Ever sat down and thought, “man, I wish I knew everything there was to know about underwear.” No? Ok, well, maybe you haven’t (weird). We’ll accept that, but we’re still going to pump that head of yours with all sorts of fun underwear facts from the ether.
For example, did you know back in the day, people thought dirty undies could grow mice? Or that once upon a time, going commando was the norm? Yup. It’s true, and we’ve got a whole bunch of other fun undie facts that we’re going to share with you!
But first, where the heck did underwear come from? And when did funny undies become a thing? You’ve got questions, and we have answers. Read on to learn everything you need to know about fun underwear: a conversation starter in your pants.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Where Did Underwear Come From?
Most people slip them on every morning when they first step out of the shower. In fact, at this very moment, there is probably nothing closer to you than your undies. It’s taken hundreds of years to perfect the panties you’re wearing right now, though, so here’s a brief history on—drum roll please—underpants.
The very first known underwear dates back to almost 7000 years ago, when prehistoric man used leather to cover and protect his goods while running, well, you know—prehistoric errands. For several millennia thereafter, not much changed.
Ancient Egyptian art shows drawings of everyone from the pharaohs on down the line rocking loincloths of their own. Scotsmen wore kilts, and it became a standard piece of clothing that all men would wear throughout the day.
Variations of the loincloth persisted well into the Middle Ages when loose-fitting trousers came into fashion. These linen undies extended from the waist to around mid-calf, and once the wearer stepped into his trousers, he had to lace them tight around his shins and waist. These types of undies had the advantage of offering a lot of coverage, so if a worker got too hot, he could easily strip down to his skivvies while still maintaining some sense of decorum.
On the other hand, however, all of that lacing and cinching made answering mother nature’s call a bit of a hassle, to say the least. Enter the codpiece—a type of underwear that opened at the front using snaps, buttons, or laces, enabling men to pee without having to get completely naked.
These early undies were really practical at the time, but as hemlines rose, they started to take on a decorative function, too.
In the 16th century, when Henry VIII began to pad his codpiece, all of his loyal subjects quickly followed suit. Codpiece padding and growth continued throughout the middle of the sixteenth century before dying down around 1590.
Prior to the 1920s, the question of ‘boxers or briefs’ would have gotten you little more than a blank stare, mostly because neither had been invented yet! From Victorian times in the 1930s, men mostly wore knee-length, tight-fitting flannel drawers or long johns beneath their pants.
This state of affairs doesn’t really sound too comfy-cozy if you ask us, but things thankfully got a little more breathing room in 1925 when a little ol’ boxing company known as Everlast started to tweak designs for trunks worn by prizefighters. You see, Everlast realized that the traditional leather-belted trunks that fighters had been rocking were really not rockin’ at all—so Everlast simply replaced the leather with more flexible elastic waistbands.
Boxer shorts weren’t an immediate success, though. They lacked the support that traditional drawers and union suits had offered, so people weren’t exactly crazy about them. And it wouldn’t be until after World War II that this type of undie really took off, challenging their younger sibling: briefs.
Undies changed forever in 1934 when Arthur Kneibler received a postcard with a picture of a gentleman in a bikini-style swimsuit. You see, Kneibler had an epiphany: could this type of swimsuit be converted into underwear?
After quite a bit of experimentation, the tighty-whities were invented, offering the level of support men craved. It was around this time when men saw the benefit of briefs, giving them the courage to step out of their comfort zone to give boxer shorts another try, putting an end to union suits.
Designer undies soon became all the rage in the 1970s and 1980s as labels like Calvin Klein began to transform our knickers from something we hit under our pants into the sort of fashion one could flaunt in a dirty music video. Cuts became tighter and sexier, and fun underwear design became flashy, loud, and even humorous.
Although there haven’t really been many huge underwear breakthroughs since the introduction of the beloved boxer brief in the early 90s, the materials and fabrics used have changed over time to make underwear more comfortable, more breathable, and just overall better for everyday use.
And there you have it, ladies and gents! The history of underwear—now you know.
Fun Underwear Facts: Conversation Starters
The very butt-huggers you’re wearing today have come quite a long way, don’t you think? Here are a handful of fun facts that are sure to get the conversation going the next time your out and about!
The most expensive pair of undies cost $20,000
If you get stressed having to cough up twenty bucks for panties, you may want to skip this fun fact, because believe it or not, the most expensive pair of underwear sold for a whopping twenty-thousand big ones! Constructed with golds, pearls, and diamonds, this undie was specially ordered by a private British client.
A ten-year-old broke the record of wearing the most amount of undies at once
Kind of a strange world-record, but in 2010, a 10-year-old named Jack Singer wore 215 pairs of undies all at once, breaking the previous record of 200.
Queen Victoria’s bloomers recently sold at auction for a cool $16,500
If you tried to sell your used, stinky undies in the past, society probably would have thought you were crazy, but today, people are making a legit income selling their worn underwear—what a time to be alive! Queen Victoria’s undies, for example, have recently sold at auction for a cool $16,500… kinda cool, kinda creepy—moving on!
The global lingerie market is expected to hit $55.83 billion by 2024
Crazy right? This can be explained largely by the increasing number of individuals opting to shop online instead of heading to brick-and-mortar shops. With the ease of being able to order your favorite knickers from the comfort of your home, why bother fighting your way through the crazy crowds and exhaustion of not finding what you’d like in the shops?
Besides, online brands like Culprit Underwear make it easier than ever to find exactly what you need in a pair of undies by offering one cut—the perfect form-fitting boxer brief!
Freezing your undies used to be a thing
Remember how we mentioned back in the day, tight undies were the norm? Well, one common side effect to wearing tight underwear is sweaty balls—and who wants to deal with that?! The solution? Men used to put their bloomers in the freezer overnight for a crisp, cool, and refreshing feel for when they slipped them back on the next day.
We don’t know about you, but ice-cold undies pressed up against our twigs and berries sounds less than appealing. Thankfully, brands like Culprit craft their undies using a deliciously soft and breathable material, so the use of a freezer to cool your nuts is no longer required.
A Final Word
Undies, bloomers, knickers, panties, long johns—whatever you may call them, underwear has come a long way, evolving into what we all know and love today. If you’re in need of a new pair that is as comfortable as it is supportive, look no further and check out Culprit.
Not only does Culprit Underwear craft their undies using ultra-breathable micromodal fabric to keep you cool all day long, but they have some of the coolest and unique prints around that are sure to get the conversation going when you strip down. From monkeys fighting to the death to cowboys riding dinosaurs, Culprit Underwear has a pair for everyone!