Friday, June 24, 2011

FROM LOINCLOTH TO THONG . . . Not so different are they?

Today, I'm welcoming guest blogger, Jennifer Jakes who's going to entertain us with a post on underwear!

Have at it, Jennifer!

FROM LOINCLOTH TO THONG . . . Not so different are they?
So are we moving forward or going back? Let's take a quick look at the history of what men wear under there!

The first men's underwear was probably the Loincloth, a simple strip of material or leather. A loincloth was also used to describe material pulled between the legs and fastened like a diaper. Not a good look for anyone :( Greek and Roman men reportedly wore loinclothes.

During the Middle Ages, loinclothes were replaced by loose trouser-like pants called Braies. Braies were a step-in design and laced at the waist and mid-calf. Wealthy men also wore chausses.- tights worn over the legs and feet.

By Renaissance, braies became shorter to accommodate longer styles of chausses -- and chausses gave way to hose. The hose were two separate legs leaving their genitals uncovered. (Men could wear underdrawers) Hence, the Codpiece came into use. Over time, codpieces became padded to emphasize rather than to conceal, reaching their peak of size and decoration in the 1540s before falling out of use by the 1590s. (Since neither braies nor chausses were meant to be worn beneath they weren't technically underwear.)

Braies were replaced by cotton, silk or linen drawers which were worn for years and years and years. And years. I couldn't find much information on how much -- if any -- the basic design changed. However, in the mid 1800's mass production of underwear began and people started to buy their drawers instead of making them at home. The Unionsuit also became popular in the mid 1800's -- 1868 actually -- and had the drop seat in the back.

In 1874, the Jock Strap came along to provide support for the bicycle jockeys riding upon cobblestone streets.
The first underwear print ad ran in the Saturday Evening Post in 1911, an oil painting, not a picture. That would have been indecent! In WWI soldiers were issued button front shorts though they were often still worn with a union suit. (Which by the way became 2 pieces in 1910 - what we call long-johns).

By 1935 Coopers Inc. sold the world's first men's briefs, the design dubbed Jockey since it provided the support once only offered by a jock strap. 30,000 pairs of new Jockeys sold within the first 3 months of introduction. In the 1950's manufacturers began to make men's underwear from colored and/or printed material. In the 1970's and 1980's advertisers began appealing to the sexual side of selling, foregoing the long time ad practice of comfort and durability. Speaking of comfort - or lack thereof - the thong became popular in the 1990's.

So, what do you prefer on your man? Boxer, brief, thong . . . loincloth?
Jennifer Jakes western historical, Rafe's Remption is now available from

He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman.

For hunted recluse Rafe McBride, the raven-haired beauty on the auction block is exactly what he doesn't need. A dependent woman will be another clue his vengeful stepbrother can use to find and kill him. But Rafe's conscience won't let him leave another innocent's virginity to the riff-raff bidding. He buys her, promising to return her to St. Louis untouched. He only prays the impending blizzard holds off before her sultry beauty breaks his willpower.
She wanted freedom, not a lover.

Whisked to the auction block by her devious, gambling cousin, and then sold into the arms of a gorgeous stranger, outspoken artist Maggie Monroe isn't about to go meekly. Especially when the rugged mountain man looks like sin and danger rolled into one. But a blizzard and temptation thrust them together, and Maggie yearns to explore her smoldering passion for Rafe.

But when the snow clears, will the danger and secrets that surround Rafe and Maggie tear them apart?

Oh, Lord. He was going to kiss her. She shouldn’t want this. She was confused enough. Respectable women didn’t kiss men they barely knew, certainly not men who made them have wild, exotic dreams.

It was crazy. He was making her want crazy things. Making her not give a damn about her reputation or her virginity. Or her long-awaited freedom. All she could think about was that dream, and the way his sinful mouth had felt. The table was only a step away, and honey was just as sweet as peach juice…

She swallowed hard and looked up into his hooded eyes.

“Maggie,” he groaned. “Don’t be scared. I’d never hurt you.”

Her mouth parted to object, but firm lips covered hers, hungry, demanding. She gasped, shocked at his hunger, but even more at the illicit response coursing through her. An aching heat unfurled low in her stomach, pulsed between her legs. Oh, yes. It started just like in the dream

He deepened the kiss, coaxed her lips with his warm tongue. Long, languid strokes teased the inside of her mouth, encouraging, tempting before he pulled back to nibble the corners of her lips.

Oh, God. Is this what all kisses felt like? Hot, lethargic? Melting her like molasses over warm bread?

“Kiss me, Maggie,” he breathed.

Thanks so much for this fun and fascinating post, Jennifer. And, BTW, I prefer briefs on a man. lol!


  1. Great blog, Jennifer. My preference? Boxer briefs. Of course, my favorite look on a man is a well worn pair of jeans and no shirt. Yum. ;)

  2. So I have learned something new and been entertained! Yeah! Great post. I can't say what my fav in underwear is or I'd be giving away my hubby's secrets. ;)

  3. What an interesting piece! I'll add it to my collection of costume history info. Thanks!

  4. Hi Sarah -
    Ah, a woman after my own heart. lol I too love the look of boxer briefs. And the well worn jeans aren't too bad either;)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hi Aimee -
    Yes, it was an interesting topic to research. Of course there was lots more info -- I only hit the highlights. Fun and sometimes strange facts. LOL
    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Carol -
    I love researching what people historically worn. I am a Civil War re-enactor and one the the programs a friend does is Peeling the Layers ....and she undresses a female mannequin, giving all the info of the 1860's woman.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I'm also a fan of boxer briefs. I had a union suit once upon a time for long underwear. Definitely not designed with the female anatomy in

  8. Jennifer,
    Next time I have you on my blog, I'd love to hear more about your civil war re-enactments. I saw one if Fredericksburg, Va. once and it was like watching a live movie performance. Very cool.
    Thanks everyone for stopping by. And Jennifer, thanks again for covering my blog today!

  9. Laura -
    No, definitely not! That's why our Civil War drawers are period correct - crotchless. Like sleeves on a waistband. It's impossible to undo all the ties on petticoats and hoops etc etc. So much easier to just lift them;)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Lilly -
    That would be fun. I'd be glad to. You can pick the topic or we can discuss some:)
    Thanks for having me today!

  11. Wow Jennifer,
    Great blog, didn't know undies were so interesting.

    Definitely briefs.



  12. Great post Jennifer, but I am still trying to figure out what does a Codpiece look like. I also spent five good minutes studying the picture on the left. Is he...hmm...naked or wearing something on it?
    I love your excerpt.

  13. Codpiece...heh, said codpiece. I love everything you write, Jennifer. Great post. Very cute and informative. And I have to say...I like standard boxers on my man. They lend a hand to easy...access? Everyone read RAFE'S REDEMPTION! You won't be disappointed!

  14. AJ, you are too funny. lol! Mona, the man is wearing something over his cod. lol!

  15. Hi Margaret -
    Yes, who knew?! LOL It was fun research.
    Thanks for stopping by:)

  16. Hi Mona -
    In the pic he's wearing a codpiece -- tho' it's a plain one. There are some that were too obscene to put on here. You can Google Image codpieces and see what I mean. The research said in their hey-day, the codpieces got to be bigger (padded) and very elaborate in design. Go figure. LOL
    Glad you liked the excerpt:)
    And thanks for stopping by!

  17. Hi AJ -
    You're so sweet! Love ya, girl:)

  18. You said it, Lilly. During that time another name for the man's *ahem* was cod -- hence, codpiece. :)

  19. You always have the most interesting blog topics, Jenn! I'd love to hear more about the Civil War reenactments too. RAFE'S REDEMPTION is on my keeper shelf, but now I'm craving another book from you. When's your next book coming out, Jenn? One cannot be entertained by cool blog topics alone. Your fans want your next book!

  20. Jennifer I love your historical facts on such fun things!

  21. Jennifer you make the simplest posts such as FROM LOINCLOTH TO THONG so entertaining, especially with your historical facts!
    I have a neighbor friend and his wife that participates in the Civil War reenactments. They are avid Civil war enthusiasts!

  22. Jennifer, I was intrigued and tickled by the title of this post, thinking "Men in skivvies? I'm in!" But now I'm picturing loincloths (diapers!), braies and codpieces! I swear I'll never think of cod (the fish!) without thinking of cod (the piece!) again. Great post. ;}

  23. Andris, you crack me up. And as always, thanks for your support, Becky!

  24. Well, at 73 years old I am amazed at the things I am still learning. Between Jennifer and Lilly I now know cod is not necessarily a fish. Great blog.