19th Century

Bosom supports

Have you seen these?

Bosom supports, Conner Prairie Historic Clothing Collection

They are bosom supports, from the Conner Prairie History collection.

Are they amazing or what?

They are stuffed with men’s facial hair.  Interesting.

Apparently they date to about 1880.  I’d love to know if they were a one-off garment, or if this was a bit of a trend.

I’d call them bust enhancers rather than bosom supports.  I don’t see much in the way of support happening from these!


  1. I don’t see much support there either! If this were to be worn as a bra, it would be awfully uncomfortable after a while. 🙁

  2. So if we see Mr Dreamy growing a beard sometime in the next few months, we know what project you’ll be working on?

    Actually, the question I want answered is: More than one man?

  3. I saw these! I think your right, they’d do more enhancing than actual supporting. But maybe worn with a corset they could have functioned like today’s push up pads that can be added to bras. Would that count as support?

  4. Yeah, they don’t seem as though they would give much if any support. I also am rather grossed out by the stuffing material. Ewww.

  5. Oh my! Imagine that… couldn’t they have picked a better stuffing material?

    It does not look like much support, anyway.

    But it sure was good for a LOL!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  6. HAHA. I loooove how thrifty people were, but BEARD HAIR!? I wonder how the man felt about this? Trading beards for bosoms… hmmm

  7. I’m totally intrigued with the beard hair thing… Back in the 1800’s hair was used for so many things… You’ve heard of Victorian mourning hair art and jewelry. Well, maybe this was just another way of a woman keeping her man close to her heart…

    I’m a romantic fool – can you tell? Love your blog! Glad that Shona of In the Heyday directed me here.

  8. Susan Jarrett says

    While doing a little research, I came across an 1894 advertisement for these- It boasted using “best curled hair” for padding. Quite curious.

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