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Off My Mind: Why Do Heroes Wear Their Underwear On The Outside?
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Is there really a purpose to this look?
Maybe they're not really wearing their underwear on the outside but what's with the costumes of characters like Superman, Batman, or Wolverine? I don't understand what the point of wearing underwear or shorts over their spandex is. The shorts don't contain any pockets so it's not like they're keeping their house keys or cell phones inside. Some heroes, like Batman, have sophisticated utility belts that allow them to keep their gadgets safe and accessible. Is the purpose of the shorts to keep their private bits a little warmer?
I know if they didn't have the shorts, their costumes would look weird but I wonder if that's just because we're so used to seeing them being worn. There was a time when Batman redesigned his costume and it didn't have the shorts. I suppose that simply didn't work for him as he went back to wearing them. What makes this even odder is when you have characters like Captain America or Daredevil who wear shorts that are the exact same color as their...leggings. Speaking of Captain America, when Bucky started wearing the redesigned costume, you'll notice he's not wearing the shorts.
Maybe I've just been missing something all these years. I just don't understand if there is a true purpose to this look or if it's just a traditional thing. The thought of wearing speedos over full length pants just seems like an odd thing. I've seen runners wearing full length spandex with looser shorts on top but I don't think I've actually seen someone wearing their underoos on the outside. Is this look just something we have to accept? Is it too late for Superman to stop wearing the shorts? Is there actually a purpose to them that I'm just missing?