(It’s a bit complicated (and I’m very tired, so probably not explaining nor writing in the best possible way), but I’m posting this because I thought I already had posted it and I mentioned to a lovely lady from my corsetry class that she could find links on my blog. Not sure why I hadn’t already posted about this because it is quite fascinating and intriguing and exciting and all kinds of good things!)
So, popular belief has it that boobs weren’t treated as separate entities and hoisted up in bras (as opposed to smooshed up in corsets) until the 20th century. At the earliest, you could suggest that some Regency undergarments were close-ish to modern bras. But discoveries in an Austrian castle that were only publicised earlier this year seem to refute all we believed. Check out what they found:
There are plenty of articles on these amazing finds – fabric that have survived some 600 years and have the potential to re-write our understanding of undergarments – so I’ll let the experts fill you in better than I can (though, worth noting that they found pants
and knickers [Edit – I did originally write ‘knickers’ here, too, but when I re-read one of the articles I found that actually the bikini-like briefs are believed to have been men’s pants. Apologies, no knickers to see here. Move on!] too – bonkers!):
This one shows the knickers, which look suspiciously like tie-up-bikini bottoms – I think we need to re-think who invented the bikini!
More details later emerged in this article, which I found via the good Comtesse (who is definitely worth following if you like to be kept – ahem – abreast of history news (sorry to manage an oxymoron and pun in the same sentence – I’m sure that’s word-play overkill, but please let me off, I’m so tired!).
Hope you enjoyed this instalment of ‘Sleepy Writer talks Medieval Underwear’!