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by Katie Peachesa April 11, 2020 2 min read

The Evolution of the Bra

By Ekaterina Mironova

Thought your bra was just a bra? Think again. Every woman's most supportive friend has only been in popular use for about 100 years but it's been around for a lot longer than that. Thanks to the folks at a famous lingerie company who recently commissioned an infographic, we now know that the bra has been used by women in one way or another since 2500BC. Here are a couple of other facts about the bra you might not know:

The first bras were worn by Minoan women in 2500 BC, although they didn't look quite the same as they did today. They were designed to lift and support bare breasts outside of the clothing – a bit like a peep corset. Power to you, sister!

From about 450BC, Greek and Roman women had found that the fashion changed dramatically. It was now fashionable to hold your breasts back with a single strap of fabric, designed to create a flat chested impression. In an age where young Greek men were in great demand, perhaps this was a way for the women to get noticed?

The first bra prototype designed for everyday wear and use was only released in 1889 in Germany. Designed by a woman (thank goodness), boobs were now supported individually instead of strapping them together. The first bra patent was recognised in 1914.

Different bra sizes and cups were introduced in 1930, with multiple eye and hook settings for different chest sizes, and no more one size fits all sizes. Fitting was no longer limited to the slim elite.

Wonderbra was founded in 1963, and five years later, women were burning their bras in political and gender protests. Go figure.

The first sports bra was designed in 1977 by two women who sewed two supportive jock straps together. No kidding. Also, a bit gross.

Today, bras are worn by women for form, function and feeling. They're available in countless different designs and forms, and are made from any fabric imaginable – including BioForm which is a sort of memory foam designed to support your breasts in a unique and fitting way for your body without underwires or other gizmos. It's also pricey.

The Evolution of the Bra

Katie Peachesa
Katie Peachesa

Katie Peachesa is a sex and lingerie blogger based out of the urban chic Wapping in the heart of East London, United Kingdom. In her spare time, Katie enjoys photography, yoga and fitness, a bit of boxing, traveling, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and mudlarking and exploring pastoral settings. You are likely to find Katie in an artisan cafe in Brick Lane on a Saturday afternoon furiously typing her next article on her laptop whilst she is sipping on her flat white and drawing inspiration from the hustle and bustle in the heart of creative London. Katie runs the "Fashion Life Mag" and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, Grazia, Tatler, Evening Standard and other popular media outlets.


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