Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

What's Covering His Naughty Bits?

Welcome back to History Undressed!


I couldn't resist an undressed pic of Gerard Butler...sigh...


So far the polls are saying people are most interested in clothing. Well since we are history undressed, today we will discuss the fabulous life of men’s underwear. Next week I will do female undergarments.


I’m not going to go into t-shirts or *gasp* men wore girdles? I’m simply interested in what covered the naughty bits…


(And yes, men like Beau Brummel wore girdles…it kept their back straight, among other excuses...)



Modern man's skivvies aren't that much different than men of yesterday. But you have to admit that today's man looks sexier than hell in underwear, or at least this model does, YUM!


In ancient times the men wore loincloths, and actually it is noted that shepherd's in France were still wearing them in the 1800's.




But let us move forward to the middle ages in England, when braies, codpieces and chausses came into being.


Below is a picture of Charles V wearing his sexy braies and codpiece.

Men back in the day sure loved to show off the masculine shape of their...legs.



Braies in the middle ages were made out of linen. The man would step into them like pants, and they tied at the waist and around the leg to keep them on. In earlier medieval years the braies and chausses were much baggier, and became more closely fit towards the 1500's. If you look closely at this picture you can see that his braies went to about the knee, where his chausses took over the covering of his legs.


A codpiece was the flap over the genetalia that either tied or buttoned closed. Added to this were the chausses, which covered the legs to keep them warm. Chausses usually attached to the braies with a cord or tie. Nothing was worn over the chausses so you could say that anybody could see a man's underwear all day long.



It should be noted that paintings of workers typically show their braies as being more pant-like than what we think of today's underwear.



The painting above, of Charles V, was done in the 1500's. Prior to men wearing shorter doublets that let it all hang out, they wore tunics, which were longer, and would cover the braies. But that is another day...



The codpiece at first was worn out of necessity, seeing as the braies were open, and chausses only covered the legs, a man could be completely exposed... And with the shortening of the doublet in later years, a man could be walking around with his package hanging free. Which could be good or bad, depending on how naughty you were.




Henry VIII was known for padding his codpiece...was he compensating for something?



This picture of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, from Showtime's, The Tudors, is skantily clad in his hollywood version of braies. Hold on, I need to wipe the drool off my chin...

The picture of the real Henry VIII exposes his over stuffed cod...piece.


Henry's padding of his codpiece set about a trend and many more men would pad their codpieces, and even shape them oddly...trying to bring attention to their virility I'm sure.




During the Regency and Victoian eras, men's underwear changed only slightly. There were no longer any braises and chausses, but drawers and hose.






The drawers were about knee length, with an opening in the front for personal matters, ie. urination, or in my mind, easy access! They were made of cotton, wool flannel and for some, silk.





I don't know about you, but I prefer Colin aka Mr. Darcy in the buff...


Now onto sexy highlanders...What did they wear under a kilt?





You guessed it...nothing! Talk about sexy...








If you ever encounter a highlander, I dare you to ask him what he has underneath, you may be surprised at the answer... They love it when a lady asks, it gives them a chance to tease you. Here are some typical answers:

How badly do you want to know? (very badly!)
On a good day, lipstick. (Bad boy!)
Sorry I'm a bit shy, and not good with words. Give me your hand... (he's not shy at all!)


Hopefully some of the information in this blog is helpful to you. If not, at least you can drool over the pictures!

Until next time...let's keep these men of history, undressed...

14 comments:

Amanda Elyot said...

I think the only two times Scotsmen are "allowed" to wear anything under their kilts is 1) when they are dancing; and 2) during the Highland Games when they are tossing the caber.

I've always wanted to see one of those Marilyn Monroe in "Seven Year Itch" by the subway grate moments.

Pat Shagoury said...

I saw Henry VIII's armor in the Tower of London Museum a few years ago. The blacksmith must have had great fun welding the codpiece! It was fantastically huge. Thanks for an entertaining read, Eliza!

Eliza Knight said...

I would love to be witness to the subway grate moment!! Hmm...I wonder how I can finagle that one...

When I go to London I will have to visit that museum, I've got to see that! There were a few things that said since he was rumored to have syphilis that the overly large codpiece could have been due to bandaging, and there was something else that said he may have been trying to protect his fertility wand since he had so many issues with conceiving. At any rate, I like the more scandalous idea that he just wanted to look bigger :)

Vonda Sinclair said...

What a fun post, Eliza! Thanks for the Gerard Butler pic and for the entertaining info! :-)

Jennifer Linforth said...

God bless the Codpiece.

Et tu Eliza? Am I the only one who just does not sigh at Gerry Butler? (maybe it is because of what I write...)

Thanks for Colin Firth... he makes undressing men of his time period such fun.

Puts it into perspective of how folks simply could not rip off each others clothing in the throes of passion. Too many laces, buttons, flaps... etc

Jennifer

Julia Templeton said...

Great post, Eliza! Very interesting.
I also saw Henry VIII's armor at the TOL museum. That man had a huge...ego. ;)

Veronica Wolff said...

Great post!! I loved your sample responses to what men wear under their kilts!

Delle Jacobs said...

Great photos! Oh, yeah, great blog too...

Delle

Joan said...

Eliza,

I've ALWAYS had a thing for guys in loincloths (sigh).

And WOW on the pic of Jonathon Rhys Meyers! I don't have Showtime but would have subscribed had I known he would look like THAT!

Love your blog

Eliza Knight said...

Vonda, you are welcome!

Yes Jennifer, I am a fan...sigh...I love the accent, and the crooked smile :) Oh and Colin Firth, if I could only jump through the television screen and be either Elizabeth Bennet or Bridget Jones...

Julia, I definitely have to go see his huge co----codpiece *hehehe*

Aren't those Scotsmen naughty Veronica? I bet you fall in love with each one your write :)

Delle, I'm glad you like all of the information on here, and that you didn't look at any of the pics *giggle*

Joan, I have a HUGE crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyers...ahhh...I know I am going to have issues when I go see the Other Boleyn Girl and he's not Henry... Btw, the Tudors are on DVD so you may be able to rent the shows :)

Thanks for all the comments, I'm so glad that everyone is enjoying the blog!!

Delilah Marvelle said...

Great post! Great photos! I am so loving your blog!

Gerri said...

Photos were great and so was the information! :D

Malice Blackheart said...

Awesome blog, Eliza. I’m adding this to my list of favorites. I know I’ve seen that kilt-moon pic somewhere before, but I can’t quite place it…

Eliza Knight said...

Thank you for the wonderful comments, Delilah, Gerri and Malice!