Why Do We Wear Underwear?

Written by Willie MacDonald


Posted on March 14 2024

Have you ever wondered why some people insist on wearing underwear? BawBags has the answer for you! 

As we have a gander at the historical evolution, functional purposes, hygiene benefits, and social implications of wearing underwear, you may uncover a long range of reasons that go beyond you and your underwear’s imagination. So why do we wear underwear?

Historical Evolution of Underwear

Throughout history, underwear has undergone many changes in design and function to meet the ever evolving needs of society. In ancient times, the concept of underwear was virtually nonexistent. Early civilisations like the Egyptians and Greeks mainly wrapped themselves in simple loincloths made from linen or cotton. These garments served the basic purpose of keeping things under wraps and giving a wee skooch of protection.

As societies advanced, so did the evolution of underwear. During the Middle Ages, both men and women wore a wee linen shirt-like garment called a 'shift' as the first layer of inner clothing. These shifts helped in absorbing sweat and protecting the good top clothes from body oils. 

It wasn't until the Renaissance period that undergarments started to resemble what we recognise as underwear today. Women began wearing corsets to shape their bodies, while men adopted drawers, which were loose-fitting underpants tied at the waist.

The Industrial Revolution brought about significant changes in the production and availability of underwear. Mass production made undergarments more accessible to the general population, leading to a shift in societal norms around cleanliness and hygiene (thank goodness). The 20th century saw the emergence of elastic waistbands, more breathable fabrics like cotton, and changes to printing that allowed funky designs like our fruit bowl 3 pack to grace your body.

fruit bowl 3 pack womens underwear

Today, underwear continues to evolve with advancements in technology and changing fashion trends. For example, Our Cool De Sacs range features sweat-wicking material that would have been a distant dream for your run-of-the-mill medieval serf (and quite possibly would have got them tried for witchcraft if they had shown it to the lord of the manor).

Functional Purposes of Underwear

But back to the million-dollar question: Why do we wear underwear? The short answer is that it provides support, protection, and comfort to the wearer. While the true Scotsmen among us (see our post on kilt-wearing) might like the feeling of fresh air around their bits, the reality of that can often be a bit more chafe-y than free spirit-y.

Underwear acts as a barrier between your body and outer clothing, helping to absorb sweat and prevent your clothes from getting stinky and/or streaky. Our underwear can also give you an excuse to add another layer of support to Scotland's rugby team with our scotland rugby boxers!

Scottish boxers

Protection is another crucial function of underwear. By creating a layer between your sensitive skin and outer garments, underwear helps protect you from potential irritants or rough fabrics that could cause skin irritation. For individuals engaging in physical activities, certain types of underwear can provide additional protection by reducing friction and minimising the risk of skin injuries.

Underwear contributes massively to your overall comfort. The right underwear can keep you feeling dry by wicking away moisture, which is especially important during hot weather or intense physical activities. It also adds an extra insulation layer for when the temperature drops. If keeping the cold away from your nether regions is of particular importance, then we recommend taking a look at our awesome base layers for all-over comfort and cosiness. 

Hygiene Benefits of Wearing Underwear

Think of good underwear as the shield between your baws and bits and the outside world. 

By maintaining a protective barrier between your body and external factors, you’re preventing direct contact between your skin and clothing, which can hold dirt, sweat, and bacteria. This barrier helps reduce the risk of skin irritation and infections, especially in areas prone to moisture buildup. 

Speaking of moisture buildup: Sweaty bottoms can lead to bacterial growth, causing extremely unpleasant odours and potentially leading to skin issues, you can google the results of these sorts of things but boy, is that an image search you won't forget any time soon. By wearing underwear, you create a layer that wicks moisture away from your body, promoting better hygiene and comfort.

Proper hygiene practices include changing your underwear daily to maintain freshness and cleanliness. The classic turn it inside out for extra wear approach may seem like a good idea at the time, but it's really not, don’t do it!  Regularly changing your underwear helps prevent the buildup of bacteria, sweat and other nasties, and let's face it, will make you much more popular with workmates and pals in the long run.


Superstitions in your pants

Us humans can be a superstitious bunch, and we‘ve come up with some interesting customs over the years. While comfort and hygiene are all very good reasons to wear pants, did you ever think about how the underwear you choose could improve other areas of your life?

In Mexico, for example, ladies coordinate the colour of their underwear with what they want to achieve in the new year.

If you are looking for love, go with the classic sexy red.

For a prosperous new year, yellow or gold is the one to wear. We might be biased, but our Golden Baws undwerwear seems to fit the bill for this one and are sure to bring wealth all year long!

Mexico is not the only country that puts stock on what colour your knickers are in the Philippines wearing underwear with polka dots is said to be the secret to financial security because round shapes are considered lucky.

Lastly, pink is the colour of choice in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil for improving your luck when it comes to building deeper relationships with your friends and is also said to help you stick to the plans you make. If you have a flaky pal who always cancels at the last minute, why not get her some of our trippy cotton underwear

Choosing the Right Underwear for You

Last but not least in our reasons for “Why do we wear underwear?”;

When selecting the perfect underwear, the right level of comfort and functionality will ensure a seamless fit throughout your day. The right underwear can make a significant difference in how you feel and carry yourself.  

A comfy undercarriage can make you feel like a rockstar.
Pants that constantly slip down or pinch in the wrong places will quickly bring the mood down.

Here are three key points to consider when choosing the right underwear for you:

  1. Fabric Matters: Opt for breathable materials like cotton underwear to keep you comfortable and prevent irritation. Fabrics like bamboo are also excellent choices as they're soft and gentle on the skin, making them perfect for everyday wear.
  1. Style and Fit: Consider your body type and personal preferences when choosing the style of underwear. Whether you prefer briefs, boxers, or boxer briefs, selecting the right fit is essential for both comfort and confidence. Ensure the waistband is snug but not too tight, and the leg openings are comfortable to prevent chafing.
  1. The look: Life is too short for boring underwear, keep things interesting with designs that make you smile. If you dont want to go all out with rainbow boxers you’ll be happy to know you can also browse our plain boxers, all the same amazing fit and material but a little more reserved in the pattern department.

Purchase Scotland’s Best Underwear and Protect Your Baws Today!

By now, you should know the answer to “Why do we wear underwear?” Now you know. The next time you slip on your underwear, remember its long history, practical functions, hygiene benefits, and cultural significance. Whether you prefer boxers, briefs, or something in between, choosing the right underwear for you is essential.

Have a look at our full range of underwear. Our range of styles is ideal for giving you a different look for each day of the week. Remember to feel confident in your underwear, and if needed, reach out to our passionate team, who are always available to help you out!