Why is the Triumph Doreen Bra So Popular? A Review

By: Pippa


The Triumph Doreen bra was first launched in 1967, and the company claims it is the “world’s best selling bra.” It is a none wired bra, yet Triumph says it offers exceptional support for larger breasts, giving lift and therefore reducing back pains and strains. It uses a split bottom cup to gives better volume since the more pieces make up the cup, the easier it is to achieve a perfect fit.

The bra is made up of 48 different pattern pieces and is available up to a 48K cup. Triumph reports that the most popular size sold is a 36D. Cups are suspended on a cup frame, which keeps the cups close to the body and projects the breasts. Considering how popular Triumph says this bra is worldwide, it’s surprising that you rarely see it advertised, and it’s become clear that Triumph doesn’t want to talk about it.

According to Tony Jarvis, sales and marketing manager for Triumph, the company is keen to move on from the success of the Doreen, as they are doing much more work with a younger market now, which may be put off by the Doreen bra. The bra supposedly has a very loyal market, which is why I found it surprising when I couldn’t find anybody I knew who wore it. Online stockist, FigLeaves, conducted a piece of market research to find out who was actually buying this bra, and found that the majority of sales were made up by the baby boom generation, who are now in their late 50’s and older

I believe this loyalty to the brand is due to the fact that these women have been wearing the Doreen for many years, and are less aware of other options available to them. The baby boom generation, as a whole, are also less concerned with following current trends and fashions, and therefore are not put off by the somewhat restrictive style of the bra. It’s also worth remembering that one generations idea of style and class is different to another. The Doreen bra is a very good example of this. Today’s fashion dictates the lingerie market heavily; thin straps and plunging necklines are all due to the changing fashion trends.

I’m surprised that a bra similar to the Doreen, offering the same amount of support and lift, has not been produced for the younger market. Research shows that the average breast size has gone up from a 34B to a 36D in recent years, showing a greater need for more supportive bras than ever before.

I have tried the Triumph Doreen bra and found that the fit was second to none. The bra offered excellent lift and good support. However, I found the very pointed breast shape that the cup projects quite dated and wasn’t something I would be comfortable wearing. Most of all, and found the bra far too restricting in terms of incredibly heavy elastic which I felt was much wider than necessary in my size. I found that the cup frame sat well against the body, but sat very high up on the breast bone. This bra would not sit well under a lot of today’s fashion as it simply offers too much coverage and heavy strapping.

I agree that the Doreen bra offers excellent fit and if that were the only factor, I would completely understand why this bra is so popular. But the bras aesthetic values must also be taken into account. The bra is quite claustrophobic due to the heavy weight materials used, and therefore I can’t see many young women today willing to wear this bra.

Or am I wrong…? Have you tried the Doreen? What do you think? Share you thoughts below…

31 Comments

  1. 27/02/12 at 12:53

    I probably would wear that bra as a lounge bra, if it wouldn’t offer that dreaded pointy look which I find highly unflattering. I think the pointy look can look good on smaller cup sizes, but as I am 38-40 H in cup size, I think it would be rather scary to see these knockers in a pointy shape.

    I wish brands would make more appealing wireless bras as they’d be so great around the house. The Doreen does look kinda cute in that Tea rose -coloring I’ve seen somewhere.

  2. 27/02/12 at 13:41

    I agree it’s not the daintiest looking thing is it? However comfortable and supportive it may be (I haven’t tried it myself) a younger customer would definitely look for something far prettier. There are bras out there that offer the same great support, fit like a dream and look amazing. There are even other pointed cup bras that do this (I’m thinking of the What katie Did bullet bras here)
    Very interesting post x

  3. I totally agree with you…esthetically, not going to appeal to the younger gals. Comfort wise, I take your word. This is probably only going to be a great seller for the pin up models etc..

  4. 27/02/12 at 17:19

    I’m only in my thirties, but I love old school soft cup bras in terms of fit, support, comfort and shape. I know I’m in the minority but I think the pointy look is cute and sexy in a retro way. However, I find the Doreen and other similar bras quite unattractive. They are also unpractical to wear under low-cut tops. Still, I’ve seen the Doreen in tea rose and bright pink, which I found much prettier than the usual white version and have been wondering if I could pull it off with high waisted brief for a pin-up look.

  5. 27/02/12 at 17:51

    Honestly? I wish I could find a nice soft cup bra like that that actually came in my size! Because my breasts are so soft it’s hard to find bras that fit well and full-cup bras give me the best shape. However, soft cup bras are nearly impossible to find in a 28HH. Grr…

    I imagine part of the appeal is that many of us older women (ok I’m nowhere near 50, but my body has been through a lot of weight changes!!) prefer the very full cups. Firmer breasts just do better with lower cup bras than soft breasts and they stay put in them better too (for instance, plunge bras always make me have spillage towards the middle).

    However, the style could use some improvement. The design looks quite blah. If they’d spruce that up a bit I’d be on board. :D

  6. Lillefix
    27/02/12 at 18:33

    I would buy it if it came in my size, as June says it’s pretty much impossible to find a good soft cup bra in 28HH/J, the few that exists do not work for me, and I’d really like a soft cup bra to use when sleeping, or lounging. I would find it impractical to wear during the day however, because most necklines would fall too low on me, I don’t mind higher necklines, but few end up being that on me, and I also prefer an underwired bra when I’m up and about.

  7. MsT
    27/02/12 at 22:00

    I have a sports bra that is very similarly shaped. Hands down it is the most supportive bra I own. It gives amazing lift and shape to my breasts. I always laugh when I wear it cuz my breasts look better in my sloppy t-shirt in this crazy bra than anything else. Style-wise its too ugly and functional looking for me to want to wear it outside of my work-outs. I would looove to see this kind of fit and lift with an updated aesthetic appeal. Bras really don’t need the underwires if its well designed and well-seamed.

  8. 28/02/12 at 5:45

    We have been selling this bra since we opened our shop 24 years ago! Despite the fit and comfort of the bra being unquestionable, we have to agree with your article in that many of our customers do not like the rather pointy shape and extra coverage it gives. This is reflected in a decline in demand for the bra over the past few years, although we still have one or two exceptionally loyal customers!

    • Varsha
      09/03/13 at 7:07

      true! i am one of them. pls dont stop makin these. its fits like a dream. i have sivere back problems cos i am heavy busted, and this bra has been the answer to my problem. I dont mind the fact that its not that attractive, because comfort comes first, and mind you in am just 26 yrs. :) This bra is holds like no other bra.

  9. 28/02/12 at 6:50

    I’ve heard amazing things about how comfy the Doreen is but it’s not exactly something I can test myself – their smallest size is a 34B, not exactly ideal for a 28DD/30D…

  10. 28/02/12 at 8:15

    As a lazy A-cup (I tend to go braless or sports bra) I won’t feel the need to buy that bra. Triumph is the leading brand over here in Malaysia, however, sis and I are kind of bored by their dated patterns and shapes (the cups tend to have a bit of pointy-ness to them) so much so we now shop at La Senza. If I wanted something pointy, it would probably be for novelty so I’d go for What Katie Did and Stockings & Romance Bullet Bras instead.

  11. Thursday
    29/02/12 at 4:40

    I like the retro look of a pointed cup – but not on myself! As has been mentioned already, brands like What Katie Did do the bullet bra in some pretty styles, but even as a 26 year old vintage enthusiast, I don’t enjoy the look for myself. That being said, even with only a B cup bust, I find far too many contemporary bra styles for the younger market which focus too much on sexy without meeting the requirements of comfort. One is examples is twinned bra straps – they drive me mad.

  12. Jodi
    29/02/12 at 14:03

    Well, I’m a baby boomer, and I would never, ever wear that bra, even if it came in my size (which it doesn’t).

    It looks like something my great-grandma would have worn.

    Give me Chantelle or Freya instead.

  13. Evadne R
    07/03/12 at 22:54

    If you’re big busted and like retro styling, this is an excellent bra – many retro lingerie makers do not do the same large sizes as the Doreen. Also it is super supportive – very good if you have heavy breasts and a bad back, and stays comfortable all day. I love pretty lingerie, but when it comes to being comfortable at work or even play, this is the bra for me – I have pretty bras for when I need them, but day to day, I need something to do a good job. I can’t have wires as my rib cage is the wrong shape – and the Doreen is ideal. Also it isn’t as pointy as you may think – not like a bullet bra – it his much softer. It stops bounce and improves posture, and it doesn’t just hang your boobs from your shoulders like most large size bras. It’s not a ‘date’ bra, but as an every day, comfortable, supportive, silhouette and posture boosting item, I suggest you try it before you decide it’s arcane. It also stays in shape after many washes, and comes in lots of colours. I’m 31 and have been wearing them since I was 24, and I swear by them. Amazing.

  14. Lily
    23/06/12 at 9:52

    I’ve been looking at this bra because I want a more conical shape, and retro feel for under vintage clothes…I considered this bra but was unsure whether it would support my 34E breasts, now I’ve read this though… I’m off to buy it!

    Oh, and I’m 19 years old… So there might be like .0002% interest in it? :P

  15. Ollie
    28/06/12 at 16:17

    I’m 21 and I love a little rockabilly..and the pointed bra. I have the type of chest that needs support so
    I would get this. I would dilute it in water and dye it though and maybe crank up a sewing machine to modify if to “modern times” but I like it. Some smaller breast don’t fill in the pointy soft cup and actually look very pointy, but I find larger breasts somewhat soften the points. If worn right it sculpts your upper body very nicely

  16. Mrs Phyllis Cage
    17/07/12 at 17:17

    I have over the years worn all sorts and makes of bra and I find that the Doreen underwired bra the best for looks, fit and comfort. I only wish that more shops would stock them and that I didnt have to sit and trawl the internet to find one. I am neither small nor large being a 34 DD size and like this bra out of all the ones currently on the market. Please dont discontinue it like most shops seem to do as soon as one finds one that one like and is confortable.

  17. Allison
    10/11/12 at 8:47

    Agree with the other posts, nice comfy bra. I often wear the long line version along with a girdle for a real “sweater girl” look. May be quite “industrial” in its construction but so well fitting I happily wear it every day. B/f wore it for a vicars & tarts night – shaped his manboobs wonderfully, no padding needed much to his embarrassment.

  18. Mimi
    09/12/12 at 12:10

    Seriously, this is the only bra that fits me and doesn’t give out half-way through the day or ten wearings in. I keep trying other bras and coming back to this. I do not like the cone shape, and it doesn’t always work with a low-cut outfit without some serious adjusting–and the first time I put it on, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was wearing my grandma’s bra–but I can’t find anything that compares for durability and fit. If anyone finds one, please let the younger world know!

  19. LulaB
    17/02/13 at 19:27

    I just bought this bra last week in pink! I’m 28yo and wear a plus size Fcup. I do favour the vintage retro styling, so I was definitely on the hunt for something authentic to the era.

    Surprisingly on my research i found the soft cup is available in more colours other than black/white/nude – though harder to find. There is also a offering of the underwire doreen in a satin shine fabric which i have yet to try in what i found only in white/nude. Also I did see a few longline versions, but not in my size :(

    I found the bra surprisingly comfortable. I was hesistant to purchase a soft cup bra as I wasn’t sure if the support would be there. It was, though not as much as what a underwired bra would give, so i’m definitely wanting try that version.

    I love the authentic vintage design and the bullet/pointed shape lifts the breast and defines the waistline. The straps are comfortable for me, i’m used to the thicker strap as most plus size/large bust bras have thicker straps. I can understand the hesitancy if you were of a smaller frame and bust as the proportions would possibly not be so appealing. I love the pink colour and wish they offered more colour options.

    Overall i really love this bra. If anyone knows of other vintage designs still available today please let me know, i would love to try them out! :)

    • MT
      01/06/14 at 3:16

      Although I wear Doreen (38E) and am quite happy with it myself, I would suggest you could give Glamorise a try. Check out their website as they claim to be producing bras specifically suited to plus sizes (with comfort straps and cushioned underwires in pretty and sometimes vintage designs).

  20. MiniM
    12/04/13 at 20:59

    This is the only bra I feel comfortable in. I wear a 36DD and any other model makes me feel fat and unsupported. The Doreen is not glamorous, I agree, but neither is it quite as industrial as some might suggest. I don’t find it a problem with quite low necklines but that might just be the way my breast sit. Also, I don’t get that pointed effect – maybe that is an issue with the smaller sizes. I’d be lost without my Doreen :)

  21. fifa
    21/06/13 at 10:30

    I love this bra I’m a 38e cup my sister is a 34g cup we both agree this is the best fitting bra for big boobed ladies it offers fabulous fit and lift for big bust and a nice shape I’m 32 now but have been wearing this bra pattern for nearly 10 years I have tried other cheap and expensive brands I thought may do the same job but have always returned to triumph doreen.
    I just wish it would offer discounts or value packs, more colours and matching undies although u can get a few different designs and fabrics in it now.

  22. rosalind
    27/09/13 at 6:41

    I have always needed this doreen bra and have worn it since I was about 25 and I am 55 now.I dont consider myself old or a fuddy duddy at all.My husband comes with me bra buying and holds up this bra waving it to me if he finds it in the shops.He likes to call it DORIS which makes me laugh.I have been size 35 to 48 b,c,dd,e,f,g,h,j and k cup over the years in EACH bra size.Every other type bra I tried either cut in,I fell out of,it pushed me up in the boobs even further so I spilt out the top.Or the bra hurt with metal,bones or whatever.The straps were to thin,too tight,the bras didnt support me etc.The triumph doreen bra might seem bulky but it keeps a womans boob shape over the years-despite nature trying to let em hang out all ways and directions.Who cares what men think.Comfort is everything.I just wish they made it in more exciting colours like blue,red,green,black,purple in the k cup.I had a 36-25 36 hourglass shape once like catherine zeta jones.Ah.Those were the days….

  23. Janet
    09/10/13 at 18:20

    I am a Doreen convert! I love the feel and the support. I wear a long line bra for work (12 hrs a day) an then come home and change into a usual one. My husband loves hooking me into the longline :) I like the shape plus – I had to run today AND nothing moved :))

  24. Jan
    01/01/14 at 21:50

    I love the Doreen Triumph, have some trouble filling it with my A cup breasts in a 46 banad size. I would love them to build a 46A cup in a longline. It gives me so much shape and the guys really like my lines. I just have to help the filling out a little, the pointy cups are just what a girl needs to attract the boys. The girls may not like the points but the majority of the guys really get excited when they show up!

  25. Bridget
    04/03/14 at 8:33

    Hi i love this bra was one of the first bra’s my mum bought me when i became a TG woman as have female genes(inter sex)now a DD/E cup and have always liked the feel/fit and support and can wear to the office/work and also comfortable when driving unlike some for long days.
    ive many more expensive bra’s like prima donna/marie jo etc but these are still one of my fave’s for when you need something comfortable and glad they have brought out more colours Just bought the tea rose colour
    I also like the deluxe version.
    Do have a longline one for a special night!
    but i guess like most things one thing that fits one won’t another but for me hope they keep making as i will buy them as love the fullness and shape it gives you.

  26. Lou
    04/03/14 at 9:50

    I love the Doreen and have been wearing it since my 20′s as I’m a D cup and also as an alternative to my balconette bras which I also love and wear with lower necked tops. I would never admit to wearing Doreen due to it’s mumsy image but wear it under all my high necked jumpers and shirts as it is the most comfortable bra ever and gives a fantastic shape – no monoboob with a Doreen! It’s a great winter bra I just have to hope I never get taken to acident and emergency with one on!

    • Bridget
      05/03/14 at 7:51

      Hi why worry honey as im sure they would think quite well of you as i guess you can imagine some of the manky type’s they have to deal with and atleast your well dressed.
      My nurse friend wear them for work as like me are grateful for the support/fit/comfort they give as nothing worse than looking/being like looking like having face chewing a wasp when dealing with uncomfortable bra’s fidgeting around.
      I sure can think of a lot worse than these to wear one’s that have cost a lot more also.
      Had a goddess one that was awful. mind do like the Ellia 1305 really good if large breasted very recommended

  27. moureen
    06/05/14 at 18:03

    Hey i am looking for size 30 G or H of Longline bra. Someone help me.

  28. Renuka de Lima
    03/07/14 at 7:01

    Well, I’m 61 and a 36D size and still run three times a week. I use the Doreen bra as a sports bra. it is better than any sports bra I have tried. I do feel it is too restrictive for everyday wear but I have yet to find a bra that is not underwired (which I do not like) that gives me suport and that is comfortabble Where are those bra designers?

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