Bras have been around as long as clothing have, so what you may have thought that it was just discovered around 50 to 60 years ago is incorrect. Over the years, the use of the bra has hardly changed; it represents support for a woman's breasts. The first evidence of bras date back as far back as 14th century B.C. Greece—but hardly the bras you recognize today.
Female athletes from the island of Crete once used bras as they contended in a wide array of competitions. The trend quickly followed with the ancient Chinese, particularly the Ming Dynasty, where their variation, referred to as the dudou, seemed like a small apron. Slowly but surely, the bra was on its way to emerging as a style beyond its original use as sportswear. This change began in the 16th century A.D. onwards.
However, the bras during the time were not yet the bras you see today, but rather another type of underwear called the corset. While the corset was also designed to support the breasts, its upper body shape meant it was worn around the body instead of covering just the breasts. As with fashion at the time, these underwears were used by the rich.
It had not been till the 20th century that the fashion world knew the word "brassiere," and also its standard appearance. The inventor of the bra is still debated, however, a number of people are recognized with developing the push up bra, underwire bra, or lace bra you see today. There were then many variants of the bra that patents were being granted everywhere.
In spite of other people's opinion regarding the demise of the bra, the great number of ladies wearing them tends to show the opposite. Estimates differ but range between 75 and 95 % of women in the West still wear them. There might be women who like not to use lace bras or any kind of bra, but the majority speaks for itself—bra utility and fashion are still alive. Both use and style are expected to go through comparable changes and advancements in the years to come.
If you want to know more about the history of the bra, you can read more at Fashion-Era. com. For a peek at various kinds of bras such as an underwire bra, you can check out your closest outlet store or store online.
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