Skip To Content

    Women's Lingerie Through History

    From corsets to Spanx... ladies slayed bedroom style.

    We've come quite a long way with what we wear — or don't wear *wink wink* — in the bedroom. From corsets to teddies to bralettes, this is the history of women's lingerie:

    View this video on YouTube

    BuzzFeedYellow / Via

    The bell-shaped hoop skirt became vogue in the early 1700s in France and was considered quite a scandal. Contemporary conservatives of the time thought they were a display of vanity and therefore sexuality – especially since it was thought the hoop skirt originated from hiding unwanted pregnancies.

    Hoop skirts, however, prevailed throughout the century and towards the mid to late 1700s, became so wide and uncomfortable that they were condemned by published pamphlets in England as being a public nuisance.

    In the mid- to late 1800s, women's fashion channeled its inner Kim K and put more of an emphasis on the backside, adding rear bustles to outfits.

    And the OG waist trainers were corsets, which were used to thin out and one’s shape waist. These garments would be set so tight that it wasn’t uncommon for it them to cause fainting o,r, in extreme cases, broken ribs.

    In the 1920s, flappers influenced the rise of decorative and flashy lingerie, which was worn under their iconic dresses.

    The oh-so-sexy slip came into fashion in the 1920s as a symbol of the freedom from the flappers.

    In the 1930s, lingerie was all that jazz, and began to highlight women’s natural curves more, with pointed or rounded bras coming into style.

    During this time, shorter and more modern-looking underwear also began being sold in retail stores. And it was DEFINITELY more comfortable than what ladies were rocking in the 16th and 17th centuries.

    In the 1950s, corselets were in style. A corselet incorporated the use of underwire to support the breasts and give the girls a lift. This style was typically worn under eveningwear.

    Rayon and spandex were also used to make undergarments, which made lingerie more comfortable and easier to wear than ever before.

    In the 1980s, ladies starting rocking teddies — one-piece garments derived from earlier 20th-century undergarment styles.

    In the '80s, thongs were also incorporated into American fashion. They arose as a trend from South America and quickly gained popularity stateside.

    In the 2000s, we were blessed with the invention of Spanx, shapewear typically worn under formal attire or sometimes on an everyday basis.

    Clothing also began to incorporate built-in breast support. Camisoles, tank tops, and even some shirts provided support to their wearers.

    Today's lingerie varies greatly in color, style, shape, and coverage. But one thing is for sure, regardless of the time period: Women though history slayed lingerie.