Monday, 28 January 2013

Let's Talk About Bras!

This is not a sponsored post - I just really love this product!

On New Year's Eve, while wearing this dress, I was approached by a very glamorous lady with the enquiry 'Are you wearing a Doreen?' 

For those of you not in the know, this is a Doreen: 

I didn't really know how to react - partly flattered, partly embarrassed that my bosoms were being scrutinised, and also happy to meet another fan of this fab bra. Made by Triumph, it was launched in 1967 and is apparently the world's best selling bra

I'm a HUGE fan of this bra! All the lacy panels and thick straps give it a granny-ish look - your partner may give you a puzzled look when they see you in it - but it gives the best shape, especially if you wear vintage clothes. Of course there are other great brands of bullet bra available, such as the 'Maitresse' from What Katie Did, but I haven't found one with the firm support of the Doreen.  

Modern underwired bras rely on wiring and padding to support the bust, and give a very rounded, 'cupped' shape to the bust, with little seperation to the breasts. Since the popularity of the Wonderbra, the cut of modern bras increasingly tend towards a squashed together look, to give a deeper cleavage. The Doreen lifts the bust quite a lot when compared to modern bras, and seperates the breasts, giving the 'bullet bra' sillhouette popular in the 50's. I spent years fiddling around with outfits, trying to get them to sit properly over the bust; it turned out all I needed to do was get the right bra. As well as this, the firm construction of the Doreen supports differently to underwired bras - I swear I stand up straighter, and don't experience as much back ache when wearing this bra. And the bras straps almost never fall down.

The only draw back - the front of the bra sits very high, meaning you can't wear it with any deep-v or scooped necklines. 

Enough of my descriptions - pictures speak a 1,000 words - so here are some compare and contrast photos. All in a lovely striped top for emphasis!

On the right is the Doreen - the silhouette is more 'pointy', and the bust is higher. I think it even makes my waist look smaller! In this picture I'm wearing a flesh coloured version in a 34DD (they run a bit small compared to other brands; I'm usually a 32)
 Next, the modern underwired on the left - my bust is more rounded and less seperated, and despite fiddling around with straps it still sits lower. In this picture I'm wearing a Fantasie 32EE.

Side view - underwire

Side view - Doreen
 If you're a fan of vintage clothes a bra like this is definitely worth the investment, and this particular one is easy to find -try John Lewis, House of Fraser, and Triumph's own website. I purchased mine from Figleaves, where they currently retail for £29.00.


  1. Oh, I know the Doreen well, I used to always buy a couple on a trip to England ( I live in Canada) from a chain store that specialized in bras ....forgotten the name. But over the years my shape has changed and they don't suit me so much now.

  2. wow, great post, must check this bra, I am so ignorant about the bras from the past, really grateful for this review, x

  3. This is a really novel post - great idea! I wore Doreens 24/7 when I was pregnant as I found them really comfortable and hoicked up the ever growing boobies perfectly!

  4. Hehe,yes it makes all the difference! I tried Doreen and was amazed but it was just too much. I opted for her tamer sister, Claudette.

  5. Thank you for this information! I have a couple 50s and 60s dresses I never wear because I couldn't get the bust area to look right -- now I know why. I'm headed to London in a few weeks and will definitely search out Doreen.


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