The first official patent for a bra was obtained on September 3, 1914. The author of this remarkable invention was a progressive American woman, Mary Phelps Jacobs. Going to the next social event, Mary went to the trick and built an alternative to the usual corset from two elastic bands, which was destined to become the first bra.
But the history of this wonderful piece of women's clothing does not begin with this event. Clothing for women's breasts has existed since ancient times and has always performed not only aesthetic, but also practical functions. Breast support has been a problem for women at all times. Our historical research is devoted to the cultural traces of bras in the history of the world.
No matter how much they say that the first bras were invented in ancient Egypt, studies claim that such a garment was not known on the banks of the Nile. Women from the people preferred to go topless, and noble ladies hid their charms under spacious tunics and tunics.
During the Bronze Age, the Minoan culture on the island of Crete had many symbols associated with the female breast as the personification of fertility. Figurines of the mother goddess usually had open breasts, and earthly women imitated her in everything. Historians say that Cretan women tied up their breasts from below, but did not cover it completely.
It is considered that the culture of Ancient Greece is a reference in many senses, but what was definitely not there was push-up bras. Noble women wore spacious tunics, in no way constraining their virtues. Only a few female warriors bandaged their breasts with tight ribbons. The legend of the Amazon women tells about such an unpleasant procedure as burning out the right breast in order to make it easier to shoot an arrow.
It is known for certain that athletes in Ancient Rome tied their breasts with tight ribbons so that it would not interfere with exercises or horse racing.
Chinese fashion was very conservative in nature, besides it had a clear predilection for suppressing everything feminine. Chinese women carefully hid their breasts under wide linen ribbons, which were called "dudu". They became the prototypes of corsets, as they tightened not only the chest, but also the stomach.
In the Middle Ages, there was no clearly defined attitude to the female breast, but slender ladies from high society had a clear tendency to lack it, which eventually resulted in a fashion for slender boyish forms. Large breasts and wide hips became a sign of commoners, and the rest had to tighten the excess into tight corsets, which by that time had become an everyday item of women's clothing.
The fashion for boyish silhouettes demanded new and new corsets. It is curious that this became a good business for whalers, since the best corsets were obtained on a frame made of whalebone. A woman with the shape of an hourglass figure has become a symbol of beauty for many centuries, and the echoes of this fashion are noticeable to this day.
The Great French Revolution, among other freedoms, brought emancipation for women. The revolutionaries also wanted a new fashion, free from the prejudices of the past. Women stopped hiding their breasts under corsets and started wearing deep cleavages. At the same time, women from the lower ranks tied their breasts with ribbons for convenience, including in order to wear a man's dress, which was fashionable at that time.
The Puritan traditions of the XIX century did not really favor the freedom of women. Especially nervous young ladies were treated in psychiatric hospitals, and breast freedom was out of the question. The code of conduct required women to wear tight underwear both day and night, and cleavage was out of the question.
In Great Britain, during the reign of King Edward VIII, a movement of women for their rights began, among which the right to wear comfortable clothes was not the last place. As an argument, weighty arguments were given about the harmfulness of corsets and the deformation of internal organs that they caused. So, at the end of the XIX century, there was a real explosion of inventions of new types of women's underwear, which did not cause harm and were much more convenient than anything that the human mind had come up with before.
The epoch-making invention of Mary Phelps Jacobs took place in 1914 and became the embodiment of millennial aspirations and hopes of women around the world. She called her invention a "spineless corset", and made it out of two handkerchiefs and elastic bands. The idea came to the girl at the moment when she was trying on a dress with an open back, going to another social event.
By the beginning of World War II, the light industry had already mastered many models of bras, but this garment remained a very niche product. The coup was the official adoption of bras as a uniform for female servicemen, which greatly helped to raise morale among the military.
After the war, there was a real explosion of interest in an intimate piece of clothing. Hundreds of designers were engaged in the development of new models, and firms offered a variety of different styles - from maternity bras to the first models with bones or scary bras on a wire frame.
Despite the fact that fashion historians have repeatedly predicted the death of this garment, interest in bras is not going to subside at all.