Traditional Attire Group - UnderwearUnderwear

Though by definition unobtrusive, suitable underwear is one of the most important and essential aspects of traditional attire.

The majority of traditionalists wear, at least during winter months, the all-time classic pairing of button-front sleeved vest (short or long arms, preferably with ribbed cuffs) with matching long johns with button front fly and brace-tapes. This was the near-universal underwear for men for a hundred years until near the middle of the last century, and can still be obtained fairly easily even today. Apart from the heritage aspect, button-front long underpants fit well with the rest of traditional wear, because they are not elasticated and require the wearing of braces.

One of the most satisfying moments for the genuine traditionalist is pulling on a clean pair of button-front long pants, then his socks, affixing them with sock suspenders, and when the tunic shirt with stiff collar is buttoned up over his button-front undervest, his trousers are then put on, the ends of the braces are threaded through the two pairs of brace-tapes on the waistband of his underpants, and fixed to the braces buttons on the inside of the trouser waistband to keep everything in place. All this is a lot quicker and easier than it sounds, once one gets accustomed to the task daily – as our great-grandfathers knew so well.

For milder weather, button-front trunks – thigh or knee length, with the same arrangement of brace-tapes, can be substituted for long johns. These are a little more difficult to obtain, though.

Of course, some favouring traditional attire prefer other styles of underwear, and this is acceptable - up to a point. The key is that it should conform to tradition, and accord with the dignity of the rest of the individual’s appearance. For example, a classic white singlet and loose white trunks are perfectly acceptable, especially for summer wear, as are boxer shorts - if they are of a plain pastel colour, or classic stripes. It hardly needs mentioning that any form of tight underwear, e.g. ‘briefs’ or Y-fronts, is totally unacceptable, indeed absurd.

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