An illustration of three vintage corsets

While we modern ladies may complain that our underwear is uncomfortable, it’s nothing in comparison to the contraptions of yesteryear! Read to see what women in the past had to go through to look “good.”

The corset

Corsets were common by the middle of the sixteenth century, and were made using whalebone or even steel! The intention was to straighten the back, pull in the waist and make one’s bust look bigger.

The petticoat

Petticoats came into fashion around 1795, when they still had to be hand-stitched because . . . no sewing machines! It was common for these garments to be passed down through generations of women.

The bustle

If you were a woman circa 1860, you’d have soon been introduced to a brand-new look in unmentionables: the bustle. These large hoops were actually meant to emphasize the posterior!

The bra

And finally we come to the most quintessential item of modern undies: the bra. Actually, archaeologists believe that bras may date as far back as the 1400’s. However, they didn’t become popular until just last century, when a woman by the name of Mary Phelps Jacobs patented her design for them in 1914.