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Not for the faint-hearted

August 12, 2012

For more than 300 years women wore corsets to achieve the desired hourglass silhouette. To reduce the waist, females were daily suffering from loss of oxygen. Maybe the expression faint-hearted originates from that period, when women were tying themselves so hard, they frequently fainted.

Then the liberation, in the form of a bra, came. Women could breathe again and the perception of females as fragile and delicate creatures began to evaporate. 19th century designers experimented with garment, to offer support without the constriction. The mass production of bras started only in 1912 in Germany. That is why brassiere has long been thought to be a relatively modern invention. During WWII metal shortages finally ended the corset era. By the end of the war, western women were all wearing bras.

In 2008 archaeologists were excavating a castle in Austria. They came across pieces of lingerie made from linen, one of them elaborately decorated with lace between the cleavage. It resembled modern bra, with cups, shoulder and back straps. To a big surprise, the radiocarbon dating proved the pieces were from the 15th century, a whole century before women had begun squeezing themselves into corsets.

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From → Hic Salta

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