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I’ve spent the past year getting more and more involved with vintage and vintage reproduction clothes, as well as the vintage fashion community. At this point my daily wardrobe is made up of almost entirely vintage reproduction dresses, so in some ways it’s amazing that it’s taken me this long to start thinking about my vintage lingerie options. While I wear my vintage style dresses with modern bras, there are some that would benefit from a more authentic silhouette. After a fair amount of research, I’ve figured out some tips to figure out which bras that come in larger cup sizes will mimic that vintage look of the 1940′s and 1950′s. I intend to try a few of these over the course of the year, but today I wanted to talk about how to pick out good options in the sea of bras out there as well as my short list of contenders.
Tip One: Forget about fashion bras.
While you may dream of vintage bras that look like this, recreating your favorite vintage silhouette will probably require a bra that looks like the one at the beginning of the article. It will be extremely full coverage, semi-conical and usually come in only black, white and beige. It’s easy to liken this to how most people feel about vintage hairstyles – sleeping in rollers is anything but sexy, but the results are worth it!
Tip Two: Embrace the soft cup bra.
If you wear a larger cup size, you’re probably wedded to the idea of an underwire bra. Many bras that will help you get the vintage look come in higher cup sizes, but not necessarily with underwires. This may seem like scary new territory, but think about all the positive tradeoffs: stress free airport security, nothing to dig into your skin, etc.
Tip Three: Plunging necklines and vintage style bras don’t mix.
This won’t be a huge issue if you’re buying these to wear under reasonably authentic vintage reproduction pieces or vintage pieces, but it may be something to consider if you want to wear these sorts of bras on a regular basis with more modern clothing.
What to look for:
In a nutshell, we’re looking for the quintessential granny bra. After all, our grannies were the original stylish vintage women! Look for soft cup bras with full coverage on both the sides and on the top – you want your entire breast to be encapsulated by this style of bra. Most importantly, take a look at seaming. Good vintage style bras will have a seam across the middle of the breast as well as a large seam running from the bottom of the cup to the middle. This creates the triangular or conical shape that we associate with vintage fashions. These bras will also have wider bra bands than you’re used to, which help provide added lift and shape.
While there are lots of these out there, here are some of the vintage style bras that have made my shortlist:
As you can see, these all have virtually identical designs and that characteristic seaming that creates the essential vintage look. I’m going to be trying some of these over the course of the year, so I’ll report back if I fall in love with any of them!