Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lenberg bra!

There is finally an image of the Lenberg bra on line!  Hurray!  The Daily Mail has a short article on the undergarments found in Lenberg Castle which includes pictures of one of the bras and a pair of underpants.  Finally something in English!

This is a really interesting find and from what I can tell a paper should be included in the next NESAT with more details about the garments.  From what I have been able to find so far, the bras and underwear date to the 15th century and look quite a bit like their modern counterparts, save being made in linen.   It does explain how one would be able to get the high-busted look that was so popular at the time.  Fitted and supportive gowns are one option, but something about that approach has always bothered me.  It seems like a  small undergarment with shaped cups that is laced down the waist, like the one shown at right, would work better.  And don't even get me started on the whole "women didn't wear panties" thing.  A man must have come up with that one.


  1. This is great, thanks! I have always found that argument odd--in all times & all places, women had to have worn some kind of undergarment at least one week out of the month. It's nice to see extant examples!

    (I wonder how much of our confusion about historical women's underwear has to do with the fact that most period illustrations of it occur in an erotic context. It's like saying that all modern women wear crotchless panties and garter belts because that's what you see in porn.)

  2. I knew about the undergarment find already but your last comment made me laugh. That's what I've been saying all along, even before they discovered this!
    I've come up with some kind of explanation that satisfies me... Most books were illustrated by... monks! There! They new nothing about women.
    I did come along some illustrations where women wore panties. It's very rare, though.

    Thank you for your blog. It's a nice discovery. :) Keep it up!