By 1950, corsets were all but a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean bra fashion has become a more natural look. As the 1940s gave way to the 1950s, what remained of the natural look of the bra, first popularized in the 1930s, gradually lost its appeal. It became more exaggerated as it evolved, and instead of separating the breasts, they were pushed together to create cleavage.
Strapless bras became increasingly popular throughout the 1950s, thanks to the growing popularity of strapless evening gowns. And it doesn’t hurt that the increased availability of television and movies has brought gown-clad starlets like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Lana Turner into the American consciousness. Frederick Mellinger, who opened Frederick’s of Hollywood, introduced the first padded bra in the late 1940s (via HerRoom), but in the 1950s the emphasis on body shape meant that padded bras gained popularity. I was given the “energy” I needed to
Bras in the 1950s also began to feature ribbons, lace and trim, and the first television commercial for bras debuted in 1954. We had to wait until the 1990s for the right size and real functionality.