You probably can’t imagine life without your men’s underwear or boxer briefs today. As the shields that protect the family jewels from the outside world, uncomfortable pants, and dreaded zippers, men’s underwear serves a pretty important (and comfortable) function today.
So, when did the first dude decide to put this kind of protection on himself? How did we get to where we are today? Let’s look at a brief history of the evolution of men’s underwear.
It Started with Leather
Historical texts have confirmed that men first used leather to cover their loins about 7,000-years-ago while migrating, building, hunting, and gathering. We hope you've evolved! For thousands of years, not much had changed, as we see everyone from ancient pharaohs to Chinese texts depicting men in these kinds of leather wrappings. Pharaohs especially loved their underwear, with many of them buried alongside their beloved leather briefs (good memories I suppose).
Loose Fitted Trousers
Around the time of the Middle Ages, men began to wear loose-fitting trousers that were called “braies.” These trousers extended from the waist to the mid-calf region and were worn underneath breeches. However, this version of men’s underwear proved to be a little too warm in those hot summer months, preventing any kind of airflow to one’s loins (we all know how unpleasant that can be).
Born from necessity was the “codpiece,” which took this braie design and added a buttoned flap that enabled men to take a leak when needed, button up, and go back to their business. Plus, this new design included some ventilation that was seriously missing for a few hundred years. No wonder they all looked so pissed off!
The codpiece improved in practicality and design for a few hundred years, leading us up to the turn of the 20th century. Jacob Golomb, the founder of a boxing equipment company known as Everlast, started to change the design of these long-legged men’s underwear staples. He realized the bagginess was ideal for boxers, who needed the flexibility to move with speed and agility and would allow future greats to "Float like a butterfly sting like a bee". He is credited with creating the first boxer, that was actually not popularly received until after WWII.
At the same time, Arthur Kneibler, an executive at Coopers, Inc. in Wisconsin during the year 1934, received a postcard from France where a man was depicted in a tight onesie at the beach. After some practice, Kneibler released a snug, legless underwear with an overlapping Y-front fly that was totally new at the time (but still needed lots of work!). The world was finally introduced to what we know as tighty whities today. Thank god we've move along from here!
Designers then started to pour their talents into this new burgeoning industry, making men’s underwear something of mainstream consumption following WWII. Really, the rest is history!
We end this timeline with the arrival of our brand, Chill Boys, known for making performance boxers and briefs that are comfortable, cool, and embedded with fabric technology that makes them perfect for any kind of climate.
We salute all of the men of the past that experimented with less-than-comfortable underwear so we could comfort our goods in style today.
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