The recent discovery of 500-year-old lace lingerie is set to rewrite fashion history and change the perception that underwear only made its entrance in the 18th-century. Uncovered in a vault buried beneath an Austrian castle dating back to the 15th-century, the lingerie was amongst many interesting pieces of 15th-century clothing.
Historians are flabbergasted that lingerie sets were being designed and manufactured as far back as 500 years. Fashion followers believed that women wore nothing under their smocks and it was a set standard. Men wore shorts that are not that dissimilar to the ones worn by men these days. Now it has become clear that the ladies were well aware of their modesty. Far from current assumptions, they designed lace lingerie that was basically the splitting image of their contemporary counterparts.
Surprisingly to even the modern women, it is believed that bras did not make an appearance until 100 years ago, but that has all been blown out of the water with this lacy lingerie discovery. The lingerie bra piece has straps and fitted cups that appear well-fitted. The string bikini bottom could very easily pass for today’s bikini briefs. The design is absolutely no different from modern skimpy costumes.
Even though one may think the briefs are not racy, they are by no stretch of the imagination pretty racy when one thinks of the conservative nature of the 15th-century fashion and what we considered to be their replacement for undergarments with lace string bikinis.
Considering the small item and the rather fragile material from which it is made, there is much surprise amongst historians that the lingerie has lasted as long as it did.
Women perceive underwear as a means of self-expression and it seems that is was no different in the earlier centuries. Today, lace is considered a romantic piece of clothing and when turned into lingerie it’s a way of women making statements. Lace lingerie is often worn as confidence boosters by the ladies, but we do not know the reasons behind lace lingerie in history. What is extremely interesting to note is just how similarly historical and contemporary underwear designers thought.
Underwear of today is a consummate art that has seen many celebrities and coveted designers take on, time and again. With so many lingerie lines out today we are spoiled for choice, unlike our historical counterparts. Either way, one thing is for certain; lace lingerie has been around longer than any historical trend, and it has hardly changed.
Vida Denning is a freelance writer who was researching mens trench coats when she came across this very interesting topic.