Interesting Lingerie Facts I Bet You Didn’t Know
Lingerie is an important part of every woman's daily life. We open the underwear drawer each day and choose pretty, sexy and hopefully comfortable under garments to put on underneath our clothing. Lingerie has really evolved over the years with quite an interesting history. So, this month I thought you might enjoy some fun facts that you probably haven’t heard before about lingerie.
Brief Lingerie History
The concept of lingerie is understood to be visually appealing intimate apparel that was invented and advanced during the late 19th century. Lady Duff-Gordon of Lucile was a noteworthy pioneer in the development of the lingerie movement that was initially created to free women from painfully restrictive corsets.
During the first half of the 20th century, women wore underwear for three stated reasons: 1. To enhance their outward shape (first with corsets and later with girdles and brassieres); 2. For hygienic purposes; and (3) For the sake of modesty. Before the invention of crinoline, women's under garments were actually quite large and noticeably cumbersome.
During the late 19th century, corset designs became smaller, not as bulky but even more restrictive. Corsets were gradually succeeded by the brassiere. The first brassiere design was patented in the 20th century by Mary Phelps Jacob. A market opened up during the First World War when women began working to help fill in jobs that men normally did but were unable to because of the draft. This created a demand for more practical underwear for women.
Manufacturers began to use lighter and more breathable fabrics. In 1935 brassieres were updated with padded cups to flatter small breasts and a few years later underwire bras were designed to offer women a more shapely bust and a more protruding bustline. There was also a demand to return to a small waist which was achieved with girdles.
As the 20th century progressed, underwear became smaller and more form fitting. In the 1960s, lingerie manufacturers such as Frederick's of Hollywood begin to glamorize lingerie. The lingerie industry has really expanded in the 21st century with designs that double as outerwear. The French even have a term for this: 'dessous-dessus,' which essentially means innerwear worn as outerwear.
Some Interesting Facts Discovered Along the Way
- In French, the word ‘lingerie' applies to men's and women's undergarments.
- In the early 1900s, a ‘mono-bosom' was a popular look for women. Women’s breasts were actually hoisted together and supported in such a way as to make them appear as though they were one contiguous breast.
- Women in the UK wear the largest sizes in bras. Women in Japan have the smallest bra size, on average and the average bra size in India is 34C.
- Earliest corsets were often made with whalebone. In the 1800s, the baleen whale was crucial to corset-making!
- Italian women frequently wear red under garments on New Year's Eve - for good luck!
- Women who wear G-string underwear are rumored to be more sexually creative, confident and liberated, while women who wear simple white lingerie are considered to be low maintenance.
- The world's first bra was designed to be worn above a woman's corset.
- The average lifespan of a well-worn bra is just six months.
- To look amazing and feel comfortable, lingerie must be worn in the correct size - too large is as bad as too small! The average woman wears six different bra sizes over her lifetime; 80% of women are currently wearing the wrong-sized bra!
Everyone loves polls – or maybe not, but this one concerning underwear preferences among women is interesting. According to a recent survey: 37% of women prefer bikini panties, 23% like to wear full briefs for comfort, 19% prefer G-strings, and 10% like any number of other styles, including French cut or hi-cut, hipsters, etc., and 7% said they prefer to wear no underwear at all!
According to the survey which also asked about favorite colors, the three most-preferred lingerie colors by women are lilac, blue and purple. White, however, remains, the highest-selling color in the world. And finally, redheads prefer green lingerie.
China is currently the world's fastest-growing lingerie marketplace.