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A brief history of underwear

Let's take a trip back in time to see how lingerie has changed over the decades.

Underwear was originally designed to serve several purposes – changing a woman’s shape, preserving her modesty and for hygiene reasons.

Women have worn rib-crushing corsets, bandaged their chests to get an androgynous silhouette and burned their bras as a statement of liberation – put mildly, underwear matters.

From bloomers to thongs, pointy brassieres to push-up bras, the history of lingerie reveals a lot about women’s changing role in society – how we perceive ourselves and how we’re viewed by others.

It’s fascinating to see how lingerie has changed over the last hundred years, but even more intriguing to note what’s stayed the same – a bra from the noughties bears an uncanny resemblance to one from 1930, while an image of Isabel Black in 1967 could have been shot today.

Click on the images below to launch our gallery of underwear through the ages.

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