From corsets and pinup gear to thongs and push-up bras – the history of lingerie is a long and sultry one. Usually, celebrated clothing is all about the outside garments, but what about what’s underneath? Many magazines have put lingerie in the spotlight, and who can blame them? It’s resulted in some of the most iconic magazine covers of all time. We’ve picked out some of our favourites from the bunch, perhaps for a little inspiration...
Marilyn Monroe, Photoplay Pinups - 1953
Who could ever forget the ultimate sex symbol and icon, Marilyn Monroe? As the saying went: “gentlemen prefer blondes” – their words, not ours. Always the number one pinup, Marilyn has featured on countless covers, but this Photoplay Pinups shoot from 1953 was definitely a hit. It’s classy, with a hint of sexy; hot black lace, cute ribbons and just a bit of see-through is the perfect style for an hourglass figure. Add some red lipstick and TA-DAH! - The look is complete.
Sophia Loren, Life - 1966
Well-known for her voluptuous figure and mesmerising, cat-like eyes, Italian actress Sophia Loren sparked quite the controversy among readers of the 1966 Life magazine cover shoot causing many of them to cancel their subscriptions. In our opinion, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of controversy, especially if it’s done by sporting a transparent negligee, and looking fierce doing it. Not many could pull it off. After all, it’s all about the attitude, confidence and sensuality.
Cindy Crawford, Cosmopolitan - 1991
Moving on to the 90s – the hair, the makeup, the fashion – what’s not to love about it? This was definitely the era of the supermodels. Gorgeous Amazon Cindy Crawford graced this 1991 Cosmopolitan cover with her impeccable physique. Us? Jealous? Okay, maybe a little bit... The white lace push-up corset is a beautiful, yet undeniably sexy, classic. Wear a figure-shaping piece like this under your bridal gown and you know you’ll get an instant confidence boost.
Angelina Jolie, Rolling Stone - 1999
There’s no surprise that Angelina Jolie has topped numerous “World’s sexiest” lists. Her famous pout and dark hair is not easily forgotten. Looking seductive as always on her 1999 Rolling Stone cover, we wouldn’t be surprised if the sales skyrocketed when this iconic magazine hit the shelves. This look is so elegant, but the semi-transparency adds a bit of fantasy to it. The intricate lace pattern is sure to flatter any size and shape.
Rachel Bilson, GQ - 2008
Salute the troops! Rachel Bilson nails the all-American bombshell look on this 2008 GQ cover. You can never go wrong with sexy, themed lingerie set to realise some of your deepest, darkest fantasies. This is a fun look, and a splash of colour is always a breath of fresh air. Done right, lingerie with just a hint of a costume concept behind it can make undressing so much more fun.
Regardless of the era, lingerie continues to be an expression of liberation, even taking the centre stage rather than outerwear, and who can complain? Celebrate your body, allow yourself to feel sexy and let your underwear make a statement. We’re definitely PRO: Bare it all!