The History of the Bra Essay

873 Words4 Pages
For the last 4,505 years, women have tried to enhance their figures by squeezing themselves into restricting, and uncomfortable garments. Waists have been reduced and bust lines have been increased, decreased, flattened, lifted or spread out, depending on what was fashionable at the time. The modern brassiere and its predecessors have not only been known for their functionality, but have also been linked with statements of fashion and politics.

The concept of covering or restraining the breasts dates back to 2500 BC when Minoan women from the island of Crete wore garments which lifted the bare breasts out of their clothing. This eventually evolved into a binding that was worn by Greek women while they exercised. However, such garments
…show more content…
She used two silk handkerchiefs and a pink ribbon to create a light weight and soft garment which separated the breasts naturally. The undergarment complimented the fashions of the time, and orders for her design poured in from friends and family. However, Jacobs found that running a business was not enjoyable so she sold her patent to the Warner Brothers Corset Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut for $1,500.00. (Over the next 30 years, Warner made more than $15,000,000.00 off of Jacobs's patent.)

As the 1900's progressed, women were presented with new inventions which slowly took the place of traditional corsets. With the start of World War I, women began to enter the work-force and many of these women worked as laborers in factories, making daily corset wear a problem. In 1917 the U.S. War Industries board even requested that women stop buying corsets to reduce consumption of metal. Some sources say that up to 28,000 tons of metal was conserved through this effort.

As the 1920's rolled around, popular dress changed and the "boyish figure" trend began to emerge in women's fashions. The style downplayed a woman's natural curves as large breasts were considered a detriment to social standings. Well endowed women tried breast binding, and from this the bandeaux bra was created. The bandeaux bra was

More about The History of the Bra Essay

Get Access