Bras are among the oldest and most complex garments in history. Some of the earliest forms of bras can be dated back to female athletes from 7th century BC and have since been evolving to the stylish and trendy bras of our day.
Known as a brassiere since the early 1900's, modern-day bras have revolutionised the world in many cultures as well as the fashion world as we know it. Prior to the boom and popularity of the bra that millions of women wear every day, the corset and girdle were undergarments of choice, especially for the wealthier women in society. While they gave the female figure a shapely look, they were terribly uncomfortable for long-term use, which is why bras are now preferred by most women.
In 1914 the very first backless bras were created, which were a very simple design made with handkerchiefs and ribbon that ran from the brassiere, then tied around the shoulders for a clean yet supported look. Today, you can find a variety of backless bras that fit and stay concealed under any outfit of choice.
Though centuries earlier, female athletes had early forms of bras, it wasn't until the late 1970's where the first jogger's bra was created by two runners Hinda Miller and Lisa Lindahl. The prototype bras were made by stitching two jockstraps together.
Continuing with the late 1970's, it was also a time of tension and anger when the women's movements chose to burn bras in protest due to the fact that bras were considered more like objects of oppression than liberation.
Though in the past, bras were always considered garments of support that should be hidden under clothing, the modern varieties are now free to be used as anyone sees fit. Bras are more of a fashion trend with the number of styles and looks that are available, especially from top designers like Jean Paul Gaulthier, who is famed for creating Madonna's famous conical bra from early 1990's.
Bras now have an endless selection of fabrics, colours and design that are created for comfort, practicality, or just plain fun. They have certainly come a long way from the plain cotton brassieres, especially since you can now choose from other fabrics like silk, satin, mesh, lace, denim and soft nylon elasthane.
From comfortable support bras to sexy lingerie that truly celebrate a woman's body, bras are by far the most creative and revolutionary garments in history.