Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder

Retro Revival’s shower caps continue to be the top seller in my product line and I've sold over 200 since launching my business last summer!  In addition to the 150 individual customers (thank you all!), I now have five retail customers: YOLO Salon & Spa in Orlando, FL; Lady Bug Beauty in Toronto, Canada; Salisbury Pharmacy in Salisbury, NY; Do My Hair Salon in Toronto, Canada and Vanity Spa in Calgary, Canada.  I have a wide array of fabric options for my shower caps but by far, the most popular shower cap design is what I’ve named, “Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder” that I handcraft from this fabric:
This fabric has brightly illustrated bras in lime green, hot pink, sunny yellows and bright aqua blue, along with explanations of bra size.  Looking at this fabric almost every day as I fashion it into shower caps got me thinking about how such a small amount of fabric does so much work…a bra conceals but also entices, enhances or minimizes, flattens or uplifts!
Did you know that going back as far as 2500 BC, women wore bra-like underclothing for support?  In 1893, Marie Tucek patented the “Breast Supporter,” the first garment similar to the modern-day bra that used shoulder straps with a hook-and-eye closure to support breasts in pockets of fabric.
VOGUE magazine first used the term 'brassiere' in 1907 and in 1912 “brassiere” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary.  (By the way, I borrowed the name, “Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder” from Bette Midler’s song in the movie Beaches.)
Although bras were sold in the United States in the early 1900’s, they were similar to camisoles in that they were constructed with one piece of fabric and offered little or no support -- no surprise they were not worn by many women.  Tired of her uncomfortable corset, Polly Jacob of New York stitched together two pocket handkerchiefs and some ribbon to create a new brassiere design in 1914.  So popular was Polly's design that the Warner Brothers Corset Company acquired the rights from Polly for $1,500.
As the bra continued to gain widespread popularity, the corset finally met its demise in large part because of the U.S. government!  With WW1 raging, the U.S. War Department urged women to stop buying corsets so that the metal could be used for the war effort.  The Department said that corset manufacturers used over 28,000 tons of metal each year to make corsets – enough to build two battleships – and implored patriotic Americans to buy bras instead!
In 1935, Warner’s introduced four cup sizes called A, B, C and D and over the years, bra shapes and styles have changed as different bust profiles have gone in and out of fashion.  During the flapper era, the vogue was to appear flat.  In the 1950s and early ‘60s the “sweater girl” look was all the rage and bra makers sold torpedo-shaped or “bullet” cones that were stiffened into sharp points by circular stitching.
(In this Maidenform ad -- is she also wearing an apron?!)
The bullet bra offered a silhouette for women who longed to emulate the curves of film star sweater girls like Lana Turner and Jane Russell.  Two decades later, Madonna wore a bullet bra on her Blonde Ambition tour:
Memorable bra history was made in 1968 when the Wonderbra was first introduced.   Women inserted padding into the Wonderbra’s little pockets to give more fullness where the bust was lacking.  The Wonderbra became a bestseller all over again in the 1990’s as an alternative to implants.
Today, the bra is not only utilitarian but fashionable and what better way to celebrate its usefulness and beauty than by wearing its illustrations on this Retro Revival shower cap? How fun!
There are so few shower cap sellers today, especially if you’re looking for something that is waterproof, washable, fun and fashionable. Other than my line of caps, I have found a couple of other crafters on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/) who are offering them including:
Lisa at Vintage Vesta Designs (www.Etsy.com/Shop/VintageVesta) takes prefabricated shower caps and embellishes them with organza and satin:
Nella of Body Glitz (www.Etsy.com/Shop/BODYGLITZ) designs and crafts her shower caps with tulle and sparkle:
So whether you're shopping for bras, shower caps or just about anything else, buy HANDMADE; you can't beat the quality, the durability is long lasting and the beauty and style are unmatched by factory produced merchandise!
REMINDER: If you haven’t already, be sure to comment on this blog or another of my blog postings so that you’ll be entered into the drawing for the February giveaway – the fabulous mink wrap!
The WINNER will be drawn in just a few days on February 28th. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Great blog! ! Georgia

Mary Joseph Solesky said...

Hi. Just wanted to say that I used my too cute new retro shower cap today and I love it! So so convenient and stylish too! Thanks so much!

Laura R said...

Love my new shower cap with the pink makeup design! Use it every day! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Hey... something to consider: check out rufflebutts on facebook, they are basically shower caps with leg holes... just sayin' Do you make small shower caps for younger kids/babies? They would make for great pictures for parents and grandparents :)