Thursday, December 21, 2017

This Couple Joins Me in Wishing You the Happiest of Holidays!  ...Chris

Christmas Past:
Remember this Reddi Wip commercial from a couple of years ago when a little boy wakes up in his red union suit and discovers his daddy "playing" Santa Claus.

All's Well - Merry Christmas

Christmas Present:
Did you catch last Sunday's Parade Magazine featuring Jack Black rollicking in his favorite Underwear: A Red Union Suit...

Take a look at this Union Suit Fan:

Other Shots from his Parade Photo Shoot:

Jack Black and Photographers 

To see more including photo shoot article and a taped interview of Jack while wearing his red Union Suit, go to:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Joe of New York City, Union Suit Fan!

My good friend is featured in this his third contribution to my blog. Enjoy! 

The Big Switch

 So. What happens when a city boy switches from his trusty and reliable two-piece thermal long johns to a good, old-fashioned, one piece unit – trap door and all?

The guys in my family have a tradition – white, flat cotton, short sleeved union suits. Perfect for working outdoors/ hunting/ fishing or cutting fuel bills. Naturally, white union suits (one piece button flap, in case you are curious) came from Sears Roebuck and were a staple for Grandpa and a host of Uncles. But the young dudes? Grandpa’s union suit? No way! We were far too young and way too hip to step into a pair of long handles. So, when we decided that frost bite wasn’t the best fashion statement, we hauled our ice-cold rear ends to K-Mart or J C Penney and bought waffle weave, cotton long johns. Sometimes white, sometimes ecru. And, not to start a debate again but – socks were pulled up past the double-knit cuffs. The rationale for that heroic feat was twofold: so drafts wouldn’t crawl up our legs once the knit cuffs stretched out a bit; and, so others wouldn’t discover our secret when we sat down and the legs of our trousers rode up a bit.

And the ribbing a guy in long johns gets? Guys get teased about underwear – any type of underwear - get over it! Boxers, briefs, long johns – they have been a humorous staple in films and on television for years. Why the poor union suit had to be shoved to the back of the closet and become the most humorous of garments can be directly blamed on every Hollywood star from Laurel & Hardy all the way to The Three Stooges.

I’ve watched long underwear advance in the media. My trusty white/ ecru ones were scoffed at recently (by my eye doctor who proudly pulled up the trouser leg of his expensive suit to display a pair of black Under Armor’s). During my exam, as I was reading the chart and trying to figure out the very small print, he looked down and saw that my pant leg had travelled up a bit and there, right above my black sock for all the world (or him) to see were my ecru colored, thermal waffle weave knit, long johns.

So, in trying to get with the 21st Century, I bought a pair – and balked loudly at the cost. Almost $100 for a pair of black long johns? Meanwhile, another store (Odd Lots) was selling a pair of ecru colored (or black – they got with the times too) long johns – waffle knit thermal top and bottoms for the staggering amount of $8 for the set! A whole suit (maybe one you wouldn’t wear to church on Sunday – too difficult to find the right tie) for under ten bucks.

Well sir, I paid for the Under Armors and so it was time to put them to the test. Put on my “hip and with-it” black Under Armors, went out into the wilds of Manhattan to take pictures and froze my camera lens off. Yeah, they are slick looking (kids who like wearing jeans with holes in the knees prefer them. Also, guys like to wear short pants and a pair of Under Armor black drawers – don’t ask me why. It is defeating the purpose of warmth – isn’t it?) But these $100 drawers were thin, as stylish as a pair of long johns can possibly get but provided no warmth. Said eye doctor had me lift my pants leg when I returned (in a frozen huff, mind you) to pick up my glasses, felt them and said it was all in my mind. He pointed out the comfort they provided and how quickly they dried when washed. I still think he gets a kick-back from Under Armor for each pair he gets a patient to buy.

And so, you might ask, how did I finally get myself into a trusty, red, union suit? Well, my buddy Chris is quite a nice guy and his web site extols the virtues of the union suit. As New York City fell into a spell of cold and snow, I found one of our last, remaining, Army & Navy shops and bought a Hanes red waffle thermal (some habits I cannot break) union suit.

Took a shower. Dried off. Stepped into the tagless Hanes union suit, buttoned it up and true to form – pulled a pair of socks up and over the double knitted cuffs. For me, the thermal cotton provides a bit of stretch and support that is unsurpassed. Yeah. I had on my broadcloth boxers under the suit (and, if you want to talk about laughable you gotta see the plaid and paisley print ones that K-Mart has on sale) and white socks – a truly masculine get-up and thank God for that! Went to sleep (it is an old building and the landlord is not going to properly heat it so nights, mornings and early afternoons are quite cold if not downright frigid around here) in them and found them to be the ultimate in comfort. Socks kept the legs from riding up and any “bladder” issues weren’t that much of a hassle after the first time I stumbled, half-asleep, to answer nature and stopped and said, “What the heck? Buttons? Oh. Yeah.”

Next morning, despite below freezing temperatures and snow on the windows, I was warm and quite cozy. My bro, Chris, once called a union suit “romance killer” but for me, the art of being warm and snug is all the love this old man needs.
After a picture taking session (consider them your Christmas present, Chris) I sat around the computer in them feeling comfortable, warm and cozy. No drafts hitting the small of my back where the thermal t-shirt top always rode up on me (being 6 foot 3 inches isn’t always a plus), roomy fit and if the doorbell should ring, all it would take to be “presentable” was to jump into a pair of jeans – the top passes for a Henley.
Then came the big test – the great outdoors. Or, in this case, the urban jungle. As I previously stated, the comfort factor was a big plus. Despite my fears, there was no “pull” on my shoulders (the store did sell “tall” ones so they did fit properly) and, unlike the Gentlemen’s Quarterly Under Armor’s, these babies kept a man all comfy and warm – from neck to ankles.

So. Two piece thermals vs. a union suit. OK boys, let’s face it. The big (and ultimately only) issue is that blasted trap door. Easy to button and unbutton but a major pain in the . . . a major pain when the bran muffin kicks in.

Wearing a sweater made it a bit impossible to unbutton the long john union suit and just get on with business. And, the boxer shorts underneath the union suit didn’t help matters any. So, for the next test, I tried ‘em without said boxer shorts. Ah! A lot easier and no major undressing required.
Of course, now I am going to start another debate – while still a strong advocate of tucking the cuffs of your trusty union suit (or thermal long john drawers) into your socks – I now feel that as a union suit/ long johns (two separate pieces) are underwear (despite Under Armor trying to make them a fashion accessory like the Kardashian’s might wear). Putting underwear (short) under underwear (long) is like wearing a belt and a pair of suspenders – overkill!

I can hear the cries from long john/ union suit aficionados across the globe yelling, “but wearing your briefs under long johns enables you to wear them longer. One union suit (or thermal drawers) can be worn a few days while you would change your summer underwear every day.

I’m all for hygiene but I’m also a big fan of “When You’ve Got To Go, You’ve Got To Go” so I will buy a few union suits (White. Perhaps Oatmeal – hey Chris – did you ever think starting that great blog would make you not only a hero but a mentor?) and keep the broadcloth boxers off to one side until warmer weather prevails.

Joe: Thanks for another enlightening take on the world of long, one-piece wonders. I admit to wearing boxer shorts under my union suits as well as a sleeveless undershirt. As teenage boys we called those undershirts "skinny ribs." I will take under advisement your well thought out argument regarding ditching the boxers. We'll see.

If you have been following my blog you know that Joe of New York City is a regular (or should I say intermittent) contributor. Please see his previous stories published in this blog: Holy Union Suits (March 5, 2017) and More Stocking Stuffers (April 20, 2017) .... Chris    

If you have a great Union Suit Story and / or favorite photograph(s), please send them to

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Union Suit Pals: 

Union Suits are even more fun when hanging out with your best bud!

Added May 21, 2018 from Charlie of Lincoln, Nebraska:

Chris, can I way in regarding the dignity of union suits? Here is a picture of some baseball players in their various underwear. The dude in the union suit looks better than the guys in their briefs and boxers. I vote more guys should wear union suits!!

Charlie, you may "way in on the dignity of union suits" or any other long underwear subject, anytime! Thanks for submitting this picture. Seems to me that the two jocks in the union suit and jockey shorts / undershirt show the most confidence in their underwear by the looks on their faces. The looks on the other boys who are wearing boxers and shorts, seem to ask, "what am I doing here posing in my underwear?"  It's hard to look confident in your underwear. Take it from me it takes practice. I agree with you that more guys should wear Union Suits. That is one reason I have established my blog, Union Suit Fan!   ....Chris

Added April 22, 2018:
Scott of Scottsdale, AZ sent me the following photo with this note:

"Chris, not all pals wear union suits when hanging out with each other. Sometimes they wear all sorts of underwear!"  ...Scott

Can't argue with that Scott. But, Union Suits are so much warmer, dignified, and tasteful! Wouldn't you agree ??!!   ....Chris