White Lace Strapless Cathedral Bra By Kestos

White Lace Strapless Cathedral Bra By Kestos, c. 1950s, Great Britain. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date: c. 1950s

Origin: Great Britain

Fabric: Nylon

Brand: Kestos


A strapless bra with ‘cathedral’ structured supports offering uplift and allowing for strapless wear without the garment slipping down. The style was described in a 1955 advertisement as: ‘”Strapless” Gently moulds – and holds – the lithe ‘line’ so essential for off-the-shoulder occasions.’, with parallels to 1930s advertisements from the brand that also drew attention to the importance of ‘line’. The bra is made from a woven nylon lining, with an exterior of nylon machine-made lace. Tightly woven nylon channels on the bra interior hold steel bones to provide structure. The wings are made of a stretch nylon based net, and fasten with hooks and eyes at the centre back.

The Kestos lingerie brand was founded in 1925 in London by Rosamond Lilian Klin. The brand is best known for the ‘Kestos’ style bra (patented in 1926, and arguably one of the first commercially produced bra with separated cups). Alongside this iconic bra, the Kestos brand produced a full range of lingerie and even swimwear.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2020-042


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