While searching for special holiday dates for May and June I stumbled upon the day the Brassier was invented. So naturally I became intrigued and started looking into what became the black hole of research that has resulted in this blog. There is so much to see when looking into the history of the bra, so these are just a few of my favourite styles that I stumbled upon;
The date I first came upon was May 30th, 1913. (Hence the desire to post.) That was a date for a patent on a handkerchief bra made to specifically go under a dress. That turned out to be a false date. I dug further and came upon February 1914 when the patent was filed and it was granted in November 1914. It was made by Mary Phelps Jacobs, who later sold the patent to Warner Brother Corset Company.
Looking for images of the first bra was a whole other ball of wax. I found out that in early Egypt, Rome and other ancient societies many different binding methods were used to either flatten or raise the cleavage to an impressive level. So there has always been something to cover and hold “the girls” in place since the first wearing of clothing.
The styles and mechanical engineering of how to hold the breasts has evolved so quickly that it all seems like a bit of a blur to keep tabs on. Here are a few of my favourite styles and designs;
This model was made to allow for more shaping and used the “natural” shape of the breasts as a guide using lots of measurements. This was used in tandem with a corset. Still Very limiting for movement.
The 40’s and 50’s saw more of a coned shape. Lycra and Elastic played a big role for the ultimate support. Known as the “Bullet Bra, it was easily made without metal boning or clasps that were needed for war efforts.
The 60’s and 70’s saw a “freedom” from the restraints of traditional support and let the twins breath and move freely in sheer and knit fibres. The “Bralette” was born and became a mainstay for a lot of women looking for a more natural shape and no constriction in the band fit. This add sports a style designed by designer Rudy Gernreich.
This was also the time of women’s liberation movements and the NO BRA era! Talk about freedom!
These days, we have a lot of emphasis on the padded, under wire push up bra. I had worn this style for all the years of my pubescent life growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s. It was Girl Power by the sexualization of our boobs. The bigger the cleavage the better! I started to have issues with the underwire however in my late 20’s, with digging in and the compulsion to whip the thing off at the end of a work day/outing. The more I felt that, the more unhappy I was with my bra’s. But that was all I could find in the big box stores we had in a small Ontario town. That is until I found The bra’s from Devil May Wear when I moved to Vancouver!
The bralette style, natural fibre bra’s have become a ‘must have” in my wardrobe of lingerie. They take it back to a more natural state of letting the breasts do what they may on the body and being comfortable with that. The Rayon from Bamboo blend with cotton is luxurious as well as the nylon lace styles. Our designer Stephanie makes every pair herself so you know exactly who has touched your bra and where it was made.
Ultimately, it is up to the wearer what type of bra you want to wear, if any (Pasties work too). Be sure to try them on and above all else, make sure you are comfortable!
Good Luck and have a Happy Bra Day every day!!