Valentine’s Day Special: The Evolution of Lingerie

February 13, 2015

Over the decades lingerie has certainly had it’s ups and downs. From bloomers to thongs, and taping the breasts down to create a flat chest to “Super Push Up” bras we really have made it a long way. Lingerie was once used to control the shape of the women’s body. Throughout the decades we have laced corsets too tight for air and burned bras for liberation and freedom from feminine ideals. The lingerie women wore directly mirrored what was going on in society. Undergarments matter.

e5c5fd9897e8d230eff29e9a712b897f

1700’s: Women were wearing corsets and farthingales (wire hooped skirts). The ideal body shape was flat chested with a tiny waist, the farthingale widened the bottom half to highlight the waist.

33b940533d7c6853601a55e4931da7a0 be96bd7dda4a5b56201a177db0937182

1800-1830: The waist became more of a natural feature and the bust was then highlighted. Corsets began to stop right below the bust line and they lost the shaping of the skirts. Narrow Petticoats were then worn.

86866a691ac34509f664f6ead32d29a8

1830-1900: The corsets were laced tight and the length of them dropped back down past the waist to create an idealized hourglass shape. There was heavy flaring at the hips to further exaggerate the small waist.

1900’s: Corsets began to change into an “S” shape which pushed the bust forward and the derriere back. The skirts were still wider at the hips continuing to highlight the waist.

2-Actress-Camille-Clifford-198x300 25ffbb5b5501788233d2fd5ee6b18324

1910’s: The figure was idealized as a slimmer, narrow look. Corsets dropped to reach the thighs and long rubber girdles began to replace corsets.1a50d301f79437a8f7569c0669f4225b 8b8d1952001270e7328c988c57da0a67

1920’s: The sought after boyish figure was then originated. Corsets and girdles continued to narrow the hips and bandeau bras began to be worn which offered little support for the bust. This allowed for flatter chests and slimmer figures. Women were interested in a more androgynous look and would actually tape their breasts down to hide the chest.

1920c2b4s-underwear images

1930’s and 1940’s:  Women went back to their natural curves and feminine shape. Girdles were shorter and the bra’s were not very supportive. They began wearing slips underneath their clothing to provide a smooth silhouette.

6d6bf6fbe23a2fa3afe5688bf0883bfa e311d69f50e151a33fc6f405d5201ef5

1950’s: The ideal figure was a curvy, hourglass. Bra’s began to shape into more of a pointed, conical look. Corsets and girdles were still worn and petticoats were added underneath a skirt for extra volume.

80f333a7f5d7663847f57e47a80baeba d60ced0dd85d0fd3c8487cc46f8ffd8c

1960’s and 1970’s: These two decades began to make lingerie less restrictive and more comfortable. Corsets were no longer the norm. The natural curves and feminine shapes were back, pantyhose began to be worn instead of stockings, and the baby doll silhouette was very in.  During these decades women were burning their bras in protest of equal rights. Women were fed up of being limited to being only a mother or house-wife.

4d7e0ec9d1cf31639ded3cbdb7666108 269efef82ec0b9224cfa8a20ddc8074e

1980’s: The 80’s was quite the decade. Women became more empowered during these years and lingerie no longer controlled the shape of the body. Thongs, G-strings and bodysuits were all very trendy during the 80’s

8325977789_782e731666_b 1980s-lingerie-rrmcagfc images-1

1990’s: Cleavage was a much sought after thing in the 1990’s. Lingerie became much simpler and more comfortable. Most women were just wearing a bra and underwear or thong.

b7fd565df202d393bb3e47d402c4c21f images-2

2000-Present: Flat stomach and large bust are desired features during this era yet we are learning to accept the beauty of our bodies in all shapes and sizes. Some bra’s have adapted into “Super Push Up” and have gel inserts to accentuate cleavage and a large chest. Shape wear like Spanx have developed in order to smooth the body underneath clothing.

568bf4abc969e1f0e5d745493348034b e69b2b26be4daa7f233a62aff58e1a52