Long johns / thermal underwear

Long johns / thermal underwear

Fashion Synopsis

Gone are the days of footed woolen long johns with obligatory butt flap in scratchy Santa red wool—the ones that kept your great-grandfathers warm and cozy. Modern thermal long johns are much more fashionable and comfortable than their predecessors, and they became even more fun when the grunge scene adopted the thermal underwear for their foundation to fashion.

The cold, drizzly air of Seattle’s rainy days needed a little something extra against the skin to keep the heat in and the cold out. Soggy jeans and sopping sweaters only made angst-filled lives more depressing, but fear not, as the spin doctor had a cure: thermal underwear, also known as long johns. Like Madonna's bustiers and bra-tops of the 80's, thermals were the 90's answer to 'underwear as outerwear.'

The new thermal long johns had technology on their side, and their ingenious waffle-weave construction and cotton/polyester blend was the perfect thing for sweaty skin and cold air. Seattle’s grunge scene made these warm, waffle-style undergarments a necessity to be worn under cutoff army pants and layers of flannels. So go ahead, mosh the night away to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, because thermals will keep you dry with wicking (drawing the moisture away from the skin), without turning you into a human popsicle when you head back home.

Several styles of long johns are made for active wear and extreme winter sports (silk, wool, cotton), but the long johns of the grunge scene were the no-frills, cheap from K-Mart, in the plastic bag kind, made by Fruit of the Loom or Hanes. Classic in white or cream, many grungers dyed their thermals in fashion colors for an extra punch.

And when the rain dried up and the sun came out, showing off your thermals from underneath baggy shorts or oversized t-shirts was considered summer wear. Wearing long john underwear became more than necessity, and was the biggest fashion for grungesters from the cold northern coast to the humid air of Florida. An ironic, counterculture fashion statement like this was worth sweating over.

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girl's apparel
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