It's time to talk about — well, you know. I'm pretty sure my "Monday" pair was yellow. "Wednesday" was definitely purple. After that, I couldn't tell you which day went with which color, but I'll be honest: I always felt a little weird wearing the "Sunday" version.
Perhaps you remember days of the week underwear from your own childhood, or perhaps you're just familiar with the scene from When Harry Met Sally in which Sally details the hilarious and psychotic reasoning behind her last breakup:
HARRY: So how come you broke up with Sheldon?...SALLY: Well, if you must know, it’s because he was very jealous and I had these days of the week underpants.HARRY: [Makes buzzer sound]. I’m sorry. I need a judge’s ruling on this. Days of the week underpants?SALLY: Yes. They had the days of the week on them and I thought they were sort of funny. And then one day Sheldon says to me, “You never wear Sunday.” He’s all suspicious, “Where was Sunday? Where had I left Sunday?” And I told him and he didn’t believe me.HARRY: What?SALLY: They don’t make Sunday.HARRY: Why not?SALLY: Because of God.
As a matter of fact, "days of the week underwear no Sunday" is a recommended Google search when you start to type in the phrase. While there may have been some underwear sets made without the Sunday pair, the whole thing is really more of an urban legend, as both sets sold today and vintage versions include the 7th day.
Image: VintageFanAttic on Etsy
Days of the week underwear have been around longer than you'd suspect. As a matter of fact, your grandmother probably wore them. Underwear started becoming more of a novelty item in the 1950s, thanks to the new availability of fabrics like nylon and Spandex, and that was the decade in which the popularity of MTWTFSS underthings boomed, according to both Skooldays.com and Fact Monster.
The photo above is from a gorgeous (and never-worn) pair of days of the week underwear from the 1950s, so if you're a days of the week underwear purist — which would be weird — you should probably snatch it up. You'll notice that this 1950s pair lacks the cartoonish playfulness of latter-day "Monday" underwear, which is mostly just pitched at kids. Still, check out the tiny embroidered ballerinas!
Today, most days of the week underwear seem to be designed for little girls, though I'm pretty sure boys use the same weekly system as females. Question: Are we even training our young men to know what day it is?! (For parents of little dudes, I did find these Julius-themed days of the week underwear, which made me wonder what the NSA thinks of my Google searches.)
Images: Stella McCartney
But what we really need to talk about is the fact that days of the week underwear are still being made for adults, and they're just as coy and feminine as they were in the 1950s. The above set is pure Stella McCartney perfection, and you'll pay a healthy $205 for the privilege of wearing them. Based on price points alone — this Cheekfrills version is over $100, as is this vintage-style set from Sassygrannysknickers on Etsy — it seems like days of the week panties are vaguely back in vogue, but only for the upper crust.
So today, you've got a couple of choices. You can outfit your kid in a cheap cotton version, or splurge on a silky "Thursday" pair for yourself. There's no denying that the world of days-of-the-week underwear is an odd one, whether or not you wear them on Sunday.
Main Image: sassygrannysknickers on Etsy