The Rogues have just returned from the annual SLO Renaissance Festival where bras were definitely not in fashion! We were trussed into our bodices (and in some cases also a corset) that were designed for maximum cleavage, not modern bra separation.

Corseting may have been the norm, but there were apparently exceptions. Anthony Castellano at ABC News writes:

“… four linen bras [were found] in an Austrian castle dating back to the 1400s, proving that women wore bras more than 600 years ago. It’s such a revolutionary find because fashion experts thought the modern-day bra was only about 100 years old after women became tired of tight corsets.”

The find wasn’t publicized until now because “Researchers said the bras underwent carbon dating and they had to make sure the look of the bras fit with the 1400s.”

Another garment that looks like string bikini bottoms was found. The folks at the castle said it was actually a man’s undergarment because women didn’t wear anything under their skirts at that time. That might not be the best assumption to make given that the bra find is the new earliest known modern looking bra specimen. We also know from wall mosaics from the Greeks that women wore what looked like briefs and a tube-top-like bra for the Olympic games.

One has to wonder why it took so long for the modern bra design to catch on.

Read the entire story at:


UPDATE: The BBC’ History Magazine’s online site,, has additional information from their August 2012 edition that includes discussions of the underwear, breast enhancement and breast binding has additional images, and several period quotes from 15c and 16c manuscripts.