Wacoal Bras featuring the Everyday Bra by Wacoal. Bras by Wacoal include Wacoal Bras Underwire, Plus Size Bras.

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Sheila's Sheer Elegance at wacoalbras.com

 

The History of
Bras Exposed!

100 years of bras,
boulder holders
and brassieres!


Bra History Timeline


Women have used garments designed to lift, separate and restrain their breast since as early as 2500BC. Minoan women on the island of Crete wore bra-like garments that lifted the bare bust out of their clothing.

From 450 B.C. to 285 A.D. women from Rome and Greece use bands around their breasts to reduce their breast size.

During the 1550s, Catherine de Medicis, wife of King Henri II of France, banned 'thick waists' at court functions. It was Catherine de Medicis who introduced steel corsets. From the 1500s until the 1800s the corset was the primary under-garment used by women for the purpose of shaping the waist and lifting the breasts. (Continued in center section...)

Types of Bras!


There are dozens of types of bras to fit your taste, need, style, size and particular occasion. Finding a bra that suits you should not be a problem. Once you have figured out your bra size and fitting requirements, you will want to decide what your day and evening needs are.

Below is a basic list of bra designs for you to consider:

Average Figure Bra: Just what it sounds like. The average firgure bra is generally worn by women with average figures, the B and C cup sizes.

Full Figure Bra: If you are a large breasted woman, you will want a full figured bra. Full figure bras offer proper fit and comfort for larger sizes.

Underwire Bra: Underwire bras or wire bras give you a "lift'.

Strapless Bras: Primarily designed for evening wear, strapless evening gowns and tops.

Convertible Bra: This bra is designed with fashion versatility in mind. It can convert from a conventional bra to a strapless, halter, backless, and sometimes even a t-back bra to meet your fashion needs.

Sports Bra: You shouldn't even consider doing sports of any kind without one. A sports bra is designed to provide the maximum support during any physical activity.

T-Shirt Bra. The t-shirt bra is all about comfort. It is soft and smooth and looks great uner causal attire.

Nursing Bra: Perfect for any breastfeeding mom.

Vintage Bra: You might be seeking the cone shaped, pointy bras from the 40's, or maybe a corset or bustier is more your style. Vintage bras have become popular in modern times.

Teen Bra: The right bra for beginners and their changing bodies. These are generally the AA and A cup sizes.

Sexy Bra: There's nothing like putting on a lacy, sexy bra to make you feel sexy and desireable.

Name Brand Bra: Some people only want brand names and you know who you are. Brand loyalty is an important aspect of the bra industry. Once you find a great fitting bra, you will want to be able to get more from the same manufacturer.

The History of Bras...
Hundreds of Years of Bras, Over the Shoulder Boulder Holders, Binders and Brassieres!

I had a dream in my maidenform bra!*

Maidenform Bra Ad 1949
See below

Maidenform Bra Ad 1949
1940s


Lift! Separate! Cross Your Heart!
Full Coverage and Busting Out!

How ladies have been containing themselves through the ages.


In 1863, Luman L Chapman patented a corset substitute with breast puffs and shoulder-brace straps that tied in back. The first bra was born. Then in 1893, Marie Tucek patented the "Breast Supporter" - the first garment similar to the modern-day bra that used shoulder straps with a hook-and-eye closure to support the breasts in pockets of fabric.

In 1904, the Charles R. DeBevoise Company first labeled a woman's bra-like garment a 'brassiere'. It was a actually a lightly boned camisole that helped stabilize the breasts

Corset substitute with breast puffs
1863

1904 Bra Ad
1904 Brassiere

By 1907, the term "brassiere" began to show up in high profile women's magazines and eventually, around 1912, it appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. In 1913, Mary's Secret appeared. Mary Phelps jacob, a new York socialite, made a 'backless brasierre' from two silk handkerchiefs and some ribbon. Her friends were sold on this innovative idea and encouraged Mary to apply for a patent for her "Backless Brassiere" design. Within a short time, Mary lost interest in the garment business and sold her patent to Warner Brother's Corset Company for $1,500.00. Today, Warner Brother's are a leading name brand manufacturer of bras.

By 1928, entrepreneurs William and Ida Rosenthal took the bra to its next stage by introducing cup sizes and bras for all stages of a women's life. Several year's later, Warner added the A to D sizing system which became the standard in 1935.

In 1943 Howard Hughes, famous billionaire and genuine lover of cleavage designed a cantilevered bra to better show off Jane Russell's cleavage in the movie 'The Outlaw'.

Jane Russell in 'The Outlaw'
Jane Russell in 'The Outlaw'

In 1947, Frederick Mellinger, founder of the Frederick's of Hollywood, began selling intimate apparel in his Los Angeles stores.

*In 1949, Maidenform introduced its famous 'I dreamed' ad campaign! Advertising Age named the 'I dreamed' ads # 28 of the top 100 most memorable advertising campigns of the 20th century! The earliest ads were drawings of women that were wearing just a bra above the waist in a variety of dream sequences (See above)! Tag lines included such greats as, 'I was an Eskimo in my Maidenform bra' and the ones above, to updated versions from the late 60s like, 'I dreamed I had the world on a string in my Maidenform bra'.

By 1959, Warners and Dupont had produced Lycra, the renown stretchy fabric. The result was the true appreciation for jiggle decrease! But then by the late 60s, women were burning their bras. In fact, one such bra burning was staged near the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1968!

The 1970s saw the development of the Ah-h Bra (1972) from Sears, and the sports bra in 1977 created by Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith who sewed two jockstraps together and named it the Jogbra!

And then in the 1990s, the bra industry leaped to a new level in the quest for cleavage by utilizing water, air and silicone pads. Improvements in these developments take us on into the 21st century with companies like Fashion Forms which are mostly about breast management and enhancement.


 


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