U-Wire Low Back Bra by Formfit

Lace and strappy low-back bra by Formfit Photography by Tigz Rice Studios The Underpinnings Museum

Date:  c. 1950s

Origin: United States

Fabric: Leavers Lace, nylon, elastic

Brand: Formfit

A soft cup style bra with a plunge U-wire seperator and strappy low back. This bra is an early example of ‘solution-wear’ and would have likely been intended for wear with low front and back dresses.

The bra is entirely machine sewn with a mix of lockstitch and zigzag stitching. Two part cups give a lightly pointed and natural shape, with an outer layer of lace and an inner lining of tulle.  They are horizontally seamed with a small dart at each bust point. A braided rosette embellishes the left cup apex.

The U-wire seperator is encased in satin tape. The cup underbust is lightly elasticated with a plush backed, picot edge elastic, whilst the cup neck and underarm edges are folded in and taped over with a nylon tulle bias tape. At the underarm a cotton twill tape encases a short steel boned that maintains vertical tension. Plush picot edged elastic makes up the ‘cage’ structure under the arm, attaching to the shoulder and cross back straps.

The shoulder straps originate from an inverted V point of grosgrain ribbon at the cup apexes, and can be adjusted through a black, enamelled, metal slider style component. A  hooked version of this component is used at the end of the cross-back straps that fasten at the front, allowing the bra to be altered to fit different body sizes.

This bra’s label indicates that it was manufactured by the ‘Formfit’ brand under its ‘Holiday’ line, model number 597. It is marked a size B32 and is approximately equivalent to a modern 32B.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum Number: KL-2016-010


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