Tuesday 7 February 2012

"Vintage" Bras: A Trip Down Memory Lane

I am a huge ultra-nerd when it comes to bras. I’m so keen that I could probably name the brand and style of any Freya, Panache, or Curvy Kate bra from the past few years. I wish there was a trivia game focused on big-cup lingerie.

Occasionally, I get nostalgic for the “golden oldies”—great styles of the past, especially the ones I never managed to get my hands on. Let’s reflect:

I first discovered Freya through online searching when I thought I was a 34DD. I was really a 30GG, but at the time even 34DD seemed so hard to find in the US that Freya was a godsend. This bra, the Freya Tallulah, stuck in my mind as the perfect, ultimate dream bra.

I never ended up even trying one on, and I can tell from the seam construction that the style probably wouldn’t suit me. But I still have a love of light blue and black bras that dates from my discovery of this bra. I also LOVE the model in the photo above—she is so mesmerizing.

Freya had a few more bras that I drooled over for years. The Iona bra was one I was especially fascinated by:

I also loved the Maisie, partly because I think this model is so darn cute:

I ordered the Maisie but sadly, because it was constructed like the Arabella and Eleanor, the shape did not suit me.

Speaking of Freya’s Arabella bra, I will forever get misty-eyed over the Oyster colorway…

Who cares if the shape doesn’t suit me.

Some of the bras I get most nostalgic about are old colorways of bras I own today. For instance, I’ll probably never find the two-toned version of my beloved Panache Confetti:

I WANT it!!!

And then there’s this awesome flame color of the Panache Sienna, which I believe was a Bravissimo exclusive:

It’s almost impossible to find catalogue photos of this bra online, but here is a larger image from Bratabase. 

Panache also has a few bras that I never got to try, but which I believe would suit me amazingly. For instance, the Verona:

I’m not sure what the size range was but it looks like an awesome precursor to the Confetti.

I’m fascinated by this old Panache bra, the “Tropical”.

The cup is made in only two sections total, so the bottom part is all one piece, instead of two as is common now. I have no idea how this construction would behave in real life—would it give a good shape? Could it support in the higher cup sizes? I find myself thinking probably not, as Panache has phased out this cup construction and I haven't seen anyone else using it recently.

Did you know that before there was Cleo, Panache had a “younger” brand called Frilly Intimates? This is their "Mitzi" bra.

Finally, I can’t leave Curvy Kate out of the mix. Their history is easier to track, since they are a newer company, and a lot of their older styles are still available on Brastop. But it’s rare to find photos or mentions of this early Black/Ivory Princess:

I just love two-toned bras. This is another colorway that I would go far out of my way to get my hands on.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip through memory lane. Here’s hoping these brands keep up the good work and keep making bras awesome enough that I’ll miss them when they’re gone. What bras do you miss? 


  1. The flame couloured Sienna was exclusive to Bravissimo indeed and coud be seen as the cover of their summer 2008 catalogue. The colour is listed as "coral".

  2. Ohhh, I'm that kind of nerd too^^
    Maybe not with Freya bras (don't fit) but with Panache, Masquerade (Harlekin) Cleo by Panache, Curvy Kate...

    I actually own this wonderful Frilly Intimates Mitzi Bra. It's gorgeous. But it's 1-2 cups too small for me, bought in in the beginning of my bra fitting times when I still thought I was a 30C.

    My oldie favourites are the Masquerade Georgiana, Masquerade Antoinette Sahara Basque, Masquerade Hestia Basque in black

    And the Curvy Kate Thrill me in black with white trimming.

    I could go on^^

    1. I heard the Georgiana was epic, there's another one I wish I'd got a chance to try.

      I love the old Showgirl bras too! I just finally managed to get my hands on a green Tease Me in my size--it's in the mail and I'm sooo excited!

    2. I tried the georgianas on a couple of times (a lot of oob power friends with similar sizes is great xD) and they are just sooo great.

      Once in a while they always pop up on ebay uk in some sizes, but I reaaaally have a lot of bras now *hmmmm*

  3. I own the Iona - it was my first Freya, an eBay score for $18. I got it in 38FF (before I knew that Freya was ultra stretchy & I really need a 36G/GG) but the fabric is lovely & silky. And it is the loosest top cup of the 4 Freya styles I own. It is definitely a goody for full-on-top boobs. Much better than Mischa or Arabella; definitely as roomy as the Pollyanna on the top section, though not overall. Downside: it gives a slight pointy-square-boob effect that Freya plunges do, not the rounded but slightly pointy shape I get from Pollyanna.

    1. I agree, I once had a chance to try on the Iona (but couldn't afford to buy it) and my experience matched with what you've said, it was fairly similar to the Pollyanna (which was my favorite basic bra for ages).