(Hello again, lovely listeners and readers! I’ve mentioned before that Dave makes very useful notes for the episodes that he takes point on, I tend to hand-write mine, which just means I end up typing them up at a later date anyway. So enjoy this bullet pointed outline of our somewhat more scandalous episodes!)
The History of Underwear
-In Ancient times, women would wear tight bands and cloths. This later developed into chemises, a loose, longer undergarment.
-By 16th century corsets appear. 1700’s French court ritual toilette dressing/undressing in front of public with corsets straight corsets.
– In 1850, the hourglass figure was desirable, while 1860’s featured more hoop skirts, and in the 1890’s bloomers came into fashion. Oddly, some corsets featured battery power to supposedly strengthen organs, as well as support the chest and a weak back. As a side note, there are a variety of coresets still around that emphasize cleavage and slim the waist line.
-1900’s Brassier replaces corset, and in 1910 bra is invented (using handkerchiefs) by Mary Phelps Jacobs. In 1910 closed crotch drawers eliminated difference between men and women’s underwear. 1920’s slips matched the boyish looks in fashion, less cloth. Some would wear stockings for modesty, it was scandalous to show knees in those days.
-1930’s open crotch drawers back for more sexual desirability to distinguish knickers form men. More feminine less restrictive and frilly. Finally, in 1933 fuller support bra created
– The war took some focus away from undergarment fashion, and in the 1940s women painted lines to appear as if wearing stockings. Corsets were given pockets for servicewomen so that they would be more functional.
-In the 1950’s Lingerie goes back to glam with bullet bras and pinup lingerie becoming widely available and popular. And the strange bra bag, which was inflatable with a straw, came into existence.
-1960’s, they went with no underwear or very shear, and there was a movement to embrace the feminine body, very playful, girlish, and frilly.
-The 1970’s went back to streamline sleeker silk lace, control panties allowed to slim stomach, and this was also the era of first sports bra.
-1980’s brought bolder colors, more sultry sexual provocative thongs, and bodysuits.
-Surprisingly, the first Victoria’s Secret Fashion show was in 1995.
-In 2005, Virginia State House tried to ban provocative displays of below the waist undergarments.
-The 2000’s brought sexy back with old fashion lingerie stockings, corsets, and suspenders while the 2010’s brought athleisure undergarments into fashion.
-Today, underwear trends seek to diversity and promote body positivity!!
Wedding Anniversary Episode
-The tradition of giving a gift on the anniversary of one’s wedding can be traced back to ancient Rome and medieval Germany. And by the 18th century, there is proof in Germany of anniversary gifts such as a silver or gold wreath.
– In the late 19th century, Victorians popularize this in England when exchanging gifts became more of a sense of commitment to stabilize love and relationships.
-It became more so important for the wife to receive gifts for her effort, as it was believed that men didn’t need to work to keep a marriage.
-Eventually, shopkeepers looked for ways to parallel celebrations with earlier anniversaries, and made a true business out of it.
-The 1859 Old Farmers Almanac provides a list of the suggested gifts for the more major anniversaries: one month from marriage makes a sugar wedding; one year makes a paper wedding” then wood at five, tin for ten, silver for 25, golden at 50, and diamond at 75. Other sources describe a “copper wedding” at twelve and a half years.
-By 20th century the sentimentality of marriage brought greeting cards and jewelers onto the scene. In 1910, The Standard Home Reference Library provided a longer list with yearly gifts for the first five years (paper, straw, candy, leather, wood) as well as special presents for years seven (floral), ten (tin), 12 (linen), 15 (crystal) and 20 (china). Gifts of pearl, coral, emerald and ruby filled in the roster for years 30 to 45. The diamond anniversary was acceptable either at 60 or 75 years.
-1937 jewelers association tried to standardize list, to further business, but to date various lists exist, with items such as groceries on them.
Dave and I are both very forward thinking individuals, as you can probably tell, and these were fun topics to discuss! While neither of us care much about lingerie, it is interesting to look back at the history, and how it ties in with the progress of women’s rights. With regards to wedding gifts, neither of us is married, so we can’t really provide much experience, but who doesn’t love a gift! Personally, I wouldn’t mind if someone took care of the groceries, or did something more useful than bought something shiny. Where I currently am in life, I much prefer experiences to material things.
Hopefully you had as much fun as I did revisiting these episodes. Keep an eye out for a few more catch-up blog posts heading your way!!