From ancient times to the modern day mom, women have always taken interest in the shape of their bodies and have used some form of shapewear to get the look they wanted. Comfort hasn’t always necessarily been the goal but slimming, smoothing, and toning has certainly become the result. The evolution of shapewear has transpired over a great period of time and today’s shapewear is completely different from its predecessors.
The first pieces of shapewear were considered to be girdles. At that time, they were woven garments similar to what a wide belt would look like today. Ancient Greek women would wear girdles woven out of firm linen fabric, wool or soft leather material, which pushed the breasts outwards and clinched the waist making them look really small.
Shapewear was also used by ancient Roman women who wore corsets to enhance their curves. Designs eventually lead to them to wear the corsets over the clothes which were studded or embroidered for more attractive looks.
In the 16th century, women began wearing steel corsets. These shapers were designed with a steel frame mechanism that created the illusion of a stereotypical feminine figure. These types of corsets kept the upper body flat and the waist clinched tight. The lower body was more puffed out with the larger mess of skirts called farthingales. This time in age was named as the Elizabethan era because of the breathtaking ensembles worn by Queen Elizabeth.
The Victorian era in the 19th century is when the popular hourglass figure came about. Corsets of this time were designed with whale bones, steel, and other hard metals. The waist was squeezed into an incredibly smaller size, thus creating the illustrious hourglass shape. Women of this time would often help each other dress, pulling and tightening each other’s corsets as small as they could physically make them.
The 20th century was much different because the thin look became popular. Women preferred fewer curves and more fitted shapewear like teddies or camisoles for a flatter, thinner appearance. This look was made famous by women more commonly referred to as flappers.
From this point on, women adapted fashion based on need during and after the world war period. Many women migrated away from the corset as they entered the public sector. Enter the use of elastics, helping to create functional shapewear with panels, storage, and even hidden pockets, which is what eventually became known as the girdle.
The girdle offered mid-20th-century women the freedom to work and travel with ease, support, and relative comfort. This more modern style of shapewear remained popular through the 1960’s when another major shift led to a decrease in the girdle’s popularity.
Modern-day shapewear from the 2000’s and beyond is totally different from what it once was. We now have shapewear that is drastically more comfortable and versatile. Garments made now are generally created from fabrics like lycra, spandex, nylon and other stretchable, yet breathable materials. Not only do these functional pieces help shape the body, but they also provide seamless slimming solutions and reduce waistlines by a size or more.
Today, a whole new generation of people have fallen in love with the way that modern, comfortable, and functional shapers make them look and feel. The evolution of shapewear has completely changed what women once suffered through, to what is now considered a popular staple piece in daily fashion. With a wide range of shapewear pieces to choose from, including your favorites from Cover Girl Shapewear, reshaping your body is easier and more versatile than ever before.