What garment has been capable of sparking both anger and admiration, of creating an aura of intimacy yet proving irksome, more so than the corset? Yet the question remains to be asked, what do we really know about it? Knocking or so years off the clock, we see that the s heralded the introduction of the corset as an undergarment into France from its Italian birthplace, only to be met with an exponential boom in popularity and form, culminating in its dominance of the Victorian wardrobe. However, the glory days of this undergarment were short-lived.
The history of bras is inextricably intertwined with the social history of the status of women, including the evolution of fashion and changing views of the female body. Women have used a variety of garments and devices to cover, restrain, reveal, or modify the appearance of breasts. Bra- or bikini-like garments are depicted in some female athletes of the Minoan civilization in the 14th century BC. Corsets varied in length from short ones which only supported the bust to longer ones also used to shape the waist. In the latter part of the 19th century, women experimented with various alternatives such as splitting the corset into a girdle -like restraining device for the lower torso and transferring the upper part to devices suspended from the shoulder. In the late 19th century, bras replaced the corset as the most widely used means of breast support. By the early 20th century, garments more closely resembling contemporary bras had emerged, although large-scale commercial production did not occur until the s [ citation needed ].
By Lisa Hix — April 29th, Then, it would be tied into place to give the bust lift and help keep the corset straight and upright. Busks ranged from 10 to 16 inches in length, the longest of which would make sitting impossible for most women.
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