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Women are only just finding out why underwear has a bow on the front

Lucy Devine

Published 
| Last updated 

Women are only just finding out why underwear has a bow on the front

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

It's something we've never thought about before, but now we come to think about it, so much of women's underwear has a little bow on the front, right?

Well, apparently, there's a couple of reasons why.

Taking to Reddit, one person opened the debate to try and get to the bottom of what their purpose is.

"Why do so many panties have that little bow on the centre front? Where did the tradition come from?" they asked.

What are those little bows about? Credit: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy
What are those little bows about? Credit: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy

One person commented: "As for the roots of the tradition? It comes from pre-elastic days, when your underthings were held in place by a bit of ribbon threaded through the eyelet lace at the tops.

"The little bow is where you tied that ribbon, and of course it's in the front because that's the easiest place to do something like that."

Before underwear was elasticated, the bow actually functioned to stop the garments from falling down and to adjust them to make sure they were the right size.

But it's not the only reason.

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Centuries ago, before electricity was invented, women would often have to get up before dawn and dress in the dark, or by candlelight.

Most historians agree that the bows on the front of underwear would help them put the underwear on the correct way.

Nowadays, the bows seem to have stuck around for decorative reasons, although it certainly does still help many distinguish which way around the pants should be. Two birds, one stone.

There's a couple of reasons behind the design. Credit: Design Pics/Alamy
There's a couple of reasons behind the design. Credit: Design Pics/Alamy

And it seems that a lot of people out there had no idea about the bow's origin.

Another Redditor said: "I always wondered what that damn bow was there for.

"I always found them a bit stupid but I learned to ignore them.

"It's interesting to know why they were there to begin with (as a practical way to tie your underwear)."

"Holy s**t you just blew my mind," added a third.

Others admitted they always remove the bows themselves, with one person commenting: "I always take them off."

While another said: "They're really annoying. I always tear them off."

Have you ever noticed them before?!

Topics: Fashion

Lucy Devine
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