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London's V&A museum reveals a brief history of underwear

Think of it as Victoria's (and Albert's) secret. London's Victoria and Albert Museum has peeled back fashion's layers to expose everything from long johns to lingerie in "Undressed," an exhibition tracing the hidden history of underwear.

It's a story about covering up, and also about showing off. For centuries, people have worn undergarments for practical reasons of protection, hygiene and comfort — but there has always been an element of sexuality and drama as well.

"Something we wanted to correct in the exhibition is the assumption that all historical underwear is plain," researcher Susanna Cordner said Wednesday.

She said early underwear...

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