Sex, Gender and Morality: The Unknown History of underwearBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/sex-gender-and-morality-the-unknown-history-of-underwear
Why do we wear underwear? To take care of health, for hygienic purposes or playing along with fashion trends — one way or another, the history of the development of underwear is directly related to cultural changes in society.
Despite this, bras and underpants are still considered something indecent and rarely become a topic of discussion. Perhaps this is because even the most puritanical and practical of them are still imbued with eroticism due to the specifics of their purpose.
We have prepared for you a short excursion into the history of underwear from antiquity to the present day.
Underwear in the current sense was not known in ancient times. An obvious analogue of its purpose and form was a loincloth.
In ancient Rome, the loincloth was not an obligatory part of the costume, and the role of underwear was usually played by a tunic, over which the Romans wore a cloak or toga.
However, actors and speakers (during public performances), as well as gladiators, wore a subligaculum (subligaculum) — a loincloth made of leather.
Women of ancient Rome during sports wore leather loincloths and strophium — the prototype of a modern bra.
In the Middle Ages, the role of underwear was played by braes (fr. braies) — linen trousers secured with a cord. They often wore chausses — tight trousers attached to the belt.
Also in the Middle Ages, both men and women wore a kameez (from the French chemise) — a long loose-fitting undershirt.
Long shirts and evolved breeches — long johns — served as underwear in the age of Enlightenment.
A variety of corsets have become very popular among ladies.
Some fashionistas at that time decorated themselves with stockings with garters.
However, long johns were still a predominantly male part of the wardrobe. They became part of women's underwear only by the XIX century.
Men's linen shirt and long johns, Great Britain, 1775.
By the end of the XIX century, corsets and undershirts became more form-fitting and revealing.
However, the pantaloons did not lag behind.
A variety of long johns have become popular among men.
By the beginning of the XX century, prototypes of a modern bra, supporting the chest and worn over a corset, had spread among women.
Cotton corset, 1914.
Women's intimate fashion of the mid-1940s — 1950s of the XX century was distinguished by a compromise between the usual understanding of underwear as an element of the wardrobe and rational practicality.
The middle of the XX century was in some way a turning point in the history of underwear development. The sexual revolution and the liberalization of views did their job and changed the usual view of the intimate part of the wardrobe: the styles of panties and bra became more and more explicit, often to the detriment of practicality.
Models in lingerie of the world-famous Victoria's Secret company.
A set of Tamila underwear from the Soire collection of the famous Agent Provocateur brand.