Some things don’t need to be shared and viewed by the whole world and my lingerie drawer is one of them! Lol! So for today, I thought it would be fun to learn about the history and origin of the names of underwear.
Women, actually, didn’t wear any type of undergarment on their lower half until about the 1800’s. Instead, they wore a long nightgown style garment called a shift/chemise.
Have you ever wondered why we say “a pair of underwear”? Underwear is essentially a garment constructed with two separate legs (a pair) joined at the waist.
The term “drawers” came about because underwear is drawn on and panties are the diminutive of pants. Knickers is the shortened form of the word, knickerbockers, which was the name for the loose fitting trousers that men wore for sport in the late 1800s and women adopted the name.
During the 1800s, below the knee drawers were worn called pantalettes and sometimes referred to as bloomers. Amelia Jenks Bloomer popularized them but they were invented by Elizabeth Smith Miller for women who enjoyed activities such as cycling and tennis. Coloured garments and embellishments like lace were fashioned during the mid to late 1800s.
The Chalmers Knitting Company, toward the end of the 1910s, separated the union suit creating a top piece: undershirt (or camisole) and a bottom piece: drawers.
Stockings were first made of rayon until 1935 when Wallace Carothers invented nylon. Nylon stockings were first sold in 1939. Pantyhose, however, was not invented until 1959 by Glen Raven Mills of North Carolina. The company began producing seamless pantyhose in 1965.
In 1913, a New York socialite named Mary Phelps Jacob created the first bra by tying two handkerchiefs together with ribbon in an effort to cover the whalebone sticking out of her corset, which was visible through her sheer dress. Others noticed and by 1914, Mary had a patent and her design was widely marketed and adopted.
The bikini, developed in the 1960s, owes its name to an island in the Pacific Ocean. The g-string and thong styles originated from South American swimsuits.
( Information taken from Wikipedia and “A Brief History of Women’s Underwear” by Tim Lambert)
No matter what you call your “drawers”, I think they’re best left to the imagination and not seen in public.