· 2500 BC
The first bra-like garment came into existence when the women of the Greek Islands began using man-made materials to lift their breast out of their clothing.
Gyno Gab perspective: if you exposure your breasts, you need to take care of your breast skin with sun screen as you would any other skin and get moles checked out promptly!
Roman and Greek women began using a strap with a band to diminish the size of their bust.
The women of China wore a foundation cloth with cups and straps over the shoulders tied to the cinch seem at the lower back. Many of these were also designed to cover the abdomen.
Gyno Gab perspective: Most tight bras will not have a medical effect on your breast. Binding can help to reduce milk supply post delivery there if lactation is undesirable or finished. Binding has also been reported to give some symptomatic relief for fibrocystic disease, and yes, contouring can change the appearance!
· 1550’s AD
Among the wealthier classes, the corset was beginning to appear. The wife of King Henri II of France was said to have prohibited “wide waists” at court functions.
Gyno Gab perspective: Breast and waist swelling? When was her last period? They didn't have pg tests, but they weren't dumb. In Mariana Wheeler's Obstetrical advice book from 1914 she suggests applying whiskey, cologne or tea to the breast for soothing effects, especially during pregnancy, but I'm not aware of studies that would show this effective! Breast pains should be evaluated if they last more than a month.
The first bra is patented.
Gyno Gab perspective: One size does not fit all!
Corsets become the main undergarment for women. Waist size modification through “corset training” becomes the norm, reducing waist to such unhealthy levels ribs and organs become damaged. This starts debate over the health risks of corseting.
Gyno Gab perspective: Newly asymmetrical or newly painful breasts: get a gyno check up.
Herminie Cadolle invents a bra that supports the breast from the shoulders and rather than from below, to prevent squeezing of the abdomen. It appeared in a corset catalogue as a two-piece undergarment. Her description reads "designed to sustain the bosom and supported by the shoulders". She patented her invention and showed it at the Great Exhibition of 1889.
Gyno Gab perspective: bra support is considered a relative notion, most is our own anatomical structural strength. We have supportive ligaments and to some extent the discomforts patients report are as much back, posture and muscular issues as well as breast issues.
Vogue Magazine is the first to use the term Brassiere, which means “upper-arm.”
Gyno Gab Perspective: Yes! The French understood the breast tail ends under our arm, and that a proper breast exam includes the underarm.
Mary Phelps Jacob, a New York socialite, creates a bra that is light, soft, and separates the breast. Jacob’s “backless brassiere” was patented and she markets her bra until she retires and sells her patent to Warner Brothers Corset Company who seemingly earned over $15 million dollars over the next several years from the patent.
Gyno Perspective: Yes, many designs, not so good, we see too many patients with inappropriate bras.
Bras were designed to flatten rather than enhance the breast, inspired by the silhouette of the Flapper.
Ida Rosenthal, a Russian Immigrant and seamstress, was the first to create bust size categories, A to D, and develops bra’s for each phase of womanhood.
The word 'brassiere' became shortened to 'bra' in the 1930s, initially by young women. The bra was becoming more sophisticated, and home-sewn versions vanished in the 30s. Bras rapidly became a major industry over the 1930s, with improvements in fiber technology, fabrics, colors, patterns, and options.
World War II had a major impact on clothing. A postwar baby boom created a demand for maternity and nursing bras.
Gyno Gab Perspective: Breast milk is best and everything we do to enhance breast feeding including getting a practical and well fitting nursing bra is great!
Strapless bras came into fashion, they allowed women to dress in clothes off the shoulder and still wear a bra. Padding and stretch-ability were among other innovations.
Gyno Gab Perspective: If you have great natural support, the rest is just fashion and sun protection!
Warner and a DuPont team of scientists created Lycra, which is used in most bras today.
Gyno Gab Perspective: A lot of nipple cracking and itching is due to the soaps, not the fabric. But a great breast cream can treat most cases, if not see your Gyno Gab Gal!
“Wonderbra, the Company,” formally known as Canadian Lady Corset Company, introduced the Model 1300 plunge push-up bra. This bra is identical to today’s Wonderbra.
Gyno Gab Perspective: I didn't know that, but as we say, lots of great ideas have gotten shoved aside, or should I say up!
The first sports bra was introduced by two runners combined two male athletic supporters and a bit of thread to craft the world's first sports bra, but in 1919 Champion Brand claims the patent on sports bra and is born as a company?
Gyno Gab Perspective: It's hard to track down those non-medical facts when we get our facts from magazines and on line, let me know if you know better! In fact I love historical notes, send me as many as you can find!
· 1977 Victoria's Secret was established in San Francisco by Roy Raymond. The concept was to establish a cozy, inviting atmosphere similar to that of a Victorian boudoir.
Gyno Gab Perspective: Vickie is known for her pretty bras, and lots of my patients have them!