The Evolution of the Bra

How much did you know about your bra? Let's take a stroll and see how our "bra" was born.

14th Century: The First Bandeau

During the ancient Egypt era women went bare-breasted under long, flowing tunics. Then around the 1300s wall paintings depicting a bandeau like top was seen on female Minoan athletes.

16th Century: Age of the Corset

The corset becomes the norm for women of aristocracy. Women in France embraced it to achieve the perfect female figure - slim waist, breast upwards and out.

1869: The Corset is Split

In France, Herminie Cadolle cuts a corset into two separate undergarments. The top piece supporting the breast, known as the corset gorge, would later become soutane-gorge (aka bra in French).

1907: The "Brassiere"

Vogue uses the word for the first time and added in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1911.

1910: The Modern Bra

Mary Phelps Jacobs invents the first modern bra. The 19th year old New York socialite improvised the new kind of undergarment with a pair of silk handkerchiefs and pink silk ribbons after noticing that her whalebone corset looked chunky under the her sheer evening gown.

1920s: The Flat Look

In the Roaring Twenties, small-chest and slender body took over the scene. The corsets were almost completely ditched and women opted for tight bandeau tops to give them boyish shape.

1932: The Birth of Cup Sizes

During the 1930s, brassiere is shorten to "bra" and S.H. camp & Company assigns the size of women's breast to cups sizes, A through D.

1940s: Torpedo Style

Due to World War II, women at work in factories need protection and support. The answer? Bras. Military terminology creeps into fashion and styles like the bullet, or torpedo bra, become popular.

1950s: Sweater Girl

This look was popularized by Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner. Women were encouraged to adopt bullet bras that gives off the appearance of a bigger cup size.

1964: The Pushup Bra

Louise Poirier creates the pushup Wonderbra for Canadian lingerie company, Canadadelle.

1967: Mrs. Robinson's Bra

In the film, "Graduate" Anne Bancroft's role as "Mrs. Robinson" blows minds with her black lace bra.

1977: First Sports Bra

Fitness and exercising became a popular lifestyle. Lisa Lindahl, Polly Smith and Hinda Mille invent the first sports bra, the "Jogbra" for support.

1977: Hello Victoria Secret

Quickly after the first sports bra debut, the first Victoria's Secret opened in Palo Alto, California. Founder Roy Raymond came up with this women's lingerie shop concept because he felt uncomfortable shopping for his wife in department stores.

1990: The Cone Bra

During Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour, she shows off her now iconic Jean-Paul Gaultier cone bra.

2000: The Bejeweled Bra

During the 2000 Victoria's Secret fashion show, Gisele Bündchen was seen wearing a ruby and diamond-encrusted bra and underwear set valued at $15 million. The most expensive lingerie to date.

2015: Today

The 2000s brought us many new size and variations such as strapless, one-strap, crisscross and we even have cups made from memory foam that conforms to the shape of your chest.

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