Boom and Bust: A Brief History of Lingerie

  • The history of the undergarments Cheap Shapewear which we would call lingerie is thought to stretch all the way back to ancient Egypt where women of a certain class would wear tight slip-like garments under their clothes. Following on from the Egyptians were the Greeks, while one of the first examples of women wearing lingerie was found in Crete from around 2000BC - it was a corseted bodice which sat under the breast with a caged skirt. The lingerie mantel was in turn taken up by the Romans, and there are Roman murals of women in briefs and what looks like a band of material which supported the bust or certainly flattened it.

    The First Cheap Sexy Clothes 

    From 1100 and 1500 lingerie developed, not in the form of support but for very practical reasons. Medieval women wore long tunics or slips for warmth and to protect their lavish clothes from mainly dirty bodies. It's thought that the first prototypes of corsets were introduced during this era but were not widely used.

    It wasn't until the mid 1500s, however, that corsets started to become the staple in the Elizabethan wardrobe. The corsets were hand-sewn (as sewing machines were not invented yet) and they used different pastes to ensure they stayed stiff. These corsets were often attached to a farthingale which was a huge caged skirt that added the necessary volume to their dresses which was fashionable at the time.

    After all this development in women's lingerie, it was the post-revolutionary French who turned their backs on corset-style underwear for a freer and more liberating fashion. The dresses were heavy, loose and if corsets were worn they would be an extended version which went over the hips and thighs to ensure a slicker silhouette.

    The Victorian Era: Structural Lingerie

    The Victorians really put lingerie in every woman's wardrobe. With the invention of sewing machines and steel clasps, more demand than ever was placed upon women's bodies - in order to achieve accentuated curves dresses incorporated everything from sleeves to bustles to gain that elusive tiny waists or hour-glass figure. The corset really became a necessity to cinch the waist and with them being machine-made with clasps at the front it meant they would last a lot longer and be adaptable. This, after all, was the era where there were corsets for everything from sport, safari and maternity!