By Tim Lambert
## Early Womens Underwear
4th century BC
Greek women wear a form of bra called an apodesme
1st century AD
Roman women wear a form of bra called an strophium of mamilare. They also wear a loincloth or shorts called a subligaculum

Late 16th century
Women wear corsets made of whalebone. They wear a frame of wire or whalebone under their dress called a farthingale

18th Century
Women do not usually wear panties. Their only underwear is a long linen garment like a nightie worn under a dress called a chemise or shift

## The 19th Century
c 1800
Women begin to wear drawers (so-called because they are drawn on). They consist of a pair of separate legs joined at the waist. So we say a pair of knickers or panties

Amelia Bloomer advocates loose trousers for women called bloomers. Later womens underwear are sometimes called bloomers

Some women begin to wear colored drawers
The word knickers is used to describe womens underwear in Britain
Poor women in Britain make knickers from flour bags
## Modern Womens Underwear
The word panties is used to describe womens underwear in the USA. However the word panties never catches on in Britain

Rayon (artificial silk) is used to make stockings
Mary Phelps Jacob invents the modern bra
The 1920s
Panties become shorter, down to mid-thigh rather than down to the knee
Nylon is invented
Nylon stockings are first sold
The 1940s
Panties become still shorter and briefs are fashionable. During the Second World War women in Britain use parachute silk to make knickers

Frederick Mellinger introduces the padded bra
Frederick Mellinger introduces the push-up bra
Frederick Mellinger introduces the push-up bra
Gertrude Moran known as Gorgeous Gussie plays tennis at Wimbledon with frilly panties
Tights (called pantyhose in the USA) are introduced by Allen Gant
The wonderbra is invented in Canada by Louise Poirier
The thong is introduced in the USA
The 1990s
Thongs become fashionable in Britain