Monday, 21 January 2008

The History Of Shreddies

No, not the breakfast cereal, but underpants.

Thanks to Curly at his Corner Shop, Newsnight will never be the same again. Every time I see Paxman attempt to reduce a frivolous politician to a quivering wreck, I will see that awful vision.
I am determined to avoid the inevitable clich├ęs such as “the fall out from this story” etc, so here is a history of “duds”, as highlighted by today’s Times. Follow the link below to update yourself on Paxman’s fear for the British “brief”.

With Northern Rock on the verge of collapse, the Home Secretary admitting that crime ridden areas have become “no go” sprawls, how reassuringly English to focus on the demise of the male undergarment.

Short history of pants

— The remnants of leather loincloths have been found with the remains of prehistoric man from 7,000 years ago

— The Ancient Greeks dressed very simply. The closest article of clothing worn by men in ancient Rome was called a subligaculum, which in modern terms means a pair of shorts or a loincloth

— Pull-on underpants were invented about the time of the 13th century. The loincloth was replaced by large, baggy drawers called “braies” By the Renaissance, braies were usually fitted with a closing flap in the front. This codpiece allowed men to urinate without having to remove their braies

— In Victorian times, men’s undergarments were in two pieces and made by hand

— Mass production began during the Industrial Revolution

— Boxers and briefs became popular in the 1930s as elastic waists replaced button, snap and tie closures. “Underpants” also entered the dictionary

— Jockey began making briefs in 1930. Jockey Y-vent briefs arrived in 1934

— Colour was introduced during the Second World War

— Spandex was created in the late 1950s. In the 1960s, Lycra Cotton was realised

— In the 1970s and 1980s the new designer underwear producers, including Calvin Klein, used sex as the main selling point for major advertising campaigns

— The thong and the G-string have been popular in South America since the 1980s and have since taken on a global appeal

— In the 1990s retailers started selling boxer briefs, which take the longer shape of boxers but maintain the tightness of briefs

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