The Bullet Bra

The Bullet Bra

The bullet bra gives the ultimate 1950s pin up girl silhouette. The bullet bra was actually available from 1939, but WWII put plans on hold so it wasn’t until the early 1950s that the bullet bra put breasts centre stage. It’s shape was even more extreme than that of bras in the 1940s and the spiral stitching emphasised the cone shape.

Claudia Schiffer bullet bra

Claudia Schiffer in What Katie Did’s Maitresse Bullet Bra for Vogue Russia

For the less well endowed padded versions were soon available and ‘gay deceivers’ or falsies (develped by Warners in the late 1930s) became extremely popular.

Gwyneth Paltrow Bullet Bra

Gwyneth Paltrow in What Katie Did’s Padded Bullet Bra for Vogue UK

Bullet Bra Brands

Maidenform was the brand that really put bullet bras on the map when they launched their ‘I Dream’ advertising campaign in the USA. The campaign showed women in their bullet bras looking confident and indepent alongside lines including ‘I dreamed I stopped traffic in my Maidenform bra’. The range included a spiral stitch bullet bra which soon became the breast shape of the 1950s. Maidenform’s Chasonette bullet bra was finally launched in the UK in 1955 with the slogan ‘What makes it so special? Spiral-stitched to round as it accentuates’.

Rihanna Bullet Bra

Rihanna in What Katie Did’s Padded Bullet Bra for GQ UK

What Katie Did revived the bullet bra in 1999, starting with a cotton version, before moving on to more glamorous satin. The bullet bra was one of the first pieces Katie wanted to recreate as there was nothing available at that time that gave an authentic 1950s silhouette, and vintage pieces were few and far between.

Victoria Beckham Bullet Bra

Victoria Beckham in What Katie Did’s Padded Bullet Bra for Harpers Bazaar UK

What Katie Did In The Press

The What Katie Did bullet bra was designed to be a niche piece, appealing to hardcore vintage fashion fans, but over the years the look has become more mainstream and What Katie Did’s bullet bras are frequently featured in the press worldwide from Vogue India to Vogue Italia and everywhere in between!

Nicole Scherzinger bullet bra

Nicole Scherzinger in What Katie Did’s Maitresse Bullet Bra for The Daily Mail

What Katie Did On Film

What Katie Did Bullet Bras are the first stop for wardrobe departments of the stage and screen. Our bullet bras first made an appearance on stage worn by London’s Royal Ballet at London’s Opera House, more recently they’ve been used by Glyndebourne Opera House for period pieces.

Kate Moss Bullet Bra



















Kate Moss in What Katie Did’s Padded Bullet Bra for Vogue Italia

Film appearances inlcude The Nowhere Boy, X Men First Class, and My Week With Marilyn where all the female cast wore What Katie Did bullet bras and shapewear under their costumes to get the right silhouette.

Claudia Schiffer Padded Bullet Bra

Claudia Schiffer in What Katie Did’s Padded Bullet Bra for Paris Vogue


What Katie Did Lingerie SS12 Launch Movie

Our SS12 collection was launched in early March and we couldn’t resist putting together a little event to show the new ranges. Mam’zelle Maz was in charge of keeping all the models in check (no mean feat!) whilst Anthony Ratcliffe was on hand to film the proceedings ensuring that even if you couldn’t make it to our London boutique you wouldn’t miss out on the action.

Of course, most of the items are now available online and instore but we did hold a couple of goodies back. Keep a close eye out for our Hollywood Camiknicker and red Jubilee lingerie which will be launched on 1st May.

Jean Paul Gaultier for Diet Coke (featuring What Katie Did lingerie)

I was thrilled to find out about the cutest bottles Jean Paul Gaultier had designed for Diet Coke this morning. Little was I to realise the best was yet to come when Mam’zelle Maz forwarded me a pic of Leah Debrincat modeling What Katie Did’s Maitresse Lingerie at the launch party at Harvey Nichols London. I guess I’ll have to head up to Knightsbridge to track one down. Pics by Michael Bowles hair by Nina Budden.

Maitresse lingerie at Diet Coke Jean Paul Gaultier launch

Not lifesize! The other bottle design featured JPG’s signature Breton stripes so you have have his and hers.

What Katie Did Maitresse Lingerie

Leah with Hilary Alexander from The Telegraph (The Telegraph is one of the few newspapers who haven’t been seduced by WKD – c’mon Hilary!)

What Katie Did in GQ Magazine

That saucy photographer Ellen Von Unwerth has been at it again, aided by stylist Sascha Lilic. The shoot was for GQ (UK) May 2012 and features What Katie Did’s Maitresse Bullet Bra, Glamour Girdle, Glamour Corselette and 15 Denier Seamed Stockings.

What Katie Did in GQ Magazine

What Katie Did in GQ magazine

What Katie Did in the Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph is one of the few publications we’ve never been featured in. We had a false alarm a few months ago when they borrowed our bullet bras for a ‘Mad Men’ shoot, they even got as far as asking us style numbers and prices, but although our next door neighbour (alas, my arms never grew long enough for broadsheets) kept a close eye on the fashion pages for weeks, nothing appeared. We had an email from the Telegraph on Monday letting us know that a new fashion shoot, including our bullet bras would be published today. They were, but unfortunately were all pictured under clothing: the picture below shows the clearest shot by far or our Harlow bullet bra. Well, you win some and lose some and we’ve certainly had more than our fair share of good press recently!

We’re on the cover of Look magazine!

We’re on the cover of Look magazine this week! Or, at least, our Lulu bullet bra is. Inside the magazine they’ve done a feature on conical bras which are currently fashion flavour of the month. Our Padded bullet bra and Lulu bullet bra are featured next to bullet bra wearing celebs: Lady Gaga and Madonna. If you’re lusting after Rigby and Peller’s peach version, but aren’t so sure about the price tag, then we also make a more affordable peach bullet bra which can be found here.

At What Katie Did we’ll be the first to admit that a bullet or conical bra takes a little getting used to. Instead of the modern rounded push up shape modern bras bullet bras push the breasts into a pointy shape. If you’re new to conical bras please remember that what you wear on top of your cone bra is just as important as the bra itself (unless, like in the case of  Lady Gaga, the bullet bra is the outfit!)

Bullet bras first appeared in the late 1940s and remained fashionable right up to the mid 1960s so they work best with fashions from, or inspired, by that era: especially with 1950s style dresses, instantly giving you that sexy ‘Mad Men’ silhouette. If you’re into vintage fashion, you might notice that bust darts in 1940s and 1950s dresses are positioned in the ‘wrong’ place: this is because they were designed to be worn with a conical bra – once worn with a bullet bra everything starts to make sense! Bullet bras also look good under shirts, worn with a fitted pencil skirt – again channelling that Mad Men office look (incidentally, the actresses in Mad Men all wear period correct lingerie, which is why their outfits look so good!)

Remember to keep your fashion 1950s style and you’ll be fine. Bullet bras definitely don’t work under tight t shirts and although we have one customer who wears her bullet bra for working out (she finds it more supportive than a sports bra) in fashion terms bullet bras and sportswear were most definitely not made for each other!

Bullet bras are made from non stretch fabric with a minimal amount of elastic so sizing is very critical. If you are wearing the correct bra size then you should be the same when selecting a bullet bra, but please read our sizing notes (found by the product description) to ensure you select the correct size (several customers have told us that if they’d read them before ordering it would have saved the hassle of exchanging). Welcome to a world of vintage glamour!

What Katie Did bullet bras are the best!

couple of days ago John Lewis announced that the sales of their ‘cone bra’ (by which they mean a soft cup bra – nothing to do with what we class as a cone bra!) were up 10% on the preceding week. For some reason this has resulted in a press frenzy and today’s Daily Mail has put three of them to the test. Guess which one they decided was the best? Well, we do have nearly 10 years experience! The 3 brands they featured were What Katie Did (our Lulu bullet bra below), Rigby and Peller (who’s bra was returned to us by mistake and is identical to ours apart from a little padding) and in third place, John Lewis.