Last year’s Lust List evolved from lingerie that I spotted and loved (even if there was no way I could afford or fit into it), into a more inclusive monthly list of interesting underwear, swimwear or nightwear that I had discovered. I was going to start this year with a list of interesting sale items, but I decided to do something completely different and give you a list of my favourite underwear-related books. Being a fashion scholar, these are more academic than most of the underwear books you can find, so I might run a list of more accessible reads/coffee table books later in the year.
1) ‘Uplift: The Bra in America’ by Jane Farrell-Beck & Colleen Gau
Having done my Master’s dissertation research on the bra in the twentieth century, this was inevitably going to be top of my list. Crammed full of facts about the development of the bra up to 1970, this book is a must have for complete and utter lingerie addicts.
2) ‘An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality’ by Jill Fields
This book covers more than just the bra, exploring other garments plus the meaning of black lingerie, glamour and also taking a look at the advertising of intimate apparel. It’s a fascinating read but still only scratches the surface in some respects.
3) The Story of Men’s Underwear, by Shaun Cole
If you’re interested in briefs, boxers, trunks and Y-fronts, then this is the book for you. If you can’t find it in a library (I am rather spoiled by having access to the LCF Library!), you can buy it boxed together with its sister title.
4) ‘Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette’ edited by Denis Bruna
Originally created to accompany an exhibition on the history of underwear at Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and now available in English, this book is the best for those who want to find out more about underwear from the 14th century onwards.
5) ‘Underwear: Fashion in Detail’ by Eleri Lynn
If you like history but also like photographs, this is the book for you! Featuring detailed photographs and technical flat drawings of an assortment of interesting undergarments from the V&A archives, this book is both educational and delightful to look at.