History of Women's Underwear
A woman's undergarments often say more about her and the times than the clothes she shows to the world. Whether cinching, shaping or stuffing her curves into the latest fashions, unmentionables are a critical component of good and proper dressing.
Question 1 of 10
What was a farthingale?
... Popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, the farthingale was a graduated petticoat that used a framework of stiff materials like whale bone and wood to hold its shape.
Question 2 of 10
What were crinoline petticoats first made from?
... The crinoline, a stiff petticoat frame popular in the mid-19th century, was first fashioned from horsehair and linen.
Question 3 of 10
What daring undergarment was ridiculed in the press in the 1850s as unfeminine?
... Bloomers were the controversial garments that made it easier for active women to participate in more physical pursuits.
Question 4 of 10
Who's responsible for devising and patenting the first modern brassiere?
... That honor goes to Mary Phelps Jacob, who patented her brassiere design in 1914.
Question 5 of 10
What farthingale accessory helped to shape the top gathers and pleats around the waist of a woman's skirt?
... A bum roll helped to keep heavy skirts looking lofty and even.
Question 6 of 10
What restrictive article of clothing did the garter belt help liberate women from wearing?
... That would be the utilitarian girdle, which typically had a set of garters onboard to hook silk stockings to.
Question 7 of 10
When were pantyhose first invented?
... In 1959, Glen Raven Mills introduced a one-piece panty and stocking combo to the market. The rest is underwear history.
Question 8 of 10
In what country did the thong first gain popularity as a bathing suit style?
... The honor goes to Brazil. After its wide acceptance as an attractive swimwear option in the 1980s, thong styling became popular in panties, too.
Question 9 of 10
What type of undergarment did Elizabethan women wear to achieve a tiny waist, flat chest and elongated torso?
... The iron corset was the torture device of choice for cultured Elizabethan maidens. It achieved a boyish look at the cost of comfort.
Question 10 of 10
Who was responsible for making bloomers popular?
... Amelia Bloomer popularized the versatile undergarment that carries her name.