Monday, March 3, 2008

How Lingerie Came To Be (Early 20th Century & Modern Times)

By Lisa Page

Lingerie in the Early 20th Century (1900-1950)

Undergarment advertising became necessary with the increase in the number of underwear manufacturers. In 1911, the Saturday Evening Post ran first underwear print advertisement in the United States. It featured oil paintings by J.C. Leyendecker of the "Kenosha Klosed Krotch". Early underwear advertisements placed emphasis on durability and comfort; fashion was never a selling point.

In 1910, Chalmers Knitting Company split the union suit into upper and lower sections, creating what we now know and the undershirt and drawers. A lacier versions of this basic duo known as the camisole and drawers, was worn by women.

1913, women's fashion changed forever, when a New York socialite named Mary Phelps Jacob put together the first brassiere, by tying two handkerchiefs together with ribbon. Her original intention was to cover the whalebone sticking out of her corset, which was visible through her sheer dress. She started making them for her family and friends, and word of mouth soon spread about the garment.

By 1914, Jacob had a patent for her design and was marketing it throughout the United States. Jacob's was the first brassiere to be successfully marketed and widely adopted, although women had worn similar garments in the past.

Although, Amelia Jenks Bloomer [1818-1894], made popular trouser-like "bloomers", Elizabeth Smith Miller invented them. This garment become popular with the so-called Gibson girls who enjoyed more athletic pursuits such as bicycling and tennis. This new female athleticism helped push the corset out of style, as well. The other major factor in the corset's demise was the fact that metal was in short supply in much of the world during World War I. Steel-laced corsets were dropped in favor of the brassiere.

During the 1920's women's bloomers became much shorter and stockings covered the legs instead. As the boyish flapper, a fashionable and unconventional young woman of the 1920s, look came into fashion, the shorter bloomers became looser and less supportive. They, later, came to be known as step-ins, very much like modern panties but with wider legs, worn for the increased flexibility.

The garter belt was invented to keep stockings from falling when young flappers were dancing. The increased sexuality of the flapper made underwear sexier than ever before. It was the flappers who started the era of lingerie.

In 1928, A Russian immigrant named Ida Rosenthal, introduced modern cup sizes for her company, Maidenform, further developing the brassiere.

During the 1940's women began to wear, the waspie, for the wasp-shaped waistline it gave the wearer. The waspie similar to the corset.. Many also women began wearing the strapless brassiere, which gained popularity for its ability enhance a woman's figure.

Lingerie in Modern Times

The thong first gained popularity in Brazil, in the 1980s, although it was worn for decades by few. Originally, it was made as swimsuit style. By the 1990s, the design had made its way to most of the Western World, and thong underwear became popular. Today, it is one of the fastest selling styles available among women and is even gaining some popularity among men.

Today's lingerie is available in just about any style and fabric you can imagine. From romantic babydolls made of silk, to erotic leather bustiers.

If you need that perfect gift for your spouse on your special night, I have a wide variety of lingerie on my website. Ranging from cute sets to elegant bridal sets.

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