Today, there are many types of panties to wear for a woman. Brazilians, thongs, hipsters, briefs, you name it. But how did the panties came to be?


There is not a lot of known history about the panties we know now, but the earliest known use of underwear was around 4,400 B.C. in Egypt. The usage of underwear has also been recorded around the time of the Roman Empire. In Latin, underwear was known as subligar, campestre, licium, or cinctus, and was made from linen. In some cases, leather briefs (made from goatskin) were used by Roman women during their menstrual period to absorb blood.

Roman women
Bikini Girls Mosaic, 4th century (AD), Villa del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily, Italy.


Gladiators from the Villa Borghese mosaic., 4th century (AD), Borghese estate, Rome.

After the fall of the Empire, underwear wasn't worn until around the 16th century when women wore underskirts made with whalebone. This slowly evolved over time in Europe until the 18th century in which women wore long panties underneath their skirts and dresses to prevent men from "accidentally" touching a woman underneath her skirt. Panties often had long trouser legs, stopping below the knee.

Because of the fact that panties touched a ladies genitals, it was considered immodest since they would draw eyes to the vagina and of course, that's the woman's fault (but we know better than that!) As a result, most panties were worn by either prostitutes or children.

Up until the 19th century, women's underwear was made with a hole at the very bottom (in the crotch) to make toilet visits more convenient. This hole was concealed by the early 20th century.

The Etymology of Panties

The word "panties" is used to describe women's underwear because the creation of panties consisted of two separate legs joined at the waist to create "a pair." They were first called "drawers" because they could be "drawn up" like curtains. At the time, underwear was plain white but sometimes decorated with lace and bands. Women used to wear cotton and wool underwear during the winter. More colors were introduced by 1860.

Purple briefs

Barbara: Cecilia tanga in plum

The first recording of someone calling their underwear "panties" is from 1908. Back then, the type of panties worn is similar to the modern-day women's underwear with the exception of longer pant-legs. It wasn't until the 1920s when panties were made shorter, stopping above the knee. In 1940, the legs were further shortened to the length to what we have today.

Modern Day Panties

Nowadays, the primary purpose of panties is to protect your private parts. However, various usages have also been created, and with it, different types of panties too.

For example, you've got the classic briefs and high-cut briefs, which are usually made from cotton and are the most comfortable to wear daily. Thongs and G-strings go well with tight clothing to prevent visible underwear-lines. They are also worn with a matching bra to express seduction and are often decorated with lace and mesh.

Amandine Lace Panty Black

Christine Quartier la Tente: Amandine Lace Panty in black

Hipsters are usually worn during your period to prevent leakage and control briefs are used to flatten your tummy when wearing a bodycon dress. Control briefs are usually made from stretchable fabric.
Hipster panties

LOU Paris: Reves Panty in magenta

Discover briefs, panties, and other forms of women's underwear here at VienneMilano. Browse our collection of luxurious European lingerie today.

September 27, 2019

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.