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The History Of Lingerie

Posted by: webmaster2 on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 02:22 _PRINTPrinter friendly page  _EMAILFRIENDSend this story to a friend
The History Of Lingerie
In looking through the history of human sexuality, we notice that most of all aspects of our daily routine seemingly influence directly o­n our sexual demeanors. Fashion is an excellent example for crying out loud. The ways people dress and behave through the ages further reflect the thoughts and opinions of each particular time warp. As we look back o­n the history of lingerie interesting details o­n sexual preferences and customs come to light. From using whalebones inside corsets, to feminists burning their bras, and then, to today's light and sexy lingerie, a lot has changed.

Basically, undergarments were created to emphasize the silhouette by shaping up breasts, waist and hips with the sole purpose of rendering the female figure more attractive. The first recorded corset comes from Crete and dates back 3000 years ago. At that time, it wasn't o­nly a piece of clothing but already an ornament, being adorned sometimes with a pin or a brooch. Later o­n in Greece, fabrics made of leather and woolen hit the mainstream.

Throughout medieval times, oppressed by myths and religious customs, people denied their sexuality by hiding under drapes as heavy as shapeless made of fabric grain. Although people usually picture out that era as somewhat poetic in that princesses wearing beautiful silk dresses and knights in lustrous armor, fashion was something useless in a time whose clothes would've been plain and functional. Influenced by Spanish style, the corset was then reinvented as designed to shape a very small waist and so as to elongate the woman's torso. The corset was an exclusivity of aristocracy, which is no surprise if we remember that the medieval average woman was secluded down to home chores and children nurturing. The first corset was actually made of hinged iron armour. At the end of the 16th Century, materials such as whalebone, wood, and flexible steel started to be used creating a "comfortable" version of the corset.


Several materials as well as styles were employed in versions of the corset that followed until Renaissance, when women were practically trussed within their corsets in order to achieve wasp-like shape o­n the verge of unnatural. Internal organs were squeezed, ribs were practically pushed out of shape and women could barely breath, even passing out sometimes. They actually needed help from others to cinch their corsets tight enough. Such custom seem somewhat shocking for today's standards, but let's not forget that today's girls also subject themselves to extreme physical alterations for the sake of beauty and glamour.

The 18th century, which is considered by many as o­ne of the sexiest times of our history, was characterized by the use of lighter fabrics, so the corsets had more color, decorated with ribbons, pins, laces and all kinds of fancy ornamentation. They were designed to draw all the attention to breasts, pushed up inside showing beautiful and lustful cleavages. At that time, the shaping of the silhouette due to the use of tight corsets started to be disapproved by doctors. So the corset had o­nly the function of emphasizing the breasts, and systems that allow a woman to put o­n her own corset were developed. At the beginning of the 19th century, someone had the ingenious idea of cutting of the midriff of a corset to allow more movement to the body and extra support to the breasts, creating the brassiere (which is French for support).

The lingerie industry started to grow up very fast and the bra became a common accessory for every women finding its place during World War I, when clothes needed to be light and cool enough for factories work. From then o­n, the styles started to change as the fashion comes and goes in cycles. The boyish look from the Flappers in the Twenties brought chemises, bloomers and light and loose fitting underwear, being replaced by a figure of a well-proportioned and feminine woman in the 30's. The creation of Laxtex by Dunlop Rubber was a remarkable advancement, allowing industry to make lingerie in different sizes to fit in each woman's shape.


The movement of feminism during the 60's led women to literally burn their bras in public for the sake of equality of genders. At the same time that bras were not woman's favorite accessory, legs were o­n the spot and mini-skirts becoming popular. The invention of Lycra gave women the opportunity to bring attention to legs with the first stockings.

Today we have plenty of styles and models made by several different materials, to fit not o­nly o­n each woman's body but also her desires and intentions. The purposes of the lingerie still the same - to make women more attractive - the o­nly thing that has changed is fashion. The lingerie reflects the ideas of the times we're living in, where people feel free to express desires and preferences in bed.

 

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