We love paisley. It’s retro and futuristic. It’s the new old and the old new, as someone once said. We love paisley shirts, paisley ties, and especially paisley underwear.
But there’s a whole lot about paisley we didn’t know. First of all, it never occurred to us that the design is considered a ‘curved tear drop.’ Even more interesting, the origins of paisley date much further back than the Edwardian/Victorian eras from which we always assumed it arose.
Though paisley gets its name from the town Paisley, Scotland, known for producing textiles with the particular design, the kidney shaped pattern is of Iranian/Indian origin. In fact, some have guessed it is a combination of the stylized floral spray and a cypress tree which represented life and eternity in ancient religions.
Even before the first textiles were imported from the Far East, paisley was a popular design in Persia, India, and across South East Asia. It has also been associated with Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. Once imports by the East India Company began it was off to the races. Paisley has long been in the spotlight, starting in 1640’s in Marseilles all the way through the 1960’s as a symbol of psychedelic peace and love (worn by the Beatles, Hendricks, and yes Austin Powers).
Below are some modern takes on Paisley from a few of our fav underwear brands. Some are conservative in their style and others are progressive takes on the design. But anyway you cut it, they are all paisley at heart.
Do you love paisley as much as we do? What’s the craziest Paisley combination you’ve seen? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweeting @underwearexpert.
Photo Credits: Björn Borg, Perry Ellis, Andres Velasco, Happy Socks, Frank Dandy, Tommy Hilfiger, Mosmann