In 1922, the term ‘lingerie was coined for women’s undergarments, light-wear robes and sleepwear. From then we have come to days where lingerie is not limited to just females anymore and is produced for men as well in the market. But today we are going to shine some light over the produce for females. From age old corsets in the 1800s to lace on styles of 1960s, let’s run back in time and learn how the line of underwear for females has evolved over time.

CORSETS: 1800-1900

Corset is one of the oldest garments in the history of undergarment for females. It was initially deigned to clasp on the torso and signify an hourglass shape i.e., a small waist with a larger bottom providing an ‘ideal’ body shape to the ladies of the past. From early 1800s to 1900, women wore different kinds of corset; one with laces, neck ties, back ties, stringed, tainted and more. A time came when corsets were introduced in the market even for kids, but the idea was later on highly disparaged in the society as it was realized how these very corsets that promised a healthy spine and posture were actually hurting the bodies of women in its entirety.


Inundated by the anguishes of the whalebone corsets and extreme discomfort, Mary Phelps Jacobs introduced the first bra ever by sewing pieces of two handkerchiefs with a ribbon. Jumping to four years forward, she was approved a patent for a wonderful invention as it introduced a whole new domain into the world and business of under garments.

1920s and 30s

Loose, shapeless silhouettes came into play as the lingerie wear was redesigned. The years went on and the corsets still existed but in new forms and patterns. Defying the prior years, these corsets were meant to suppress the hips for a balanced figure. In 1928, bras were designed for a flattened look which was considered modest. Hitting 1933, female leads were observed wearing bras enchantingly both on and off screen. In 1940s, due to lack of supplies in the World War period, women would paint down at the back of their legs to create an illusion.


S. H. & Company denoted cup size and band measurement in a1932 ad for the first time and later in 1944 it was espoused by Warner's which later also became the industry standards worldwide. Came 1947 when Christian Dior brought the NEW LOOK: a full skirted, nipped waist outfit throwing it back to the hourglass figure times! 1952 was the year of sexy red lingerie pulled off with a divine class by one & only Marylin Monroe. At the time the mark of a well-dressed woman was the net stockings and by 1955, sexy lingerie became socially acceptable in the society.


This decade was the era of freedom and rebellion. An act of rebellion was followed as women burned their bras on the street depicting defiance. Then cue in the girly ruffles and curls in the modest wear lingerie with bows aplenty.

There’s a lot more to the evolution story that needs to be talked about but let’s leave the later story for the next time.