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The History of Women’s Underwear (And Why the Future is COMFY)

The History of Women’s Underwear (And Why the Future is COMFY)

Let's talk about our undies! Or rather, let’s talk about the undies of generations past…because it’s been a LONG and winding road to get to Woxer-level comfort. From simple tunics to corsets tight enough to make breathing a challenge, women's underwear has come a long way. So sit back, grab a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, no judgment here), and let's take a trip down memory lane to see how our undergarments have evolved.

Women’s Underwear Right

The Ancient Greeks and Romans Got Women’s Underwear Right 

Let’s start in ancient Greece and Rome, when women wore simple, flowy tunics that served as both underwear and outerwear. These tunics were made from lightweight materials like linen and silk, and were often decorated with beautiful embroidery. While they may not have been the sexiest lingerie, they were definitely the most breathable women’s underwear.

Then Medieval Europe Decided to “Upgrade” Women’s Underwear with a Touch of Suffocation 

Fast forward to medieval Europe and the introduction of the corset. No longer was it enough to simply cover up, women's underwear now had a new goal—to shape the body (ew). Corsets were made from stiff materials like leather and whalebone and were tied so tightly around the waist that women could hardly move, let alone breathe. But hey, fashion never comes without a little discomfort, right? Well, at least until the invention of Woxer ;).

Renaissance Europe

Renaissance Europe Made Women’s Underwear a Tad More Comfy

Renaissance Europe brought the chemise, a sleeveless undergarment worn next to the skin. Made from delicate fabrics like silk and lace, the chemise was a foundation garment that helped smooth and shape the body under clothing. It was a step in the right direction, as women finally had an undergarment that wasn't made from tough materials and wasn't tied so tightly that it felt like a medieval torture device.

The 19th Century Was a Game-Changer for Women's Underwear 

The 19th century was a game-changer for women's underwear with the advent of the sewing machine. This allowed for mass-production of garments, including lingerie, and made women's underwear more accessible to the masses. The corset became even more popular with the introduction of the hourglass figure, which required an even more rigid and structured corset. It was around this time that elastic materials and lighter fabrics were introduced, making women's lingerie a little more comfortable, but not exactly a walk in the park.

The 19th Century Was

In the 20th Century, Women’s Underwear Evolved 

The early 20th century saw a shift in women's fashion with the flapper style, which emphasized a more relaxed, natural silhouette. Women's underwear became less structured and more practical, with the introduction of the brassiere, which provided support without restricting movement. The brassiere (yep, that means “bra”) was a simple, soft garment made from lightweight materials like cotton or silk, and was designed to support and shape the bust. It was a breath of fresh air for women who were tired of being tied up in corsets.

By the 1950s, Women’s Underwear Was Made of Synthetic Materials

The 1950s and 1960s saw the introduction of synthetic materials and new designs in women's lingerie. Bras became more functional and fashionable with the introduction of underwire, padded cups, and adjustable straps. Girdles, slips, and stockings were also introduced, taking women's underwear to a new level of fun.

In the 1970s, the First Seamless Panties Were Invented 

The 1970s and 1980s brought a revolution in women's fashion, with the introduction of new, more comfortable underwear designs. The corset was finally replaced by the girdle, a soft, elastic garment that provided support and control without restricting movement. Seamless bras and panties were also introduced, providing a smooth, streamlined silhouette. Women were finally free to move around.

In the 1970s, the First Seamless Panties Were Invented

In the 1990s, Women’s Underwear Was All About the Male Gaze 

Enter the 1990s to early 2000s, and women’s underwear took a nosedive in comfort. The rise of iconic lingerie brands like Victoria’s Secret took center stage, and thongs became the status quo. Although comfy bras still existed, underwires, push-ups, and padded bras were more commonplace. In short, it was time for a change!

1990s, Women’s Underwear

Fast-Forward to Today, and the Women’s Underwear Revolution Has Begun

Today, women’s underwear is finally embracing the idea that being YOURSELF and being COMFORTABLE are the most important things. Suffering through the day in a thong isn’t as sexy as wearing a buttery soft, form-hugging pair of women’s boxer briefs to the ladies of today. Want to join the revolution? Empty your thong drawer, and give your butt the Woxer hug it deserves. 

Women’s Underwear Revolution Has Begun
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- June 15, 2023

Thank you, Woxer for the wonderful history lesson. It is interesting to learn how intimate apparel has evolved through the decades.
It will be fun to see what the next latest trends will bring or if there will be a revival of any of the past styles.

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