“Underwear that’s fun to wear!”
After eons of wearing simple white undergarments, something magical occurred in 1978 that would forever transform an underwear-wearing kid into a hero among mere mortals. Soon, herds of kids that wouldn’t have been caught dead displaying their skivvies in public were proudly displaying them for all to see. From under-dressed tot to Aquaman in a single bound, kids were transported into a wonderfully fun world of make-believe, thanks to a little fashion innovation lovingly known as Underoos. Let’s take a look back at perhaps the most fondly remembered underwear of all time.
First introduced by Fruit of the Loom in 1978, Underoos transformed your undergarments into the costume of a caped crusader. Adorned with the logos of just about every major superhero or cartoon character, these two-piece pairings of t-shirt (or tank top) and briefs were available in numerous styles that appealed to both boys and girls. The popularity was enormous and immediate and forever increased the fun factor of underwear by a power of ten. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, C3PO – no matter your hero de jour, there was a set of Underoos waiting to help you make the transformation. Simply tie a bath towel around your neck as a makeshift cape and you were ready to save the world from the forces of evil. Fruit of the Loom licensed characters from DC Comics, Hanna-Barbera, Archie, Marvel Comics, Star Wars and many others to offer a line of over 40 types of Underoos.
How popular were Underoos? Enough so that many kids, enchanted with their newly-found superhero status, grew entirely disinterested in wearing outerwear. The hot months of Summer gave a perfect excuse to spend your day sporting nothing but Underoos. And much to the discontent of parents, kids were no longer embarrassed about being seen outside the house in their underwear, wanting to show the world the newly-acquired super powers that they now possessed. And getting kids to give them up for just a couple of hours so that they could be laundered proved to be an arduous task in and of itself. Kids simply didn’t want to part with their beloved playwear, no matter how many days in a row they had been wearing them.
For millions of former kids, the hours they spent playing in their Underoos are part of the magical memories that made up their childhood. Leaping from the bed with reckless abandon, standing in front of the mirror with chest thrust forth, running like a wild man through the backyard sprinklers – once you put on a set of Underoos for the first time, there was no turning back. Those boring white undergarments would forever remain untouched in the top drawer of the dresser, never to be worn again.
If you are the former proud wearer of Underoos, tell us all about it in our comments section. Were you one of those kids that wore them at any opportunity? Did you have a favorite pair? Share your Underoos memories with us, and we promise (cross our hearts) not to laugh.