Wandie Lavigne

Written by Wandie Lavigne

Modified & Updated: 06 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Nytimes.com

Are you ready to delve into the fascinating world of underwear? Whether you consider them a necessity or a fashion statement, there’s so much more to underwear than meets the eye. From their ancient origins to their modern-day innovations, underwear has a rich and intriguing history. In this article, we will uncover 20 captivating facts about underwear that will surely surprise you. From the types of fabrics used to create them to the influence of culture and society on their designs, we will explore the integral role underwear plays in our lives. So, buckle up and get ready to discover some surprising, amusing, and downright bizarre facts about the undergarments we wear every day!

Key Takeaways:

  • Underwear has a rich history and comes in various styles, but the most popular fabric is cotton due to its comfort and breathability. It’s important to choose underwear that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
  • Underwear is not just about functionality; it can also be a fashion statement and boost your self-confidence. It’s essential to consider the materials and styles that make you feel good and express your unique personality.
Table of Contents

The history of underwear dates back to ancient times.

Undergarments have been a part of human culture for centuries. From the loincloths of ancient civilizations to the modern-day boxers and briefs, underwear has undergone numerous transformations and innovations.

Cotton is the most popular fabric for underwear.

Cotton is known for its breathability and comfort, making it the top choice for undergarments. It is lightweight, soft on the skin, and absorbs moisture, helping to keep you dry and fresh throughout the day.

Thongs were first worn by ancient Egyptians.

Believe it or not, thongs were not a recent invention. Ancient Egyptians wore a minimalistic version of thongs to maintain hygiene in hot climates by minimizing fabric contact and reducing sweat build-up.

The average person owns around 20 pairs of underwear.

It’s no surprise that people like to have a variety of underwear in their wardrobe. The average person typically owns around 20 pairs, ensuring they have enough for different occasions and preferences.

Silk underwear is considered a luxury item.

Silk underwear is famous for its smooth and luxurious feel against the skin. It is often associated with elegance and is highly regarded as a premium choice of underwear among those who value comfort and indulgence.

Thermal underwear helps keep you warm in cold weather.

Designed for ultimate warmth, thermal underwear is made from specially engineered fabrics that trap body heat and provide insulation during chilly winter months or outdoor activities in frigid climates.

Boxers or briefs? It’s a matter of personal preference.

The age-old debate of boxers versus briefs continues. Some prefer the loose fit and freedom of boxers, while others opt for the snug support provided by briefs. The choice ultimately comes down to individual comfort and preference.

The bra is a type of underwear invented in the early 20th century.

The bra, short for brassiere, revolutionized women’s undergarments when it was invented in the early 20th century. It provided support and shape to the bust, replacing the corsets that had been worn for centuries.

Disposable underwear is popular for travel and emergencies.

Disposable underwear is a convenient option for travel, camping, or emergency situations. Made from lightweight and comfortable materials, it can be easily discarded after use, making it ideal for situations where laundry facilities may be limited.

Underwear fashion trends change over time.

Just like any other aspect of fashion, underwear styles and designs evolve over time. From the high-waisted briefs of the 1950s to the low-rise hipsters of the 2000s, trends in underwear reflect the fashion preferences of different eras.

The thong became popular in the 1990s.

The 1990s marked the rise in popularity of the thong as a fashionable and alluring underwear choice. It gained recognition through pop culture and media, becoming a symbol of sensuality and confidence.

Seamless underwear is great for avoiding visible panty lines.

Seamless underwear is designed to be undetectable under tight-fitting clothing, helping to eliminate those pesky visible panty lines. It provides a smooth silhouette and ensures a clean and seamless look.

Underwear can have moisture-wicking properties.

Moisture-wicking underwear is specially designed to draw perspiration away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable, particularly during physical activities or hot weather.

Underwear subscription services have gained popularity.

The convenience of underwear subscription services has captured the attention of many. These services deliver fresh pairs of underwear to your doorstep regularly, ensuring you have a constant supply of new and stylish options.

Men’s and women’s underwear differ in design and construction.

Men’s and women’s underwear are designed considering the anatomical differences and specific comfort requirements of each gender. From the shape of the pouch to the cut and support, underwear is tailored to meet individual needs.

Wearing underwear overnight may affect vaginal health.

For women, wearing underwear overnight may create a warm and moist environment, potentially leading to increased bacterial growth and infections. It is recommended to allow the area to breathe by going commando or wearing loose-fitting pajamas.

Some underwear brands use sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

As environmental awareness grows, several underwear brands have adopted sustainable practices by using organic cotton, recycled materials, or engaging in ethical manufacturing processes, catering to eco-conscious consumers.

Underwear is a multi-billion dollar industry.

The global underwear market is a thriving industry, with numerous brands and retailers catering to the demand for comfortable and stylish undergarments. It encompasses a wide range of products and continues to grow year after year.

Underwear can make a fashion statement.

Underwear is not just functional; it can also be a fashion statement. From bold patterns and vibrant colors to intricate lace and embroidered designs, underwear allows individuals to express their unique style and personality.

The right underwear can boost self-confidence.

Wearing underwear that makes you feel comfortable and confident can have a positive impact on your self-esteem. When you feel good about what you’re wearing underneath, it can radiate through in your overall attitude and demeanor.


In conclusion, underwear is not just a basic piece of clothing that we wear on a daily basis. It has a rich history, serves various purposes, and has evolved significantly over the years. From providing comfort and support to expressing personal style, underwear plays a significant role in our lives.

Knowing interesting facts about underwear can not only entertain us but also give us a deeper appreciation for this seemingly ordinary garment. So next time you put on your favorite pair of underwear, remember the fascinating facts and stories that make it more than just a piece of fabric.


1. Who invented underwear?

While there is no specific person credited with inventing underwear, archaeological evidence suggests that early humans used various materials to cover their private parts for protection and modesty.

2. How often should I replace my underwear?

It is recommended to replace your underwear every six months to a year, depending on the quality and condition of the fabric. Over time, elastic can lose its stretch, and fabric can wear out, causing discomfort and less support.

3. Can wearing tight underwear affect fertility?

There is some evidence to suggest that tight underwear, particularly tight-fitting briefs or thongs for men, can potentially affect sperm production and fertility. However, more research is needed to establish a clear connection.

4. Do different types of underwear serve different purposes?

Yes, different types of underwear serve different purposes. For example, boxers provide more comfort and freedom while briefs offer better support. Thongs are popular for avoiding visible panty lines, and shapewear can help smooth and shape the body.

5. Are there any health benefits to wearing underwear?

Wearing underwear can help protect outer garments from sweat, discharge, and bodily fluids. It also acts as a barrier between the sensitive genital area and potentially irritating fabrics. However, it’s essential to choose breathable materials and practice good hygiene to avoid infections.

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