Welcome to my new series The Bullet Bra Revue! Awhile ago, I wrote saying that the bullet bra is a “vintage must have”. And offered up a handful of places to purchase bullet bras. But what I did not supply were my personal reviews on the bras currently out there on the market. Starting today I will be reviewing various bullet bras and offering up my personal experience with the garments, hoping to help you fellow vintage lovers make the best possible purchase to fit your wardrobe and budget. Today’s bullet bra is the What Katie Did Maitresse Bullet Bra.
I would like to note that I purchased this bra from The Foundation, not through What Katie Did’s website. The first thing I noticed about the Maitresse bra was how similar it was to a vintage 1950s bullet bra I already owned. With its circular stitching and triangular cut out near the band, the Maitresse is almost a dead ringer for a period bra.
To hammer home the difference between a modern bra, and the Maitresse bra, I have gone with a sweater set (after all, we all love a sweater gal!)
You will notice that my breasts are elevated, which is what is so key to a period correct foundation when wearing vintage. Most garments from the 1940s through the 1960s were made with bullet bras in mind, thus bust darts are higher, and overall construction is suited to a bullet shape. This bra is more suited to a late/New Look 1940s through 1950s garment, but could be worn with some 1960s garments, and therefore I think the most versatile bra for a vintage wardrobe.
I know some fellow vintage bloggers have had some complaints, finding the area on the top of the bust to be wavy and loose, having a “deflated” look. I however did not encounter this problem. There are two possible solutions to this. The first is that the bra was not put on properly. Bullet bras need to be put on bending over, and allowing your breasts to fall into the cups. You can also put on the bra, and then bend over, gently shaking your breasts into place. Or it could be that you need bullet bra pads. These pads fill in the bra for you, and remain stiff and in place. What Katie Did also sells these.
Regarding sizing, I found the What Katie Did bras to run small. I traditionally wear a 34C, and found the 34Cs to run a tad tight. I then tried on a 34D and it was much more comfortable. At home, I compared my vintage 1950s 34C bullet bra and found the cups to be within two millimeters of the same size. I recommend ordering a cup size up.
Overall, I am very, very happy with my Maitresse bra, and will be ordering at least one more in the future.
The Maitresse bra is $55.00, made in India and of polyester with elastic straps (which I’m personally not a fan of), elastic near the hook and eyes and an elastic panel along the bottom of the triangular cut out.