Lingerie

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Lingerie is a term for fashionable and possibly alluring undergarments. The term in the French language applies to all undergarments for either gender. In English it is applied specifically to those undergarments designed to be visually appealing or erotic. Lingerie usually incorporating one or more flexible, stretchy materials like Lycra, nylon (nylon tricot), polyester, satin, lace, silk and Sheer fabric which are not typically used in more functional, basic cotton undergarments.

Contents

Etymology

The word derives from the French word linge, "washables"—as in faire le linge, "do the laundry"—and ultimately from lin for washable linen, the fabric from which European undergarments were made before the general introduction of cotton from Egypt and then from India. It is commonly pronounced in English with a faux French pronunciation, such as /ˈlɒnʒəriː/ in Britain or /lɒnʒərˈeɪ/ in the doubly non-French American pronunciation. The true French pronunciation is [lɛ̃ʒʁi].

Origins

The concept of lingerie as visually appealing undergarment was developed during the late nineteenth century. Lady Duff-Gordon of Lucile was a pioneer in developing lingerie that freed women from more restrictive corsets. Through the first half of the 20th century, women wore underwear for three primary reasons: to alter their outward shape (first with corsets and later with girdles or bras), for hygienic reasons, or for modesty. Before the invention of crinoline, women's underwear was often very large and bulky. During the late 19th century, corsets became smaller, less bulky and constricting, and were gradually supplanted by the brassiere, first patented in the 20th century by Mary Phelps Jacob. When the First World War broke out, women found themselves filling in men's work roles, creating a demand for more practical undergarments. Manufacturer began to use lighter and more breathable fabrics.[1]

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