Date: c. 1930s
Fabric: Cotton yarn, rayon satin ribbon, elastic
Brand: Custom made
A soft cup style bra based on the ‘Kestos’ bra of the late 1920s. The bra design was patented in 1926 and the bra was arguably one of the first commercially produced bras with seperated cups. It marked the shift in ideal body aesthetic from the flattened bust of the 1920s to the more voluptuous ideal of the 1930s.
The Kestos bra is based on two triangle cups. Elasticated straps cross at the centre back, fastening around the front with buttons underneath the bust point. The bra was designed by Rosamond Lilian Klin in London, England. The Kestos bra remained popular through the 1930s and 1940s. Although the Kestos brand produced many different styles, this bra shape became generically known as ‘The Kestos’.
This particular bra is not an authentic branded Kestos, but was most likely home made. Rather than stitched from fabric, the body of this bra is crocheted and then finished with satin ribbon straps, cord elastic and shell buttons. Crochet brassieres were first popularised in the 1930s, giving the lightly lifted bust line that was so fashionable for the time period, with a number of crochet patterns available for home crafting.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska