Friday, August 26, 2011

The Inflatable Bra

Hello my dear readers! I'm back from NYC, and while waiting to get most of the pictures from that little trip from my sister, I will instead show you The Inflatable Bra! In the 50's the ideal measurements was when the waist was 10'' (24,5 cm) smaller than the breast measurement. This is obviously not normal, and needed some help to be achieved. The waist could be cinched in with a corsett. But what did you do if you didn't want to fill your bra with tissues? Well, I guess you could have used The Inflatable Bra!

Très Secrèt bra, about 1952
In each cup lies a small plastic pouch that can be blown up to the wanted size with the help of the straw that comes with it.

Très Secrèt

Frederick's of Hollywood Holiday, 1960

It's from these inflatable boob enhancers that the urban legend about the exploding bra stems. Like these two for example:

The national sales manager for an inflatable bra - created for the girls that nature had short-changed - apparently was flying from Los Angeles to San Francisco with his most popular model. She was, of course, loyally wearing one of the boss's products. It turned out that the plane had a nonpressurized cabin, and the higher they flew the more inflated the brassiere became. It was so nerve-racking for the other passengers that she finally had to retreat to the pilot's compartment. She finished the flight there, gradually deflating.


The Associated Press reported about a flight where a sudden depressurization in the cabin caused a bosomy stewardess's inflatable bra to begin expanding to, oh, about size 46, and climbing. Then a female passenger, seeing the stewardess's plight, handed her a hairpin that she used to stab herself repeatedly in the chest. A male passenger, mistaking the action for attempted hara-kiri, rushed forth and wrestled the stewardess to the floor. It took a while to restore order on the plane.

True or not? Hm...

To be on the safe side I think I will refrain from wearing an inflatable bra when I fly. Instead I might chose to wear the one in the add below, and stuff it with money instead!

I wonder if I could get my iPhone in there too?!...


  1. I liked this article and the photos of these "blow up" bras. These were not the only ones made, though. There was another one, the Gossard Ultrabra Airotic, that was made only a few short years ago. Probably less than 10 years ago to be specific. I purchased a few while on a trip to the UK. Guaranteed up to 2 cups sizes larger once "pumped up"! Worked very well, but difficult to pump up. You had to pump up each side with a tiny pump and, after filling up, had to quickly withdraw the pump and insert a little plug to keep the air inside. Worked very well, that is until it suffered a malfunction. One evening, while wearing one of these bras, I sprung a leak. The plug popped out of one side of my bra, causing it to deflate. I dashed into the ladie's room, removed the bra, and struggled to pump it back up. I restored my volume, only to have the plug pop out again a short time later! If this bra did this, I can only imagine what embarassment those inflatable bras of the 50's caused! No more of this nonsense as I persuaded my husband to get me the volume with surgery.

  2. Ha, ha! Thank you for sharing this story with me! I love hearing from people who have actually tried things like this. It sounds good in theory, but I would never try one for myself. I wonder how many women in the 50s actually were able to use these bras without suffering from embarrassing malfunctions?...Good thing your husband agreed to the surgical method! :)

  3. Glad you liked my story. Well, I would say that bra worked well for me for quite a while and did make me look quite a bit larger. That is, however, until I sprung a leak. Can you imagine the let down it must be for a man who, after going out on a date with you, discovers later that your boobs were all nothing but air! By the way, their was also a bra very similar to these bras made by La Senza. Anyone else tried any of these bras??

  4. I remember an episode of "Love Boat". A man brought a gorgeous woman in a tight red dress to his room. After entering she removed her dress, her fake lashes, her wig, the stuffing in her bra, her padded hips, and her stilettos. After that she looked quite plane, and the man looked a bit confused... :) I wear fake lashes sometimes. But apart from that I think the make up is "fake" enough for me. It's better to let people know the true you. That's why I'm gonna stay away from inflatable body enhansements... :)

  5. I had one in the 1950's, when I was a cheerleader wearing a bulky sweater. Worked great until at half-time during the football game when our squad went to the other side for the varsity exchange and the opposing cheerleaders pinned a little corsage on us. I continued cheering the rest of the night but, when I got home and looked in the mirror, I discovered I was side completely deflated! Yeah, I was 'completely deflated', too!

    1. Haha! Thank you so much for this story! If I ever get an inflatable bra, I will remember to stay away from brooches and other sharp objects... :) <3


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