Vintage Lingerie Auction
Vintage Underwear – The Evolution of the Bra

One of the most important pieces of vintage underwear is the bra. For thousands of years, women were in need of something to support, lift, shape and separate their breasts. As far back as 2500 B.C., woman on the island of Crete sported garments similar to bras to lift their breasts outside of their clothes. In 450 A.D, things began to change. To cover their breasts, Greek and Roman used tunics, but they offered no support. As time progressed, Greek and Roman women would wrap and flatten their breasts to minimize the size of them. During the 1550s, the French came up with steel corsets. During the period of the 1550s to the 1800s, the corset became the main form of breast support. Corsets worked to shrink the waist and lift a woman’s breast.


Soon the corset began to become a piece of vintage underwear. Corsets were causing damage to women’s internal organs and many women were anxious for reform. They got the answer to their cries in several ways. In 1863, Luman L. Chapman created an alternative to the corset with shoulder brace straps and breast puffs. Thirty years later, Marie Tucek created the “breast supporter”. Much like the bra of today, this new breast support invention had shoulder straps that could be hooked shut in the back. In 1904, the brassiere became the front runner for breast support. This boned camisole was used to help stabilize a woman’s breasts.


In 1913, Mary Phelps Jacob helped revolutionize the breast support business by creating the very first bra. She accomplished this by attaching two silk handkerchiefs with ribbons. They became such a hot commodity that Jacob decided to patent the idea of her backless bra. William and Ida Rosenthal further revolutionized the bra when they introduced cup sizes. Seven years later the A to D sizing system was created.


During the 1940s, bras began to change even more, turning the previous styles into vintage lingerie. In 1943, Howard Hughes created a cantilevered bra. Stores and advertising campaigns for bras were also popular at the time. To decrease the jiggling in breasts when walking, running or engaging in other forms of physical activity, Warners and DuPont introduced a stretchy fabric known as Lycra in 1959. In 1977 the sports bra was created. In the 1990s, bras began to change even more. To maximize cleavage and to make breasts appear larger, manufacturers began using water, air and silicone to pad bras.  
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How to Buy Vintage Underwear Online

If you are interested in unleashing your inner pinup or just want to invest in a unique piece of history, then you may want to purchase vintage underwear. Although you can find great deals at your neighbourhood thrift store, garage sale, or flea market, the best place to find vintage underwear are online specialty shops or eBay. If you are looking for something specific, it is vital you use good search terms. Be as specific as possible. For instance, if you want to purchase a vintage pink Van Raalte slip, do not just search “Van Raalte”, or “Vintage Van Raalte.” This will save you a lot of time sifting through unwanted and unnecessary results.


After you find a piece of vintage underwear you like, thoroughly check the ad from top to bottom. The first thing you should check is the seller’s feedback. If the feedback is good, continue to look at the listing. If it is not quickly move on to prevent from being cheated. Next, you should look at the pictures of the item. Check to see if you find any damages to the underwear. If you are happy with the way the garment looks, then continue and read the description. This pretty much tells about the background of the garment and describes what the item looks like. Continue on to the measurements and conditions section. It is important to know the measurements of the underwear because items were sized differently. Finally, check the payment, shipping, and terms of sale.


 If you like the piece of vintage underwear and want to buy it, then it is time to pay for it. Most online shops and eBay allow you to use PayPal. By using PayPal to pay for your vintage underwear, you can file a complaint and potentially get your money back if you never receive the underwear. If you pay via your credit card and PayPal falls through, you can file for a return of funds through your card company.


Buying vintage underwear is a great way to glamorize your look and unleash your inner pinup. All women want to feel sexy, irresistible, sensual and glamorous. With the unique and fine materials used to create vintage underwear, the feelings of glamour and femininity are sure to hit you. Vintage undergarments are also a wonderful investment. Good quality merchandise, especially from famous designers can be of great value to collectors. They also are a great historic memento. If you are interested in wearing or collecting vintage underwear, simply find a place to shop online or in your neighbour and purchase a piece of history. 

How to Properly Clean Your Vintage Underwear

Vintage underwear is precious and fragile. Although vintage undergarments are made to last, the material cannot withstand the test of time. In addition, most undergarments contain delicate materials such as lace, cotton, and silk. If you wear your vintage lingerie, it is vital you clean them carefully to keep them as perfect as possible.


Most vintage underwear will have labels with instructions on how to care for the item. If your underwear does not have labels, then as a rule of thumb you should hand wash them. Before you wash your underwear, separate them by colour and remove any buckles, buttons, or other decorations to prevent staining. In addition, you should separately wash underwear that are new or contain more than one colour. When you wash the underwear, use warm or cold water. Soak the underwear and then use washing powder that lathers up without rubbing. Rinse with hot water and be sure to get all the soap out. Usually three or four rinses are adequate to remove all the soap. Gently squeeze the water out of the underwear or dry them on a towel. A clothesline is also an efficient way to dry your delicate underwear.


Although hand washing is the preferred method for cleaning vintage underwear, you can machine wash your underwear. This can save you time and a lot of work, but you still need to be careful. You should treat machine washing your clothes as if you would be hand washing them. Remove all decorations with your underwear and separate them by colour. To protect your underwear from damage, put them in a pillowcase. Wash them with gentle washing powder that does not contain chlorine or perborate. It is important not to use these chemicals because they can stain your underwear.  Wash the underwear in cold water. It is recommended not to use a tumble dryer to dry your underwear. This is because tumble dryers tend to ruin fabric, fade colours, and shrink your underwear. Simply pat them dry or hang them out on a clothes line.


 Here are a few other things you should remember when cleaning your underwear. The tags on your vintage underwear will tell you all need to know about the garment. If it says to dry clean your underwear, then do it. If the underwear is made of silk or wool you shouldn’t machine wash them. To prevent damage to your underwear, do not iron them. After your underwear is dry, you should store them. To keep your underwear in good condition, it is important to keep them away from the rest of your clothes. If you keep your underwear in a drawer, wrap them in silk paper or other fabric to prevent the wood from pulling on them.

How to earn money when you buy Vintage Lingerie
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How Vintage Lingerie became more than just functional

As of the 1900s, vintage lingerie consisted of items such as the petticoat, farthingale, and bum roll. The mass produced undergarment industry began to boom forcing producers to come with innovative ideas to stay one step ahead of their competitors. Technology quickly improved allowing products to be manufactured quicker. As this was happening, designers invented a better corset for women. Manufacturers removed the whalebone and steel from the corset to make it more flexible but still provide support. By the end of 1910, the union suit was split into upper and lower halves. In 1913, Mary Phelps Jacobs changed the lingerie industry forever by inventing the brassiere. It was also during this time that bloomers began to become hot commodities.

By the 1920s, corsets were becoming out of style and slowly became vintage lingerie. Manufacturers were shifting their focus from durability to comfort. To help support the flapper movement, bloomers became shorter, looser, and less supportive. Eventually this new style of bloomer became known as the step in. They were similar to modern panties but had wider legs. Because of the shortening of their bloomers, women needed something else to cover their legs. This is where stocking came in. The fun and flirty flapper movement was still raging on and the women needed help with holding up their stockings. To keep stockings from falling, the garter belt was created.

The 1930s revolutionized men’s underwear turning the union suit into vintage lingerie. In 1935, briefs were placed on the market. A little after that boxer shorts made their way onto the market. During World War II, elastic bands were used to support the war effort and the corset began to make a comeback. Strapless bras also became a hot commodity due to their ability to push up breasts. During the 1950s and 1960s, lingerie began to be printed in colour. The emphasis shifted from the waist to the breasts. Hip huggers and bikini style lingerie also started to become popular. It was also during this period that pantyhose became popular. Little did people know that the 1970s and 1980s would allow underwear to become even racier.

During 1920s the 1960s, lingerie was marketed for its comfort and durability. This soon changed in the 1970s.Manufactors began using sex appeal to entice consumers into buying their products. Tank tops and the g-string soon became popular items and can now even be worn out in public. Although the marketing has changed, vintage lingerie and the lingerie still serve the same purpose. To make women (and men) feel comfortable and sexy.  Who knows what changes in underwear will occur next?