Underwear through the years: How styles evolved

(BPT) – From tag-free boxer briefs and seamless bikinis to weightless cotton fabrics and moisture-wicking technology, there’s a go-to type of underwear for everyone. Influenced by notable pop culture moments and the evolving fashion industry, underwear styles have taken huge leaps throughout the years.

Fruit of the Loom, an underwear brand for over 160 years, offers the following look at the pivotal transformations of underwear, one of the most essential pieces of clothing, that also makes a great gift.

1920s: Creating flexible fits was vital for men’s and women’s undergarments. Inspired by the shorts worn by professional fighters, boxers, now one of the most common styles for men, were created to provide men and athletes with flexibility and freedom of movement. For women, an all-in-one revolutionary undergarment style, step-ins were introduced. Like the modern-day romper, step-ins are a one-piece undergarment that combines a camisole and bloomers, high-waisted loose cotton underpants.

1930s to 1940s: Functionality was the dominant factor for men when selecting underwear during this era, while women focused on style. For colder months, union suits, like the modern-day ‘onesie,’ evolved from the ones that emerged in the 1800s to provide men and women an extra layer of warmth. Then, a new type of underwear inspired by an iconic postcard of a model donning a bikini-style bathing suit broke through for men: the classic cotton briefs. These legless, cotton briefs, featured Y-fronts to allow better movement and all-day support.

On the other hand, tight fitting corsets or girdles and decorative lingerie were popular among many women as they embraced shapewear, pulling inspiration from retro pin-up models.

1960s to 1970s: Women continued to celebrate their bodies and personal styles, hence the game-changing bikini and thong. Named after two-piece swimsuits, the bikini featured a moderate rise and coverage to offer comfort and purchasing a pair that matched the bra became the epitome of counterculture fashion. As pin-up models and calendar girls turned into runway models, thongs entered the scene eliminating panty lines while offering a higher cut to reveal more hip and thigh.

1990s: Comfort soon became a top priority as shoppers sought essential underwear for softness and durability. Combining the length of boxers and the snug fit of briefs, boxer briefs were introduced and soon became the most popular selection for men. Providing men with ventilation and support, the first boxer briefs included elastic waistbands for comfort. Seeking comfortable yet flattering options, boy shorts became popular for women as an alternative to a traditional slip.

2000s to present day: With new technology continually evolving, underwear has changed and provided men and women with many options such as functionality, material, shape and design. Now more than ever, shoppers are seeking style, comfort and quality at great value. For example, Fruit of the Loom offers a wide selection of underwear styles for the entire family, one of the most notable is its Breathable underwear for men and women made of micro mesh fabric that promotes airflow to keep you cool. With moisture-wicking technology to distribute sweat away from the skin, the popular underwear is the go-to selection to keep you dry throughout the day.

For more information, and a variety of gift ideas, visit Fruit.com.

Leave a Comment