French Lingerie

lingerie_pants_braxxxThe Metropolitan Museum of Art

The History of Beautiful Pieces for Women

French lingerie, ooh la la! Lingerie can make a woman’s body look sensual, sexy and delectable, and there are pieces that are fit for every body type. But, how did lingerie get to the look it has today? Of course there are a wide variety of different styles that come from the minds of brilliant designers, but these all got their start a very long time ago. French lingerie has an interesting history, and still influences the designs that you see on store shelves today. Believe it or not, the look of lingerie has changed dramatically, and you might be thankful that it has, because some historical pieces don’t look terribly comfortable!


1800’s – Corsets
What girl doesn’t love a nicely-fitted corset? These actually came into existence a very, very long time ago. Corsets back in the 1800’s were actually longer, softer and gave a woman a more natural shape. While most corsets today are made with plastic boning, those in the early 19th century were made with whalebone or even wood boning! They laced up in the back, just like most do to this very day. As time went on, corsets started raising bust lines as well as waistlines. This resulted in a reduction of the appearance of the hips, and a flatter stomach as well.

As corsets became more popular in the mid-19th century, they became much tighter because they were meant to help a woman have a smaller waist. More boning went into the designs, and mass production of the pieces started so all women could wear them. In time, corsets became adorned with straps to help support the weight of the bust, but these were short-lived. Strapless corsets quickly came back into fashion, and that’s where they stay today!

1920’s Bras and Teddies
A lot of changes occurred with lingerie in the 1900’s, so let’s start with 1920. This is when bras actually had cups put on them! Maidenform was one of the first companies to do this, and they are STILL making bras today. These gave women more support in their bust area, and provided them with a little bit more coverage as well. Lace and silk were commonly seen on these bras, and elaborate designs were extremely popular because they added a romantic touch.

Teddies are still popular for women today, but they did look quite different back in the 1920’s. In fact, they had a lot more lace and much more elaborate designs as well. Normally you’d see these made out of silk, and most would have matching robes to go with them. If you put on a teddy before bed today, remember that the same thing (albeit a different design) was worn by women many years ago!

lingerie_1920s_silkxxThe Lingerie Addict

lingerie_paper_Versionx1940’s – 1960’s – Bras
Soon after individual cups were invented, the bra industry exploded all over the world. Even cup sizes were introduced in in America in sizes A, B, C and D. Most French bras in the early 1940’s were adorned with lace at the tops of them, and a band underneath the cup that offered more support. Because the war occurred during this time, a lot of women were making their own bras using paper patterns. These were normally made out of scrap materials, or things like satin or nylon.

1950’s – Sexy Lingerie
Lingerie took a sexy spin in the 1950’s, and women wanted to show off the curves of their bodies. So, bustiers became extremely popular, as did garter belts. These were meant to emphasize the shape of a woman and give her more femininity. One of the most popular designers of lingerie was Christian Dior, who made cone-shaped bras popular!


1960’s – Comfort Lingerie and Gowns
In the 60’s women became concerned with comfort, so designers started making their bras with new materials, like Lycra (which is stretchy). Women enjoyed these not only because they were comfortable, but also because they contoured their body in a beautiful way. Gowns were also commonly seen on women, as they were great for wearing around the house and were feminine because of the lace and chiffon they were made out of.

1980’s – Teddy
The teddy never really went out of style all these years, but it did undergo some changes that could be seen in the 1980s. These generally didn’t have any support, but did have straps that helped add some cleavage on the bust. They were also made out of materials like satin, and almost always had lace on them. These were luxurious, sexy, beautiful and comfortable.

Ana Grgic
Fashion Editor

Ana is a fashion and beauty blogger, she loves writing about anything related to fashion trends and is always on the lookout for something new. She loves shoes and statement jewelry. In her spare time she loves reading magazines and preparing dinners for her friends and family.

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