Underpants in History

Drying Hands Illustration
  • Ancient people used loincloths, cloth wrappings that were ancestors of today's underpants. King Tutankhamen had 150 of these in his tomb.
  • As the 20th century began, most Americans wore union suits or “all-in-ones”—undergarments that combined pants and a top.
  • In the 1930s, Americans traded their union suits for separates. Boxers and briefs swept a nation, and the word "underpants" entered dictionaries.
  • The 1930s saw another major change of underwear: easy elastic waists replaced button, snap, and tie closures.
  • ˙ "Day of the Week" underpants were a craze in the 1950s. Each pair of underpants in the set of seven was labeled with a different day of the week.
  • Colorful Underoos hit stores in 1978. The fun underwear secretly transformed thousands of kids into Batman and Wonder Woman.
  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants flew onto bookstore shelves in 1997. This comic superhero saves the world wearing undies and a cape.

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