Before we travel on from the world of strange underpinnings, I have one more item to share with you. This time I can tell you what it is although when I saw it at first I just thought it was rather peculiar. This item is one of the many lingerie pieces of every description that came from the estate auction of the woman who had had the shops in the far west and had reputedly dealt with many Hollywood celebrities. (Some of the items are being listed in our eCrater store "Lingerie Treasures"....with some of the more eyebrow-raising ones put into the category "Things We Don't See Anymore...Thank Goodness!") This item certainly belongs there!
When I unfolded this, I thought it was some kind of bra...it is....sort of! It has straps anyway. The only problem was...I couldn't figure out just exactly where the front was! There were hooks down the back but the opposite side where the bra should be.....wasn't! This was too old be considered the world's most elaborate early training bra...certainly a bit overboard if that was the case.
Fortunately our late entrepreneur had tags on most of her items....it is a 1920's bra binder! Oh, my gosh!!! It's a flapper bra! Or at least a flapper non-bra!!
I have always read of the desire of the roaring 20's gals to flatten their chests to achieve the most boyish look possible. I'd always wondered just how they did it...now we know!!!
The fabric is a slightly stretchy mesh, a bit of stretch still but more than likely long past "binding" and defintely beyond controlling any "bounce." There are seams in strategic places around it that look much like the encasing seams for boning that you would find in the long-line bra of subsequent years. There isn't a sign anywhere, however, of the seams being used for anything except a bit of body shaping. Well...there had to be something to shape to that girlish figure that wasn't just a long wide wrap-around band...think how totally uncomfortable (and impractical) that would have been.
On the hook and eye closure there is an odd attachment...two narrow strips of elastic that were probably originally a loop and a tag of some kind that was most likely a label (how I would love to know what that said!!!!) Was the tiny elastic loop to hold this binder down...or hold something else "up" and in place? I'm sure there is a knowledgeable person somewhere who would have the answer to this little tidbit.So...now we know how the flapper era miss achieved her desired look. Isn't it amazing what lengths we gals have gone to over the years to be in step with the times!!! Oh, how I wish this little "un-bra" could talk......
What do you think?