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Woman’s Brassiere

Woman’s Brassiere

Date: 1944
Catalog #: 1997.0177.027    Accession #: 1997.0177
Credit: Costume, Division of Social History, National Museum of American History


Maidenform (Manufacturer)

Maidenform began in New York City at a small dress shop called Enid Frocks. In 1922, Enid Bissett the owner and her seamstress, Ida Rosenthal decided that the fit and appearance of their custom-made dresses could be enhanced by improving the bandeaux style bras which were in vogue. Their design inovation involved gathering the bandeaux in the middle, providing more support. In addition, the gathers enhanced a woman's natural figure. Ida's husband, William, added straps and further refined the style. They chose "Maidenform" as a play on a popular brand called, "Boyish Form." A new bra came with every dress they sold, but the bras soon became more popular than the dresses and they shifted the company from frocks to full-scale brassiere manufacturing.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 9" H x 28" W

Physical Description

Cotton, peach colored bra with satin trim and straps, size 32. It is marked: ALLO-ETTE, Maidenform, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. Made In U.S.A., 31 32 33, U.S. Design Patent No. 126.641 7309.

General History

As World War II began women's fashions had begun changing. The boyish, flapper look of the 1920's and early 30's was giving way to designs that accented a woman’s curves.


Country: United States
War: World War II
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