Around the middle ages/Renaissance period research has shown that underwear was worn but in form of leggings. Around 1800, chemise made of a cane and steel backbone was introduced with a big-waist and tended to flatten the bust. You can all imagine the discomfort! The small pants were only worn by men as a sign of authority.
I have delved deeper to find the correlation between small pants and authority with no success. If any person can clear that up for me, then my soul can rest and maybe I may understand the thinking capacity of medieval people.
In 1900, there were public awareness campaigns aiming at women to stop wearing the leggings since they were unhealthy. The material of the leggings was uncomfortable and retained a lot of heat so most women began having vaginal disorders. Moreover, there was mass production of panties from different producers who came up with several designs to curb competition. It is then that the corset was reintroduced but under the name girdle. The girdle was comfortable since it did not have the weird backbone. At this point there was large scale advertising which emphasized on durable, comfortable and appealing material.
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