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The History
of Underwear

The History of Men's Underwear from the Fig Leaf to the Roman Subligaculum

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve opted for 100% natural products when it came to covering their shame – and their private parts. By using the celebrated fig leaf, they unwittingly gave birth to the whole concept of underwear.

In Roman times, the natural look was a thing of the past. Clothing – and the desire to hide more than just one’s private parts from public view – had become the norm. Under their togas, however, the Roman men wore a subligaculum to cover their genitals.

Hard Times for Men’s Underwear

The decline and fall of the Roman Empire resulted in a corresponding decline and fall in awareness when it came to men’s underwear. The Barbarians – as the Romans called all those who could not speak Latin – apparently had no use for such garments. In fact, nobody appears to worn any kind of underwear until the late Middle Ages.

As time passed, however, long linen shirts became increasingly popular. And since linen proved to be agreeably soft to the touch, people started to wear these as undershirts to protect their skin from the rough, scratchy outer garments that were still customary at the time.

The Slow Development of Men’s Underpants

Several decades were to pass before men’s underpants in the narrower sense were to reappear on the scene. While outer garments were subject to changes in fashion, the hygienic habits of the majority remained largely unaffected. Only a few aristocrats and rich merchants enjoyed the luxury of silk underpants.

The history of underwear, particularly in the 1860s and 1870s, is one of major inventions: a new type of shirt tail was created. And by 1876, the whole Prussian army was equipped with cotton underwear.

Other More Comfortable With Than Without

More Comfortable With Than Without

Boxer Shorts Invented

The first boxer shorts were marketed in 1925 by the founder of boxing outfitters Everlast. For the first time ever, an elastic waistband was used to enable better footwork when boxing – which is why they are still called boxer shorts today.

The first briefs, known as jockeys, were created less than ten years later. This new type of underwear differed from boxer shorts in that it had no legs.


Underwear as a Service

But the tale of underwear doesn't end there, and buying underwear has now become even easier: following the same principle as for socks, the founders of BLACKSOCKS have now revolutionized underwear sales. BLACKSOCKS is turning underwear and T-shirts into a service, so you no longer have to worry about having enough underpants.

Make Your Shopping Easier



There’s no longer any need to think about replacing your underwear and T-shirts and buying more. We send them free of charge to your door. These classic T-shirts are basics that you should always have enough of in your wardrobe.

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