Verity Bralette Inspiration


This style of garment, inspired by the Kestos bra, marks and important milestone in bra development. As corsets dropped lower in rise through the Edwardian era, another garment was needed to support the bust. These brassieres were often boned, like a corset, and did not have separated cups. The fashionable figure of the period was for a low bosom without separation. A bandeau style brassiere gained popularity in the 1920s, which tended to raise and minimize the bust, suiting the sillouette of the time. In the late 1920s, the Kestos bra was introduced, the first mass market brassiere with separated, shaped cups. This pattern is inspired by that bra. For a great article that gets into more depth on the history of the Kestos bra, I would recommend checking out Knickerbocker Stories, by Karolina Laskowska.  


This particular pattern would have been called a bra in the 30s, but by today’s standards I feel more comfortable describing it as a bralette. It offers moderate support and features non-stretch fabric, like a bra, but does not have the degree of lift and shaping that one expects from a bra now. However, the support from this bra is sufficient that I am comfortable wearing it all day at a job that requires a lot of running up and down stairs!


The story behind this design is my love of detective novels. Miss Marple DVDs from the library were a staple – the Joan Hickson version.  In some ways this piece is inspired by the character of Verity in Nemesis, but giving her a different, happier ending. Another inspiration is the novel, “To Say Nothing of the Dog”, by Connie Willis, and the character Verity in it – a character who time travels, loves mystery novels, studies history, and cannot help but save a cat. 

Helena Smith