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Feb 11, 2010

My new 1945 underpants!

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

Since I was basically snowed in yesterday with two hyperactive chihuahuas,  I threw myself into my Forties boxers project whole hog.  They sewed up without a hitch -- ok, with a hitch, well, two, but nothing insurmountable.

You'll recall my pattern:


From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

Eat your heart out, Calvin Klein.

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

I think I have more of a 1945 body than a 2010 one; who knew?

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

And yet they mainly remind me of this.

I made these boxers out of the remainder of an old cotton/poly sheet I'd made a shirt with last summer.  You know me and the vintage sheets...

Needless to say, these are no ordinary boxers.  For one thing, they have a two-piece waistband in back, one side of which feeds through the other and attaches on the side.






Buttoned more loosely, they're fuller in the seat.

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945


Each side piece has three buttons each, plus three buttons in front, for a grand total of nine buttons.  That's a lot of buttons if you ask me, but I didn't think velcro was right for the period.  Or hot glue.

I'd like to do these boxers again in something all cotton and maybe striped.  Since the waistband is cut parallel to the selvage and the legs are cut perpendicular, stripes would be graphically very cool, like the ones on the pattern envelope. For those, I'd go full-out Forties drag with cigarette, wristwatch and loafers.

So what do you think?

Yes?  No?

Maybe, but only in black and white?


P.S. You can read my full pattern review, with a link to more photos, here.

48 comments:

  1. Yes, definately. I also love the chihuahua. Mae

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  2. vintagekitchenkitschFebruary 11, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    It is absolutely perfect that you are holding a chihuahua in your hands for the first pose. : ) EVERY vintage man's pattern illustration must have something in said man's hands. Pattern Junkie has fantastic posts currently about this phenomenon. These would be great for lounging, yes, but also under a fantastic pair of wide-legged 40s pants. Tall ones where the belt is above your belly button to hide your girdle. : )

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  3. I like that these aren't as skirt-like as the pattern illustration would suggest. Maybe you could update us with this in the future and let us know if you actually wear them. I mean, as underwear.

    You know what you need? You need one of those thumbs up/thumbs down buttons. You know. Like on Facebook. "467 people like this" Oh wait. They don't have a thumbs down on Facebook do they? Hmmm. Well, that would spare you from anyone who didn't like it, I guess.

    Sorry, rambling. I think I need caffeine.

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  4. Absolutely fantastic! And I agree--the chihuahua really makes for a good shot. They seem like they'd be really great under some trim vintage pants.

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  5. At last! A picture of your tushie! I love the boxers, but I'd suggest you not wait until you really have to "go", as those buttons could bamboozle you. (For the same reason, I hate pants with back zippers.) -- San Antonio Sue

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  6. How neat! I'd also be curious to know how they wear under "modern" cut pants. Seems like they'd be much more comfortable just to sleep in.

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  7. Very nice! Not many guys could even remotely pull that look off, but they look great on you. I love all the details, but high-waisted, button-up (9?!), close-fitting "box shorts" do not look particularly comfortable for lounging. Did the 1945 man actually wear these? Perfect for the PR lingerie contest!

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  8. I love 'em! But are they comfortable? (Can you tell my criteria for undergarments?) If you had to get these down in a hurry, it looks like it could take some planning and forethought, lol. Great pictures too!

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  9. My goodness, you are a great seamster! I can see how well they are made. You DO have the right body for vintage, too. Hubba hubba! :-)

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  10. All I know is that the first picture has totally made my day. Maybe even my year.

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  11. Those were surprisingly cute. Don't think my hubby would wear them, but kudos for seeing the pattern potential and whipping them up. :)

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  12. awesome! after your last post I actually went and found a similar pattern....I plan on making them up for my female self in regular fabric and wearing them as tap/practice pants for my swing dancing fun.

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  13. Those are great!!! I love them!!! My concern would be only that you need to plan ahead for bathroom breaks??

    I also love the built in tummy control! Not that you need it, but some men do!

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  14. Calvin Klein eat your heart out is right! I like that they aren't as skirt-y as the picture shows. And yes please - in a stripe with the full 40's photoshoot. :)

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  15. Love them! Now for how to convince the BF that I need to sew him a pair....... hmmm...

    Barring that, though, I think they'd make excellent lounge-around-the-house pants in a culotte length/style....

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  16. They are awesome!! I can't believe you already finished them - complete with nine buttonholes. You are a rock star. I love the floral sheet you used as your fabric. It is totally perfect.

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  17. Love these! I have the same pattern - but I have not yet made them. I am glad to see them made up. Your business card is wonderful!

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  18. excellent, the buttons don't seem very comfortable, but nice job

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  19. Your expression in the first photo is priceless, and your accessory choice inspired! I'd much rather see more adorable chihuahua than the tired old cigarette or pipe in future photo shoots.

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  20. I'm grinning at the laptop! Yes, the boxers are great, but that top photo is genius. Thank you!

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  21. Peter, last night I caught episode 3 of "Savile Row" on Sundance channel. It's about the challenges the great mens-wear houses of London are facing today. Gorgeous clothes, wonderful tailoring. You need to make yourself a bespoke suit. Well worth catching if you get a chance. (Wed at 8:00 CST). -- San Antonio Sue (no URL so I have to post as Anonymous)

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  22. YES! They are fantastic. Why shouldn't all boxers have nine buttons. It seems like a bare minimum, the more I think of it! :-)

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  23. I love them!! They are utterly fabulous. Stripes would be amazing. I'm thinking ticking or bold awning stripes.

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  24. Came out wonderful, very impressed, especially with your speed. I bet they will be great for sleeping in the summer.

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  25. *stands and starts clapping* Bravo, bravo! Since this is almost performance art, I believe it deserves a standing ovation! Very nicely done, Peter. Now, since we're expecting snow here in Georgia, I must go be snarky on my own blog... (I'm brightfeather on LJ. It's not cooperating.)

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  26. Damn these are fantastic! You get two thumbs up from me. I love how they remind me of old-fashioned pugilists - Queensberry rules and all that! And it's definitely the buttons that maketh the shorts - but I would also like to know if they are comfy and practical??

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  27. Fab. Have to say I was a bit worried as I scrolled down the page with my toddler hovering about... but all for not.

    Lovely undies.

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  28. They make you look EXACTLY like Gene Kelly. What a hunk!

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  29. I love these! Perfect for lounging around the house. Yes, make them in stripes.

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  30. Oh. My. God. The top photo is AMAZING. The mustache is genius! I swear, that mustached Simplicty guy is in EVERY men's pattern they put out during that period. He's appearing in my nightmares these days!

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  31. Actually, they turned out fantastic. A lot, lot better than what I envisaged.
    They would look great in a stripe, like you said.

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  32. Hi, everybody! Thanks so much for your kind comments. In brief (no pun intended), these boxers are comfortable. Obviously, anything with such a high waistband is going to feel a little confining at the beginning. But it's no worse than a truss (ha ha).

    They don't take any longer to remove than a pair of button-fly jeans. The buttons in the back are solely to adjust the waistband, not to get in and out of the boxers.

    As far as being practical...well, how practical is a La Perla garter belt? You wear it mainly for the way it makes you feel.

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  33. Those underpants are hilarious. Kudos to you for modeling them so proudly and beautifully!

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  34. Can a smoking jacket be far behind??

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  35. Those are the BEST boxers EVER. Love. Of course, they are not exactly practical. If they were they likely would not be quite as awesome. I am intrigued that this pattern could be equally as cute on a woman, and yet is still surprisingly masculine. Great job.

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  36. You do have a retro body!! Great job - and fabulous photos!

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  37. Most importantly, what does Michael think of them?! ;)

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  38. These boxers look awesome!! I'm amazed how quickly you've whipped them up & the fabric is just perfect. The first pic reminds me of a 1930s strong man at the carnival and the chihuahua is hilarious. Can't wait to see version 2 in stipes.

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  39. I love all that detailing. They look absolutely gorgeous and you wear them beautifully!

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  40. I'll bet they'd even be comfortable if they were made in something with just a little stretch. I was actually disappointed that they weren't wider in the leg -- I'd like that better under 40s-50s style trousers. They do suit you perfectly!

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  41. Hi, all. Yes, Nathalie, I was wondering myself how they might look in a knit. Maybe I'll try that next!

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  42. this is so cute! hahahahahahaa....don't think I can see my man in it :)..it looks like one of those classical mr. muscle character :)

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  43. This is really interesting. It's easy to see that women's undergarments have changed since that era, because they tend to change the whole silhouette, but I've never thought about how men's undergarments have changed. Thanks for the glimpse into the past.

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  44. I discover your blog and linked it on mine ( http://galimamphigouric.canalblog.com/archives/2010/04/20/17637095.html ) I hesitated, but finally, I only linked to this fabulous photo of these wonderfull underpants!!! Congratulations!!!! And congratulations for all your sewing!!! A wish I were a beginner as gifted as you are...

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  45. I gotta have this pattern...exactly what I've been looking for. Can anyone tell me where to get one in size 32"? Thanks

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  46. Nashrunner, your best bet is to look for the pattern -- or a similar one -- on Etsy or eBay. Almost any vintage Forties boxer short pattern is going to include this style, which was popular in the days before elastic and other stretch materials.

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  47. You are both hilarious and dashing. Those boxers don't look like they would come of easily when situations necessitated a speedy exit. But functionality aside, they look fabulous!

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