'Nymph' Blue Cotton Wraparound Bra By Adlis

'Nymph' Blue Cotton Wraparound Bra By Adlis, c. 1940s, Great Britain. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: c. 1940s

Origin: Great Britain

Fabric: Cotton

Brand: Adlis


A bra in a tightly woven, pale blue cotton. It is cut with darted cups and gives a lightly pointed bustline. The bra is cut with wraparound strapping at the underbust, fastening with loops and buttons. The shoulder straps are made of satin ribbon, with small pieces of elastic at the back for additional fit flexibility.

This bra style is indisputably similar to the original Kestos bra. The Kestos brand faced many instances of competitors copying its popular and patented bra styles. The slight variance in the centre front cut of Adlis’ bra was likely in an effort to avoid patent infringement, whilst still retaining the coveted look and fit of the original Kestos design. Adlis drew attention to this difference in its adverts (‘Adlis With The Triangular Section’), and marketed the bra as ‘The 3 Way Brassiere’ and ‘adaptable for all occasions’. Adlis’ designer Dora Adler did in fact file her own patent for this bra style in 1931, focusing on the centre panel cut, but it is difficult to ignore the similarity to the Kestos bra (for which the patent was first filed in 1926).


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2022-019


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