You might find this hard to believe, but socks are one of the oldest forms of clothing that are still worn today. They’ve been around long before things like shorts and t-shirts.

Today, socks are often overlooked as part of an outfit. This is due to the fact that most people, unfortunately, don’t know how to choose fun, colorful socks to express themselves.

This wasn’t always the case. Socks used to only be accessible to the rich. This is primarily due to the fact that manufacturing was a guild secret.

Let’s take a look at the ways in which socks and undergarments have transformed through ancient, medieval, and more modern times.

Undergarments in ancient times

The very first socks were invented in Jutland in 1500 B.C. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks wore all sorts of undergarments. In fact, the earliest sock-like loincloth items were discovered in the graves of Egyptians back in 500 A.D.

While Egyptians wore loincloth items, Romans wore shorts and socks made from matted animal hair called piloi. Their women also wore bra-like bands of leather around their chest.

Undergarments in medieval times and onward

During the medieval times, socks were a privilege of the rich. Men wore linen shorts called braies, and women wore shift, long linen undergarments.

Once we reached the 16th century, socks were manufactured in England. Rather than being made from animal hair and leather, these socks were machine-knit.

In the 19th century, styles started to become more elaborate as knickers became more common for women. Women also started to wear long gowns called chemise under their dresses.

Undergarments in modern times

At the start of the modern era, things started to morph into what we see today. Modern bras were invented by Mary Phelps Jacob in 1931 and consisted of two handkerchiefs being tied together with a ribbon. Knickers shortened in length until they became modern underwear.

In the 21st century, improvements to technology and the manufacturing process helped create fabrics that were more breathable and didn’t warp as easily.

Today, underwear brands have expanded their products and size ranges so that there are enough options for everyone.

All of this information, and more, is summarized in the infographic below: