“Underwear that’s fun to wear,
It’s you in your Underoos!”
Up, up and away…Underoos made make-believe even better when fun came to underwear, transforming you into your favorite superhero or cartoon character. Wonder Woman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, C-3P0, even E.T. got into the action, turning underwear into funderwear during the wonderful days of childhood.
Underoos were the brainchild of Fruit of the Loom, and starting in 1978, these sets of fantasy underwear made it possible not only to believe you were Batman, but to look like him too. Built for both boys and girls, Underoos featured a two-piece set of tops and bottoms designed like your favorite characters. Girls had tank tops and panties (Supergirl even featured a daring midriff-style tank), boys had t-shirts and briefs, but both were filled with fashion and fun.
Underoos were made to be worn as underwear, but the colorful outfits were such a hit, other clothes completely lost their appeal. Those endless summer nights turned into days, weeks, and if it were up to you, an entire lifetime lived in your Underoos underwear. Kids terrorized the neighborhood, shameless in their underpants, battling it out as Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker, or Wonder Woman vs. Josie and the Pussycats.
Some were really cool and made you look just like a superhero, but others just pasted a decal of what you were supposed to be on the front of the shirt. As if your heroes would ever engage in such shameless self-promotion! But no matter: whether you had star-spangled panties and an eagle emblazoned top, or just a picture of Pac-Man on your shirt, you knew the wonder of Underoos.
Parents went crazy trying to get kids out of their Underoos, and was the big ordeal when the family was going out to dinner. (Running around half-naked was okay at home, or in the privacy of the neighborhood playground, but these were strangers, for Pete’s sake!) At some point you smartened up and realized that, just like Clark Kent, you could still wear your Superman Underoos under your clothes, and no one would ever know.
And then there was the dreaded wash day. It didn’t matter that you wore your Underoos for six days straight, you weren’t about to part with the power of funderwear for even half an hour. But of course Mom ordered you out of them, forcing you to put on real clothes while she tossed them into the wash. You hovered over the dryer, counting down the seconds until the buzzer went off and you’d have a hot fresh pair to slip into. Now that’s superpower.
So go ahead, slip into your Spider-Man suit, jump from couch to chair, to coffee table and back again just like Spidey would…just don’t try to climb the walls, because Underoos just don’t look as good with a cast.