Throughout history, the role of underwear has been varied. Fashion has evolved starkly over the 2,000 or so years we have been wearing clothes, so it’s safe to say there are some hidden secrets within that history. Especially when it comes lingerie. So, with that in mind, here are some lingerie facts that may shock you!
1 – Open Secrets
Once upon a time, the crotchless panty was not a point of sexiness. No, in actual fact, it was a simple part of everyday life. Men’s underwear had crotches as standard, while a woman found a standard gap there instead. Even Queen Victoria, who’s underwear went on sale at an auction not too long ago, was subject to a crotchless pair of bloomers.
Prior to the 1800s, in fact, the standard was no underwear altogether in most cases. Fairly scandalous, considering our proper and prim opinions of those in that era!
In fact, knickers which joined up in the middle only came to the market in the 1850s or so. Though they enjoyed no popularity, having been seen as unpractical and unhealthy in some cases. It was only during the turn of the 19th century when a more fashionable design was applied to many of these pieces, that they began to genuinely rise in popularity. Strange, considering support for the breasts was something even the Ancient Greeks enjoyed. Shame that the panty crotch took so long to follow!
Want to adopt the same style of as Queen Victoria? Then try out a pair of ouvert briefs from Bordelle, guaranteed to bring a breath of fresh air into your life.
2 – French Fancies
There a number of interesting facts surrounding the French and their relationship with lingerie. Largely, in part, due to the fact that they are so connected with the creation of lingerie in the first place. For example, lingerie can be used in regards to both men and women. Men’s lingerie doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in English, but it’s a common turn of phrase in France. And another little-known fact is that a French woman was the creator of the bra. We can thank Herminie Cadole for creating this level of support in 1889.
To get the look, try this influente bra from French-brand Chantal Thomass:
3 – The Birth of the Sports Bra
Debuted in 1975, the first sports bra was called the ‘Free Swing Tennis Bra’ and was made by a company called Glamorise Foundations. It was followed later by something called the ‘jockbra’ in 1977, which was invented by Lisa Lindahl. This, in turn, was renamed a ‘jogbra’ at some point and became much more widely used, until it was purchased in 1990 by the Playtex company. This saw the evolution of the sports bra in earnest.
The science of how breasts moved during exercise saw the creation of a sturdier, better, sports bra and this was then brought to market. It was showcased on the Oprah Winfrey show, which saw a surge in orders and began the reign of popularity for the sports bra as we know it today.
4 – Corsets Almost Caused Extinction
Corsets in their first form were often made from whalebone. The popularity of the corset rose throughout the 1800s, it’s why we have such a vivid image of this time with the straight-backed women in their tight corsets. However, what may have been good for fashion wasn’t necessarily good for the environment.
In fact, the popularity of corsets and the hoop skirt meant that some whales became seriously at risk of extinction. Particularly the baleen whale, whose rib cage was particularly adept for this use. Thankfully, the invention of new elastic materials at the beginning of the twentieth century made whale-bone corsets obsolete. Meaning the whale populations have been able to slowly recover following this craze.
Get the corset look – with no harm to whales – from our very own Dolci Follie collection. The heiress gold long line is an exquisite piece and worth its weight in gold.
On the whole, lingerie has a long and fascinating history. So, why not carve a little bit out for yourself? Browse the Dolci Follie luxury lingerie collection today and discover a little bit of lingerie history for yourself.