Once upon a time, ladies stored their essentials in a little waist sack tied under their clothing (sort of an early ancestor of the fanny pack) and accessible through slits in their skirts. Around 1800, thinner, silkier fabrics and slimmer cuts came into vogue, and women could no longer hide the bulging sacks around their midsections. The solution? They began carrying their belongings in small pocketbooks instead.
Why Is Underwear Nicknamed “Drawers”?
In the 16th century, drawers became a common term for both men’s and women’s underpants. Made of linen, the items were no-frills and looked more or less interchangeable (this being well before Victoria ever had a secret; decorative lace trim started appearing on the garments only in the middle of the 19th century). Most likely, underwear earned this distinctly unsexy epithet because it describes the way that people put on their unmentionables―drawing them up and over the lower part of the body.