Date: c. 1950s
Origin: Great Britain
Fabric: Woven nylon
This rendition of the Kestos bra was trademarked in 1941 by Rosamond Lilian Klin, commonly attributed as the inventor of the Kestos bra. Her name is sometimes also written as Rosaline and Rosalind. This bra is near identical to the c. 1940s CC41 bra in our archive, though has been updated with a white woven nylon as the main fabric. Although nylon was invented in 1939, it did not become readily accessible to British consumers until the 1950s once wartime rationing had ended. Nylon was an attractive and desirable fabric for underwear. A major selling point was the ease of washing and care compared to other fibres.
The Kestos bra is based on two, lightly darted triangle cups, overlapping at the centre front. Elasticated straps cross at the centre back, fastening around the front with buttons underneath the bust point. The bra was designed c. 1926 by Rosalind 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’.
From the collection of The Underpinnings Museum