Why Do We Wear Underwear?

Different trends come and go through the decades concerning the accessories and articles of clothing we wear. Countries in every continent have their own customs that have shaped the typical fashion in those regions. 

Why did underwear ever come into the mix? Does it serve any real purpose? Let's take a look at where underwear came from and why people wear it today.

The Origins of Underwear

Some cultures throughout history have opted to wear no clothes at all. They proudly completed their daily activities with no shame in nudity. 

Somewhere along the way, people started to wear multiple layers of clothing. Perhaps they wore them for decoration in some cases, but some of this layering led to what we know as underwear today. 

Ancient Times 

The ancient Egyptians were perhaps the first to model a second layer of clothing. They decided to add a garment between the skin and their more embellished outer layer of clothing. Although we wear underwear today for mostly practical reasons, the Egyptians did so as a status symbol. 

The 19th Century 

Between the days in ancient Egypt and the 19th century (which, yes, we know is a long time), underwear became more a more practical garment. In Europe and North America, people primarily wore underwear to shield their outer clothing from getting dirty. They also wore it as an extra layer of insulation. The most recognizable underwear style of this time was a unisex linen shift. There was no sensual connotation toward underwear during this time, as it was a chiefly practical garment. 


In our present-day, wearing underwear is the norm. Someone who ditches underwear to 'go commando' does so out of the ordinary out of personal preference. You may be curious about why wearing underwear is necessary. Are there any practical benefits? Is wearing underwear for you?

8 Reasons We Wear Underwear 

Some people certainly love ditching their briefs, but there is still something to be said for a comfortable pair of underwear. Though it has become a customary undergarment over time, there are plenty of reasons to continue dressing in this familiar clothing item. Wearing underwear serves a purpose for you, whether in style, comfort, or hygiene. Let's explore eight reasons to wear underwear. 

For the Look

As we mentioned, the role of underwear in the modern person's life certainly became more than purely functional along the way. Some wear particular pairs of underwear because it makes them feel confident and attractive. It also adds sensual flair for some, though that sort is usually less practical. People enjoy expressing themselves in the clothes they wear, too. This clothing expression includes even boxer briefs. 

To Reduce Irritation in Vulnerable Areas 

Going commando is a personal choice. You're free to make that choice for yourself with the clothes you wear. There are some drawbacks, however. 

When you wear rough materials like denim, your genitals can become irritated quickly. This irritation could be slightly uncomfortable or quite painful if the friction became severe and you developed blisters. Adding boxer briefs to the mix ensures that you can protect your vulnerable areas no matter your outer layer.

To Be Comfortable During Physical Activity 

When you're running, hiking, or working out, your legs move around quite a bit, causing friction. You don't need any unexpected distractions during your adventure or workout. Going completely free sounds like the uninhibited thing to do, but a layer of support would better serve you in high activity. Consider adding high-stretch athletic underwear to your workout clothes to prevent chaffing and stay secure.

To Prevent the Risk of Infection 

This reason to wear underwear primarily supports those who wear dresses or skirts. Imagine strolling to any public place where you'd need to sit down. Whether it's a coffee shop chair, a seat on the subway, or a friend's couch, you just don't know whether the space where you're sitting is sanitary or dirty. Sitting in a public place without underwear may expose you to bacteria that cause infections. 

To Shield Clothes From any Leaks 

Like the 19th century Europeans and North Americans, you might want to keep your outer layer of clothing clean from bodily stains. It's okay to wear your pants more than once before washing them, but wearing them without underwear is another story. To keep your sweatpants free from bodily secretions, stains, and odors, you should consider wearing comfortable underwear under your pants. 

To Avoid Unwanted Sweat Stains 

Going without underwear might be a relaxing thing to do, depending on the context. If you're chilling at home for a day of movies and reading the Sunday comics, you might do okay to skip them. 

However, you might feel differently in a different setting. Going without underwear to run an errand on a hot day would increase your chances of leaving awkward sweat stains on your pants. To save embarrassment and your trousers, stick with a breathable undergarment.

For Extra Warmth 

On a chilly day in February, you'll need all the warmth you can get. Wearing a breathable, stretchy pair of underwear can serve as a fantastic base to your multiple warm layers. If you're planning on being active in the snow or icy conditions, you'll want underwear that fits snug to your body without bunching up. Consider our athletic stretch boxer briefs for your first defense against the cold. 

For Support 

Another reason people enjoy wearing underwear is for the feeling of support. It almost feels strange to go without it when it adds such a layer of comfort under your regular clothes. Many people enjoy the snug feeling of comfortable fabric against their skin in vulnerable areas to keep everything covered and protected. Like a warm blanket or good pair of socks, the right pair of underwear can add a feeling of security under your clothes. 

For Concealment 

One more reason to wear underwear is concealment. Not everyone needs to see the outline of your special body parts, especially in the workplace. That's why it's crucial to wear boxer briefs that fit you perfectly, so you're comfortable and concealed. Wearing the right pair of underwear can hide your profile in risky situations and protect you from potentially embarrassing situations. 

Underwear You Can Trust 

Our sustainable Mallary by Matthew Men's Boxer Briefs come in two varieties. One variety we offer is our Athletic Stretch boxer briefs made of 90% Polyester and 10% Spandex for maximum stretch for the more athletic man. Our Athletic Stretch pairs also feature a 4-way stretch technology to ensure your undies stay in place while you're active.

The other style you'll love is our Essential Cotton Stretch boxer briefs made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Both types are tagless for your comfort and made to be durable. 


When you're considering whether to go commando or wear briefs, think of these eight reasons to go with wearing quality underwear. If you're tired of your usual underwear, it may be time to upgrade to high-quality, sustainably-made boxer briefs for your comfort. You shouldn't have to risk uncomfortable chafing, awkward situations, and unsightly stains from old underwear that are still in your rotation. Retire them and go with breathable undies that will fit correctly for all your adventures. 



Origins of Underwear | LoveToKnow 

What Men Should Know About Underwear | Everyday Health 

Why Do We Wear Underwear? 8 Health Reasons You Need Them | The Healthy