Glamour Girl

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I Dreamed I Was Bookends In My Maidenform Bra!

Lisa Simeone

Friends of Glamour Girl know she is an insufferable proselytizer for the benefits of a well-fitting bra (her first article for Style, in fact, was on this very subject—sorry I can’t link to it—the vagaries of what gets on-line and what doesn’t continue to elude me—it was years ago if you have an old copy of the magazine laying around—but in the meantime you can listen to a similar report I did for NPR back in 2001). 

Anyway, my enthusiasm for beautiful, well-made lingerie hasn’t abated, nor has my delight in coming across old ads for the miraculous foundation garment.  And a few weeks ago The Hairpin reproduced a slew of them.  How can you not get transported?!

This one’s for the intellectual among us:

This one is downright bizarre:

This one reminds me of The Twilight Zone—better yet, that Carol Burnett Show episode where all the different commercials start assaulting her—Mr. Clean steps out of the wall, the Playtex Living Bra starts flying around the room—stop, I’m getting tears laughing just thinking about it (the only thing funnier was her “Gone With the Wind” skit):

Then we have this one, which was quite racy for the ‘50s/‘60s, don’t you think?

This one is dreamy, if weird:

This one is very Austin Powers (or maybe acid-tinged, or even reminiscent of Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion):

And this one is perfect for the Preakness (Corporate Village, not the infield):

(Hat-tip to Deborah for link to The Hairpin)

UPDATE:  From the Gimme A Break department:  a Dutch designer has created a bra boondoggle—apparently you wear the overpriced thing when you sleep, to prevent — get this — “cleavage wrinkles.”  You can’t make this stuff up.  Hey, ladies, here’s an idea—stay out of the sun!  That will do way more to prevent “cleavage wrinkles” than any phony-baloney gizmo like this.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/14/11 at 01:00 PM

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Typical American department stores carry the nicest (and most reasonable) bras for women who practically don’t need them.  The biggest cup in a cute, colorful, and lacy bra, under $30, is a ‘C’ - and no band size over 36.  Those of us who could not dare go without are expected to belly up to the wall of grandma bras.  I am now buying all my bras from online sellers in Great Britain.  Seems the Brits know better how to dress up their boobs.  The American stores never have the matching panties, either.  Do they expect us to wear mismatched granny panties to go along with our granny bras?  Who writes these business models?  Do you think we want to order from 12,000 miles away rather than be able to try them on before buying?  As far as the padded bras, some of us cannot get away with having our headlights on at work.  We’re not trying to be bigger, just to be taken seriously.

Posted by Anne Rene' on 04/19/11 at 05:18 AM

@DFITZL Thank you!

Arrrgh, if I were to wear most of the bras available off-the-rack (see what I did there?!) my bustline would enter the room five minutes before I would.  And I’m a C-cup, which is not *that* big, but the 3/4 inch of foam they make them with creates problems when you try to button your shirt.  Plus there is that nobody-will-look-you-in-the-eye problem.

Cleavage wrinkles?  Good grief.

Posted by Deborah Newell Tornello on 04/18/11 at 02:33 PM

These are wonderful. The device to prevent cleavage wrinkles sort of presupposes that one has cleavage in the first place. I’m glad to have one less beauty worry!

Posted by Patty Stokes on 04/18/11 at 02:13 PM

Wow!  I haven’t seen so many pointy boobs in one place in a very long time! Thank goodness this look has become passe.  However, I go nuts looking at the current fad in foam form bras which stand up all by themselves.  I can understand this extra va-va-voom for smaller sizes, but they’re making them even for the… er…larger woman.  Sorry, but we D+ gals do not need extra padding, especially if we want to find clothes to fit without popping our buttons.  (...stepping down from my soap box now!)

Posted by DFITZL on 04/18/11 at 02:07 PM

David, because not everyone’s endowments are perky enough to go braless!

Posted by Lisa Simeone on 04/16/11 at 11:37 AM

Very fun to see these. Would be nice to know the years of each of them. The Nipple Bra is the most bizarre, I think. If you want nipples showing, why not go bra-less?

Posted by David Gilmore on 04/15/11 at 12:09 PM

The bra hanging in the air with Carol Burnett reminds me of a comment a coworker made at the time: “It looks like J. Edgar Hoover has reprised his role as the Invisible Man.”

Posted by Nipper20 on 04/15/11 at 05:48 AM

Wheee!  I *love* these ads, and when I first saw them, I was moved to hunt down an old-fashioned bullet-bra.  In addition to eBay’s vintage lingerie listings, I’ve found a couple of good online boutiques that offer new versions in the sexy old style, Secrets in Lace being one such site.

(I think my favorite is the one with the polar bear—it cracks me up.)

Posted by Deborah Newell Tornello on 04/14/11 at 10:26 PM

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