Did People in Ancient Times Wear Underwear?

Undergarments, or underwear as we know them today, are an essential part of our daily attire. They safeguard our modesty and provide comfort and support.

But what about ancient times Did people wear underwear in those days

Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians were one of the earliest civilizations known for their advanced clothing style. However, unlike modern times, they did not wear undergarments.

Egyptian men wore kilts made of linen, while women wore dresses that covered their entire body. The fabric was often sheer and lightweight, providing a cool and comfortable fit.

Ancient Rome

In contrast to ancient Egypt, the Romans did wear undergarments. The loincloth, known as a subligaculum, was worn by men to protect their modesty. Women also wore a similar garment called a strophium or mamillare.

As time passed, the Romans developed new forms of undergarments such as the tunica interior or undershirt worn beneath the tunic.

Medieval Europe

In medieval Europe, both men and women wore undergarments known as braies or breeches. These were loose-fitting trousers made of linen or wool that covered the legs and hips.

Women also wore a garment called a chemise or smock beneath their dress to prevent chafing and keep sweat away from the body.

The Renaissance Period

The Renaissance period saw significant changes in fashion trends across Europe. Men began wearing tight-fitting trousers known as hose that covered the legs from waist to foot. Women’s dresses became more elaborate and included corsets that helped shape their figure.

To provide extra support and comfort, men wore codpieces while women wore padded undergarments known as farthingales.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution brought about significant changes in the textile industry, leading to the production of cheaper and more comfortable fabrics. This led to the development of modern undergarments such as briefs and panties.

Both men and women began wearing undergarments that were designed to provide support, comfort, and protection. These garments were made of lightweight fabrics such as cotton, silk, or nylon that allowed the skin to breathe.


From ancient times to modern-day, undergarments have played a crucial role in our daily attire. While the styles and designs may have changed over time, their purpose remains the same – to provide protection, comfort, and support.

  • Ancient Egyptians did not wear undergarments
  • Romans wore loincloths
  • Medieval Europeans wore breeches and chemises
  • The Renaissance period saw the development of farthingales and codpieces
  • The Industrial Revolution led to the production of modern-day underwear

So next time you put on your favorite pair of underwear, remember the rich history behind this essential garment.