Here at Perfect4U we are confident we know lingerie and consider ourselves pretty well informed about the history of women’s underwear. But the world of lingerie is full of surprises and there’s always something new to learn. Given all our experience, we were still excited to learn some of these weird and wonderful facts.
Read on and enjoy, maybe one of these facts will come up at the next pub quiz.
His or hers? Strangely, in the original French language, the word ‘Lingerie’ means both men's and women’s underwear.
War and Lace. Lace became a popular material for lingerie in the war years. Women needed more comfortable and lightweight underclothes while they went out to work and manufacturers changed their designs and materials to accommodate.
How do you wear yours? 37% of women wear bikini panties, 23% wear full briefs, 19% prefer G-strings and 7% wear nothing.
Lace leading the way. The first functioning sewing machine was invented in 1830 and the first working embroidery machine was in 1929. But John Heathcoat invented the first lace making machine in 1809, 20 years earlier.
The Titanic vs. the lingerie designer. British pioneering fashion designer, Lady Duff Gordon actively encouraged women to ditch corsets in favour of comfortable lingerie. She also famously survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
Balenciaga and the Baby doll. In 1958, high fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga created a collection of dresses inspired by the simple Baby doll. Called the Baby Doll Dresses, they influenced the iconic women’s fashion silhouettes of the 1960s.
Global sizes. Considering breast sizes around the world, women in Norway and Luxembourg have the largest breast sizes while women in Bangladesh and Vietnam have the smallest.
Lucky knickers. Italian women often wear red lingerie on New Year’s Eve. The practice is believed to bring good luck for the coming year.
Mysterious origins. Historians agree that woven lace, commonly used to decorate lingerie, was first developed in the 15th century. However, the jury is still out on where the technique was invented. Flanders (in modern-day Belgium) and Italy both claim they developed it first.
Grunge and a good night’s sleep. The babydoll design, typically defined as a lightweight dress with an empire line and an above the knee hemline, first saw prominence as nightwear in the 1940s but saw a resurgence in the 90s as grunge-inspired outerwear.
Popular colours. Black lingerie and underwear remain the favourite followed closely by blue, purple and lilac. Green lingerie is popular with women with red or ginger hair.
Valentines Lingerie. Perhaps surprisingly, Black rather than red or pink is the number most requested lingerie colour in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.