The history of the bra is inextricably intertwined with the social history of the status of women. Therefore it is important to realize how fashion has evolved, and how changing views of the body and especially the breasts have shaped that fashion.
At various times since recorded history women have used a variety of garments and devices to cover, restrain or elevate their breasts.
By the early twentieth century garments more closely resembling contemporary bras had emerged, although large scale commercial production did not occur till the 1930s. Since then bras have virtually replaced corsets, although some prefer camisoles, and become a multi-billion dollar industry dominated by large multinational corporations. Over this time the emphasis has largely shifted from functionality to f...more >>