In the lead up to the next Costume Society #CSFashionHour Twitter discussion which I will be hosting, on the topic of underwear, I have decided to base my September ‘Lust List’ around innovative underwear of the past.
1) Kestos bra
One of the first commercial bras to be developed with two separate cups, Kestos was created by London-based Rosamond L Kennedy (later named Rosamond Klin) who patented the design in 1928. A lightweight bra of extremely simple construction, it was popular in the UK and the US remaining in production in Britain until the early 1950s.
First developed in 1934 by Cooper’s Inc, Jockey briefs offered men the support of a jock strap but with comfort. In 1935, the Y-shaped fly was developed to avoid the problem of having to lift the leg opening in order to urinate. This style of underwear quickly became so popular that many other manufacturers produced their own versions and Y-front became a generic term.
In 1963 the push-up plunge ‘Dream Lift’ style was introduced by Canadian lingerie manufacturer Canadelle under their Wonderbra brand name, with the licence to produce it in the UK sold to Gossard the following year. This style remained on sale, relatively unchanged, until the 1990s. The story behind those “Hello Boys” billboard adverts warrants another blog post entirely!
4) Roll-on girdle
The launch development of Lycra by Du Pont in 1958 was exactly what underwear had been crying out for. By the 1960s, young women didn’t have to wear the hook sided or zip fastening girdles that their mothers wore – they could wear a super stretchy girdle that could simply be pulled or rolled on. By the end of the 60s, stockings were less popular due to rising skirt lengths and Lycra panty girdles became fashionable.
5) Seamfree bras
Developed in the 1970s when moulding technology helped manufacturers to produce a bra cup made out of only one piece of fabric, soft seamfree bras became the perfect way to achieve the no-bra look with a bit of support. Their popularity continued into the 80s and 90s but, unlike most 21st century seamfree bras, they had no foam padding.
The Costume Society #CSFashionHour is a monthly Twitter discussion that takes place on the first Friday of every month, covering different subjects from the world of costume, fashion and dress. The chat is open to all: just follow @costume_society on Twitter and use the hashtag #CSFashionHour to join in!