In the Middle Ages , western men's underwear became looser fitting. Many women began wearing the strapless bra as well, which gained popularity for its ability to push the breasts up and enhance cleavage. Undergarments are generally of two types, those that are worn to cover the torso and those that are worn to cover the waist and legs, although there are also garments which cover both. Jacob began making brassieres for her family and friends, and news of the garment soon spread by word of mouth. They either have very short or no leg sections.
During World War II, elastic waistbands and metal snaps gave way once again to button fasteners due to rubber and metal shortages. Undergarments were harder to find as well, since soldiers abroad had priority to obtain them. By the end of the war, Jockey and Hanes remained the industry leaders in the US, but Cluett, Peabody and Company made a name for itself when it introduced a preshrinking process called " Sanforization ", invented by Sanford Cluett in , which came to be licensed by most major manufacturers.
Meanwhile, some women adopted the corset once again, now called the " waspie " for the wasp -shaped waistline it gave the wearer. Many women began wearing the strapless bra as well, which gained popularity for its ability to push the breasts up and enhance cleavage. Before the s, underwear consisted of simple, white pieces of clothing which were not to be shown in public. In the s, underwear came to be promoted as a fashion item in its own right, and came to be made in prints and colours.
Manufacturers also experimented with rayon and newer fabrics like Dacron , nylon and Spandex. Women's undergarments began to emphasize the breasts instead of the waist.
The decade saw the introduction of the bullet bra pointed bust, inspired by Christian Dior 's " New Look ", which featured pointed cups.
The original Wonderbra and push-up bra by Frederick's of Hollywood finally hit it big. Women's panties became more colourful and decorative, and by the mids were available in two abbreviated styles called the hip-hugger and the bikini named after the Pacific Ocean island of that name , frequently in sheer nylon fabric.
Pantyhose , also called tights in British English, which combined panties and hose into one garment, made their first appearance in ,  invented by Glen Raven Mills of North Carolina. The company later introduced seamless pantyhose in , spurred by the popularity of the miniskirt. By the end of the decade, the girdle had fallen out of favour as women chose sexier and lighter alternatives.
With the emergence of the woman's movement in the United States sales for pantyhose dropped off during the later half of the s having soared initially. Underwear as fashion reached its peak in the s and s, and underwear advertisers forgot about comfort and durability, at least in advertising. Sex appeal became the main selling point, in swimwear as well, bringing to fruition a trend that had been building since at least the flapper era.
The tank top , an undershirt named after the type of swimwear dating from the s known as a tank suit or maillot , became popular warm-weather casual outerwear in the US in the s. Performers such as Madonna and Cyndi Lauper were also often seen wearing their undergarments on top of other clothes. Although worn for decades by exotic dancers , in the s the G-string first gained popularity in South America, particularly in Brazil.
Originally a style of swimsuit , the back of the garment is so narrow that it disappears between the buttocks. By the s the design had made its way to most of the Western world, and thong underwear became popular. Today, the thong is one of the fastest-selling styles of underwear among women, and is also worn by men. While health and practicality had previously been emphasized, in the s retailers of men's underpants began focusing on fashion and sex appeal. Designers such as Calvin Klein began featuring near-naked models in their advertisements for white briefs.
The increased wealth of the gay community helped to promote a diversity of undergarment choices. I told B I needed some socks too and at least 30 pairs of Jockey shorts. He suggested I switch to Italian-style briefs , the ones with the T-shaped crotch that tends to build you up. I told him I'd tried them once, in Rome, the day I was walking through a Liz Taylor movie — and I didn't like them because they made me too self-aware.
It gave me the feeling girls must have when they wear uplift bras. Warhol liked his Jockey briefs so much that he used a pair as a canvas for one of his dollar-sign paintings. In the UK in the s, tight jeans gave briefs a continued edge over boxer shorts among young men, but a decade later boxers were given a boost by Nick Kamen 's performance in Levi 's "Launderette" TV commercial for its jeans , during which he stripped down to a pair of white boxer shorts in a public laundromat.
The s saw the introduction of boxer briefs , which take the longer shape of boxers but maintain the tightness of briefs. Hip hop stars popularized " sagging ", in which loosely fitting jeans or shorts were allowed to droop below the waist, exposing the waistband or a greater portion of boxer shorts, briefs, or boxer briefs worn underneath.
The chiseled muscularity of Mark Wahlberg then known as Marky Mark in a series of s underwear advertisements for Calvin Klein briefs led to his success as a white hip hop star and a Hollywood actor. Some people choose not to wear any underpants, a practice sometimes referred to as " going commando ", for comfort, to enable their outer garments particularly those which are form-fitting to look more flattering, to avoid creating a panty line , because they find it sexually exciting, or because they do not see any need for them.
Certain types of clothes, such as cycling shorts and kilts , are designed to be worn or are traditionally worn without underpants. This also applies for most clothes worn as nightwear and as swimwear. Some analysts have encouraged people with a higher than average libido to change their underwear more frequently than average due hygiene-related issues of by-products such as cowper's fluid and vaginal lubrication.
Underwear is sometimes partly exposed for fashion reasons or to titillate. A woman may, for instance, allow the top of her brassiere to be visible from under her collar , or wear a see-through blouse over it. Some men wear T-shirts underneath partly or fully unbuttoned shirts. A common style among young men is to allow the trousers to sag below the waist, thus revealing the waistband or a greater portion of whatever underwear the man is wearing.
A woman wearing low-rise trousers may expose the upper rear portion of her thong underwear is said to display a " whale tail ". Boxer shorts with colourful patterns, pictures of cartoon characters, sports team logos and slogans are readily available. British manufacturers and retailers claim that most British men prefer "trunks", or short boxer briefs.
Gregory Woods, author of "We're Here, We're Queer and We're not Going Catalogue Shopping," stated that in companies often do not market men's underwear to straight men on the assumption that they are not interested in buying underwear for themselves; therefore many such advertisements are catered to women, as well as gay men, to convince them to buy underwear for their husbands.
Likewise, specialist underwear brands are constantly emerging, such as Andrew Christian , 2 x ist , Leonisa , and Papi. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 4 October For other uses, see Underwear disambiguation. For the play, see Intimate Apparel play. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Swimsuit competition , Male models in briefs and trunks. A female in lingerie consisting of bra and panty , the basic items of women's undergarments. Retrieved 3 April Go Braless With Big Boobs". Retrieved 24 June Retrieved 23 May Archived from the original on 13 March Retrieved 30 July Why men's smalls have always been a subject of concern". The scraps of lace found in a castle vault Mail Online". The Jane Austen Centre. Retrieved 7 April Archived from the original on 24 November The New York Times.
Thermal underwear — made from two- ply fabric. A-shirt guinea tee, muscle shirt , singlet , wifebeater ; UK: A garment covering a person's torso which is usually made without buttons, pockets or a collar, and can have short or long sleeves. It is worn by pulling it over the head. It is often worn as an outer garment, especially in informal situations.
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