The Evolution of Bras

August 29, 2018 2 Comments

The Evolution of Bras


 evolution of bra

Here is a quick stroll of how bras have evolved throughout the years!

Women’s undergarments started to revolutionize in the 1900s. In 1914, Mary Phelps Jacobs sewed together two handkerchiefs and pink ribbons and used them as a bra so she could dance and move comfortably in her gowns. She was granted a patent for the first bra, referred to as a “brassiere”.

1920’s The Symington Style 

The Symington was created to minimize feminine curves by flattening the chest area.

evolution of bra - The Symington was created to minimize feminine curves by flattening the chest area

(Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) 

1940’s The Bullet or Torpedo Style 

This bra style rose to popularity when Madonna wore the famous Jean Paul Gaultier brassiere during her Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990. However, it was initially prominent because of the Second Great War. During that time, women were required to work on the production lines as men went to fight. The bra was said to offer “extra protection” in the workplace.

evolution of bra - The Bullet or Torpedo Style

(Photo from a Warner’s Ad, 1956 issue of Look) 

1960’s The Sheer Bra –“No Bra”

This bra was completely see-through. It came with no underwire, cups or padding, and it was meant to free the woman’s body.

evolution of bra - The Sheer Bra

(Peggy Moffitt in Rudi Gernreich No Bra Brassiere, 1964 via The Red List)

1980’s The Sports Bra

The first sports bra or the “jogbra” was made out of two jock straps in the 1970s. Comfort and function were a priority in that time period.

evolution of bra - The Sports Bra

(Photo from JogBra, Inc. Records, 1977-1990 via the National Museum of American History) 

2000’s Full Coverage

Different designs were popularized in this decade. The full coverage bra was the most notable, but bras with one strap, strapless bras, memory foam bras, and corset bras were also introduced. 

2010’s The Conventional Bra

A time for the bra to be both comfortable and sexy. Memory foam is now favoured due to its advertised ability to conform to the woman’s breast shape. Bras come with underwire, lace, bustier, or corsets being an option.

2018 The Anesi Bra 

The Anesi bra is the first bra that adapts to your breast size. It adapts up to 2 cups and 2 band sizes to fit your ever-changing boobs every day of the month (available to fit 98 sizes). 

evolution of bra - The Anesi Bra

You can now pre-order the Anesi Bra 


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2 Responses

Peter Pane
Peter Pane

July 02, 2019

Sorry, highly simplistic! The brassiere was actually “invented” around the same time (2nd generation, Industrial Revolution, circa 1880s) by American, French and German “inventors”. This was more a case of evolution of many many patents being combined into one garment. The best reference book is UPLIFT: The Bra in America by Farrell-Beck and Gau… up to 2002. Bra patents continue to this day, in many countries. No one bra is /will be the ‘final solution’, despite what marketers like to promote.


September 07, 2018

That was interesting to learn the history of a bra. So glad I wasn’t around for some of those trends. They really were made to have women look worse. They were not flattering at all. Rachel from

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Bra Calculator

Bra Calculator

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Bra Calculator