Is Lingerie a Recent Invention?

Instinctively, many of us would respond with a resounding "No, of course not! It must be much older! " However, if  we venture into a museum, it’s exceptionally rare to encounter relics of lingerie dating back to periods preceding the Regency era (early 19th century).

In the past, fabric was a rare and precious commodity. Getting new  clothes  often was not possible; instead, garments were meticulously repaired, skillfully stitched back together, transformed, and ingeniously repurposed. Today this practice may seem remarkably avant-garde , where the idea of repurposing feels like a novel concept and an innovative marketing strategy for brands.

In those bygone times, a father's old shirt could be transformed into baby clothing, showcasing how garments were more than mere fabric; they possessed an ancestral magic that conveyed strength and vitality. Every inch of precious fabric was put to use, from the very last strand, serving as bandages or ropes in times of necessity.

To truly grasp the history of lingerie and fashion, we must turn to alternative sources such as art, paintings, literature, books, and transcripts.

Here are some book suggestions : 

#1 - "Underneath It All: A History of Women's Underwear" by Amber J. Keyser and Shelley Dieterichs - This book delves into the history of women's undergarments, from ancient times to the modern era, exploring how they have reflected and influenced societal norms.

#2 -"Exposed: A History of Lingerie" by Colleen Hill - This book offers a comprehensive look at lingerie's history, including its role in fashion, social history, and women's lives. It's filled with photographs and illustrations.

#3 -"Lingerie: The Foundation of a Woman's Life" by Lesley Ellis Miller - Focusing on lingerie in the 18th and 19th centuries, this book explores the role of undergarments in the lives of women during these periods.

#4 -"Lingerie: A Lexicon of Style" by Caroline Cox - Caroline Cox provides a comprehensive exploration of lingerie, from its historical origins to contemporary designs, along with its cultural and social significance.