Superman is not wearing knickers over his tights.

It’s easy to understand why Superman appears to wear his underpants on the outside of his costume, if one places oneself back in the time, when he was created.
The strongmen of the day were the likes of Charles Atlas and Tarzan.

They weren’t wearing underpants but the equivalent of a swimming costume.

Even then, this was still rather risque, most men wearing less brief versions, to go bathing.

Now consider Superman as a super strongman, who has to walk around in such attire.

Paint him blue (a skin tight leotard, fashionable in his day).

Give him boots, rather than shoes, to look more dominating.

A cape to indicate the flying ability and then the logo to make him stand apart from any blue skinned weirdo’s.

The contrast of red and blue is striking and still dominant today in terms of football team colours.

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