Monday, 11 April 2011

Pointy tits and bullet bras

I had an accident at Zumba the other night. There I was doing my best reggaeton moves when something sharp and pointy nearly poked my eye out.
Ouch. Shit. The wire from my decrepit bra had worked its way out and was poking up through my vest. I tell ya, it’s tough trying to dance and stuff a wire back down your top.
‘What the hell are you doing?’ hissed Ellie.
‘Loose bra wire,’ I hissed back. What did she think I was doing? Feeling myself up? In the front row of class?

So I got home and darned my bra. Yup, it really is that sad. And then, today, on Twitter @englishmum was going on about the lovely new lingerie she’d been sent by Lingerie Please - which made me kinda wistful. I’ve never really gone in for gorgeous underwear but, hmm, maybe I’m missing a trick here. Maybe this is the next step in my total body makeover.

It must be in the air as, the next thing I know, I’m talking bras again – this time with writer Pat Black on Facebook. Well, actually he was talking about stormy nights and horror movies but I misread it as ‘stormy nighties’ and so he said, ‘Stormy nighties! The nighties in Hammer Horror movies are best, I think, as there are usually pointy boobs hiding in there.’

Pointy boobs? Shit, yes. And it got me thinking, why were boobs so damn pointy back in the day? It can’t have been that the boobs themselves were more triangular, so it had to be the bras. But how, and why? So I did what I usually do when I'm in doubt about something: I asked on Twitter. And was inundated within seconds.

@VincentAbnett: Circle stitched bras (said firmly and decisively)
@Zoe_Lynch: now if my grandma were alive she would tell u – she owned a Spirella dealership
@Spritzdeko: OMG ROFPMSL my mum, god bless her, was one of the pointy tit brigade.

Some of them obviously gave it practical consideration.
@Whyjay99: Fabric used? With less stretchy fabric the cups would have been made of segments sewn together.
@TABITarot: maybe they couldn’t sew round seams easily on the machines.

But not all.
@Fordkantaford1: Probably to cover up any sign of an erect nipple...  (yeah, right - incoming sexbot alert)

And even Ali had a rethink too.
@TABITarot: Pointy ensures maximum frontage.

I was then directed to this very informative page .....

Seems we’d been talking about ‘bullet bras’.  As the site explained: “The bullet bra is a vintage hallmark. It defined the silhouette of an era and represents a golden moment in American fashion when exaggerated femininity reigned supreme and breasts defied the laws of gravity.”

Okaaay. But it’s one thing wearing pointy bras if you’re a pert A cup; quite something else if you’re, let’s say, more amply endowed. If I wore a bullet bra I’d need an entire row to myself at Zumba or I’d be giving black eyes left, right and centre.

Then I remembered. About fifteen years ago my best mate gave me a Rigby and Peller voucher. I never quite worked up the nerve to go in and get fitted so it’s still sitting, quietly, in my desk drawer. Should I? Mind you, with inflation, it’s probably only one cup’s worth nowadays. Ah well, I’ll just have to enter English Mum’s competition to win a Lingerie Please voucher instead...you can too....just click here. 

10 comments:

Cait O'Connor said...

This was so funny Jane.
Funnily enough I went out with a friend recently, she was visiting a very posh lingerie shop (and there aren't many of those round here!) and being fitted for a very posy bra. A totally new experience for me and I am wondering should I be doing the same?:-)

jonstorey said...

Too embarrased to enter the competition, I will just have to get my knitting needles out!

Knit one, pert one!!!

Michele Brenton aka banana_the_poet said...

I remember pointy bras! My Mum had a few made out of cotton. As for bra wires - I always pull mine out as soon as I get the bras home because I have not yet found a bra that didn't PING at the most inopportune moment.

One of my most abiding memories is seeing my two younger brothers playing Vikings in the bathroom with a cotton pointy bra on each of their little heads. The pointy cups poked out either side and made very good fake Viking helmets.

Frances said...

Jane, I'm a totally different body type from you, but also enough older to remember various early bra purchasing exercises. These were pre-stretchy material, so all had to be done with stitches and basic cotton or perhaps lace.

It was fabulous to have elasticity enter the arena. More chance for many of us to find some sort of fit.

Did you make note of recent obits for the glamorous actress Jane Russell. Check them.

In closing, I'll say I noticed you've changed your header picture. I like the change, but truly loved that winter snowball picture.

xo

Kate said...

Ha! I've got a ample pair, shall we say, and I've often thought about Rigby and Peller. But they're not very convenient when you live in the North-East and don't have the kind of glamorous life which involves travelling to London regularly.

And yes - they were so pointy!

diney said...

Bras seem to be a problem in zumba classes - all that chest jiggling! I'm always having to hoist my friend's ample bits up for her during our class!!

English Mum said...

So wait, if you had really mahoosive ones back in the day, did the pointy bit flop over like an over-stuffed Mr Whippy? Oh the mental images.

Thanks for the linky. Love you. xx

zenandtheartoftightropewalking said...

Warning! : http://t.co/qYZZBY1

This is my take on the importance of nice undies.....
BTW, I laughed a lot at the whole bra wire thingy...and I darn them too!

Sessha Batto said...

Thank you SO much Jane, just as I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself you, once again, gave me something to be happy about - the fact that I do not now, nor have I ever (even throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding), owned a bra ;) As much as I hated it in my 20s, my 50s are teaching me the utter joy of being flat chested ;)

Sarah Chidgey said...

Zumba in deepest Zomerset!