When World War II ended, American lingerie companies were ready to launch whole new line of underwear using the parachute silk, rayon and nylon tricot that rapidly became available in large quantities.
New techniques of crisscross or “whirlpool” stitching were employed to create cone-shaped bra cups.
These “torpedo” brassieres made each breast look like a projectile about to be launched. Maiden Form’s circle-stitched ‘Chansonette’ – introduced in 1949 and quickly dubbed the “bullet bra” – would become its most popular model, selling almost 90 million units in over 100 countries during the next 30 years.
Pop singer Madonna was responsible for a revival of the bullet bra in the 1980s, launching the underwear-as-outerwear craze.