5 Curious Facts About Bras That You Probably Didn't Know
Posted on November 04 2019
1. The origin of Sports Bra
In the absence of sports bras, women playing tennis at Wimbledon in 1887 competed in whalebone and metal corsets, which were so stabby that they often ended up covered in blood by the end of a match.
The modern sports bra wasn't invented until 1977. It was a DIY affair — sisters and running enthusiasts Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith made it by sewing two jockstraps together.
2. Creation of the First Modern Bra
The first modern bra was also a DIY project — it consisted of two handkerchiefs sewn together by a wealthy young woman named Caresse Crosby.
Crosby was unhappy with the way her corset looked under her dress, so she requested that her maid bring her silk hankies, pink ribbon, some cord, and a needle and thread, and then she created the first modern bra. She patented the design in 1914, and started the Fashion Form Brassiere Company
3. Bra makers at Playtex came up with the design for the the Apollo 11 spacesuits.
During the space race, NASA sponsored a competition to design the astronauts' suits, and Playtex threw its hat in the ring. The military contractors they were competing against created heavy-duty, structured suits, but Playtex's had "crucial softness, world class stitching, and perfect design." The suits had 21 layers of super-thin fabric, were made from literally the same materials as Playtex bras, and they were sewn — without using any pins — by Playtex seamstresses.
4. You can thank (or blame) Mark Twain for the modern bra clasp.In 1871, Twain patented an "Improvement in adjustable and detachable straps for garments." When describing his design, he wrote, "The nature of my invention consists in an adjustable and detachable elastic strap for vests, pantaloons, or other garments requiring straps, as will he hereinafter more fully set forth." But the modern bra is where the clasp really caught on.
5. Feminists didn't burn their bras to protest the 1968 Miss America pageant.
Despite the persistent trope of the bra-burning feminist, this didn't happen. What did happen is that feminists protested the pageant by throwing bras into a trash can.
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