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The lace and linen undergarments date back to hundreds of years before women’s underwear was thought to exist. They had lain hidden in a vault beneath the floorboards of an Austrian castle since  the 15th century. Despite their state of decay, the knickers bear more than a passing resemblance to the string bikini briefs popular today, while the bra has the fitted cups and delicate straps of its modern-day counterparts. While it was known that medieval men wore undergarments like modern-day shorts, it was thought that their womenfolk simply wore a smock or chemise, and that knickers didn’t make an appearance until  the late 18th century. Bras were thought to be an even more modern invention, not appearing until around 100 years ago. However, Hilary Davidson, fashion curator at the Museum of London, said the discovery ‘totally rewrites’ fashion history, adding: ‘Nothing like this has  ever come up before.’

(via gloriousmadness)