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Secrets of Women's Underwear in Ancient China

In ancient China, where the patriarchal society left few opportunities for women to express their thoughts, the underwear became a unique channel to let out their romantic passion. Underwear revealed women's beliefs toward life, taste in beauty and appeal for love. They expressed all this through various patterns, bold colors and delicate craftsmanship.

Compared to outer garments, which were strictly governed by courtesies and ranks, ancient underwear was a private room for women to pursue their individuality. Whether well-bred women in rich families or girls of a humble birth, they all tried hard to distinguish themselves through underwear.

 Ingenious designs

Ancient women's underwear visually adjusted the body shape through form designing. Whether it was square-shaped, diamond-shaped, triangular-shaped, a semi-circle or modeled after nature, underwear in different forms resulted in different visual impressions, while revealing ingenuous creativity at the same time.

From the overall design to the detailed ornaments, ancient underwear also reflected the trends and beliefs of the time, which gives these articles a deep historical essence. According to the style and structure, there were two types of underwear: double-pieced to cover both chest and back, and single-pieced to cover chest only. The most distinguishable design might come from where the lace is placed: the shoulders, the oxter, or behind the neck. Some didn't even have laces.


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