Monday, February 25, 2013

Let's Talk Underwear

     First and foremost, underwear goes UNDER clothes.  That's why it's called underwear.  Don't care about fashion or anyone's opinion but mine when it comes to this.  Underwear goes UNDER.
     With that said, I would like to mention that historically and I mean for centuries, underwear was seen above the waist.  It was worn mainly to keep the outerwear from getting dirty against the skin.  It was often worn for the entire season, the outer garment was taken off, brushed and worn again the next day.  Thanks to the cotton gin and the Industrial Revolution, underwear became abundant and part of our modern culture as more than skin cover.  

     Fashion and society had requirements of under garments and set rules for its use and purpose.  I have read several articles and a journal of the time on the matter.  It was suggested to have all the things needed to dress comfortably for some time before heading to the wedding.  Several dressing gowns and several chemise  and several bloomers.  Fortunately, we don't have to talk about corsets and bustles!  As we see in the Masterpiece Classics, every woman sat in gowns in white.  Apparently, it was considered selfish of a young lady to have many white under garments as white needed frequent laundering at a high cost.  I see sense in the writings of that time.
      Underwear lasts longer when rotated and darker colors do hide stains better than white.  For long term prepping, I also like to point out that cotton, cotton blends and wool last a good long time.  Stored with a sewing repair kit, I believe one of my sons could make a twelve pack of underwear last a decade.  Pack away more than a twelve pack!   Also pack several pairs of modern long johns.  They offer insulation in winter and wick away moisture from the body.  They are also underwear, seasonal underwear.  They may be pajamas but pack jammies for jammies!
     Choose style by comfort, not fashion.  With four sons the debate on jockey shorts, boxers and the long legged briefs rages on.  Go for comfort, guys, and durability.  Colors should be subdued.  White will virtually glow in the dark on a full moon!  Buy a mom's idea of a year's supply and store the sewing repair kit and several yards of waistband elastic available from Jo-Ann etc.  AND rotate!
     In the laundering of underwear, the fabric gets heavy from the water it absorbs.  Agitation cleans but it also stretches the elastic.  After the garment is dry, it can take three days for the elastic to relax back into it's springy form.  That's why when you wash your clothes and start wearing the clothes out of the laundry basket, the drawers droop.  You didn't let them relax and spring back into form. 
  Ladies underwear rules are the same as any gentleman.  Buy for comfort of style, subdued color, durable fabrics and pack more than you think you need.  Pack repair kits of hooks, strap replacements and elastic.  The ladies however have a choice of packing additional under garments.  The sport bra is a bra and it is a sport garment.  It is made of synthetics and will outlast all of us if kept clean, but the elastic relax rule applies here more than any where.  Bras of all types need two to three days after laundering to relax and regain their shape. 
     Victorian ladies would think us all in heaven with the spandex blends that do the job of their whale bone corsets without the binding and scraping they suffered.  I begrudge no woman her under garments, but the more you think you need, the more space they take and we hardly ever remain the size of our youth through or later years.  That is the nicest way I can think to say, get bigger sturdier drawers, ladies.  

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