Cotton Sun Top By St. Michael

Cotton Sun Top By St. Michael, c. 1960s, UK. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date: c. 1960s

Origin: United Kingdom

Fabric: Cotton

Brand: St. Michael


This cotton sun top is not strictly a piece of underwear but the cut and construction are very similar to a number of structured bra styles from the 1930-50s, most notably the ‘cathedral’ bra. This top uses a combination of vertical steel boning and cut and sewn foam padding to achieve its gently pointed bust shape. The centre back panel is ruched with rows of plush elastic for a more flexible and comfortable fit, fastening with hooks and eyes. The sun top is sized by overbust measurement (32″).

‘St Michael’ was the brand name used by Marks & Spencer, a British retailer, between the years of 1927 and 2000. The name was viewed as a guarantee of quality, and applied to a range of products from clothing to food. Marks & Spencer was founded in 1884, as a market stall in Leeds, UK, opened by a Polish refugee called Michael Marks. Marks & Spencer is renowned for revolutionising many areas of British fashion, and was one of the first retailers to open its own research laboratory for fabrics in 1934.

From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2017-129


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