Remembering the evolution of lingerie 160



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There are two types of lingerie, hard and soft, and we’ve lived through both. Hard includes corsets, bustles and structured bras, while soft consists of unstructured garments, such as slips, nightgowns, and panties. Women have worn rib-crushing corsets, pointy brassieres, push-up bras, bloomers, thongs and then even underwear as outwear in the 1980s. Do you remember these trends?

Let’s take a look back at how lingerie styles have evolved. Here are some of the famous lingerie trends of the past.

1920s: characterised by lightweight, breathable fabrics, which worked well under the 20s and 30s dress shapes. The camiknickers were popular (camisole and knickers sewn together) – perfect under short dresses of the 20s.


1945: Marilyn Monroe pictured modelling for lingerie advertisements, painted by hand.


1950/60s: The bullet bra


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Jayne Mansfield achieved the famously ‘pointy’ silhouette.


1960s: Youthful style emerging with playful baby doll nighties and frilly knickers.



The “no bra” achieved by wearing a sheer bra  (no underwire or lining and totally see-through)



1970s: T-shirt bras developed with a bit less point. It involved a bit more of a natural look.


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Also, the “nipple bra” was introduced that had built in nipples provided a sensual cold weather look. Have any of you heard of this?

nipple bra

The 70s brought about the first sports bra called the “jogbra”. The idea came from sewing two jock straps together. It freed women to play sports in comfort!

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1980s: when it became common to wear bras as outwear

Donna Summer 1985








1990s: The “wonderbra” was introduced which was the first bra to lift and push the bust line together.


victoria secret

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Do you remember these bras? Which was your favourite?



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. what I dont like now is.. the bra straps never stay put like they used to … anyone know why?????

    5 REPLY
  2. The Witches Britches with all the coloured lace around the legs. And the wire hoop, I hated those skirts.

    4 REPLY
  3. I agree mine are always slipping I thought it was just me getting older but its also hard to find compfortable ones

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