With the likes of Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga sporting dramatic versions of the once famous bullet bra, it seems like this iconic bra is back in trend. But if you ask us, the bullet bra also known as the torpedo, cone or the sweater girl bra never did go out of fashion. For many women who adore and sport retro fashion, cone bra is their secret to getting the perfect hourglass curves!
The Beginning Of The Bullet Bra Trend
- Unlike the popular notion that Madonna made the bullet bra famous during her 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour, it was already a popular fashion since the Victorian age. Jean Paul Gaultier who designed her iconic bra, himself took inspiration from the Perma-Lift bullet bra of the 1940s
- Christian Dior’s famous postwar collection ‘Carolle Line’ or more commonly, ‘New Look’ in 1947 also paid homage to the Victorian pointed bodice
- In the mid 20th century, especially during the 1950s, women preferred the pointed bust. And we all know what a rage it was during the pin-up era!
Why The Strange Name?
- The garment takes its name from the conical shape of the cups
- Some people have the opinion that the military uniform for the ladies during the war also had an influence on the name. But famously, the name came due to its resemblance to the pointed bullets or torpedo shapes
- As for sweater girl, we owe it to the Hollywood actresses who wore these pointed brassieres underneath their fitted sweaters for a prominent bust. Legendary actresses like Marilyn Monroe, Bonnie Belle, Patti Page, Janet Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor where famous for their sweater girl looks
- Agreed that the images that we are often used to are that of the super pointed tips, but not all cone bras are that dramatic. On the contrary, there are many women who prefer cone bras for its comfortable and full-support design, not to mention the perky effect. The typical bullet bra features stitches in concentric circles or spirals ending on the tip
- This was the instruction given at a retro cone bra packet: Squeeze the bra gently in lukewarm soapy water. Rinse with clear water; roll in towel and then shape the cups while still damp. To iron, press with warm not hot iron
Cleaning Of Bras
- Madonna brought back her iconic bullet bra at a performance in Tel Aviv during her 2012 world tour
- This one was a dramatic exoskeleton torpedo bra designed by none other than the original designer Jean Paul Gaultier himself. The new version was made patent leather designed it give an exo 3-D effect
- To his credit, the famed designer has some of the most creative and gorgeous exo corsets and dresses
Bullet Bras For Plus Size Women
- The interpretation of slim or plus size was rather different during the retro era as compared to the modern terminology. Though women of the era were visibly slim, a woman’s size had more to do with the overall shape of the body rather than the actual weight.
- And it’s a well known fact that proper inner garments are the well trusted secret to create a flattering silhouette. So a pointed bra with its slimming effect and a modern shape wear bottom could work wonders to achieve that perfect hourglass figure.
- For the pin-up girl feel, there’s nothing better than a bullet corset with girdles or bustier.
Bullet Bikini And Swimwear
- Speaking of pin-up girls, there are artists and photographers who are trying to re-create the whole cool raunchy retro posters. Notable among them is Viva Van Story, a respected pin-up photographer
- Several of her works have been published including ‘Viva’s Pinups: Bullet Bras and Backseat Betties: The Photographic Art of Viva Van Story’, ‘Sheer’, etc
Bullet Bra Patterns
>Since the cone bras are not a common sight today, it can be daunting to hunt for a lingerie store that stocks retro items. What most women do is stitch their own versions. For easy-to-understand bullet bra and corset patterns, check out VaVoomVintage and TheVintagePatternFiles.
Opinions have always been vastly divided but there is no denying that bullet bras are among one of the most iconic fashion trends. What’s your take?