dress code

Watch: A ‘brief’ history of men's underwear in India, from langots to boxers

Along the way, our indigenous banyan has had its share of cinematic moments.

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It would be a herculean task to find someone in the country who hasn’t been, well, exposed to underwear advertisements, endorsed by, among others, the bicep-bulging Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Sunny Deol. Lux Cozi banyans and Rupa briefs have pretty much been synonymous with men’s underwear for the last many decades...but what brought it to this point?

For an incredibly long time, the concept of underwear didn’t quite exist in India. The langot or kaupina was the first clothing resembling underwear that surfaced. It faintly resembles the modern day g-string, though it does contain a lot more cloth, and is now only worn by holy men, or sadhus, and wrestlers in India. It was believed to heighten spirituality and increase physical self-control in men, and was even linked with the Hindu god Shiva.

The advent of the British led langots to morph into boxers, which, thanks to the tight-fitting trousers of the roaring ‘70s , turned into briefs, and then went full circle to resurface as g-strings.

The evolution of men’s underwear in India has certainly been quirky. There’s possibly a lot you didn’t know about, for instance, the Sikh kachha and the British boxers. Let it all unravel (video above).

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