Archaeologists from the University of Innsbruck have discovered four linen bras dating back to the Middle Ages in an Austrian castle.
While the discovery of a load of old underwear may not sound that interesting (after all there’s probably a ton of it lurking in the back of drawers up and down the country), these unassuming lingerie sets are actually about to change everything we know about fashion history.
ABOVE: One of the 600-year-old bras found in Austria
It’s commonly thought that the bra was invented about 100 years ago as women abandoned the ultra-restrictive corset. However the discovery of these 600 year-old linen garments indicate that the bra actually came first, followed by the corset, then followed by the re-invented bra that we recognise today.
“These are amazing finds,” Hilary Davidson, fashion curator of the London Museum, told The Sydney Morning Herald. She also said that one piece in particular “looks exactly like a [modern] brassiere”, while others feature intricate lace embroidery and ornamentation, indicating that the bras were not just functional pieces of underwear but decorated to please suitors. Hello boys, erm, from the Middle Ages?!
Images: The Sydney Morning Herald/AP and Rex