'Tighty-Whities' Get Ready to Turn 75

Company launches media blitz to celebrate iconic undies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 4:39 AM CDT
'Tighty-Whities' Get Ready to Turn 75
Baseball player Jim Palmer appears in this 1976 ad for Jockey.   (Jockey International)

(Newser) – "Tighty whities" are turning 75 soon and Jockey International has launched a media blitz to rocket their briefs into the spotlight. The men's underwear, created after an exec was inspired by a postcard from France showing a man's bikini-style swimsuit, made its debut in Chicago in January 1935—a day that probably also saw the first wedgie, quips the Los Angeles Times.

Briefs—considered daring back then—still make up a quarter of men's underwear sold today, says Jockey. The underwear may be pointing the way toward economic recovery, according to former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan's theory. He believes that men facing tough times first cut back on underwear purchases—meaning a recent 4.8% rise in the sale of male skivvies could be signaling a revival in consumer spending. (Read more men's underwear stories.)

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