Purpose Of Underwear: 10 Reasons Why They Are Important

The word ‘underwear’ means different things to many people, but do you know its real purpose? If you haven’t thought about it, I bet you’ll be surprised by some of the answers you’ll find here. 

Underwear is a garment you wear next to your skin, right under other clothing. It comes in different kinds, from bras, panties, and boxer shorts. And it is designed with the user in mind – fitting various shapes, colors, and sizes.

Here, I’ll discuss in detail the real purposes of underwear. 

A brief history of underwear

Underwear has been around for centuries, with different styles and purposes emerging throughout history. Loincloths were some of the earliest forms of underwear, dating back to ancient times.

It had a simple design that made it easy for men and women to wrap them around their waists. As time went by, underwear became more elaborate in style, serving more people.

In the Middle Ages, for example, women began to wear chemises, which were loose-fitting tunics that reached down to the knees.

Men, on the other hand, wore braies, which were tight-fitting shorts often made of wool or linen.

During the Renaissance, underwear became a more ornate garment, with both men and women wearing corsets and other types of clothing that accentuated their figures.

By the 19th-20th century, it became more functional as designers began to experiment with new materials like cotton and elastic.

Also, as of this time, it had become an essential part of both men’s and women’s wardrobes.

Today, these undergarments are more comfortable and stylish than ever before.

Whether you’re looking for something to wear under your clothes or something to show off your assets, there’s a pair of underwear out there perfect for you.

SEE: A Comprehensive Guide to Corsets

10 reasons why people wear underwear

what is the purpose of underwear

1. To protect our genitals

A primary purpose for underwear is protection.

Underwear provides a barrier between your delicate genital skin and the rougher fabric of your clothing, which can help to reduce chafing and irritation.

For women, wearing underwear helps to support the pelvic floor muscles, which can weaken with age or after childbirth.

2. To prevent sweat and odor

Wearing underwear can help to absorb sweat, keeping you fresh and clean throughout the day. It also keeps your genital area dry, which can help prevent unpleasant odors.

3. To keep our clothes clean

Another primary purpose of the undergarment is to protect your clothing from stains and odors that may be caused by sweat or other bodily fluids.

Underwear also traps bacteria and other contaminants, preventing them from causing infection or irritation.

4. To prevent wardrobe malfunctions

Wearing the right underwear can help to avoid embarrassing moments, such as your pants splitting open in public or your dress slipping down to reveal more than you intended.

No pun intended, but if you’ve ever had a wardrobe mishap in public, it’ll be easier to appreciate this piece of clothing.

Underwear also helps to prevent involuntary urine leakage (incontinence), which can be embarrassing.

SEE: Best Evergreen Gift Ideas for Women

5. To provide support

Underwear can help hold up your clothing and provide support for your breasts and genitals.

It can also provide a layer of padding that can help to cushion blows to the genital area. This is particularly essential for people who engage in physical activities.

6. To keep warm

In cold weather, underwear can provide an extra layer of insulation to keep you warm. This is especially important for people susceptible to cold temperatures, such as young children and the elderly.

7. To protect our skin

Underwear can help to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, bacteria, and other potential irritants or contaminants. If you have sensitive skin or are at risk for skin infections, wearing underwear is good for you.

8. To feel sexy and conform to social norms

For many people, wearing sexy underwear is a way to boost their confidence and feel good about themselves. It can be a fun and empowering way to express your sexuality.

Underwear also helps you conform to social norms. For example, in an official setting, it is inappropriate to leave the house without wearing underwear.

9. To make us feel more comfortable

The truth is, you’re more likely to feel comfortable and at rest in your clothing when you’ve got clean underwear on. If you think it through, you’ll agree it’s a worthy investment.

10. To express our personality

Underwear provides a great opportunity to express your personal style and taste. Whether you prefer bold prints or classic styles, there is a type of underwear that can suit you well.

People also wear them to make a fashion statement.

SEE: Create Your Unique Style With Tips on How to Be More Fashionable


Should you sleep with underwear on?

This depends. If you’re prone to vaginal infection, you’ll be better off sleeping without underpants. That’s because tight-fitting bed covers, pajamas, plus underwear can increase moisture build-up around your private area.

Is sleeping without a bra good for you?

Yes, it is.

However, keep in mind that the underwire and the tightness of the bra can prevent proper blood circulation and hurt your breast tissue. 

What is the purpose of an underwear pocket?

It ensures discharge does not seep through your underwear. That way, your cloth remains clean, and your lady parts breathe better. 

SEE: Why Do Running Shorts Have Liners?


There are many reasons why people wear underwear. For some, it is a necessary article of clothing that promotes modesty or hygiene. Meanwhile, others wear it for comfort, support, or style.

Whatever your reasons are, the most significant purpose of any underwear is to serve the needs of the individual wearing it.

Thanks for reading.

Need more fashion articles? Stay up to date with Africana Fashion.