26 July 2011

A brief history of… briefs




We’re always looking at the latest trends when it comes to men’s underwear but have you ever stopped to consider how brief’s came about in the first place? Here’s our brief history into….well men’s briefs.

Men’s underwear dates back to the Egyptians. Historians have found the remnants of leather loincloths in tombs - pharaohs were even buried with extras for their time in the afterlife. Loincloths were very simple squares of leather or fabric that were attached to a form of waistband to conceal the private parts (as long as there was no wind to move the fabric).

The Ancient Greeks were slightly more concealed as they used chitons which were large pieces of fabric wrapped around the body and fastened with a brooch as underwear – in fact this was also outerwear due to the warm climate.

During the middle ages, men’s underwear progressed to resemble the underwear we know today, large baggy drawers were worn under clothing. By Victorian times, men in upper, middle and working classes were wearing longer undergarments that resemble long johns, often reaching down to the ankles.

By the 1950’s underwear had become more like the briefs we are accustomed to today. With the advent of Nylon, more tightly fitting underwear was born but it was still typically functional in design instead of fashionable.

The dawn of the 1980s brought style to men’s underwear and a whole host of designer underwear brands were born including brands we know and love today like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Now in 2011, men have a whole host of brands and designs at their fingertips thanks to online underwear retailers. The choice includes briefs, boxer shorts and trunks, not to mention the option of patterned or plain, or even specialist underwear such as shape wear and sports underwear. The possibilities are endless.

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