Panties in a Bunch: Lingerie Throughout History

We're stripping down to the details.

Panties in a Bunch: Lingerie Throughout History
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Panties in a Bunch: Lingerie Throughout History

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

1. Linen Undies, 3000 B.C.

Undergarments in Ancient Egypt remind me of America in the 1960s or a beach in the south of France: no bra required. Servants wore loin clothes with no tops (like the ones pictured above), while higher-ranking ladies, like Cleopatra, had the luxury of covering up with full-length tunics. 

2. The Organ Pulverizer, 1890s.

The corset, aka the über-bra from hell, came to popularity during the 16th and 17th centuries in France. The corset pictured here is from the Victorian era (c. 1890s) dubbed the "Wasp Waist." Confused why? It was supposed to cinch the waist and make your bosom bloom like a wasp's. Notable Facts: These corsets were so tight they often caused miscarriages, deformed the organs, and morphed the ribs. Oh, the price of beauty. 

3. Androgynous Silk Sacks, 1920s.

No more freakishly squeezed waists or jumbled organs here (nice, liberation!). Like the fashion of the 1920s, clothes as well undergarments became more boyish and less constraining. Modeled after bloomers, the fabrics were looser, more comfortable, and took on a flapper look. 

4. The Wonder Years, 1990s.

The WonderBra was a revolutionary creation, or every late bloomer's savior in high school and beyond, because of its amazing push up abilities. In 1994, WonderBra featured a billboard advertisement with the buxom supermodel Eva Herzigova coyly holding her bra straps. The ad was so sultry, it was thought to have created car accidents. 

5. The Best Secrets, 2013. 

Scratch boring bras and undergarments hailing from the school of minimalism, the '00s were all about glamorizing your panties. For example, take the bejeweled bodices on leggy demigoddesses, like this $10 million dollar Fantasy Bra by Victoria's Secret worn by supermodel Candice Swanepoel. Nicknamed "The Royal," the bra contained over 2,400 precious gems including rubies and sapphires.


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