The Origin of Bravo Bra Pad Inserts

To tell the story of bra pad inserts and how we developed them, I must first talk about my personal evolution in the swimwear industry. I have only to shut my eyes and remember how fabulous Jantzen swimsuits were as a teenager — so beautiful compared to the swimsuits my older relatives liked to show me from their swimsuit days. Theirs had been made with knitted wool like that of a sock hat. They told stories of how, even though the ‘Ladies’ had been completely covered as well as the rest of their body, women would have curtains around them as they entered the ocean to “wade” so people couldn’t see them in their swim dresses. My goodness, we’ve come a LONG way!

Bravo Bra Pads Doris Petticord
Doris Petticord of Bravo Pads hanging with the Z100 Jammin’ Salmon during the 1980s when Petticord Swimwear was in full swing.

magazine clipping from old Jantzen smile contest

Push Ups, Shapers & More ~ Oh My!

Bra Pad Inserts: How Doris First “Shaped” Bust Lines for Swimwear & Bras

by Doris Petticord, Proprietor and Bra Pad Designer

So, getting back to my teenage years … you just HAD to have a Jantzen suit! That was just primo-primo! At that time they had a Jantzen Smile Girl Contest …. you could send your picture in, and the winner got a free trip to Hawaii! Of course, we all blasted them with our pictures, hoping to be that winner. At the same time there was one other small problem (I say “small” in jest) which was, there was NO padding in the bust area of swimsuits at that time. Now, if you were full-figured like Marilyn Monroe, a lack of padding just wasn’t an issue but for a lot of us it was! I remember being in high school, wanting to be a fit model for Jantzen but when I saw the measurements they required I just didn’t think I could fool them.

As luck would have it, I fell in love my Junior year in college (on stage during a play) with the person who would eventually throw me completely into the Swimwear industry. After graduation, we married and became sales representatives for Jantzen, first in Ohio and then in Florida. Along the way we created the greatest part of our lives — two precious sons.

Bravo Bra Pads Jim & Doris Petticord
Jim and Doris Petticord of Bravo Bra Pads enjoying the pool in Mexico.

After returning to Oregon, my husband became head of the Swimwear Division for Jantzen, which included all the design, fabrics and manufacturing. We were in a fast “Disco Age” with styles completely changing — thrilling music and dance — and Fashion on the move big time!! We traveled Europe for the latest in trends, and hit Broadway on a regular basis. And then we decided to act on my husband’s dreams — to build our OWN swimwear company — Petticord Swimwear. We hired the best designers, sales people, production people and we were off!

origin of bravo bra pads logo from petticord
DuPont designed our Petticord company logo (which was me sitting in a yoga position in a swimsuit on the beach) that was on all our tags.

Bra Pads to the Rescue!

So now, back to the first part of my memories — remember how I said that I was on the “small side?” Well, I didn’t mean in height. So I think you know where I’m going with this. Now that we could do our OWN swimwear design we came up with BRAVO BRA PADS by Petticord Swimwear. It was the beginning of bra pad inserts! Oh my goodness — what an answer for so MANY of us!! The logo included a tagline of “you’re a natural with or without,” but I certainly felt a “natural boost” (you know where) and LOVED it!

Eventually Petticord BRAVO spun off into its own company, becoming Bravo Bra Pads, and we expanded our bra pad designs to meet many people’s needs and wishes. Over time, our Bravo bra pad push ups and swim shapers have been imitated by many, but we know our quality and bra insert styles are surpassed by none. I really feel that our commitment to quality can be credited to our customers because we have always talked with our customers to help them. We’ve listened to their needs, wants, and wishes, and continued to develop bra insert products according to their feedback. As the owner of Bravo Bra Pads, being able to personally identify with their wishes and bra fit issues is HUGE — we know there’s a need because they tell us — and we fill it (and in Bravo’s case, we actually DO “fill it”).

I have always personally tested all our bra styles, in the water and all activities. Just think, I can keep up with my laps swimming at Club Sport in Oregon, and say “I’m on the job” — how great is that?

But seriously, by testing our bra inserts in different styles of swimsuits and bras, I know exactly how our products work and understand the unique differences of what women need for a natural and confident “look”.

By adding Bravo Bra Pad inserts to my personal clothing (from swimwear to formal wear), I have been able to boost my confidence in how I look and feel so I know how other people must feel also — and this makes me grateful for the “circle of my life”.

Bravo Bra Pads Doris Petticord
Our models dubbed me their “den mother! ” — Doris Petticord
Latest update: 7 Jan 2017

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