Evolution of The Bra: Here’s How Bra Fashion Has Changed Over The Time

Written by Janella Domingo Diaz, Modified October 22, 2018
Evolution of The Bra

By now, we are all aware that things change. Nothing is permanent in this world. Sometimes, the changes are bad. But there are times when the changes are quite good as in the case of bra fashion over time.

When you take a look at the bras that we have today, do you think that they have always looked like the ones we are wearing now? We doubt that! Just like everything in this world, bras have evolved too (a lot may I add!). Maybe you are quite intrigued with why were bras invented or the history of bras and that is what we are going to talk about in this article today.


1. Old School Bra


Old School Bra


Have you ever wondered what our female forebears wore during the ancient times? Well, some of them tend to go braless which many of us would consider to be a big blessing. Going braless may be comfortable, but it won’t give your boobs much support.

As a result, the old school bra came to the picture and guessed what they look like? Surprise, surprise—they are nothing but a band of cloth that is wrapped around the chest area. This piece of clothing is usually just tied or pinned around the back.



2. Corsets




The development of bra started during the 16th century. By then, the most common type of bra is the confining corset. During the earlier years, the corsets are stiff, and they help women achieve a great body shape and provide support to their boobs. The corsets, by then, still give you freedom of movement.

As years passed by, corsets became more and more restrictive up to the point that its primary function is to compress a woman’s midsection. At that time, many women wear this with the aim of achieving the sought after hourglass figure. To achieve that, the corset has to be tightly tied which causes not just discomfort but also other health issues (like muscle atrophy) to the wearer.

But even with these side effects or discomfort, women continue to wear it for a few decades more.



3. The Modern Bra


The Modern Bra


Finally, after almost three centuries, the modern bra came into the picture during the 19th century. It first started when Henry S. Lesher designed a metal bra-like contraption in 1859. It was followed by bra with the same design, but this time, it is made out of fabric, in 1874. In 1876, Olivia Flynt created a bust supporter that can accommodate insertions that can improve the bustline.

In 1885, Charles Moorehouse designed and created an inflatable bra using air-filled rubber cups.

While these bra styles have been patented, women are buying them simply because of the fact that some of these ideas are just ridiculous. It was Herminie Cadolle that started the modern bra design. Her design is like the corset in the sense that it covers the waist and the rear, but it is not as confining as the former. This is a two-piece garment.

Eventually, the top part (which is already bra-like) became more popular, so many establishments decided to sell it by itself.

After that, there have been many forerunners to this bra design, but it was the brassiere design of Mary Phelps Jacob who won the hearts of many women. But since this bra design does not offer much support during exercise, two joggers designed what they call the Jogbra which is made from jock strap and has become the first ever sports bra.

During the late 1960’s, Warner introduced the Invisible bra. In 1994, the Wonderbra appeared, and since then, bras have never been the same.

The evolution of the bra shows us that we should be thankful for the kind of bra that we have today. Sure, there is still nothing more liberating than taking off your bra at the end of the day but can you imagine if we live in the era when the only choice that we have is to wear corsets and the other restrictive bra styles that we have above? That would be a nightmare, right?

“Hope you find the post helpful and we excited to hear what you think of it!”

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