In 1958 when I started to grade school a lot of Pennsylvania men wore union suits back then as you can imagine. I don’t remember when I first began wearing two piece thermal underwear but I’m sure I was quite young. Our winters were indeed cold. We kids had to walk about a quarter mile to catch the school bus. However, unlike some poor unfortunates, we didn’t have to walk uphill both ways. The walk back home was downhill. Virtually all of us boys wore long underwear in the winter. Some of my schoolmates wore union suits. Since I had little say about the clothes I wore, there were no union suits in my underwear drawer. My mom bought all of our underwear.
I immediately became a Union Suit Fan. I wore them day and night, all winter long. They were labeled “Sears Winter Skins.” I don’t know who really made them because Sears didn’t. They just put their name on them. If anyone reading "My Story" knows who made them I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. I would like very much like to buy a few more if they are still being made. They were a lot like Duofold Union Suits.
Over the years, I have taken a lot of mostly good natured teasing for wearing union suits. But I have also had many guys ask me “where do you get those one piece long underwear?” I am only too willing to point them in the right direction. I know some of you guys say you wear your union suits from … to .... with the months of the year inserted. I wear mine as soon as it gets cold to as long as it is cold. Where I live it is only about 50 miles from Lake Erie so our weather can be quite unpredictable. It can go from balmy to frigid in a day's time or less and vice versus. So I just wear mine when it’s cold regardless of what the calendar says.
When I was that gangly kid I was very self conscious about my appearance and cared what people thought. Now I am way more comfortable in my own skin and also my “winter skin.” I don’t tuck my underwear into my socks and if they peek out under my pants or shirt sleeves, oh well. I just consider me wearing union suits as being an ambassador of comfort, and I am proud to be one.
Added May 19, 2020 from Ben of Portland, OR:
Morning Chris, I remember this kid from one of your earlier posts. He wears red union suits like Buckeye Mike when he's in his garage working on his car. As soon as he kicks his pants off he'll be ready to get to work. LOL... Ben
Right you are, Ben... Chris