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Feb 6, 2014

Sexy 70's Men's Mesh Underwear -- My Version!



Readers of a certain age, do you remember men's mesh underwear?





Playfully risque 40 years ago, this look soon disappeared from the mainstream, though it remained available via the always-risible International Male catalog.  Here's why it didn't last:

1) Men generally wear underwear to feel covered.  Peek-a-boo panties aren't practical outside the boudoir or bathhouse.

2) Made from polyester or nylon for strength, mesh underwear didn't survive the following decades' return to natural fibers and preppy, retro styles.

3) Skimpy mesh briefs and muscle shirts simply had too strong a Seventies vibe and, like disco, qiana, and Three's Company, was relegated to our collective cultural dump.

But I'm bringing it back, readers!  You remember that one of the fabrics I bought the other day was gray nylon mesh?   I decided to use it to make a mesh t-shirt and brief set.



I used Jalie 3242 for the briefs and vintage Simplicity 9414 for the top (though I lengthened the torso, skipped the sleeves, and added my own collar band from the cotton knit I also purchased that day).





It all went together without too much hassle.  I used a narrow zigzag almost everywhere.  The shoulders and torso of the shirt are finished with French seams.











Are you ready for the -- ahem -- big reveal?

High-status pose:

Why is Willy laughing?

Low-status pose:

"It's Today!"

UPDATE:  At the store, this was listed as nylon.   When I did a burn test, however, it was not self-extinguishing and the ash was more suggestive of cotton and/or rayon.  Maybe this explains why it shrank a bit when I washed it -- and why it's so soft.





I really like this underwear -- it's comfy, breezy, and fun.

In closing, would you -- or someone you love -- wear mesh underwear?

Now when will they bring back Three's Company?

Have a great day, everybody!



34 comments:

  1. They look really good on you. where is the view from the back? LOL!

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  2. hahaha. The pup is too funny. laughing at you. Love the mesh undies though. they look fun and comfortable

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  3. You are amazing! LOL! Love the set!

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  4. Nice, Peter!

    And to answer your question... They've been there, done that, got the t-shirt. A couple of my brothers tried mesh undies because they seemed pretty practical for Georgia summers. They claim it tends to yank out hair in, um, sensitive areas as well as chest hair....

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  5. SeamsterEast (at) aol dot comFebruary 6, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    I wore tops of "Norwegian Army Underwear" 40 some years ago. I recall the ladies of that era noticing to some extreme. Many wanted to poke their fingers in the holes, without asking.

    Unfortunately, the style in tops here in non-Norwegian NYC became most closely associated with Hispanic forklift operators.

    The stuff is still incredibly warm under even ordinary shirts.

    I made some Jalie underwear of similar mesh recently. A certain woman likes it, but boy oh boy is it tough to sit on for a bit. Good if one expects to mainly be standing for most of the evening.

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  6. So I'm guessing this falls into the category of let's be honest here how good does it look in a pile on the floor. Its a nice set though and women shouldn't be the only ones with special outfits of that sort.

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  7. Damn straight I'd wear mesh undies! And I really like this "outfit" :-)

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  8. ok you just showed how "young" you are ha ha - Three's Company

    Cynthia

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  9. Never, ever change Peter! You make every sewing day better.

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  10. Since I grew up in the city those retro '70's undies were made in, I remember the Company Outlet being totally stacked with those. They didn't sell well there either. I offer is challenge to you, wear them in the conventional way-under clothes, and sit for a good while, maybe even sew, then let me know how your flesh that's been squishing through mesh feels.

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  11. Kudos for voluntarily appearing on the internet in your undies. And your sewing is swell too!

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  12. Mesh underwear is great for traveling, as it dries overnight!

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  13. I remember my grandfather being aghast at the appearance of coloured underwear in the seventies - 'how can you see they are clean?" - in his time all white cotton and linen was boiled and bleached to within an inch of its life! You did a great job, as usual. I so enjoy your blog Peter! Anne-Marie

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    Replies
    1. I'll bet the wives didn't mind!

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  14. Is it okay that I wish to make these for my husband, a tech nerd whose undies tend to show at the workplace far too often?

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  15. I was really expecting a mesh pouch. After all that is where a little extra breeze would be appreciated on a hot southern day ( or night.)

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  16. How soft is the mesh? And, where did you get it? The only mesh I've seen here is good for the inside of lunch bags or for making laundry bags/lining gym bags.

    It's warm to wear as it's the same principle as the old British army mesh vests (wick in summer, warm in winter), but not so much wicking if it's synthetic.

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  17. Love it! My step dad used th wear mesh pants and vests in the 80's, I remember bumping into him on the stairs one morning when they were all he had on, eurgh!

    http://asaucystitch.blogspot.co.uk

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  18. Peter
    You are courages, wonderful and a great seamster!
    Hugs
    G

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  19. Am I the only one who noticed the use of two big balls to weigh down the undies pattern :)

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  20. Brilliant creations - but you know you can still buy mesh underwear for men. It's back in fashion, in occasional string vest scale mesh but mostly finer designs more like tulle. And these days thanks to Lycra stretchy mesh underwear fits really well - gone is the sagging of the Seventies!

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  21. Great job. You are one fast sewer.

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  22. I tried wearing some of these once, and it felt like sitting on a cheese grater....

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Senor King!

      You and your hyperbole!!!

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  23. I'm thinking you might get a metal lawn furniture imprint on your bum from sitting on the mesh fabric.

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    Replies
    1. Or... an interesting sun tan. Excellent job.

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  24. Great job with the underwear and shirt. I am of certain age...however, being a foreign I have no idea U.S man had the courage to wear mesh undies. Who knew...
    I like the shirt. It's perfect for Hawaii climate.
    Thanks for sharing and modeling too
    Aloha from Josie

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  25. I remember mesh undies from the seventies, but not fondly, nowadays mesh undies suggests the type used with incontinence aids. Love the colour of yours but mesh... No, really, No.

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  26. to much information

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  27. I am a man of a certain age, a veritable babe agent during the Disco Era. So my considered opinion: ixnay on the mesh underwear (but Peter, you look beguiling in your creations!), just not for me; loved Three's Company; and Long Live Disco!!!!

    Finally...Go Seahawks!!!

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  28. Love the low status pose! Go on wit yer bad self. :)

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