How Lingerie Has Evolved Over The Decades

For women of my generation, it’s hard to imagine what lingerie styles were like decades ago. Personally I don’t feel like lingerie has changed massively over recent years, but if you were to look back in time at what women used to wear and the reasons behind it, you’d be quite surprised. I can’t say it’s ever crossed my mind how lingerie has evolved over the years, but having looked into it, it’s interesting to see how lingerie was once a garment worn to hide a woman’s body, compared to modern day lingerie which is made to make a woman feel confident, empowered and sexy.

How lingerie has changed over the decades is an interesting subject and one I’d like to share with you. I’ve teamed up with Belle Lingerie to look back in time from when corsets were the garment of choice, right through to modern day lingerie which is made for comfort and appearance.

1800’s – From corsets to petticoats

The corset is a garment we’re all familiar with, for some women more than others. It was originally created to help form a curvaceous shape to a woman’s body, which was wanted by so many of its buyers during the 1800’s. Although it was an extremely popular garment, the corset wasn’t known for its comfort and as some people may be aware of, it was known for having implications to body’s internal organs. This decade also saw the introduction of the petticoat, an undergarment created to add volume and shape beneath skirts and dresses. I can’t imagine wearing a petticoat was the most practical thing as it involved a wire cage sitting underneath the skirt or dress, to achieve a bell shaped outfit.

Early 1900’s – A statement era for lingerie

After researching how lingerie has changed over the decades, the 1900’s was a time which surprised me the most. 1910 saw a statement year for lingerie, as a lady called Mary Phelps Jacob decided that it was time for comfort and support, so she created the famous bra; but not as we know it. Mary created a bra using two handkerchiefs and tied them together with a piece of ribbon. How times have changed! The 1900’s also a saw more glamourous side to lingerie, as bikini briefs were on the rise. With comfort starting to be a high priority, bikini briefs were not only made to feel comfortable, but to look more appealing and stylish as well.

Late 1900’s – A time for women to feel sexy

The 80’s saw an item of lingerie created which is still a popular choice today; the thong. The 80’s were a time where lingerie was now created to make a women feel sexy and with many celebrities flashing their lingerie in magazine shoots, it enabled many women across the globe to feel more confident and accepting of their bodies. The 90’s also was a standout time for lingerie, as many people followed in the footsteps of the likes of Kate Moss and Madonna and started to wear lingerie as part of their outfits. This is a trend which has carried on through to the current day, with this being a popular trend with modern day women.

2000’s to now – A new look for lingerie

The 2000’s to present day, a time we’re all familiar with. Modern-day lingerie allows a woman to feel comfortable, confident and sexy on a day to day basis and no matter what the occasion may be. The past decade has seen the creation of the ever-popular Spanx, a garment created to enhance a woman’s figure and provide comfort at the same time; similar to the corset but with huge developments as lingerie has evolved a lot since then. There is so much range on offer when it comes to modern-day lingerie, whether it’s wire-free bras or high waisted briefs, there are garments for everyone, no matter what your shape or size may be.

It’s been interesting looking back at how lingerie has evolved and how limited women of previous decades were, compared to the styles and variety on offer today. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this topic, so feel free to leave your comments below or join on the conversation on Twitter, using #DecadesOfLingerie.

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