A leather loincloth made up the first men’s underwear if you exclude the fig leaf worn by Adam. Loin cloths were worn as much as 7,000 years ago and consisted of a soft piece of leather attached to a belt.
The first men’s briefs were invented in 1935. Key aspects mentioned in reviews of these garments included “restful buoyancy” and “scientific suspension”. Briefs are significantly more popular than boxers with 41% of men wearing briefs and 27% boxers, what the rest wear we’ll probably never know. This infographic offers humorous insight into what men’s underpants say about their personalities.
A survey done in 2008 found that 9% of American men have undies that are more than 10 years old and 15% wear undies that are more than 5 but less than 9 years old. Marital status affects how often men change their undies with married men changing theirs twice as often as their single counterparts. Could it be that wives are fussier about laundry? Perhaps, these singles would be in the market for the disposable briefs of the ’60s and ’70s. The distributor marketed these paper undies as a useful addition to a traveling kit since they could be thrown away once worn.
In contrast, the British army issues soldiers with anti-microbial underwear which can be worn for up to 3 months in a row. This may have suited American settlers well, as it is said that to avoid having to button up their underwear in the freezing winters, many sewed their underwear on.
For Scotsmen, undies are an unnecessary expense since they should not be worn under the kilt. As they say in Chilli, why wear undies when you can go Gringo style?