Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ancient Lingerie

It has long been thought that the undergarments we call "panties" and "bras" first came into use not so long ago. But during recent renovations of Lengberg Castle in East Tyrol something was found that "totally rewrites fashion history...Nothing like this has ever come up before", as fashion curator at the Museum of London, Hilary Davidson, says about the discovery. What they found - among 3,000 other fragments of clothing - was:

A bra...

...And a pair of panties! They must have been buried in 1480 when the castle was rebuilt, and then managed to stay in a pretty good condition because of the dry surroundings. Radiocarbondating tests has proven the findings are not a fraud. Before this it was thought that women didn't start wearing nickers until the late 18th century, and that they wore only a chemise or a smock as underwear during the Middle Ages. The two pieces in the pictures look very similar to modern bras and panties though, so I guess we will have to add a chapter to the history of lingerie now...


  1. That´s amazing. I always wondered why it took mankind so long to come up with something rather simple like a bra.

  2. I can't believe that lingerie is around from that long ago Miss Meadows. Thanks for sharing us, this just goes to show that even then women had some style! :P

  3. Underpants were worn earlier than the 18th century- there are extant examples in Italy that dates to the late 16th century. :)

    It's an extremely interesting find and I hope there will be more and better information and photos. I have always believed that woman must have worn some kind of breast regardless. Having amples breasts I know from experience how downright painful it can be to go without support, especially at the monthly hormone peaks.

  4. Amazing pieces, so interesting to see. Love that they found them, I like to see how the styles changed and improved over the time it was created to now!! :)) xx

  5. How amazing! I always wondered why it seemed that bars had only started existing in late years...that made no sense to me.

    Loved this! :)


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