Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

Using Archives to Teach Gender



All referenced quotes presented on the sidebars in this website are taken from the book Teaching Gender with Libraries and Archives: The Power of Information, edited by Sara de Jong and Sanne Koevoets.

Advertisement – Women’s Underwear

Image from a Marks & Spencer marketing leaflet, 2002.
This advertisement was created after the M&S branding of ‘St Michael’ turned into ‘Marks & Spencer’ at the start of the 21st century.
Below is further background information about the resource from the M&S Archive:
“Lingerie has long been a core M&S product and in 1995 M&S continued to develop this offer with a free in-store professional bra fitting service. Today M&S provides lingerie for women of all shapes and sizes with one in 3 women wearing an M&S Bra! In 2006 M&S introduces a rage of post-surgery bras in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.”

When compared with the image below, one can see the dramatic changes to women’s underwear over the last 60 decades.


Advertisement from St Michael News, October 1953.


Certain similarities can nevertheless be drawn with the statement ‘Glamour is not the exclusive right of the slim’ highlighting how M&S have always catered for all shapes and sizes. Nevertheless, their advertising campaigns do appear to focus primarily on slim women.


Click on the images to view them full-size.

You may also be interested in this other underwear advert, or in videos of M & S advertisements broadcast on television throughout the 20th century. To find out where you can access these videos, click here.

Source: Marks & Spencer Company Archive

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