Some historical accounts credit two women for the invention of the modern bra. In 1889, Herminie Cadolle from France came up with the concept of cups and straps, which she dubbed “corselet gorge.” A few years later, New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob fashioned two silk handkerchiefs held by a pink ribbon as an alternative to the corset in 1913.

The recent discovery of four bras in Castle Lengberg in Tyrol, Austria, however, suggests that bras must have existed as early as the 1400s. These bras had straps and were decorated with lace. Even today, a lot of women love to wear bras with lace decoration. Must-have items like Prima Donna bras with lacework add an unmistakably feminine and sensual allure. Here are a few of the most popular lace varieties:


During the late 16th century, affluent French women typically adorned collars, sleeves, and hats with the finest silk lace. They even spent vast sums importing lace from Italy. As production shifted to France, certain regions became known for producing exquisite lace. Marthe Laperriere, a woman from Alençon in Lower Normandy, revolutionized local lacework traditions and developed fine needlepoint lace techniques. Alençon lace quickly became popular among the upper class and, up until World War I, was considered the most expensive lace in the world.


Similarly, lace from the little town of Chantilly, located 40km north of Paris, became an instant favorite among high-society French ladies in the 18th century, such as Madame du Barry and Marie Antoinette. Production ceased during the French Revolution but was shortly revived under Napoleon I. Today, push-up bras adorned with this timeless accent piece are best-sellers from specialty stores like Bits of Lace Fine Lingerie.


This variety is considered one of the most exquisite types in production today. Leavers lace consists of 90 percent cotton and made using the Leaver machine, which was invented by the American John Leaver in 1813. Some fine lingerie pieces are embellished with delicate and elegant embroidered overlays made of Leavers lace.


Stretch lace uses a blend of lace and lycra, spandex, or any stretchable material. This type resembles typical lace designs albeit has a modified fit, to accommodate various breast sizes. A contour-fit plus size strapless bra with a wide band of stretch lace fabric and supportive underwire offers seamless fit and support under any type of garment.