Tulle And Satin Breast Pads

Pleated tulle and satin bust pads, c.1930s The Underpinnings Museum shot by Tigz Rice Studios 2017

Date: c.1930s

Origin: United States

Fabric: Tulle and rayon satin

Brand: Unknown


The 1930s saw a change in fashionable bust silhouette, moving from a flattened shape to a more lifted and shaped bust. These bust pads would have been designed to be inserted into a bra to pad out the breast shape whilst still retaining a ‘natural’ look. They would have allowed for smaller busted women to fill out the new style seperated-cup brassieres, and  to fit the fashions of the period. They have a padded rayon satin base and are embellished with tulle arranged in circular ruffles, for shape and volume.

Padding was not just used to create uplift, it was also used to make breasts appear larger and an increasing numbers of products became available in the mid-1930s to enable women to boost what nature had provided. Options available in the 1950s were more extensive and technical, including: padding built into a bra, made from foam rubber, felt or eiderdown; removable pads that slipped inside pockets in the cups; separate ‘bust forms’ or ‘falsies’ to be placed inside any brassiere.

The pads are shown photographed in a 1950s quarter cup bra.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum Number: KL-2017-004


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