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Feb 10, 2010

Underwear


Let me start off by saying that when it comes to underwear, I'm pretty ecumenical.  I mean, I'll wear whatever...Jockeys, Hanes, Calvins, Gap, thrift store hand-me-downs.  My only two requirements are that it be 1) cheap; and 2) comfortable.

And no surprise, I don't think I have two pair that are alike.

Hey, why do people refer to underwear as pairs anyway?  What would a single underwear be?  Just one leg?  And no one says a pair of thongs.

But I digress.

My very first sewing project was a, ahem, pair of boxers last June, which I subsequently gave to Michael.  

From First sewing projects

So, a little over a week ago, one of my loyal readers with an Etsy store sold me this.  And I CANNOT wait to make them.  Maybe it's all these vintage sewing blogs I've been reading.

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

I believe Style 1 is called a French backyoke (That's the one I'm really excited about.).  The pattern is from 1945  and in great condition, considering.  1960 is the pattern number.

I think they are fantastic looking, though I can't imagine trying to stuff all that cloth into a pair of Levi's 511s -- or even a single 511.  I think they're more for lounging: slip on some sock garters, light a Lucky, and crank up the Perry Como.  Fortunately, I am already living that life.

I am the first to admit that diagrammed, they look like some creepy orthopedic device.

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

But I love these old illustrations.  Do you think someone actually posed for this?

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

Here's the rear detail.  Oye, all those buttonholes...

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

Now I just need a pair of these to be fully accessorized:

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

I don't have proof, but I'm pretty sure he'd be wearing underwear like this. 



So what do you think, readers?

1945 underwear....hot or not?

30 comments:

  1. I think pair number one (you know, the ones worn by Mssr. Suave) would make a great summer tennis outfit. Can't you just see it in white mini-pique? Seriously.

    On the other hand, these are obviously the perfect undergarments for slim-waist, pleat-front pants ala 1942. Gene would approve.

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  2. Just no white pants, right? ;)

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  3. Umm...I don't know about these. To quote one Tim Gunn, "this worries me."

    The amount of fabric that these required seems like an awful lot to stuff into modern slim fitting jeans. I think if you were wearing vintage pants, it might work.

    The way I see it, underwear should not be complicated, unless it is serving a different purpose. If your underwear is for fun/recreation (I'll let your mind fill in the rest) then by all means add whatever sort of attachments, fasteners, elastics, laces, etc that you want. But if comfort is what you seek (which is what I look for in my everyday underthings) then I think simplicity is the way to go, and I don't mean this pattern.

    But that's just me.

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  4. I think they are FABULOUS!! But I agree with the previous poster that they don't look all that comfortable. I love your idea of them as lounge wear. Awesome.

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  5. For the record, I merely asked if you were wearing white pants. Asked. Sheesh. Although I can't say, in complete and total honesty, that I like white pants much. But it depends on the wearer. Gene totally rocked the white flannel pants. Cathy would probably rock the white pique tennis outfit (with matching GoGo boots, of course). Since we didn't get to see your (they were or weren't?) white pants, I can't say for sure on your own personal rockingness in them.

    You still rock, though. There. Your validation-by-a-total-stranger for the day.

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  6. I'm not a fan. Sorry! You have a rockin' bod and a cute 'lil tushie – it would be sad to see said bum in those drawers. Yuck! (Love your blog! Don't be afraid of the french curve!)

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  7. I thought I killed that tushie shot. Whoops!

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  8. It's that Clark Gable in view 1? And where is that underwear ad from? The leotard style is very special (including the fabric selection). It's fun to see that there are more options for guys than just boxers or briefs :)

    Rose in SV

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  9. I think they'd be pretty damn fabulous for lounging about, but unless you're planning to wear a kilt, too much hassle for everyday underwear.

    Now, when will you be giving the geometric print unitard a go?

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  10. Surprisingly I really love the details of these underwear. The buttonholes and the back detailing. They are red hot in my book, and seriously who could go wrong with the mustache, cigarette and shoes. I'm glad at least he left the socks off for the photo shoot. My vote is for no. 1.

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  11. Is it too far out to suggest you sew them as swim shorts? I have seen my dad swim in underpants that look like those when he saw an inviting ocean on a hot, hot day and he doesn't happen to have a pair of swim shorts handy...

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  12. ...1945 underwear....hot or not?
    Odd and unusual. Definitely NOT hot.

    Neat illustrations on the pattern envelope.

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  13. Please pardon me for not being able to form a coherent response as I'm laughing too hard. When you make these I so hope you do a photoshoot that is reminiscent of the model on the cover. Purtty please?! :)

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  14. Ooh! It just occurred to me that if you make these fast, you could get in on the PR Lingerie contest! Please do!! I'll vote for you!!!

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  15. So, as far as the "pairs" comment goes...I think the idea of a pair originated in medieval times when a "pair" of pants (or I guess they would be hose) actually had two separate legs that were tied up at the waist. I'm thinking the origin would be similar for a pair of under"pants"...and there was my "little miss know-it-all" comment of the day. But seriously, these underwear seem like a fun "project," but maybe not something that you could expect to wear that often - but it would at least be worth the photo shoot!

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  16. huh. So that's how pre-elastic, non-union suit underwear stayed up.

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  17. Amber, there WILL be a photoshoot...maybe in the snow!

    KID, MD, I am SO going to enter these in the PR contest. I had TOTALLY forgotten about that one!

    Jessica, I am stunned by your knowledge.

    Brightfeather, yes. There was elastic by that time but these were probably considered more long-lasting.

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  18. I love that pattern and have so wanted to buy it and sew up a pair, but I just know that my husband will never ever agree to wear the finished result... So, if only very vicariously, please make them so that I can admire them!

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  19. You are forgetting your international audience. If you are in Australia thongs are what you wear on your feet (flip flops), and everyone says "a pair of thongs". Those other things are G strings.
    I think this is lingerie/loungewear, not mere underwear, and I agree with KID,MD, enter them at PR!

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  20. Fabulous! Style no. 1 looks a lot like a mini skirt that Urban Outfitters would stock. What I'd really like to know is what the men in the first picture are all looking at...?

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  21. Oh, I know there was, Peter. It was invented in 1820, after all. But I've never seen an elastic waistband on WWII clothes....

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  22. Peter - looking at the rear view of those boxers, I realize that you are opening up a real can of sartorial worms with these, along with lines of my mom's adventure washing the greasy spot over the stove, realizing the rest needed cleaning and painting and then new cupboards and $8,000 later, she said, "You know, I probably should have left the grease spot alone." You will not be able to get those into a pair of levis; I think the only sort of men's slacks that you will be able to wear them with would be some made from a pattern from that period. You are going to need a pair that has pleats, both fore and aft, in order to deal with that non-bifurcated rear..you need plenty of room back there because there is no center back seam. On the other hand, however, it does give you an excuse to go looking for a men's slack pattern from the period, which is always a good thing.

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  23. Since I sold them to you, I am partial to seeing them made up. I think they are great for summer sleep/loungewear. I agree with others, not for Levi's but for vintage era slacks. Enter them in the contest, I would love to vote for you. And I think they superimposed a face like ol' Clark (my favorite), which is what attracted me to the pattern.

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  24. Haha, the comments on this post are hilarious. I think they are an improvement over tighty whities. :)

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  25. I feel like vintage underwear has a certain appeal. But when you think about these, aren't they just culottes? And to me, culottes are not a good thing. Maybe you can find some of those 1920s swimsuit patterns instead :)

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  26. Those are not hot, not in any way.
    However, that said, I'd love to see them made up. Seeing them in real life may make me change my mind but I doubt it!!
    I think you should enter them in the PR Lingerie contest too.

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  27. If anyone could pull these off, it's you. And I imagine you won't receive too many judging glances since they're underwear

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  28. Are you suggesting I pull off my underwear...on my blog? ;)

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  29. I must have the pattern for the 1945 boxer shorts. Does anyone know where I can get a copy? This must be from the period where there was only 1 size per envelope. Any hints? Thanks.

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