A TIMELINE OF THE HISTORY OF UNDERWEAR
By Tim Lambert
c 100 AD
Roman men and women wear shorts called subligaculum. Women also wear a band of leather or cloth around their chest called a strophium or mamilare.
Men begin to wear linen shorts called braies. Women wear a nightie like garment called a shift or chemise under their dress. However women do not usually wear knickers.
Many women wear a frame of wire or whalebone called a farthingale under their dress. The cheaper version was called a bum roll. It was a padded roll worn around the waist. Wealthy women wear silk stockings.
19th Century Underwear
Women begin to wear knickers. At first they are called drawers because they are drawn on (in the same way we say 'draw the curtains').
Some women begin to wear colored drawers and petticoats although white is still popular.
In Britain drawers for women are now called knickers and men's underwear is called pants. Men also wear vests or sometimes combinations, pants and vest in one garment.
20th Century Underwear
Some women are so poor they have to make their knickers from sacks used to hold food like flour
Knickers and stockings are first made of rayon
The modern bra is invented by Mary Mary Phelps Jacob who uses two handkerchiefs joined by a ribbon
Knickers become shorter
Y fronts are invented in the USA
Y fronts go on sale in Britain
Nylon stockings are first made
Fashionable women wear briefs. However in Britain clothes are rationed from 1941-1949. During World War II women sometimes make their knickers from parachute silk.
Tights (pantyhose) are invented
The wonderbra is invented
The wonderbra is introduced to Britain
The thong is invented
Thongs become popular
A timeline of clothes
A history of underwear
A history of panties
A history of shoes
A history of hats