Underoos is a brand of underwear for children, produced by the Fruit of the Loom company. The packages include a matching top and bottom for either boys or girls, featuring a character from popular entertainment media, especially superhero comics, animated programs, and fantasy/science fiction. In many cases, the garment mimics the distinctive costume of the character, encouraging the wearer to pretend to be the character. In others it features an image of the character or logo on the undershirt.
Underoos were developed as a product idea in 1977 by an independent entrepreneur, Larry Weiss, who obtained licenses for the four major comic character groups (DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Hanna-Barbera, Archie Comics) which included Superman, Batman, Shazam, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Captain America. The product idea was first offered to Hanes, but was rejected. Scott Paper company pursued development, but ultimately decided to not market the product. Fruit of the Loom had been engaged as supplier of the blank underwear and another vendor engaged to apply transfers. Informed of Scott Paper Company's decision to not market this novel product, Fruit of the Loom inquired if they would be permitted to market the product, now fully developed. Weiss agreed, and in 1978 Fruit of the Loom bought Underoos. The product was tested in three markets including the New York Metropolitan area. Retailer and consumer demand was so strong, the product was immediately expanded to national distribution.
In April 2013, the decision was made by Fruit of the Loom to exit the licensed childrenswear property business and immediately cease the design and production of its formerly lucrative Underoos products. The same fate also simultaneously befell Fruit of the Loom's Funpals and FunGals products. There are currently no plans to re-enter the market with licensed property apparel.
However, as of 3rd quarter, 2014, Fruit Of The Loom has licensed out the Underoos brand name to a manufacturer who is currently making Underoos in adult sizes, available at Hot Topic retail store chains in limited release.
- "List of products Larry Weiss developed over the years". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "UNDEROOS Ethics". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- James Dorsch, Scott Paper Co. conversation with Lawrence D. Weiss, Dec. 1977
- "Larry Weiss". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- New York Times, June 29, 1978: Philip Dougherty interview with James Johnston, Marketing V.P. Union Underwear Co.
- "Boys Underoos". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "The Aquaman Shrine: Underoos - 1981". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "Girls Underoos". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "G.I. Joe Underoos". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "Underoos MASK, Thundercats, He-Man, Transformers commercial". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "Craziest Hot Rod Contest Ever!". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "Star Wars Collectors Archive - Luke Skywalker (Jedi) Underoos". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "Video Game Memoribilia". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- Underoos at Fruit of the Loom