22 July 2012

The World’s Oldest Bra

Archaeologist Beatrix Nutz and her team have discovered the oldest bra in an Austrian castle.

The bra carbon-dates back to the Middle ages—about 600 years ago.

The University of Innsbruck told the Washington Post that (even after hundreds of years of fashion) the bra's design resembled bras of today, with “two broad shoulder straps and a possible back strap, not preserved but indicated by partially torn edges of the cups onto which it was attached”.

This discovery, in a way, rewrites the history of underwear—as it’s long been thought that bras weren’t worn until the 19th century, as a more-comfortable alternative to corsets.

The ancient bra was also intricately decorated with lace and ornamentation.

An undergarment that resembles a pair of panties was also found at Lemberg Castle, Tyrol.

But according to Nutz, the ‘panties’ is a man’s underwear, as women did not wear any underpants then.

“Underpants were considered a symbol of male dominance and power,” Nutz told Washington Post.

She also said that drawings from Medieval times often showed a man and a woman fighting over a pair of underpants—as symbolic battle to see who wears the pants in the relationship.

[via Washington Post]