How To Wear a 1950s Bullet Bra: The Best Tips

Have you ever wondered how you can get away with wearing a 1950s bullet bra?

While I have already written an article about vintage lingerie and bullet bras, I failed to mention the ways and styles women used to wear these undergarments. Of course, wearing a bullet bra is not rocket science, but these garments are quite different compared to modern bras. Not only the shape of a bullet bra is different, but the structure and materials used are also different.

For that reason, bullet bras tend to look good only when wearing certain clothes. So, how do you wear a bullet bra exactly? Keep reading to find out.

How To Wear a 1950s Bullet Bra

Before you can worry about styling bullet bras, you need to figure out where to obtain one. Some people like to buy true vintage bullet bras off of eBay or similar sites, but I always thought the idea of buying 60 or 70-year-old bras was not an attractive prospect. Plus, such old garments may not be in the best condition.

A typical 1950s bullet bra.
Marilyn Monroe in a bullet bra.

Vintage reproduction bullet bras are the perfect alternative. As long as you choose a good brand like What Katie Did or Secrets In Lace, you’ll be able to enjoy the quality of a very authentic bullet bra without the garment smelling like your grandmother’s closet. Some bullet bras have the famous Maxwell whirlpool stitching pattern for the cups while others may consist of two panels sewn together to create a subtler point.

Both types of bras produce more or less the same shape, but those with the whirlpool stitching tend to be more pronounced. The first thing you should know about bullet bras, whether they be reproductions or true vintage, is that they don’t have nearly as much stretch as modern bras. While you might be able to slingshot your modern bra across the room like a rubber band, you won’t be able to do this with vintage bras.

What to Know

This is because they are made out of stiffer, non-stretch materials. Some brands like What Katie did have incorporated some stretch into their bullet bras for a more modern style of comfort. Even so, you should still be careful about what size you choose as the band and shoulder straps won’t stretch as much as what you’re used to. Once you get that figured out, you can start figuring out how to wear clothes over such a bra.

1960s bra ad.

Bullet bras don’t have to be super obvious over your clothing. Authentic bullet bras were relatively subtle and functioned to add more definition to the breasts while also lifting them away from the waistline. This defined the waistline and made the overall figure look slimmer and more youthful. The best way to wear a bullet bra is to wear it with a true vintage garment.

The Details

This is because dresses and blouses from the 1950s and 1960s were designed to be worn with bullet bras. Specifically, they had darts around the chest and ribcage that emphasized the more angular shape of the bullet bra while streamlining the shape of the torso. You will find that if you try to wear a modern t-shirt with a bullet bra, it will look a bit ridiculous.

This is because wearing something that is not tailored over a bullet bra will make the piece of clothing look very baggy and boxy. If you can’t get your hands on a true vintage garment to wear with the bullet bra, try wearing that is a vintage reproduction. While the fit may still not be perfect, it should look better.

Custom tailored clothing would be your best bet if you could find a good tailor. Once you find the right shirt or dress to wear the bullet bra, the garments will do all of the work for you. One last thing: it is best to wear a silk slip or something similar over the bullet bra and under your shirt or dress.

This will ensure that the bullet bra doesn’t look too outrageous underneath your shirt. A slip also helps to protect your shirt or dress against whatever sweat and dead skin cells happen to fall off your body. As long as you do that, you should be good to go when wearing a 1950s bullet bra.

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