During World War II the vast number of men who were involved in the war meant that, for the first time ever, women had to take over the jobs that had always previously been filled by men. As such, womens’ fashion became more masculine than it has been before the war. Square shoulders and straight skirts were à la mode.
However, once the war was over, women were expected to resume their roles as the mother, wife and homemaker. Fashion followed suit and curves were back in favour. The fashionable woman would have had a high bust line, tiny cinched waist, and rounded hips. Busts were particularly emphasised and bullet bras became part of the woman’s daily underwear.
Actresses such as Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe possessed the high, full breasts that were considered the ideal at that time. Women who wanted fuller bosoms would sometimes insert falsies in their brassieres. The ‘Trés Secret‘ inflatable bra went on sale in the early 1950s and had bra cups were fitted with plastic pads that came with a straw for the wearer to inflate herself.
My guess is that these pouches could also be bought on their own and inserted into the bra of the ladies’ choice.
Although some may mock this gadget, there are several similar options that are available today for the modern woman. I remember myself all those years ago buying a bra with different sized gel inserts to give me the desired size or lift.
I have to say though, I can imagine the embarrassment of accidentally putting a brooch pin through one of the inflatable pouches, and being left with one full breast and one sad looking deflated cup!