Date: c. 1930s
Fabric: Cotton yarn, elastic
With greater emphasis on a shaped, lifted breast in the 1930s, a change from the minimizing bandeau silhouette popular in the 1920s, brands and home sewers began to experiment with ways to create a rounder shape. Between 1931-1933, circular-knit and crochet bras were introduced by manufacturers, promoting a light, rounded shape. Women’s Wear Daily identified the source of the trend as the French Riviera, where the breeziness of the openwork crochet was suitable to the warm climate and would be worn under beach pajamas.
This pink, commercially-crocheted bra with separate cups and ribbon straps ties in back with a ribbon that threads through loops under the bust. The separate cups and ribbon tie may have been influenced by the Kestos bra. Patterns for crocheted bras were also available for home sewers and there are several examples of homemade crocheted bras in the Underpinnings Museum collection.
Many thanks to Caroline Elenowitz-Hess for the object description and research.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska