While some people assume the brassiere is a modern
By 450 BC, the brassiere ended up changing again as the Greek and Roman women used bands over their bodies to adjust the size and contour of their busts. This would remain a popular trend until around 285 AD. Over the years, the bra remained simple and to the point. It wasn't until the 1550s when Catherine de Medicis stepped in that things would change. In an effort to put an end to women with thicker waists, she introduced what was known as the steel corset. With a ban in place, women ended up wearing this garment for more than 350 years. By the 1850s, corsets started to drop in popularity. Understanding there was a need for a bra for women designers were issued the first US patents for the first official bras in modern history. However, the idea for them would be put on hold as the training corset became popular in the 1860s. These would remain the popular choice despite internal injuries and deformities being caused by them until 1875. It would be during this time that Susan Taylor Converse would create a simplistic and effective design for the brassiere. While the new style of bra remained popular, it would experience a change in 1889 when the health garment known as the Bien-etre would be released. This however did not take off with women and would be short lived. Instead, the concept of the bra from today would come out in 1893 with the release of the Breast Supporter which was designed by Marie Tucek. With this new design came the term that Vogue magazine would first use, brassiere. However, this term would be considered slang for a breast supporter until the Oxford English Dictionary accepted the term in 1912. By 1913 Mary Phelps Jacob began to make adjustments to the design and used silk handkerchiefs with ribbons and cord to design a softer and more comfortable solution. As 1914 rolled around, women relied more on the bra and less on corsets that had once been popular now that they were working in factories. By 1917 the government stepped in and asked that women no longer purchase corsets to help conserve on metal consumption. This would then lead to new styles of bras coming out such as flattening bras and ones designed for longer periods of wear. It wasn't until the late 1920s that size and styles of bras would change dramatically until the cup bras were introduced. These bras allowed women to find a better fitting solution rather than selecting a one size fits all bras. Eventually, the brassiere would become available in synthetic materials in the 1940s and would even have a strapless solution released in 1958. As you can see, the history of the brassiere is one that is filled with quite a few monumental events that helped to define a piece of clothing. In recent years, they have been used to define a personality and as the world continues to change, there is little doubt that the bra will experience a few more changes as well.