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How has underwear shaped women’s lives?

Women’s underwear has always been a source of fascination, contention and debate. In the Victorian era, dress reformers declared that restrictive garments prevented women living healthy lives, and dared to argue that underwear should not ‘exceed seven pounds in weight.’ In recent decades, its been hailed as a source of female sexual empowerment and scorned as a symbol of patriarchal oppression.

Underwear gives us a glimpse into a larger story: the expectations, limitations and status afforded to women throughout history.

For hundreds of years, they were an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe and daily life. From childhood, women wore corsets as a kind of second skeleton: to support their bodies and create a gendered silhouette. In the late Georgian period a long silhouette was favoured, whereas in the Edwardian era, corsets which bent the body into an ‘S’ shaped called a ‘Grecian curve’ were most desirable. They also provided a framework for other undergarments, such as petticoats and crinolines.

on Sunday night, Ruby Rose showed off her underwear as she attended the Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscar viewing party.
The 30-year-old cut a very slender figure in a completely see-through white and silver gown with built-in undergarments.

The barely there frock also revealed Ruby’s extensive array of tattoos on her arms, back and chest.

The brunette beauty boosted her height with a pair of silver stilettos and let her dress do the talking by wearing some simple silver jewels.

Like many other celebrities on the night, Ruby rocked the smokey eye and nude lips combination and had her short crop of locks slicked back.

Noticeably missing from the event was her Ruby’s girlfriend Jessica Origliasso, who had attended a pre-Oscar event with The Orange Is The New Black star last week. The loved-up pair were hand in hand posing for the cameras at Kari Feinstein’s Pre-Oscar Style Lounge at the Andaz Hotel on Friday.

Ruby has been busy in Atlanta filming the third installment of musical comedy Pitch Perfect.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight the actress opened about her relationship to the singer calling her ‘the most amazing person’ and her ‘moral compass’.

In fact, the work of Dr Gustav Jaegar, a German naturalist who endorsed underwear made from animal fibres, had a bigger impact on the design of underwear. He recommended combination garments made from wool to help regulate body temperature and promote sweating. These garments were less structured, paving the way for the rise of the liberty bodice at the turn of the century – a sleeveless vest made from fleece which kept the body warm without compressing it.

But it would take the seismic cultural upheavals of the 20th Century for women to shed the many layers of undergarments acquired over centuries of fashion history.

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