860s heralded the advent of the union suit. This one piece garment with a button-up front and rear flap was quickly adopted as a mainstay of men and also became popular among some women of the day. Often associated with old west cowboys and firemen, the truth is that this at one time was the number one style of undergarment in the western world.
Boxer Shorts are so named due to their resemblance to the trunks that pugilists wear in the ring. The name has been shortened in recent decades to boxers. There are some who deem that there is actually a difference between “boxers” and true boxer shorts. The former being more slender cut with a fashion styling, and shorter legs, while the latter is more conservative with a fuller cut, more ample fly opening with snaps, subdued colors and prints, and squarer fit to the seat.
Briefs, also known as tighty-whities, are a supportive style of undergarment. They have the unique position of being considered by half the population as being childish, and the other half of the population considering them the most masculine of style. There is also a debate as to what are more conservative, boxers or briefs. Invented in 1935 the most common fly style is what most recognize today as traditional briefs, or tighty-whities, has a double fabric “reach in right to left” fly. The “Y” front design originated by garments original developer is popular overseas and is commonly called Y fronts but referred to as jockey shorts in North America.
Boxer briefs, originated by several makers at roughly the same time in the early 1990s are a hybrid of boxers and briefs. They offer the support and comfort of a flap over fly as briefs do, but also are a bit looser cut and longer, similar to boxers.
Mens underwear has come a long way over its quiet history. Who knows what styles will be most common 100 years from now? It is for sure, no matter what a man chooses to wear under his pants, he will inevitably be sitting around in nothing but that when he is watching the big game.
Learn more about the evolution of Men underwear in our complete review on all you need to know about the best online underwear store