Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wonderbra links, company history & assorted items

This post is a collection of items related to Wonderbra history. There is no attempt to organize these items.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

books & vintage lingerie dating

Spent some tired energy this morning & gained some good energy. It seems I am a collector--and not much else. Librarian of my little corner of the internet. Here are a couple things I'm collecting & organizing--books & vintage lingerie resources. (Both of these books were ordered yesterday & should be here in a couple weeks.)

  • Janet Reger: Her Story
Product Description
Janet Reger's success rode on the crest of the sixties' fashion boom and all that was perceived worldwide as the swinging London scene. Her name became synonymous with fine lingerie. Janet's marriage to Peter Reger, the man she fell in love with when they were young students working on a kibbutz in Israel, was the vital ingredient in her business liefe: she the designer and creative force, he the business co-ordinator. It was the perfect partnership. Then, at the peak of success, came collapse and liquidation: her business in ruins, her marriage over. Later, tragically, Peter was to commit suicide. Today, Janet Reger is back in business. This is the tale of a woman in a man's world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chapmans Publishers (October 24, 1991)
  • ISBN-10: 1855925346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855925342
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
Chastity in Focus. by Janet Reger
  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Quartet Books (September 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704321513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704321519

Seeing Past Black & White Film To The True Colors Of Vintage Lingerie was posted by Here's Looking Like You, Kid as a remembrance/exploration of vintage lingerie (1920s-1930s especially) and the colors enjoyed by those who wore/watched it worn.

I enjoyed reading her post in the middle of last night while waiting for some other things to happen--namely, I've begun using a wireless modem (aircard) to access the internet and company servers through the cellphone network--this is what the government sold off last year & why analog television signals went away & digital radio/tv is being pushed so hard--and the speed reminds me of dial-up!

Anyway, here was a post featuring beautiful underwear & pointing to some resources that may help date and organize when a garment was worn. And since this blog is about collecting those resources and pointers, it seems appropriate to include this reference.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Sports Bra

In 1972, Title IX of the Equal Education Amendment mandated that institutions receiving federal funding had to spend equal amounts of money on men’s and women’s sports programs. By the late 70’s, over 6 million women were running, hooked on the feeling of health, strength, and endorphins. In 1977, runner Lisa Lindahl was a 28-year-old graduate student at the University of Vermont working as a secretary. She started with a list of features necessary to achieve comfort and support in a running bra, and would not bind or chafe. Then she turned to her childhood friend, costume designer Polly Smith. They were working on a prototype when Lisa’s husband walked into the room and jokingly pulled a jockstrap over his head and around his chest. Lightning struck. Polly fashioned a model constructed of two jock straps sewn together. After a test run with Hinda Miller, Polly’s assistant, Lisa knew it was time to refine the idea and go to market.

Lisa and Hinda built the business up for 12 years, creating a nationally known brand, Jogbra Sportsbras. In 1990, the company was sold to Playtex Apparel, and then to Sara Lee Corp. Miller left in 1997 after serving as President of the Champion Jogbra division.

In 1999, Olympic soccer star Brandi Chastin (pictured above) made the plain black sports bra a national conversation.

Now a generic name like Kleenex, Rollerblade, and Scotch tape, Jogbra has been honored by its placement in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum. Sportsbras generate $500 million in retail sales and are recognized as having as big a role as Title IX in increasing women’s participation in sports and fitness.

In 2008, the sports bra was picked as an all-time top fashion innovation. "Comprising a $300 million annual industry, sports bras account for roughly 10 percent of the bra market."( April 3rd, 2009)

Nancy Howard's guide to the sports bra covers several topics including anatomy, measurement & fit, consideration of type of activity while wearing the bra, bra care and construction.

For more on the development of the sports bra, including a timeline of innovations read Kelly Bastone's article, The Sports Bra Turns 30.

Types of sports bras:

Compression Sports Bras are a one piece style that you pull on over your head ;

Encapsulated or Natural-Shaping Sports Bras encapsulates each breast in an individual cup instead of compressing both breasts together as in the previous example.;

Compression/Encapsulation Sports Bras combine the previous styles by encapsulating each breast and compressing the breast tissue against the chest.

A woman's breasts are composed primarily of adipose (fatty) tissue, mammary glands, connective tissue, and the Cooper’s ligament, which keeps the breast firm and prevents sagging. Because the underlying chest muscles do not support breast tissue, exercising in anything other than a well-fitted sports bra can stretch the Cooper's ligament, leading to greater sagging and even pain during exercise.

"The Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, conducted a study to evaluate five sports bras designed specifically for large-breasted women. Commissioned by The American Council on Exercise, the study recruited 10 women between 20 and 45 years old who played various sports, including volleyball, basketball, swimming, walking, running, yoga, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis and aerobic dance. Dr. John Porcari led the study, which concluded that the encapsulated sports bra offered the most comfort and support. Female athletes’ common practice of wearing two compression bras at once produced more difficulty than just wearing one encapsulated style bra. The combination bra, she said, works almost as well as the encapsulated style, but it rates lower in comfort." (Little About) presents some additional information on the research behind women's breast health and exercise.

trends in bra size

An issue in trends that I find interesting is the sizing of clothing. Bra size is a topic that gets highlighted periodically & is used to measure changes in average body size over time.

Your Bra Size: The Truth May (Pleasantly) Surprise You presents (NY Times, April 2009) that bra cup sizes are changing. The reasons: 1) band size is getting smaller for a better fit around the ribs, 2) body fat is increasing, 3) breast augmentation surgery retains its popularity, 4) an aging population relates to changing bust size, and 5) women are getting fitted for their bras & not just buying what they always buy. They also remark that the psychology of a smaller band size (might feel thinner) and a larger cup size (feel like a tramp, feel more attractive) is important for consumers and retailers.

In Australia, the trend is also to larger breast sizes. (FOX news, April 2009). Up to 40 percent of Ausie women now buy bras with a cup size of DD or higher, new figures from lingerie suppliers show. In the 1950s, the most common bra-cup size was a B -- three sizes below a DD. Interestingly, while in Los Angeles and New York women are purchasing larger breasts, Australian women are opting for more breast reductions.

Reductions are related to larger breasts due to increased fatty tissue present. "Sydney cardiologist Ross Walker said artificial oestrogens found in foods, plastics and cosmetics had also contributed to the growth spurt. Oestrogen in contraceptive pills also spurred the growth of breast tissue, Family Planning NSW research director Edith Weisberg said. "I think the higher-dose pills could, because the oestrogen causes development of the breast tissue," she said."

The Times of India reports on a British study (April 2009) "of 1,000 women showed that last year, the average bra size for British women under 30 was 36 inches, but now it has thinned to just 34. Meanwhile, the average cup size has increased from a C to a shapely D, reports the Sun. A spokeswoman for cosmetic surgery clinic Birkdale, which conducted the study, put the changes down to women taking more exercise, cutting down on booze and fast food — and simply buying the correct bra size, spurred on by TV makeover shows."

STATS: "At Wacoal America, one of the largest bra makers in the country, 36DD is on track to replace 36D as its most popular size in 2009. (Three years ago it was 36C.) Bare Necessities, an online lingerie retailer, said 34DD was its No. 10 best-selling size last year, up from No. 17 in 2002." (NY Times).


  • Do get fitted regularly Always try a bra on before buying. A correctly fitting bra is firm but not tight, doesn't creep up at the back, and is comfortable. Underwires should be clear of the breast tissue.
  • Do use a laundry bag when washing your bras wRemember body shape changes as we get older
  • Don't expect one bra size to be the same for every bra
  • Don't wear an incorrectly fitting bra hanging over the top of a cup means the cup is too small, not filling the cup means it is too big. Creeping up the back means the chest band is too loose.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

the Skong, trends & other notes

The Skong debuted in Fall 2008 fashion collections. Here is a gallery.

Style Guru is not impressed: "Only describable as a sore defeat to the whole purpose of the thong’s existence, the Skong is as much a fashion anomaly as it is a retrograded movement of designers who just cannot rake their brains enough to invent something radically original. Drawing shamelessly from the skirted bikinis made popular in the middle of the last century, the Skong is basically a feeble attempt at making a beachwear item look less dated. Since the skimpy and sleazy look is on its way out, the thong has lost much of its appeal in beach/pool party circles. I guess some people out there still think they can redeem that old look by adding a bit of skirting in the front. Unfortunately, it ends up looking just plain tired and a little porn star-ish which unless you’re going for THAT look isn’t such a great thing!"

This is a great idea to bring attention to a cause, raise some service dollars & have some fun at the same time.

From Trendsetter: