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50 Underwear Questions: A Bare-All History…

50 Underwear Questions: A Bare-All History (50 Questions)

by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Series: 50 Questions

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196537,190 (3.85)1



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A very colourful book written on blue pages which have the appearance of fabric. This is a bright bold, attractive book that grabs your attention right away; the artwork is cartoonish and silly, some characters even felt a bit Simpsons-ish too me. The information is highly interesting and unless you read a wide variety of historical fiction through all time eras, you are going to learn something here. The book starts off with Adam & Eve and the proverbial fig leaf and Stone Age Men then goes forward through time reaching modern day boxer briefs and thongs. To really enjoy the history and the humour of the history the reader must be mature enough to not be continuously giggling at the words "breast", "genitals", "private parts" and "family jewels". Otherwise there will be just too much giggling to appreciate the books secret information that we've always wondered but never had anyone to ask before. The pictures are clean, there is no nudity or copious amounts of flesh. The book is family friendly as long as you don't mind seeing people in their underwear and remember, back in the day underwear was more modest than modern day's outerwear! A really fun book that's sure to add not only laughter but real insight into past generations and what they thought of and used underwear for compared to modern society. A great read for anyone interested in "how did they live back then?". ( )
  ElizaJane | Jan 19, 2012 |
Featured at An Abundance of Books

This was a cool history book. I'm not quite sure who the audience would be, but I sure enjoyed it. Kyi traces the history of underwear, from prehistoric to modern day underwear and styles. Readers learn how religion, nobility,pop culture, war, wealth, and access to new materials affected styles and the underwear beneath.

*In the 1520s men wore pads under their hose to emulate Henry VIII calves.
*European countries passed laws to prevent the lower classes from embroidering their clothes like the upper classes did.
*Corsets were invented when women tried to emulate Catherine De'Medici's 33 inch waist.
*Why in the world were hoop skirts invented? To better show off the expensive fabrics used in the dress. *Metal cages like farthingales or panniers required specially made furniture, learning a new way to sit down without flashing the crowd, and occasionally being too wide to pass through a doorway. (one also had to be careful when passing fireplaces, dresses did occasionally catch on fire.)
*Even in the 1940s researchers advocated the use of girdles as it was believed that women were "scientifically less able than men to stand upright, so they required the extra support of a foundation garment."
*During the Vietnam War, some soldiers found the jungle too hot and humid for underwear. The term "going commando" was very literal.

50 Underwear Questions is a neat look at a different aspect of history. I got caught up in the history and culture that affected not only the way we dress and the types of lives we lead (I mostly mean women). Kinnaird's humorous illustrations work well with the book's layered format. Along with the main text and pictures, Kyi has included extra trivia and notes in the margins and in little tags called "Private Parts". There is even the occasional "experiment" you can try at home, like using string and a hula hop to better appreciate the difficulties of simply sitting down in a hoop skirt. While a strangely great book, it's probably best for older kids as younger readers might not be able to stop giggling or fully understand the social and historical implications Kyi talks about.

My favorite part:
When women first started wearing pants Kyi likened the uproar to the equivalent of lingerie models suddenly popping off the page of a magazine and skipping through downtown. She took a rather sarcastic stance when writing about some of the social implications that wearing pants brought up:
"If women are willing to wear their underwear in public or appear in divided pants like me, what else might they do?
What if women are so influenced by wearing bloomers that they start thinking and speaking like men?
What if women start drinking in pubs and leave their babies to be cared for by their husbands?
What if thees newfangled bloomers completely destroy decent American society?"

50 Underwear Questions is a deceptive read. You think you're going to get something cutesy on bloomers vs. the Wonder Bra and you actually get an entertaining book on history, society, pop culture, and how it all affected what you wear underneath. I'm not really sure who the audience, but if you enjoyed the Horrible Histories or you're a trivia geek like me, you might enjoy it. It's a little something different but fun, take a look at it next time you're at the library.

Read full review HERE ( )
  AbundanceofBooks | Dec 23, 2011 |
Just for something completely different, as I stumbled upon this on Netgalley and was attracted by the colourful cover and the topic. It's a book for young teenagers, but nevertheless I learned something.

The book is about what we have worn as underwear for centuries and how it was getting smaller and smaller. From loincloth to hoop skirts. Of protective underwear for cycling to women who suddenly no longer wore dresses to the ankles.

Interesting and funny. Good book for the younger audience in mind. And I'm going to read another e-galley by this author, about denim.

http://boekenwijs.blogspot.com/2011/11/50-underwear-questions-bare-all-history.h... ( )
  boekenwijs | Nov 6, 2011 |
Picking up a book about underwear may not sound interesting but I couldn't help but wonder what it was about. This galley was amazing. I never really thought about underwear prior to this book but I realize it has more significance than I ever gave it.
50 Underwear Questions follows the history of underwear through 50 questions. I didn't notice the questions much but I appreciated the information. The book was colorfully illustrated with fun pictures. The subject matter might get a little uncomfortable but Tanya Llyod Ki had an easy way of making it delightful.
I can't say much about this because it is non-fiction and the format is choppy (in a good way) but I do feel differently about the subject. Who knew that underwear had such an influence on fashion, history, politics.
Pick up this book for a good time. Easy for most ages with lots of explanations. ( )
  SDPogue | Oct 11, 2011 |
50 Underwear Questions by Tanya Lloyd Kyl

reviewed by Donna Lawrence


What a fun book! Imagine an entire book about underwear. Yes, underwear. I can't say I've ever really thought much about underwear. I see now that was a mistake. Even the cavemen thought about underwear, if only to protect their more sensative parts. I was amazed to learn about all the different styles of underwear throughout the ages. The illustrations in this book were spectacular. I laughed out loud while reading and looking at the pictures. I particulally enjoyed the small little tidbits listed in the box on the side of each page. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the history of clothing, and anyone who just wants a good laugh! ( )
  ljldml | Oct 10, 2011 |
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For the DGs, of course. — T.K.
For Hannah Mary Kinnaird — R.K.
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Reveals the facts about everything from loincloths and T-shirts to bloomers and lingerie, showing how throughout history, one's underwear revealed a lot about who one was.

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