We may be coming on to a new era where the bra as we know it begins its descent from reigning women's intimates. If not going braless, women are resorting to bralettes or other creative ways to cover their nipples (double-sided tape and bra pads, anyone?). Well, the lingerie industry answered back and gave women another variation: a bra without straps and back.
Strapless and backless bras are in a league of their own. It might have not been named the “bra of the future” but it's likely going to be a mainstay underpinning for future generations.
Just the sound of strapless and backless bras might make you doubt its effectivity, and may seem like it's only good for women who wear good push up bras for small boobs but maybe with a little bit of context about its history, you'll understand how we ended up with what we can only call an innovation.
As a brief introduction, corsets can be described as a tool to reinforce an hourglass shape to your body. It emphasizes your curves or creates some where there's none by narrowing your waist and accentuating your hips.
In their prime, experts at Orchard Corset says they were:
..constructed from a strong, yet flexible fabric (cotton/satin/leather) that is reinforced with steel boning (flexible steel rods.)”
Corsets ruled in the 1800's, but its appeal and influence on women's undergarments goes beyond that. Would you believe that it was only around this time in the previous century that bras were separated from the corset and sold on their own? After the corset was divided into a two-piece, bras transformed into what was called a corselet gorge.
They were still sold as part of a set together with the bottom part, which was a “corset for the waist.” This separation birthed the need for bras straps for support. We might have lost the corset in its traditional sense when bras emerged, but needless to say, the hourglass figure was etched onto beauty standards ever since.
From separated corsets, the first official bra was created out of silk ribbons and handkerchiefs – a diversion from the extreme structure of what came before that. Since then, the bra was evolved on its own with different cups, shapes, and fabrics.
Related: How Many Bras You Own?
Adhesive bras without straps and bands may seem like a recent invention, but it was actually thought up long ago, and has been among the many versions bras have evolved into.
The first backless and strapless style bra, named the posĕs, was created by a man nonetheless. Charles L Lang was called to create it after seeing his wife struggle with the straps and bands of her bra. The bras were cone-shaped cups with frills along its round edges.
Designed to be both a brassiere and bikini top, this served other purposes other than what was initially just for comfort. It allowed women to get an even tan throughout their body since tan lines were unpopular and unattractive then.There's no concrete evidence to prove it, but it was said posĕs could stay on even through the most strenuous and rigorous activities. This was thanks to the “rejuvenator” adhesive that was reapplied each time.
The strapless style has long been around before corsets turned into bras, and even before corsets itself. They can be dated back to the 14th century, as seen on ancient wall paintings. We can't say the same for backless styles though.
Posĕs didn't leave as much of an impact, as it soon faded into oblivion while brassieres continued to evolve. Nipple pasties were already a thing, but we can't really consider them a bra, can we? Probably not.
The modern adhesive bra is a soft pair of nude silicone pads that act almost like second skin when you stick them on. It combines some of the best aspects of a strapless bra and nipple tape to cover your nipples or achieve an invisible appearance beneath thin clothes.
With advanced technology and innovative ideas, these adhesive bras have also been fused with bra styles like a push-up or plunge.
Today, adhesive bras are a pretty common undergarment to have in your lingerie collection. While it may not be the piece you choose to wear on an everyday basis, they allow you to wear clothes that might not be possible with other bras.