History of the Bra

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Submitted By saverre
Words 2155
Pages 9
History of the Bra
Shanna Averre
ENG 215
Professor G’Fellers
Spring 2010


When discussing fashion women often talk about the amazing dress they picked up or the sexy peep toe heels that they just couldn’t bare to pass by, however, very often does one think of the bra and its impact on fashion history. A necessary evil in most women’s lives the “over the shoulder boulder holder” has been around since ancient times in some form or another. Before the invention of the brassiere women were suffocating in corsets that resulted in crushed rib cages and damaged reproductive organs. But in 1914, Mary Phelps Jacob changed all that by stitching together the very first bra. The rest, they say, is history.

History of the Bra Each and every day millions of women wake up and reach into their dresser drawer to choose the bra she will wear for the day. Sometimes careful thought is put into which one to choose based off color, texture, or function and sometimes no thought is put into it at all as she wears whatever she grabs first. “We put a bra on every morning without thinking about it,” Cherry Berry, author of Hoorah for the Bra, said. “It’s so much more than an undergarment. It’s so rich in history (Randle, 2009).” The bra has a long history that is intertwined with women’s social status, fashion evolution and the ever-changing views of the body. The bra is often looked at as an object of seduction, glamour or oppression, however, its development throughout history serves as a social and material artifact (Farrell-Beck, 2002). Garments used to separate and restrain breasts go back as far as the seventh century BCE in the Minoan era. Mosaics from a late Roman villa of the 4th century were discovered in 1959-60 that depicted maidens exercising in briefs and bandeau-like garments (Wikipedia -Villa, 2010). The idea was to both conceal and protect…...

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