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Lingerie ( UK: /, -,- / , US: /, / ; French: [lɛ̃ʒ.ʁi] ) is a category of primarily women's clothing including undergarments (mainly brassieres), sleepwear, and lightweight robes. The specific choice of the word is often motivated by an intention to imply that the garments are alluring, fashionable or both.[ citation needed ] In a 2015 US survey 75% of women and 26% of men reported having worn sexy lingerie in their lifetime.
Lingerie is made of lightweight, stretchy, smooth, sheer or decorative fabrics such as silk, satin, Lycra, charmeuse, chiffon, or (especially and traditionally) lace. These fabrics can be made of natural fibres like silk or cotton or of synthetic fibres like polyester or nylon.
The word lingerie is a word taken directly from the French language, meaning undergarments, and used exclusively for more lightweight items of female undergarments.The French word in its original form derives from the old French word linge , meaning 'linen'. So faire le linge, comes to mean "do the laundry". In English, it means women's underwear or nightclothes. Lingerie as a word was first used to refer to underwear and bras in 1922. Informal usage suggests visually appealing or even erotic clothing. Although most lingerie is designed to be worn by women, some manufacturers now design lingerie for men.
The concept of lingerie is a visually appealing undergarment that was developed during the late nineteenth century. Lady Duff-Gordon of Lucile was a pioneer in developing lingerie that freed women from more restrictive corsets. Through the first half of the 20th century, women wore underwear for three primary reasons: to alter their outward shape (first with corsets and later with girdles or brassieres), for hygienic reasons and for modesty. Before the invention of crinoline, women's underwear was often very large and bulky.
During the late 19th century, corsets became smaller, less bulky and more constricting and were gradually supplanted by the brassiere, first patented in the 20th century by Mary Phelps Jacob. When the First World War broke out, women found themselves filling in men's work roles, creating a demand for more practical undergarments. Manufacturers began to use lighter and more breathable fabrics. In 1935, brassières were updated with padded cups to flatter small breasts and three years later underwire bras were introduced that gave a protruding bustline. There was also a return to a small waist achieved with girdles. The 1940s woman was thin, but had curvaceous hips and breasts that were pointy and shapely. In the 1960s, the female silhouette was liberated along with social mores. The look was adolescent breasts, slim hips, and extreme thinness. André Courrèges was the first to make a fashion statement out of the youth culture when his 1965 collection presented androgynous figures and the image of a modern woman comfortable with her own body.
As the 20th century progressed, underwear became smaller and more form fitting. In the 1960s, lingerie manufacturers such as Frederick's of Hollywood begin to glamorise lingerie. The lingerie industry expanded in the 21st century with designs that doubled as outerwear. The French refer to this as 'dessous-dessus,' meaning something akin to innerwear as outerwear.
The lingerie market at the turn of the 21st century was driven by the advent of modern technologies and fabrics that help in designing innovative products such as laser-cut seamless bras and moulded T-shirt bras. Designers are putting greater emphasis on rich-looking fabrics, laces, embroideries and brighter colours.[ citation needed ]
The global lingerie market in 2003 was estimated at $29 billion, while in 2005, bras accounted for 56 percent of the lingerie market and briefs represented 29 per cent. The United States’s largest lingerie retailer, Victoria's Secret, [ citation needed ] Since the mid-1990s, women have had more choice in bra sizes; the focus has changed from choosing bras in an average size to wearing bras that actually fit perfectly. In the UK, for instance, the media are fuelling an awareness campaign about the need for each woman to have a proper bra fitting before every purchase.[ citation needed ]operates almost exclusively in North America, but the European market is fragmented, with Triumph International and DB Apparel predominant. Also prominent are French lingerie houses, including Chantelle, Aubade and Simone Pérèle, each with a long history and a commitment to innovation and French style.
In March 2020 The Guardian reported a trend for male lingerie on the catwalk and predictions as to the likelihood of it successfully extending to the high street fashion stores.
A corset is a garment worn to hold and train the torso into a desired shape, traditionally a smaller waist or larger bottom, for aesthetic or medical purposes, or support the breasts. Both men and women are known to wear corsets, though this item was for many years an integral part of women's wardrobes.
Victorian fashion consists of the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and developed in the United Kingdom and the British Empire throughout the Victorian era, roughly from the 1830s through the 1890s. The period saw many changes in fashion, including changes in styles, fashion technology and the methods of distribution. Various movement in architecture, literature, and the decorative and visual arts as well as a changing perception of the traditional gender roles also influenced fashion.
Tightlacing is the practice of wearing a tightly-laced corset. It is done to achieve cosmetic modifications to the figure and posture or to experience the sensation of bodily restriction.
A chemise or shift is a classic smock, or a modern type of women's undergarment or dress. Historically, a chemise was a simple garment worn next to the skin to protect clothing from sweat and body oils, the precursor to the modern shirts commonly worn in Western nations.
The corset has been an indispensable article of clothing for several centuries in Europe, evolving as fashion trends have changed. Women, as well as some men, have used it to change the appearance of their bodies.
A babydoll is a short, sleeveless, loose-fitting nightgown or negligee, intended as nightwear for women. It sometimes has formed cups called a bralette for cleavage with an attached, loose-fitting skirt falling in length usually between the belly button and upper thigh. The garment is often trimmed with lace, ruffles, appliques, marabou, bows, and ribbons, optionally with spaghetti straps. Sometimes it is made of sheer or translucent fabric such as nylon or chiffon or silk.
Historically a piece of plate armour covering the torso.
A camisole is a sleeveless undergarment / innerwear typically worn by women, normally extending to the waist. The camisole is usually made of satin, nylon, silk, or cotton.
A slip is a woman's undergarment worn beneath a dress or skirt. A full slip hangs from the shoulders, usually by means of narrow straps, and extends from the breast to the fashionable skirt length. A half slip hangs from the waist. The word "petticoat" may also be used for half or full slips.
A bustier is a form-fitting garment for women traditionally worn as lingerie. Its primary purpose is to push up the bust by tightening against the upper midriff and forcing the breasts up while gently shaping the waist. Nowadays, it might also be worn as a push-up bra under a low-backed dress or as a camisole for outerwear. The bustier can also be worn as a half-slip under sheer upper garments if a bold display of the midriff is not desired.
A foundation garment is an undergarment designed to impermanently alter the wearer's body shape, to achieve what some view as a more fashionable figure. The function of a foundation garment is not to enhance a bodily feature but to make it look more presentable.
Fashion in the years following World War II is characterized by the resurgence of haute couture after the austerity of the war years. Square shoulders and short skirts were replaced by the soft femininity of Christian Dior's "New Look" silhouette, with its sweeping longer skirts, fitted waist, and rounded shoulders, which in turn gave way to an unfitted, structural look in the later 1950s.
The liberty bodice, like the emancipation bodice or North American emancipation waist, was an undergarment for women and girls invented towards the end of the 19th century, as an alternative to a corset.
The history of bras is inextricably intertwined with the social history of the status of women, including the evolution of fashion and changing views of the female body.
A basque is an item of women's clothing. The term, of French origin, originally referred to types of bodice or jacket with long tails, and in later usage a long corset, characterized by a close, contoured fit and extending past the waistline over the hips. It is so called because the original French fashion for long women's jackets was adopted from Basque traditional dress. In contemporary usage it refers only to a long item of lingerie, in effect a brassiere that continues down, stopping around the waist or the top of the hips, the lower part essentially decorative rather than providing support or indeed warmth.
A bra, short for brassiere or brassière, is a form-fitting undergarment designed to support or cover a woman's breasts. Bras are designed for a variety of purposes, including enhancing breast size, creating cleavage, or for other aesthetic or practical considerations. Swimsuits, camisoles, and backless dresses may have built-in breast support with supportive bra cups. Nursing bras are designed to facilitate breastfeeding. Some people have a medical and surgical need for brassieres, but most wear them for fashion or cultural reasons. There is no evidence that bras prevent breasts from sagging and one study even suggests the opposite, with the exception of wearing them during sports exercises.
Undergarments or underwear are items of clothing worn beneath outer clothes, usually in direct contact with the skin, although they may comprise more than a single layer. They serve to keep outer garments from being soiled or damaged by bodily excretions, to lessen the friction of outerwear against the skin, to shape the body, and to provide concealment or support for parts of it. In cold weather, long underwear is sometimes worn to provide additional warmth. Special types of undergarments have religious significance. Some items of clothing are designed as undergarments, while others, such as T-shirts and certain types of shorts, are appropriate both as undergarments and as outer clothing. If made of suitable material or textile, some undergarments can serve as nightwear or swimsuits, and some are intended for sexual attraction or visual appeal.
Wearing underwear as outerwear is a fashion trend popularized by celebrities, sports and media. It began as a practical and comfortable variation of clothing, such as the T-shirt and the bikini, but would later become fashion statements that would be controversial and accused of being provocative. 21st century versions include the display of thongs and bras in women's clothing, and the display of underpants under low-slung pants in men. Wearing underwear as outerwear has historical antecedents in the display of undergarments in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
A waist cincher is a belt worn around the waist to make the wearer's waist physically smaller, or to create the illusion of being smaller.
A girdle is a form-fitting foundation garment that encircles the lower torso, extending below the hips, and worn often to shape or for support. It may be worn for aesthetic or medical reasons. In sports or medical treatment, a girdle may be worn as a compression garment. This form of women's foundation was replaced by the corset in popularity, and was in turn to a larger extent surpassed by pantyhose in the 1960s.
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