It’s a good time to be a man. Especially a man that loves good underwear—on himself or other guys. There are hundreds of brands of briefs and boxers out there, with new ones cropping up all the time. But some of best drawers out there are courtesy of some of the oldest brands around.
Check out this roundup of undies from companies that are older than you are.
Photos: Hanes, Jockey, Fruit of the Loom, Bike
Founded in 1901, Hanes continues to be a major player in the men’s underwear industry. It may not be the flashiest skivvies around, but sometimes simple is sexy.
This Kenosha, Wisconsin outfitter started a century after the Declaration of Independence was signed, but didn’t sell its first pair of Y-fronts until 1935. In the 1970s, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer became the face of the brand, one of the first mainstream personalities to attach his name to men’s underwear. He appeared in the company’s national print and TV ads, as well as a giant Times Square billboard. Today, Jockey is still an exceptional company with both men’s and women’s undergarments and apparel.
Fruit of the Loom
Founded back in 1851 at a textile mill by industrialist Robert Knight (left), Fruit of the Loom defined “tighty-whities” for generations. The company’s logo—a cornucopia minus the basket—was inadvertently inspired by the daughter of one of Knight’s friends: He saw the girl painting apples on yards of fabric and got the idea for one of America’s most iconic insignias.
Minnesota-based Munsingwear introduced the kangaroo-pouch fly back in 1866 and rolled out its golf-apparel line Original Penguin in the 1950s. Today, you can pick up Original Penguin boxer briefs at retailers nationwide.
C.F. Bennett invented the modern jockstrap way back in 1874, and his company (originally known as the Bike Web Company) continues to produce top-notch jocks today. We haven’t seen haven’t seen much call for the Heidelberg Electric Belt, an electric jockstrap from the early 20th century that claimed to cure insomnia and erectile dysfunction. They certainly keep us up and alert!