Lingerie frees women from restrictive corsets

Friday, 12 February 2016
Lingerie frees women from restrictive corsets

Back in the 70s, one gentleman, who wanted to drool and appreciate his wife’s beauty sans clothes attempted to buy lingerie for her in what in America is called a Departmental Store.

The loving and doting husband was not pleased with what he founds he was embarrassed after he was faced with racks of what he termed as terry cloth robes and ugly print nylon nightgowns.

He also felt that as a man he was not welcome by the sales woman, who looked at him as an unwelcome intruder. The event would later give birth to one of the leading and most sought after brands in women’s lingerie. Although in the beginning, the idea was for the brand to cater for men who wished to buy something special for their loved ones, the brand would later target women as its exclusive clients.

The man in question is none other than Roy Raymond, the founder of the Victoria Secret brand (which today is the largest lingerie retailer in North America) with his wife Gaye. The brilliant concepts of Raymond who is said to have taken eight years to study current trends of the time before eventually embarking on his journey is one of the many creators who have given birth to a self conscious modern woman who knows what she wants when it comes to what her lingerie should look and feel like.

Wikipedia describes lingerie as women’s undergarments, and may imply their being fashionable and alluring. “Lingerie undergarments use flexible, stretchy, sheer, or decorative materials like Lycra, nylon (nylon tricot), polyester, satin, lace, silk and sheer fabric. Certain cotton or synthetic undergarments are also lingerie,” says Wikipedia.

Wikipedia explains that the concept of lingerie as a visually appealing undergarment can be traced to the nineteenth century, and credits Lady Duff-Gordon of Lucile as the pioneer who developed lingerie that freed women from restrictive corsets.
Today, gone are the days when women are restricted to wearing the ugly full panty underwear that comes in packs of three and that always leaves that unwanted panty line, or the tanga that was once a hit with women.

Today’s women can thank the clever ideas of inventors such as the likes of Raymond and brands such as Frederick’s of Hollywood (who are tipped as the inventors of a push up bra in 1947). Self-conscious about how she looks and her overall presentation, the modern woman takes her time to prep herself and ensure that when she leaves her house she is dressed to the nines. Any woman who is classy and knows that her image is everything will tell you her image starts with the most essential piece of clothing in her drawers being her lingerie.

Forget the fact that there are still some who feel that lingerie is just that piece of clothing that is only seen by those who are special. Watch the annual Victoria Secret Fashion show which in the past has roped in Supermodels such as Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum who have brilliantly sold the brands Angels line and you will get to appreciate that there is a lot more to women’s lingerie. Every year, there is something new for those who wish to leave their bedroom feeling like they own the world.

We posted a snap on social media in order to find out what women look for when it comes to buying that special item, their price range and leading brands that they prefer. At the top of the list for the women who responded, are comfort, style and elegance. Others also love unique underwear.  “I hate having to take off my clothes in front of a friend/friends only to realise that there is a tear,” says one woman who is very clear about how she wants to look.

“Every woman loves to wear what makes her sexy and comfortable,” explains another woman. Price wise the women all agree that it all boils down to affordability with the priciest being a g-string worth R700.  And their preferred brands are Victoria Secret and La Senza. As for those who have a bright future, Woolworths is where they mostly find items that can cater for their bodies.

Did you know?
The word lingerie derives from the French word linge, meaning ‘linen’. So faire le linge, comes to mean “do the laundry”. In French the word lingerie applies to all undergarments for either sex. In English it means women’s underwear or nightclothes.[1] Lingerie as a word was first used to refer to underwear and bras in 1922. (Source:

Ancient Greek women wore a form of bra called an apodesme.  After the fall of Rome women did not usually wear panties until the 19th century. From the end of the 16th century women wore skirt like garments called petticoats, which were sometimes embroidered. (Source:

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