The history and comeback of the pointed bra: “The trend today has little to do with sexuality”

The history and comeback of the pointed bra: “The trend today has little to do with sexuality”
The history and comeback of the pointed bra: “The trend today has little to do with sexuality”

To find the very first design, we don’t have to go back very far in time. In 1941, lingerie company Perma-lift introduced a bra with pointed cups. They do not contain braces; it was the stitching that kept the cups in shape. The brand promised women ultimate wearing comfort and support in one. And that was exactly what customers were looking for at the time. During the Second World War, women more often went to work in factories instead of staying at home. Throughout the working day they could personally experience that their breasts could use more support. “The bra had purely functional purposes,” says stylist Kiki Vogels. “In the forties the garment was not yet known as cone bra Due to the conical shape, it can be used as a torpedo or bullet bra. Those terms referred to the wartime.” Those names stuck around for a long time afterwards.

Sweater girls

In the 1950s the functional aspect partly faded. With the exception of pin-up girls and burlesque dancers, the pointed bra was still worn purely as underwear, but it did create very prominent breasts under modest clothing. The provocative undergarments contradicted the good girl image that was the norm at the time. The American singer Patti Page, Frenchwoman Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe were loyal followers of this style and were seen as sweater girls, the coined collective name for Hollywood stars who wore tight sweaters to accentuate their bosom. Sexy or not, the pointy design was praised as a great bra for women with different bust sizes. Women with a full bust received the necessary support, while those with a compact bust received an uber-sexy feminine silhouette. However, some designs were so extreme that padding was necessary to prevent empty cups.

Pop culture

The bullet bra remained highly sought after until well into the 1960s. Only at the end of the decade did popularity take a dip. Bras that followed the natural lines of a woman’s body suddenly became more popular. For about fifteen years, breasts were supported in inconspicuous cups. Until Jean Paul Gaultier had enough. The French couturier did his own thing with the bullet bra for his Barbès collection and placed the piece in the spotlight… as a prominent top. A model strolled the catwalk in an orange velvet dress with exaggerated pointed cups. The American media, including Vogue and The New York times, were initially in shock. Unlike the European press, they didn’t even mention the pointy bras in their reviews. The fashion world clearly took some time to recover, but eventually the redefined corset came to be seen as a symbol of female liberation and embracing femininity. Since then, the pointed bra has been the designer’s trademark. To this day he processes elements of the cone bra in his collections.

Most associate a pointy bra with Madonna, a good friend of the designer. She entered Gaultier’s pointy bra into pop culture during her Blonde ambition- tour in 1990. A photo on Instagram shows that Madge is still a fan of pointy cups. “The American singer Patti Page already brought the pointy bra to pop culture, but it was Madonna who really put the garment in the spotlight as a top,” says Vogels. (Read more below the photo) Fact: the iconic bra top was auctioned in 2016 and raised 47,000 euros.

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In recent years, the design has never completely disappeared. Rihanna, Katy Perry and Beyoncé performed in different interpretations of the pointy bra. Other items of clothing – think denim jackets and tops, with pointed cups incorporated – also nod to the bullet bra from yesteryear. Lady Gaga wore a black corset dress with pointed cups during the Oscar ceremony in 2023. Kylie Jenner is the latest to score points in the daring look. She showed up at the Met Gala in a skin-colored satin dress by Oscar de la Renta with extremely pointed cups. “Everything in fashion comes back, but people often look for new ways to do something with it. Jordi Arthur is a good example of this. The designer makes jackets with pointed cups and also applies cone-shaped accents on the sleeves,” says Vogels. Stylist Linda Van Waesberge loves pointy bras. “Anyone who associates it with sexy is wrong. By now everyone knows that real breasts look different. It is a nod to the film stars from the fifties, a cartoonish tribute and it’s funny. I love it and you can create fun looks with it. It is something for every now and then, at a party or festival, and it is not a trend for the masses.” (Read more below the photo)

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The pointed bra through the years

1942: An advertisement for Perma-lift in a fashion magazine.

1950: Pin-up Betty Page

© Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

1951: Sweater girl Marilyn Monroe with bullet bra and basic sweater

© Bettmann Archive

1959: Brigitte Bardot during her legal wedding to Jacques Charrier

© Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

1966: American singer Patti Page

1984: Jean Paul Gaultier believes that the pointy bra should be seen

© Penske Media via Getty Images

1990: Madonna during her Blonde ambition-tour

© Getty Images

1992: Dolly Parton in a very striking pointy bra

© Getty Images

2010: Rihanna during a concert in Rio

© Getty Images

2011: Katy Perry on the cover of Rolling Stone

2018: Dita Von Teese at a gala event in Cologne

© picture alliance via Getty Image

2021: Jordan Alexander in Christopher John Rogers at the Met Gala

© FilmMagic

2022: Jean-Paul Gaultier autumn-winter collection 2022-2023

© © Catwalkpictures

2022: Julia Fox in Schiaparelli during the Kenzo fashion show

© Corbis via Getty Images

2023: Lady Gaga at the Oscars

© Getty Images

2023: Beyoncé on her Renaissance tour

© WireImage for Parkwood

2024: Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards

© Getty Images

2024: Kylie Jenner at the Met Gala

© Getty Images for The Met Museum/

Tags: history comeback pointed bra trend today sexuality


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