Playful Promises Blog

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The Origin of Lingerie

From the beautiful Etti sets, to the saucy Morgana collection. Playful Promises autumn/winter lingerie is the epitome of modern lingerie, but just how did the wonderful world of lingerie come about?


There is no exact date as to when the fashion of wearing lingerie came about, but the first sources of evidence point towards Ancient Egypt, almost 3000 years BC. For such a hot country clothing was not a necessity or a commodity.


Items of clothing were status symbols, something only the wealthy members of society would wear. Very often people would be happy to be naked or to wear a loin cloth and no more. Terra-cotta pots illustrate the fashions of the period giving us an insight into lingerie and more.



The first example of undergarments was worn by Egyptian women, of high-ranks. This would have been a long tunic woven from fine cottons and linens. The tunic would have started around the chest and flowed down to the ankles. It would have been tied around the body and shoulders using straps and was even sometimes used to mould the waist creating hour-glass figures.


From the dawn of lingerie, garments were worn to suppress or accentuate curves, the modern day bra was established as far back as 3000BC. When Egyptians were wearing tunics, Babylonian women were wearing what could be described as briefs and bras.  Most likely derived from the loin cloth and from suppressing women's breasts by wrapping cloth around the chest, this is the earliest evidence of lingerie.


And Cretan women were wearing hip corsets pushing their breasts upwards and outwards around 3000BC. This is surprising to know that the corset was in fact first worn on women, as many people believe men were first to wear the corset, and over 5000 years ago making this a very old fashion trend.


From these early depictions of wearing lingerie there was not much progression in what women wore. The 1500's saw the popularity in the corset increase, and from this period it became an integral piece of lingerie in everyday attire.


Today we still enjoy wearing corsets, some women still use corsets to shape their figure, but mostly corsets are a fun piece of outwear for a little boudoir fun. Playful Promises make their corsets and waspies from steel boning ensuring a rigid and tight shape is sculpted for maximum ooh-la-la.


Various bodices, bras and briefs were fashioned to wear underneath the corset, helping push-up busts, mould waist-lines and more.



The real revolution in lingerie happened around the 1920's where women decided to liberate themselves from the repressive corsets opting for girdles or less. This is where the lingerie revolution becomes interesting and where Playful Promises can base their inspiration and continue to create beautiful lines of underwear shaping figures and lifestyles.