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Base Layer versus Underpants

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

The 'Trees versus Glades' thread has me thinking... dangerous. Two very similar things, that may or may not, be the same thing. We've got two lexemes, might as well use 'em, right?

 

So, when I go skiing I wear a 'next to skin' layer that I refer to as a 'Base Layer'... but, when I'm not skiing I wear a 'next to skin layer' that I call 'Underpants'.

 

What's the difference? Is it simply context? My gut instinct is to say when I'm skiing there is performance involved, and a 'Base Layer' is made from 'performance fabrics', so it needs a flashy name that denotes it's seriousness... BASE LAYER! It just sounds important, like a foundation... hmmm... 'Foundation Layer' sounds super important, who would even dream of going out into the unforgiving wild without a proper 'Foundation Layer'??? No one, that's who. Tell someone who wants to stay warm while skiing they should start with a good base layer and they may or may not listen. tell them they need a good 'Foundation Layer' and you'd have their full attention. I think I may be onto something here.

 

On the other hand, casual clothing get the nice casual sounding 'underpants'. Heck, that's too formal sounding, why not just go with 'undies'... or if you are feeling really frisky, go with nothing at all! It's casual, get comfortable, why not? Relax. On the other other hand, unless you've been in a committed relationship for more than 10 years, you've got at least one pair of 'Special Occasion' underpants. Don't look at me like that, you do. That pair you put on when you think/hope someone new will be seeing them... seriously, stop judging me, you know exactly what I'm talking about. How is that not a 'Performance Base Layer'?

 

... here's the issue I have: I can buy 'performance fabric' boxer shorts. So what gives? Is that a 'Base Layer' or 'Underpants'?

post #2 of 13

It's all underwear.  It's just called base layer in the context of other layers, to distinguish it from the other layers (ie. outer layer is wind proof and water proof; base layer not so much) .  If you don't have a need to talk about it and distinguish it from the other layers, or if there is no need to talk about other layers in the clothing sphere in which the undies are sold, it wont be called base layer.

post #3 of 13

'Foundations' was the name of the ladies underwear department in the department stores when I was growing up.

post #4 of 13
I like to say "drawers" or, in the case of extended coverage, "long handles."
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I like to say "drawers" or, in the case of extended coverage, "long handles."


OMG, I haven't heard that in ages. (Wait, to be vernacularly correct: "My stars, I haven't heard that in ages.")  But really, that's what my grandmother always said. Takes me back.

post #6 of 13

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I like to say "drawers" or, in the case of extended coverage, "long handles."

OMG, I haven't heard that in ages. (Wait, to be vernacularly correct: "My stars, I haven't heard that in ages.")  But really, that's what my grandmother always said. Takes me back.


Maybe it belongs in the Retro memories thread.  

 

"My stars..."  biggrin.gif

post #7 of 13

Depends if the garment has a tummy control panel. Does yours?

post #8 of 13
My understanding is the "base layer" undies are supposed to do a better job of separating the body from the perspiration, something tighty whities can't do.
post #9 of 13

baselayer > $40 (often well over...)

underwear < $30 (often well under...)

 

... still rockin the duofold...

post #10 of 13

Gee, my base layer covers a lot more than my underpants do.  Still, when skiing, I switch from cotton underpants to Wickers, which I wear under my base layer.  Go figure.

post #11 of 13

the way I interpret it is

underwear/underpants-first layer of clothes worn next to skin.

 

baselayer-type of underwear designed for sports/potential sweating activity.  So typically means non-cotton with some wicking ability, and spandex or other stretchiness to better form to the body in a single flat layer without wrinkles.

 

same as a square is a type of rectangle/quadrilateral.

 

That being said, there's a rule in comedy that UnderPANTS is 10x funnier than underwear.  Now that you know, you can't unknow, and you'll always notice that every comedian will always 'Underpants', and never 'underwear'.

post #12 of 13

I have "underwear" and I have "long underwear" for long period cool weather exposure.  It makes little difference to me whether it is highly athletic and active outdoor activity or simply sitting around the campfire or ice fishing.  All that matters is wearing enough of the right kind of layers to play outdoors comfortably.  I'm an old fart that finds the term "base layer" as odd as the term "SUV".  A car is a car and a truck is a truck.  Add AWD or 4WD ti differentiate those.  Amazing how changing the name and marketing lingo for some basic staple that has been available for decades or centuries can suddenly stimulate demand. 

 

Oh,eek.gif I need "base layers".  I only have redface.gif "long johns".

 

Oh,eek.gif I need an "SUV".  I only have redface.gif a "Cherokee".

 

 

 

Makes no difference what kind of space age polymer magic fabric they are made from.  They are still long johns!


Edited by crgildart - 4/2/12 at 4:28pm
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
there's a rule in comedy that UnderPANTS is 10x funnier than underwear. 

Didn't know it was a rule... I've just always had a natural affinity for the word.  Perhaps I chose the wrong profession.
 

 

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