Ancient Origins Of Everyday Things:  Sports Bra

Known as an apodesmos and created by the ancient Greeks, a tight band of cloth was originally worn by women who participated in sporting events. Placed over the breasts, it would restrict their movement, making athletics a little easier. For the exhibitionists in society, it could be worn underneath the breasts, emphasizing them like a Wonderbra. In addition, the apodesmos was much more prevalent in city-states which promoted women’s sports, like Sparta.Another piece of cloth known as a strophion could be worn over the clothes, providing the same type of support as an apodesmos. Both garments were normally made of wool or linen, and they were usually tied or pinned in the back. Various statues have been found depicting the goddess Aphrodite wearing an apodesmos, leading some to believe that thinner versions may have had an erotic connotation.

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