The 20th century brought big changes in women's underwear. The idea of lingerie as a visually appealing undergarment was developed in the late nineteenth century by Lady Duff-Gordon of 'Lucile'. She was a pioneer in developing lingerie that freed women from more restrictive corsets.
The word lingerie comes from linge, meaning 'washables' in French. Faire le linge is "do the laundry" in French.
- Oxford English Dictionary