Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Well before Christ, on the island of Crete, women were very bold. Their idea of lingerie was a boned bodice corset, designed not for support, but to tease men, by pushing their breasts up and out, literally exposing them in their entire splendour. Although they achieved the “sexy” part, the “lingerie” part was nothing like what we think of as lingerie today.

Throughout time, as each vision of the woman's silhouette emerged, clothing was created to fit and accentuate this shape. There were two main elements in a silhouette, the bust and the butt. Some societies wanted the bust to be prominent, while some felt that the butt should be the “point of interest”.

Greek women were corseted. Under the Greek Chiton a leather band style corset was worn and this gave definition to the hips and bust. From birth, girls were swaddled. For six months their arms and legs were bound in swaddling cloths restricting their movement and keeping limbs straight. Adolescent Greek girls were forced to keep trim. Their Greek mothers used woollen bands to keep the developing body slim.

In the Middle Ages it was felt that the silhouette should be restrained, especially the breasts, which they thought should be firm and small. In those days, women wore many styles of corsets over their dresses, all with the similar purpose of flattening their breasts. An iron hinged armour like corset was worn to flatten the body giving a smooth outline beneath gowns. The iron corset must have been exceptionally uncomfortable and heavy to wear and could only have been worn by Elizabethan ladies not doing any form of heavy work. Their only benefit seems to be that they produced the incredibly small waisted, elongated flat chested smooth line torso. This was illustrated in paintings of great Elizabethan ladies wearing fabulous structured bejewelled gowns. And in case some men didn’t notice this flattering flattening, some women actually attached small bells around their neckline – the jingling bringing attention to the jiggling.

So many women think that lingerie, or going out of their way to enhance themselves is rather bazaar, but, as you can tell from the preceding, it has been going on since nearly the beginning of women. It is not sexist or exploitation, it is just a fact of nature that a woman would want to look as attractive as feasible for her man...

Yes, there are lingerie items which are beyond necessity, but, that is an individual taste. Soft and sexy lingerie is to enhance, to dress up the already wonderful woman wearing it. It is a choice we make to keep the world knowing that women are here with a strong and beautiful presence and that our partner might see, understand, and, accept that what he has at home is just as sexy as it gets....

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