Women have done some bizarre things to look sexy and desirable, including the lingerie they choose to wear. From the corset, Kim Kardashian wore to the Met gala to the iconic metal string bikini made of a patterned copper bra and a bottom made of copper plating that Carrie Fisher wore in star wars, unintentionally becoming the sex icon at the time, we've seen it all. The history of lingerie has been going in circles with corsets making a comeback time and again beating the main purpose of the invention of lingerie.
The evolution of lingerie from torturous, constricting devices to large and bulky silhouettes to becoming the focal point of an outfit (almost making showing your underwear illegal, mind you!) was largely influenced by the culture and outlook on sex observed by the people during that period. Although the reason women wore lingerie has remained the same i.e to alter outward appearance and hygiene. Lingerie owes its glamorization and hypersexualization to the 1960's right after the need for practical undergarments died with the end of World War 2.
Women would paint seams on the backs of their legs to give the illusion of stockings due to lack of supplies and designers would incorporate pockets into corsets for female air force pilots. The invention of strapless, push up and adhesive bras in satin and silk to was to bring back the femininity as well as to fit the kind of revealing necklines women wore post World War 2
Why it evolved?
As the purpose evolved so did the marketing strategies where designers would put pin-up posters of models in suggestive poses to lure and satisfy the male gaze hence making sexy lingerie a confidence booster for women as well as a delight for men in the bedroom. By the end of the '70s, lingerie started playing such a big part in the bedroom that men would go out to buy sexy lingerie for their wives but could only find two sorts of lingerie available that included the plain and bland everyday undergarments and the expensive, occasional honeymoon lingerie, which made Roy the co-founder of Victoria secret launch the company (we cannot possibly exclude VS when we talk about lingerie now can we?).
Despite the backlash it faces today, VS in its time was revolutionary because it made lace thongs and padded bras available to the middle class, thus bringing the spice to everyday life.
Designers like Joseph Corré, co-founder of Agent Provocative and Vivienne Westwood were highly driven to make the brand as much about sex and pleasure as possible going as far as selling whips and cuffs with their undergarments and the expensiveness of their product set them apart from any other brand. As the 2000's approached celebrities like Kate Moss wore transparent slip dresses putting their undergarments on the show followed by Britney Spears showing off her g strings over her low waisted jeans which almost made The Virginia House of Delegates voted 60-34 to ban the intentional display of below-the-waist undergarments "in a lewd or indecent manner." The bill's sponsor believed that it was a "vote for a character." however the bill was turned down.
What Millennials think about sexy lingerie:
As opposed to olden times Millenials have a pretty mixed reaction to sexy lingerie. As the hookup culture is on an all-time high, people barely care about what the person they're having sex is wearing inside as "it's off in a few minutes". Women do not like spending too much money on uncomfortable lacy lingerie that they're barely gonna wear. Though they agree on feeling more confident and perform better when they're wearing good lingerie. Another reason for the downfall of lingerie's importance in the bedroom is the blowing up of kinks like BDSM and role-playing due to movies like Fifty shades of grey which have made people open to experimenting with way more than just their undergarments.