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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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What a Waist: 1920s

What a Waist: 1920s

1920s. "Men's underwear." Pondering the age-old question, "Boxers or boxers?" Photo by the Gordon Burt Studio of Wellington, New Zealand. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Cheap rug or a fright wig

In my opinion, that is what he is wearing because the top front hair bears no resemblance to the rest of the hair. Although this look is popular now, I'm pretty sure it was not around in the 1920's.

[This was known as the "military" hairstyle, popular in the late-teens and into the 1920s. For example, these guys from a 1917 Maryland college yearbook. -tterrace]

Hair colorist needed

Who does his hair?

No See?

I wonder if the "extra layer of protection" is an Extra Tall undershirt with long hem or tail? Some American football players are sporting this look right now, possibly because their pants are "see thru" when soaked by sweat.


West Point used to issue those but the year before I entered science discovered elastic and garters became obsolete. My class was issued them nonetheless, and they remained an item of command interest during wall locker inspections throughout my four years.

What every man needed

Suspenders to keep his socks up in the days before elasticated tops.

[Those are called garters. -tterrace]

In the US maybe, in the UK and probably New Zealand they are called suspenders. Divided by a common language:-)

Double protection

It looks like he already has two pair on! My Mom always told me to make sure that I wore clean underwear in case I was in an accident, but this is a bit ridiculous.

[The world was not ready for the see-through look quite yet. -tterrace]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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