Underoos made boring old kids’ underwear fun to wear in the 1970s & 80s (and beyond)

Vintage Underoos underwear for kids - Memories at Click Americana

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Underoos were a popular brand of children’s underwear featuring characters from popular franchises like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Star Wars. 🦸

Introduced in the late 1970s, Underoos were known for their fun, colorful designs, which included a contrasting trim color. They also had a comfortable fit, since they were made from a soft, stretchy material, and were available in a variety of sizes to fit kids of different ages.

They became especially popular among young children and were often given as gifts or used as a reward for good behavior — and helped encourage a lot of kids to get out of diapers.

Despite their popularity, Underoos are not being made anymore, and the underoos.com website has only a simple message: “Thanks for shopping Underoos! We appreciate your support over the years.” Still, they they remain a nostalgic childhood item for many of us, so we found images of a couple of dozen old styles that you may recall!

Even though the ‘roos aren’t around now, you can find lots of other superhero and branded underwear for boys and girls — plus and men and women — here at Amazon.

PS: You can find out more about how they were invented, and the awesome story of how they got their name. (Hint: It wasn’t what the marketing department suggested.)

YouTube video

Underoos: When the “underwear that’s fun to wear” was brand new (1978)

Excerpted from an article by Paul Weingarten – Chicago Tribune (Illinois) July 20, 1978

Superman lived, not just on the television screen or the pages of a comic book, but in our fantasies.

He bulged bigger than life, when we dreamed of ripping open a shirt to reveal a big red “S”. Or when we draped a towel down the back of a T-shirt as a makeshift cape, then raced around, or jumped off a fence, to make the cape fly.

We never had fancy costumes; but now, a little late for some of us, come Underoos, the latest wrinkle in a rush to cash in on a new wave of popularity for comic book heroes.

Underoos underwear for kids (1978)

Underoos are underwear for children in coordinated under-shirts and briefs or panties that resemble the costumes of Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Aquaman, and other comic book favorites.

Kids in six test-market cities — New York, Pittsburgh, St Louis, Memphis, Columbus, and Cincinnati — tried them on for size in the last three months and loved them, reports Harvey Hirsch, director of marketing development for Union Underwear Co.

It’s pitched as “underwear that’s fun to wear” at $4.79 a set, and it’s designed to make kids conspicuous consumers of undies.

So far, boys may choose from Superman, Spiderman, Shazam, Aquaman, Archie, and the Incredible Hulk (the latter two aren’t costumes, but pictures of the characters on white underwear), and girls are offered Wonder Woman, Veronica, Pebbles, and Josie.

Underoos could cause a minor headache for parents. “They tell us they can’t get the kids out of the underwear,” Hirsch says. “The kids just don’t want to take it off.”

Underoos shirt and brief sets at Sears (1979)

The costume look in boys’ underwear that’s fun to wear

Short-sleeve T-shirt has ribbed crew neck and sleeves with emblem print on front. Color-coordinated brief has covered elastic leg openings, heat-resistant elastic waistband. fly front.

Superman set: red, yellow, royal T-shirt; red and yellow brief  — Hulk set: white T-shirt; white, green brief  — Spiderrnan set: royal, red T-shirt and brief

Underoos Shirt and Brief Sets at Sears (1979)

Underoos costume look underwear (1979)

Retro Underoos from 1980

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Underoos danced in their heads.

Fun to give. Fun to get. Now in toasty thermals, too. They’re washable, durable, lovable. In scads of styles for good little boys and girls ages 2 to 12.

Sets shown: Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Batwoman, Wonder Woman

Retro Underoos from 1980

Spider-Man Underoos set (1980)

Spider Man Underoos set (1980)

Underoos Underwear … Fashion gets down to basics (1981)

Sets for boys: Superman & Darth Vader — Sets for girls: Wonder Woman & R2D2

Underoos underwear at Sears (1981)

Western Barbie Underoos for girls (1982)

Mom, you asked for girls’ Underoos underwear in a cotton blend… here it is. Our new Barbie sets come in a 50% combed cotton and 50% polyester blend fabric.

Plus, we’ve added fashionable cap sleeves that girls love. And we’ve left in all the washability and durability that moms love. Available for girls ages 2 to 11.

Western Barbie Underoos for girls (1982)

MORE BARBIE: See vintage Barbie & Ken dolls, friends, dollhouses, accessories & fashions from the 60s, 70s & 80s

TV commercial for Barbie and Daisy Dukes Underoos Fashion Underwear (1981)

YouTube video

Funpals boys’ briefs from Fruit of the Loom (1984)

What makes Funpals boys’ briefs so much much fun? The big, action-packed designs! With the most popular characters like Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck; Masters of the Universe, Superman/ Batman, and Alvin and the Chipmunks! The ones kids love.

And Funpals have the outstanding quality and value you love. They’re long-lasting, soft, 100% cotton briefs with traditional fly front… everything you’d expect from Fruit of the Loom.

So be a pal. Put him into something fun. With Fruit of the Loom Funpals briefs… he’ll have his favorite pals behind him.

Funpals boys' briefs from Fruit of the Loom (1984)

Your son can have a lot more fun – Underoos (1984)

Your son can have a lot more fun - Underoos (1984)

Underoos from 1985 – Superman and Transformers

Underoos from 1985 - Superman and Transformers

Vintage 80s ShowToons underwear from Hanes (1985)

Why should boys have all the fun? Now there are ShowToons briefs for girls… featuring popular cartoon characters. 

Character designs available: Smurfs – Snoopy & the Peanuts GangMickey Mouse – Raggedy Ann – Fraggle Rock/Muppets – Scooby Doo – Voltron

Vintage 80s ShowToons underwear from Hanes - 1985 (3)

Vintage 80s ShowToons underwear from Hanes - 1985 (2)

Vintage 80s ShowToons underwear from Hanes - 1985 (1)

Retro 80s Funpals character underwear (1985)

Retro 80s Funpals character underwear (1985)

Classic Funpals & Underoos superhero and character underwear for boys (1986)

Vintage Funpals and Underoos superhero and character underwear for boys (1986)

Retro Hanes ShowToons character underwear for kids (1987)

Boys and girls love wearing briefs featuring their favorite cartoon characters like Scooby Doo, Mickey Mouse and PEANUTS. New characters: The Flintstone Kids & GI Joe.

Retro Hanes ShowToons character underwear for kids (1987)

Vintage Hanes ShowToons character underwear for kids (1987)

Characters featured on Underoos in 1986

Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Superman, Batman, Shazam

Underoos in 1986 - Transformers Masters of the Universe

YouTube video

Underoos Limited edition Superman 50th birthday tee shirt for your little hero (1987)

Underoos Superman T-shirt (1987)

Funpals and Underoos make moms into heroes (1987)

When you buy Funpals boys’ briefs and Underoos underwear sets, you’ll be a big hero with your kids. Because every time your boys put on our quality Fruit of the Loom decorated underwear, you’re giving them all the fun and excitement of changing into their favorite characters, like Superman, Thundercats, Spider-Man and many more.

[Other characters and styles shown/mentioned: Lazer Tag Academy, Defenders of Earth, Masters of the Universe, Dr Doom]

Funpals and Underoos (1987)

Fruit of the Loom vintage Underoos and Funpals (1988)

Fruit of the Loom vintage Underoos and Funpals (1988)

Vintage Funpals character underwear for boys (1990)

Designs shown: Nintendo Super Mario Bros 3, The Real Ghostbusters (as opposed to the original Ghostbusters), and Superman.

Vintage Funpals character underwear for boys (1990)

Hanes and X-Men superhero character underwear (1994)

Hanes & Marvel Comics X-Men team up to fight The UNDERWAR against boring briefs — It’s Wolverine, Cyclops, Gambit and more!

Hanes and X-Men superhero character underwear (1994)

NOW SEE THIS: How many of these vintage Saturday morning cartoons & TV shows can you remember?

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. By the time Underoos came out, my friends and I were too old for them; we mainly used to joke about them. And as with so many other things of that era, the commercial’s theme song is burned into the brains of anyone who heard it.

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