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Men's Underwear Basics: Underwear, Undershirts

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by HistoricDetroit, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Boxers or Briefs Gentlemen? (Boys Only)

    Good Morning Gentlemen,
    One of the things I haven't heard much about or seen any threads on are boxers. However, as my supply of boxers, which were purchased all at once several years ago, finds itself to now be rather worn, I'm looking at replacements. Being a guy who buy's American WHENEVER possible, I did a search and came across this site: http://www.cityboxers.com/

    Their boxers appear to be of great quality, and they have a massive selection of colors and styles. And they are American Made!

    With the movies back in the 1930s - 1950s being clean, especially by today's standards, I can't recall seeing any of the greats parading around on screen in their boxers, or unlike today, hanging out the back of their pants in a so-called "fashion statement".

    I'm now wondering what existed back then as far as styles and available colors. On one hand, I'd like to imagine that boxers were like the 1940's ties, available in any design or color one would desire. On the other hand, I picture everybody in just white undershirts and shorts, ala the way the military was at the time, and to my knowledge still is.

    I'm going to be picking up ten or fifteen pairs before too long, but would like some input. I assume the "shirting designs" would be the most appropriate? They seem the most appealing to me, although I also like the flannels and some of the solid colors. I'm not at all into the ones with designs on them though.
  2. .

    I see a lot more briefs in the vintage catalogs than boxers.

    I think that boxers became more popular because whenever you see an actor on camera they wear boxers because they are not as revealing as briefs.
  3. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member


    My grandfather would have been 20 in 1918. My memories of him begin in the mid-1960's. He was always a smart dresser in his older gentleman sort of way, though I don't remember seeing him in many ties after 1972 or so.
    He wore boxers, the first I had seen as I, my father and most boys I knew wore tighty whities. I remember that his were white, with small printed patterns. Very small dots, or squiggles, maybe stripes. They were fastened in front with small snaps, one at the waist, and one on the fly. They were not tightly elastic around the waist.
    He also wore white ribbed undershirts of the shoulder strap variety.
    I switched to boxers as soon as I left home and was buying my own things. Thanks for that link historicdetroit!
  4. Braxton36

    Braxton36 One of the Regulars


    My grandfather would also have been 20 in 1918. I never saw him in anything but boxers. Dad, too. Me, three. But I have to say that mine are much more colourful and interesting looking!
  5. From the pages of APPAREL ARTS trade magazine, Winter 1932. Look at the left column:

  6. flat-top

    flat-top My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I have a lot on deadstock 40's-50's boxers, and they are very different from modern ones. There are only elastic inserts at the sides, a higher waist (of course) with snaps, and the backs are have three sections: the middle, and both "cheeks". I think these may have been called a "balloon seat".
    You can find these on Ebay from time to time.
  7. The Wingnut

    The Wingnut One Too Many

    I'm opposed to boxers myself...I'd wear them if I could avoid the phenomenon that JP mentions and the fact that I may like to swing dance, but I'd rather the...'boys'...don't! Not only that, but having that extra layer of fabric down there gets uncomfortably warm, and it has a tendency to bunch up.

    I'll stick with my 'tidy whities'.
  8. Boxers? I don't know anything about them.:cool2:

  9. The Wingnut

    The Wingnut One Too Many

    Me neither!

  10. That boxer has that "don't put those boxers on me" look. :p

    Regards to all,

  11. .

    It is much like ladies and bras. Some smaller gals can get away with no bra under a couple of shirts.

    So some guys can get away with boxers but some of us need more support. ;)
  12. American Made Breifs?

    Geezaloo... I haven't worn briefs regularly in years. After the ones I had became worn out and outgrown, I replaced them with boxers, and I've stuck with boxers since. That was back in high school, when no guy who didn't want to get a complementary wedgie wore briefs. I recently found a single pair of briefs lying around in my undershirt drawer, and wore them for a day, then tossed them out. I found them to be far less comfortable / more restricting, and almost confused myself when I went to use the urinal. Perhaps this is because I'm used to the boxers now.

    I have nothing against briefs though, many of my male family members still wear them.
    Where can one purchase American made briefs?
  13. Nick Charles

    Nick Charles Practically Family

    I think Colorado is still in the US, so these are madein the USA also


    They have a history of underwear and a couple of styles.
  14. From the site: www.cityboxers.com
    Three paneled design: This primarily describes the way the fabric is cut in order to create the boxer short. Most boxer shorts are 4-panel shorts. This means that there are four panels of fabric used in the contruction of the boxer short (two in the rear and two in the front). Our shorts only have one large rear panel, and two panels in the front. This one rear panel makes our boxers more comfortable than the rest. Why? No rear seam running up your butt or, in the case of five panel shorts (gross!), no seams running across each cheek. One aspect of the 3-panel design that might not be to your liking is that the way the large rear panel is cut, there is a larger, fuller butt area (probably you will not be able to fill this). However, if comfort is your biggest concern, this should not bother you too much. For me, personally, I would have it no other way.
  15. Mrs. Foss

    Mrs. Foss New in Town

  16. parental supervision advised...

    I know this is a bad word, but my favourite boxers are from the Gap! They've got the panel at the back that avoids the centre seam (and accompanying wedgie), and you can get them on sale for 6.99 at times. Nice patterns, nice cotton.

  17. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Or their cheep cousin

    Same goes for Old Navy.
  18. I've owned Old Navy boxers in the past. They seemed to be of decent construction, and just fine as far as comfort. However, they started to look more worn than I would of liked after only a few washes, and the material hasn't held up too well either. I've got several small holes in unexpected places, such as the leg area. I also own Croft and Barrow boxers, which seem to be much better made. My biggest complaint with both brands is the point of origin - both are imported from China, which is another reason I'm looking to replace them ASAP!

    Thanks for those links guys! I like "The Grippers" on Vintage Skivvies, but they are a bit more expensive than City Boxers, and the colors / patterns appear to be limited to one option! I don't like the elastic-less "Tie Sides". Unfortunately, the Vermont Country Store boxers are imported, and more expensive yet, so I'm not giving them a second look. However, if American Made is not a deal maker or breaker for you, they do appear pretty authentic.

    Sorry if it bothers anyone that I come off as a "Buy American or Nothing" kind of guy, but I've seen enough family, friends, and fellow countrymen lose their jobs and livelihoods due to outsourcing, and I won't contribute to that. Especially not here in Michigan, where things are worse than most other states. But hey, it forces me to be a good consumer, buy better made stuff, and buy a lot of great vintage!
  19. The knit ones are OK- like boxers but slightly stretchy jersey fabric and ergonomically panelled so's not to do any damage to the man-cluster.
    Like briefs with legs- comfy!

  20. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    My experiece with GAP/Old Navy boxers has been fine, not fast-wearing.
    The Vermot Country Store generally has a significantly higher markup than other retailers. I'm trying to find the orginal source...

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