Lingerie “Follows 40 Year Cycle”: New Study

A new study by the Ultimo underwear firm suggests that lingerie for women tends to follow a 40-year cycle.

That could explain why vintage looks which were popular in the 1970s have made something of a comeback, while G-strings and bulkier bras are languishing unworn in our underwear drawer.

(Padded bras, first developed in the 1950s, had their own moment in the sun in the 1990s, thanks to the Wonderbra campaign.)

While Lavers Law, a school of thought developed 75 years ago by one fashion historian, reckons that clothes take half a century to come back in style, this research suggests that underwear trend move a decade more quickly.

Other items following the 40-year rule include Mad Men-style stockings and suspenders, a hit in the 1960s then popular again in the 2000s. Equally, 1920s camisoles were worn in the 1960s and then again in the 2000s, with suit jackets.

Finally, Madonna copies Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe-style pointed bras of the 1950s in the 1990s.

Ultimo boss Michelle Mone told a newspaper: “Trends come around in lingerie, just as they do in clothes, so the 40-year thing doesn’t really surprise me.

“And sometimes it seems as though underwear is even setting the styles before the outer garments. This is a change from the time when we would change our lingerie to suit the fashions.”

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