That’s the easiest explanation we could think about, but let’s look deeper into it. The characteristic shape of the bullet bra (originally called the Chansonette bra) comes from a process of transformation of the female body shape. We won’t tell you about corsets and intimates from ancient history to today, but we’re briefly going back to the 40s to understand its evolution better.
In the middle 40s Frederic Mellinger opened a shop called “Frederick’s of Hollywood” on Hollywood Boulevard: a legend was born, one that would change lingerie forever. Mellinger introduced black lingerie into the United States, and created the world’s first push-up bra.
Hollywood stars started to buy in Frederic’s shop, but “normal” women would shop there as well. He spread the idea that lingerie served the purpose of making a woman feel right in her body: a very modern idea indeed. A couple of years later Maidenform, riding the wave, created the first pointy bra, it was called the Chansonette bra. This style was destined to adorn every actress, pin up and woman of the 50s and determine that “aggressive” look in their busts.
The cone shape was given by the spiral stitching, and it made the classic 40s shapes even more exaggerated. This has surely something to do with the WW II and its restrictions about nylon and fabrics. The pointy bra was ready to become famous at least a decade earlier if it wasn’t for war, but certainly war did help the quick and overwhelming response it had in the 50s. You can’t have a perfect pin up silhouette without a bullet bra. But how to style this quirky (for our times) bra without looking a bit weird? Well first of all if you wear a bullet bra with a 50s inspired outfit, nobody will think it’s weird because that’s how a 50s woman looks in our minds.
Don’t be afraid to rock your bullet bra because guess what, it’s trendy again. Since the pin up style has had another peak in popularity in recent years, the bullet bra has had it too. What Katie Did revived the bullet bra in 1999: this piece of clothing was meant for a small niche of vintage silhouette fans, but it has become a mainstream piece since and you can see those spiral stitched satin bras in almost every fashion editorial and Vogue issue.
You can wear a bullet bra under a soft blouse, a swing dress, a tube dress or a crop top tie shirt. You can wear it on every occasion because unlike the look of it, it’s very comfortable. The circular stitching and proper size made these bras fit perfectly on most women without the need for extra padding or under-wire, which contributed to their popularity back in the 50s and in its recent revival. Unfortunately these bras have never come back in full capacity since they went out of fashion in the 60s, when padded and under-wired bras were introduced.