We have found some one-piece garments that we are unfamiliar with. We thought at first they were underwear, but think now that they were probably not underwear. We are not entirely sure. Perhaps readers will have an insight here to assist us. One example here is what looks like a kind of bib-front underpants.
We now think that they were probably a type of sun suit.
A reader writes, "I've never seen underwear
quite like this before. It looks like the sort of cotton briefs that
were introduced in the late 30s or early 40s attached at the waist band
to a sleeveless undershirt (or singlet). I suppose having the top and
bottom attached might be a benefit for very small boys who would have
trouble keeping the undershirt properly tucked in. There appear to be
no buttons for additional clothing or garter tabs for long stockings.
Note that the boys are wearing ankle socks. I would say that this is a
very junior version of ordinary briefs and undershirts with the
ununusal feature of having the two garments joined at the waist.
Swimming suits sometimes had the same basic construction. I remember
swim suits made like this with a zipper that allowed one to separate
the top from the bottom. But I have never seen underwear like this in
catalogs. My guess is that this would be dated sometime in the 1940s."
Another reader writes, "I have seen catalogs with clothing like that. In the catalogs they were not underwear, but knit sunsuits with open backs for summer. In the catalogs there is a discussion about sun rays being healthy for the children. I think these are them. If my memory serves me, they were for children till age 8."
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