from The History of Underwear by Shaun Cole
I don't have a kilt but the idea of wearing wool next to bare skin leaves me slightly...anxious. Like the first time I climbed a rope. There's that odd feeling near the top...Anyway, the old kilt story has been kicked aside by a better American story.
Special Forces bunker in Vietnam circa 1966-67
My father (on your far left) told me the heat and humidity of the jungle created biblical cases of crotch rot. Preventive maintenance consisted of sitting around in your underwear in air conditioning (they had it) while applying liberal shakes of talc. It's a lesson I ignored while training in Panama.
The expression 'Going Commando' comes from the Vietnam War. According to journalist Daniel Engber in Shaun Cole's, The History of Underwear, "...troops spent extended periods of time in hot, damp conditions, when it was more comfortable not to wear underwear."
Even Tom Ford has used the expression, "I always go commando; I never wear underwear...My mother keeps saying, 'Please stop telling people you don't wear underwear.'" I don't have a problem with Tom not wearing underwear although his use of 'Go Commando' is not without some irony.
Castillo de San Marcos NHS, St Augustine - 1984
Today I limit commando to jeans but there was a time when authenticity and the N.P.S. demanded commando. 18th century 'small clothes' consisted of a knee length shirt and breeches made of linen. The small clothes alone acted as underwear. Once the linen went through the wash 20 or so times, the result was amazingly soft and comfortable. Enough to go commando or, as they might say at the Castillo de San Marcos, "Andar a lo gringo."