Chastity of Monks

‘Unlike other monks, Cistercians wore plain, undyed wool – for which reason they were known as the ‘White Monks’. The return to heroic monasticism meant that they ate only the coarsest wheat bread, and were ordered to avoid coloured glass in the chapel, and gold and silver on the altar.

And they were not allowed to wear underpants. St Benedict had not mentioned them in his list of permitted clothing for monks, so the Cistercians would have no truck with the evil things – much to the amusement of a number of their contemporaries. Some called it ‘bare-bottomed piety’ and Walter Map, the twelfth-century author, wit and foe of Cistercians, suggested they shunned underpants ‘to preserve coolness in that part of the body lest sudden heats provoke unchastity’.’

– Jones. T., Ereira. A. 2004. Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives London, Great Britain: BBC Books (2005) p. 99

The Bra in Ancient Times

Women’s fashion of the ancient civilisations of Egypt and the Indus valley was mainly bare breasted. Wearing a specialized garment designed to restrain a woman’s breasts may date back to ancient Greece.

A modern brassiere

Wall paintings in Crete, the centre of the Minoan civilization, show what has been described as a bikini, apparently a woman performing in athletics. Minoan women on the island of Crete 3,000 years ago apparently wore garments that partially supported and also revealed their bare breasts. Their clothing look somewhat like modern fitted and laced corsets. The support device was worn outside other clothing and supported and exposed the breasts, pushing them upwards and making them more visible.

Women in ancient Greece are often depicted loosely draped in diaphanous garments, or with one breast exposed. Women wore an apodesmos – later stethodesmē, mastodesmos and mastodeton – all meaning ‘breast-band’, a band of wool or linen that was wrapped across the breasts that was tied or pinned at the back.

Women in ancient Rome adopted a form of the Greek apodesme, known as the strophium or mamillare. Since the Romans regarded large breasts as comical, or characteristic of ageing or unattractive women, young girls wore breast bands (known as fascia) secured tightly in the belief that doing so would prevent overly large, sagging breasts.

The Microskirt in Kogal

A microskirt is a very short skirt indeed. It is shorter than a miniskirt, being less than 20 cm (8 inches) in length. They are predominantly worn by teenage girls or young women to evoke an impression of cheekiness and playfulness, especially in an appropriate social context.

English: A stereotypical fashion of high schoo...

Japanese student with ‘kogal’ loose socks and skirt

Microskirts are rarely worn as streetwear in Europe.

They are, however, quite popular among girls in Japan, where they are made part of school uniforms.

The uniforms grils wear to school in Japan always include a skirt which is made shorter by the ‘popular girls’ within the kogal subculture – the culture of popular youths.

Microskirts are important within kogal and the fashion item is popular among teenage girls, especially among those who want to practise panchira, a form of softcore exhibitionism where women try to show just a hint of their panties.

Nowadays the term panchira is also used by Japanese women to warn each other that their underwear is visible.

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Victorian Prudery in Fashion

Nowadays, Victorian men’s clothing is seen as formal and stiff, women’s as fussy and over-done. Clothing covered the entire body, and even the glimpse of an ankle was seen as scandalous. Though, one must be aware that there are gross exaggerations told about the Victorian age, especially on how prudish they dressed and behaved.

Wuthering Heights shocked the decorum of the t...

An 1868 idea of how the hemline should descend towards the ankle as a girl got older

Men’s formal clothing may have been less colourful than it was in the previous century, but brilliant waistcoats and cummerbunds nevertheless provided a touch of colour. Smoking jackets and dressing gowns were often of rich Oriental brocades. This phenomenon was the result of the growing textile manufacturing sector, developing mass production processes, and increasing attempts to market fashion to men.

Corsets stressed a woman’s sexuality, exaggerating hips and bust by contrast with a tiny waist. Women’s ball gowns bared the shoulders and the tops of the breasts and sometimes even revealed the hint of cleavage. The jersey dresses of the 1880s may have covered the body, but the stretchy novel fabric fit the body like a glove.

Popular culture has been known to link Victorian prudery in their dress – seemingly though it was – to their manners.

Certainly, they may have been as strict as imagined – on the surface. One simply did not speak publicly about sex, childbirth, and such matters, at least in the respectable middle and upper classes. However, as is well known, discretion covered a multitude of sins. It was a time in which prostitution flourished and upper-class men and women indulged in adulterous liaisons. On reflection, not everything was what it seemed.

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The Bikini in Ancient Times

Active women of ancient Greece wore a breastband called a mastodeton or an apodesmos, which continued to be used as an undergarment in the Middle Ages. While men in ancient Greece abandoned the perizoma, partly high-cut briefs and partly loincloth, women performers and acrobats continued to wear it. In ancient Rome, the bikini-style bottom, a wrapped loincloth of cloth or leather, was called a subligar or subligaculum (literally: little binding underneath), while a band of cloth or leather to support the breasts was called strophium or mamillare.

bikinimädchen, römisches Mosaik in der Villa d...

bikinimädchen, römisches Mosaik in der Villa del Casale (Sizilien) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Artwork dating back to the Diocletian period (286-305 AD) in Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily, depicts women in garments resembling bikinis in mosaics on the floor. The images of ten women, dubbed the so-called bikini girls,exercising in clothing that would pass as bikinis today, are the most replicated mosaic among the 37 million coloured tiles at the site. The bikini girls are depicted weight-lifting, discus throwing, and running. Interestingly, there has been no evidence that these bikinis were for swimming or sun-bathing.

Some academics maintain that the nearby image of Eros, the primordial god of lust, love, and intercourse, was added later, demonstrating the owner’s predilections and strengthening the association of the bikini with the erotic. Prostitution, skimpy clothes and athletic bodies were related in ancient Rome, as images were found of female sex workers exercising with dumbbells or clappers and other equipment wearing costumes similar to these bikini girls.

There are references to bikinis in ancient literature as well. Ovid, the writer ranked alongside Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature, suggests the breastband or long strip of cloth wrapped around the breasts and tucked in the ends, is a good place to hide love-letters.

Martial, a Latin poet from Hispania who published between AD 86 and 103, satirized a female athlete he named Philaenis, who played ball in a bikini-like garb quite bluntly, making her drink, gorge and vomit in abundance and hinting at her lesbianism.

In an epigram on Chione, Martial strangely mentions a sex worker who went to the bathhouse in a bikini, while it was more natural to go unclothed.

Reportedly Theodora, the 6th century empress of the Byzantine Empire wore a bikini when she appeared as an actress before she captured the heart of emperor Justinian I.

The archaeologist George M.A. Hanfmann stated that the bikini girls made the learned observers realize how modern the ancients were.

-kini Variety

The bikini is typically a women’s two-piece swimsuit. One part of the attire covers the breasts and the other part covers the crotch and part of or the entire buttocks, leaving an uncovered area between the two.

While two-piece bathing suits had been worn on the beach before, the modern bikini was invented by French engineer Louis Réard in 1946. He named it after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, the site of the Operation Crossroads nuclear weapon tests in July that year.

The shapes of both parts of a bikini resemble women’s underwear, and the lower part can range from revealing thong or g-string to briefs. So, let’s explore how many varieties there are and ask ourselves why a garment like the bikini exhibits this extensive variety phenomenon so clearly in women’s clothing.

A Standard Bikini

A string bikini is scantier and more revealing than a traditional bikini. It gets its name from the string characteristics of its design. It consists of two triangular shaped pieces connected at the groin but not at the sides, where a thin string wraps around the waist connecting the two parts. String bikini tops are similar and are tied in place by the attached string pieces. String pieces can either be continuous or tied. A string bikini bottom can have minimal to maximum coverage of a woman’s backside.

A monokini, sometimes referred to as a unikini, is a women’s one-piece garment equivalent to the lower half of a bikini. The term monokini is also now used for any topless swimsuit,particularly a bikini bottom worn without a bikini top.

A microkini is an extremely skimpy bikini. The designs for both women and men typically use only enough fabric to cover the genitals. Any additional straps are merely to keep the garment attached to the wearer’s body. Some variations of the microkini use adhesive or wire to hold the fabric in place over the genitals. These designs do not require any additional side straps to keep the garment in place. The most radical variations of the microkini are simply thin straps which cover little or none of the wearer’s body.

The tankini is a swimsuit combining a tank top, mostly made of spandex-and-cotton or Lycra-and-nylon, and a bikini bottom. The tankini is distinguished from the classic bikini by the difference in tops, the top of the tankini essentially being a tank top. The tankini top extends downward to somewhere between just above the navel and the top of the hips. The word is a neologism combining the tank of tank top with the end of the word bikini. This type of swimwear is considered by some to provide modesty closer to a one piece suit with the convenience of a two piece suit, like the entire suit need not be removed in order to use a lavatory.

The sling bikini is a one-piece suit which provides as little, or even less coverage as a bikini. Usually, a slingshot resembles a bikini bottom, but rather than the straps going around the hips or waist, the side straps extend upwards to cover the breasts and go over the shoulders, leaving the entire sides of the torso uncovered, but the nipples and pubic area covered. Behind the neck, the straps join and reach down the back to the buttocks to become a thong.

The trikini appeared has comically been defined as a handkerchief and two small saucers. It consists of a bikini bottom with a stringed halter of two triangular pieces of cloth covering the breasts. The trikini top comes essentially in two separate parts.The name of this woman’s bathing suit is formed from bikini, replacing bi-, meaning two, with tri-, meaning three.

The veilkini is a type of swimwear designed with modesty in mind. It is usually worn by Muslim women who wish to swim and remain modest as well as for other reasons. The veilkini resembles a tracksuit, although with a headpiece. The suit is loosely fitting and the pants attach to the shirt. Although modest, some pools do not allow wearing of it on both gender bias and hygienic reasons.

The pubikini is a bathing suit meant to expose pubic hair. The pubikini is a small piece of fabric that hugs the hips and buttocks but leaves the pubic region exposed, described as a tiny V-shaped fabric strip and a piece de resistance totally freeing the human body.


Pantyology examines the role of female psychology in the selection of women’s underwear. The informal study of pantyology reveals the female’s underlying motivations behind the choice of her garments and uncovers personality-linked secrets. The main categories are:

Polarized Chat-box
Never one to shy away from confrontation. She can be quite passionate in your point of view, taking a deeply entrenched black-or-white stance, but her desire to be right often causes strain in your relationships. She wants to be perceived as tough, but you’re quite sensitive, and secretly playful. While she has a strong sense of order, she would love to experience a spontaneous moment of excitement, a chance to break free from your boundaries, challenge herself, and escape in a new adventure.

Porcelain Duchess
She reveals her conservative nature, more specifically; her fear to take risks. She has grown up quickly and she is wise beyond her years. Behind her culture and well-mannered refinements, she seeks an escape from the mundane courtesies, from your social obligations, and more importantly, from your day-to-day life. While planning and playing it safe are the hallmarks of your personality, she is secretly aroused by danger, thrill-seeking, and reckless experiences. However, it’s healthy, and at times, necessary to step out of a comfort zone and take chances. How else can she experience growth and personal development if she doesn’t attempt to broaden her horizons?

The Pink Snowflake
Soft and delicate, unpredictable and fickle. Delicate to the touch, she is intemperate, turning into ice at a frosty encounter or melting in the face of a warm gaze. She has a sense of quality and refinement. She also has a strong desire to have a meaningful life, a sense of purpose, and to help others. She has chosen to give up your personal freedom and deny herself the power to take control and dictate what she wants for herself. She has a sense of quality and refinement. She also has a strong desire to have a meaningful life, a sense of purpose, and to help others. She has much to offer.

Velvet Dissonance
She is suave at pinpointing weakness with her bewitching charm as she evade suspicion in the pursuit of her heart’s delight. She is not interested in sweet nothings, homely comforts, kind words or gentle caresses: she would rather squeeze and slither in a writhing fit of passion.

Adventurous, thrill-seeking on the edge of her dangerous liaisons, she loves challenges, but her greatest rival is yourself, choosing image and façade over form and function, remaining anonymous to your identity in the face of her persona. A mystery wrapped in an enigma? More like a suit candy-coated with an agenda.

The Deadly Heroine
She pierces hearts like a needle full of adrenaline, stimulating her lovers with the sheer confidence to conquer anything or anyone–including her. If she has chosen these superhero panties, then she has decided to play the role of a deadly heroine, a seductress who inspires dizzying highs and trembling lows.

In her day to day activities, she is a leader, a rescuer, she has the need to do it all, but her impulsive drives and your natural inclination to assume full control of any and all tasks, exhibits a sign of distrust in others. She has a low frustration tolerance, easily angered by very minor annoyances because all aspects of her life are impossible to manage and navigate according to your perception of how her life “should” be lived. In relationships, she is easily seduced by the victim, who plays upon your need to feel needed, but over time, she transforms into the victim herself, and rather than rescue, she ends up harming those closest to her heart.

Scarlet Snow White
Happy Halloween! She’s chosen to be the so-called “Scarlet Snow White”. The costume lingerie reveals that she enjoys being the envy of others, setting the gold standard of achievement, while bewitching and seducing her lovers with the desire to rescue her from her wild and reckless self. She is impulsive, chasing the next fantasy to satisfy her fairytale delusions, searching for a “perfect” relationship that doesn’t exist, while discarding any and every potential prince charming who doesn’t measure up to her unrealistic expectations.

Rightfully Naughty
The Rightfully Naughty personality is quality controlled and clinically obsessed. Her choice of costume lingerie reveals her cautious side, playing it safe, taking the necessary time to assess and analyse information in painstaking detail before she makes a decision. She prizes etiquette, social values, and common courtesies, but secretly, she delights in breaking barriers and crossing boundaries that would otherwise be considered taboo and forbidden. In spite of her conservative facade, she has a strong sense of adventure, revelling in new opportunities that promise to stimulate her personal and professional growth. At times she can appear aloof, somewhat detached, and disengaged, however, her natural individuality inspires curiosity in others. At times, she can be intimidating and somewhat reserved, but people tend to enjoy her company, and over time, her integrity earns the trust and respect of those around her. In relationships, she can be somewhat particular, making pesky demands, trying to get all the pieces to fit perfectly together.

Hotshot Siren
The Hotshot Siren aims to turns heads and capture hearts! If this is her choice of costume lingerie, she is not a team player. The games she plays ensure that she are the centre of attention. Competitive by nature, she’ll bend and massage every rule that results with her on top. Highly opinionated, she has a strong sense of right and wrong, but she is also averse to conflict. Rather than confront difficult situations, she will keep quiet, tracking every situation that justifies her vengeful vindications. She flaunts, flirts, teases, and breaks hearts along her chaotic path towards disaffection. A woman of absolutes, she seeks the silver bullet – the one answer – the perfect mate – to solve her unsatisfied life.

Aeriel Gravity
If this is her costume lingerie, her romantic heights are an oscillating Aeriel Gravity, shifting between carefree whims and an inherent need for structure. She has a strong sense of style, very opinionated, detailed, and true to her exacting standards. There are times, however, when she is easily swayed by a honeyed tongue and a seductive smile. She loves to be pursued and desired. She craves recognition and approval. But beware: her need for positive reinforcement may result in unscrupulous people taking advantage of her kind nature.

Coquettish Schoolgirl
Her costume lingerie reveals her playful and manipulative nature, always acting innocent and naive but very cunning and skilfully seductive. Quite driven, always focused on her wants, she demand to finish on top! She can be difficult to satisfy, and frankly, she are very insatiable. At times her ambition may irritate others because her perpetual dissatisfaction may be interpreted as a form of ingratitude. She is the envy of her associates because they can’t keep up with her. In spite of her natural tendencies to thrive and succeed, she constantly put too much pressure on herself, and as a result, there is a part of her that seeks an escape.