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Women Flaunting the Inflatable Bras to Look Like Marilyn Monroe in 1952

These images reveal the post-World War Two invention of inflatable bras. Women strived to look like Marilyn Monroe, and the demand for inflatable bras increased.

In 1947, Christian Dior revolutionized fashion with his “New Look,” and by 1952, if you didn’t have the rocket breasts of that year’s “it girl” Marilyn Monroe, how could you get the rocket bosoms necessary for the perfect fit of your Dior-inspired fashions?

La Resista Corset Co. of Bridgeport, Connecticut, came up with the solution: inflatable assets under the brand name Tres Secrete. Tres Secrete had plastic pads inside the cups that could be blown up using a small straw.

#1 Four models show how to use the Trés Secrete bra, developed by La Resista Corset Co. in Connecticut.

Four models show how to use the Trés Secrete bra, developed by La Resista Corset Co. in Connecticut.

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#2 The bra was available in two styles: with straps, center, and strapless, left and right.

The bra was available in two styles: with straps, center, and strapless, left and right.

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#3 Models demonstrating how to inflate the bras.

Models demonstrating how to inflate the bras.

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#4 A model in 1952 takes to the stage to debut the bra, which is known as the Trés Secrete.

A model in 1952 takes to the stage to debut the bra, which is known as the Trés Secrete.

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#5 A photo shows the iconic inflatable bra up close.

A photo shows the iconic inflatable bra up close.

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#6 Models stepping on the inflatable pads, proving how sturdy they are.

Models stepping on the inflatable pads, proving how sturdy they are.

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#7 An unidentified man takes a shot at inflating the bra while balancing a cigarette in his other hand as a potential buyer looks on.

An unidentified man takes a shot at inflating the bra while balancing a cigarette in his other hand as a potential buyer looks on.

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#8 A woman smoking a cigarette, right, inspects the innovative bra on a model as she walks the catwalk.

A woman smoking a cigarette, right, inspects the innovative bra on a model as she walks the catwalk.

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#9 A woman, believed to be a potential buyer, studies the inflatable bra up close.

A woman, believed to be a potential buyer, studies the inflatable bra up close.

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#10 The salesman lets the crowd in on how the bra works, as he is seen inflating a model’s secret inflatable pads.

The salesman lets the crowd in on how the bra works, as he is seen inflating a model's secret inflatable pads.

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#11 The innovative bra, pictured, was previously on display at an exhibition detailing the history of lingerie

The innovative bra, pictured, was previously on display at an exhibition detailing the history of lingerie

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#12 The salesman is seen reading what could be either a sales pitch or instructions on how to work the bra.

The salesman is seen reading what could be either a sales pitch or instructions on how to work the bra.

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#13 This image from 1952 sees a man, thought to be a salesperson for the company, showcasing how its lingerie works

This image from 1952 sees a man, thought to be a salesperson for the company, showcasing how its lingerie works

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#14 A gentleman, who is believed to have work for the lingerie company, is seen taking to the stage to promote the product, with the adverts for the bra seen behind him.

A gentleman, who is believed to have work for the lingerie company, is seen taking to the stage to promote the product, with the adverts for the bra seen behind him.

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Written by Orla Morris

Full-time dress and costume designer, Half Persian half Italian. I still don’t know how to write, but i'm writing and you are reading :)

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