Histoire de la lingerie / Lingerie History

History of Lingerie: The Notable Eras I

Ancient Greece: the utilitarian aspect above all

Born in ancient Greece, lingerie was born for its utilitarian side with the aim of hiding the so-called intimate parts of the body. There was therefore no aspect related to seduction, naughty appearance or sexuality. The fabrics used for lingerie were modest and simplistic types, mostly made of linen. The design was mainly bandages and tunics often in neutral colors. In fact, at that time linen was used since there was a large quantity of it available in ancient Greece and since this fabric was very versatile (antimicrobial, biodegradable, heat conductor, etc.). For example, linen was also used to make armor and for medical bandages.


The Renaissance: era of corsets and sensuality

At the time of the Renaissance, we observed a big change in lingerie. The utilitarian side transforms into a desire to highlight the female silhouette mainly thanks to the corset. It was a time marked by the popularization of lace and embroidery, especially reserved for rich families. We therefore increasingly associate women's lingerie with a celebration of women's curves and also with certain aspects linked to sexuality. For example, a tradition emerged: giving lingerie to the young bride to mark her new union with her partner, which we still see today in certain cultures for the honeymoon.


Big jump towards the 1930s: the appearance of the sheath

The beginning of the 1930s during the period between the two world wars was marked by the appearance of the first sheath. Going from a feminine silhouette formed by a corset to a more cylindrical shape. The chest is therefore presented in a more relaxed and natural way. We therefore see the arrival of the first bra and the garter belts as an accessory to the sheaths mainly in pastel colors. Silk and nylon stockings will also appear at this time to complete the classic lingerie set as we know it today.


Post-war: return of luxury and female liberation via lingerie

After the Second World War, the lingerie industry experienced a boom marked by luxury and more complex designs than before. For example, we see more fitted panties and satin fabrics being added to lace, which is already very popular among women. We are seeing more synthetic fabrics appear such as nylon and rayon. Then, the color shades were darker bringing a sophisticated distinction.


The evolution of lingerie and its influence from ancient Greece to the post-war period

Through these different eras separated by several years we see that lingerie has greatly evolved. Influenced by the political or conflict situation, by the economy, by culture, by the development of textiles, the evolution of the place of women in society. Lingerie evolved from linen bandages to cover one's body to luxurious, intricate pieces of fine lingerie made from lace or satin. Even before, the woman's silhouette was determined by lingerie trends. Indeed, with corsets and girdles which with their adjustment could modify the women's body to display the typical silhouette of the time in question.


Missing pieces: men's lingerie and the link with sexuality

Until now, in the history of lingerie, there has been little talk of a link between lingerie and sexuality/seduction, as we can feel a little more today. Also, we don't mention much about the place of men's lingerie. We will be able to explore these issues in future articles to come.



-https://www.doubleaparis.com/blogs/infos/lhistoire-de-la-lingerie#:~:text=La%20lingerie%20f%C3%A9minine%20est%20n%C3%A9e,%C3%82ge %2C%20this%20vision%20%C3%A9evolves%20little .

- https://atelier-guillemette.com/blog/histoire-lingerie

- https://corefabricstore.com/fr/blogs/news/the-history-of-linen-fabric

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