Victoria's Secret is out...

by - Sunday, July 22, 2012

What would a Medieval Victoria's Secret resemble? Would the merchant have beautifully adorned lacy lingerie and novelties available to maidens? Well, thanks to a revolutionary discovery in Castle Lengberg in Tyrol, Austria, a team of archaeologists confirmed the existence of the bra five hundred years before fashion historians thought it was invented AND these uncovered bras were intricately decorated with lace and other ornamentation. Four linen bras were discovered stuffed inside a building vault, a couple of the fragmented specimens appear to be a combination of a bra and a short shirt, with additional cloth above the cups to cover the decollete as well as lacework for decoration. This lingerie apparently wasn't just functional... they were also meant to please a suitor. So, yes, in essence, the "original Victoria's Secret" dates back to the Middle Ages!

The history of brassieres is closely intertwined with the social status of women, including the evolution of fashion and changing views of their body. Over the years, women have used a variety of undergarments to cover, restrain, or amplify the appearance of breasts. According to the know history, from the 16th century, wealthier women wore corsets, which pushed the breasts upwards. In the late 19th century, bras replaced the corset as the most widely used means of breast support. Before this fashion find in Austria, historians placed the invention of the bra with either French corset-maker Herminie Cadolle in the late 1700s, or Mary Phelps Jacob who was awarded an US patent for the "technology" in 1914. By the early 20th century, garments similar to contemporary bras had emerged, although large-scale commercial production did not occur till the 1930s.
Fast forward today, lingerie has generated millions and continues to support practical needs and fantasy fulfillment of women, a powerful industry thriving on beauty, balance and support. From your classic white Hanes bra to the annual Victoria's Secret Fantasy version available at holiday time, women can pick and choose their favorites to suit their fancies and wallet. 
Nice to know the ladies back then wore their undergarments for function and perhaps a "Claiming of Sleeping Beauty" fantasy... 
Christian Grey, move over, honey... history has just been reclaimed... xoxo-Sonya

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