When Was Underwear Invented?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 1, 2020 5:13:19 PM ET
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The first traditional version of pull-on underwear is believed to have been invented in the 13th century. Before that, loincloths had been found on 7,000-year-old remains of humans, but only became important in the 13th century.

Many early cultures had forms of underwear. The ancient Egyptians wore loincloths, while Roman men and women wore a loincloth or shorts called subligaculum. Women also wore a band of cloth or leather around their chest called a strophium. It was during the 13th century when men wore linen shorts called braies that underwear became a common and important clothing choice. Many knights adopted underwear under their clothing before they would put their armor on.