clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The World Can Thank SF Weather for Inspiring a Bra With Sleeves


Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

It was a cool evening in San Francisco when costume designer Betsy Heimann decided that she wanted —no, needed— a bra with sleeves. Betsy planned to wear a sleeveless Dolce & Gabbana dress to a party, but the chilly Bay Area evening warranted at least a little coverage. Women's Wear Daily explains that Betsy did what any designer would do: she cut the sleeves off her t-shirt and sewed them on her bra. When women went wild for the look, she knew she had a hit on her hands.

Betsy partnered with lingerie giant Cosabella to produce what is now known as the Betsy Bra— a cropped, push-up bustier with underwire and an adjustable backstrap. Priced between $120 and $160, it has three-quarter lace or microfiber sleeves, and transcends the divide between lingerie and clothing.

Betsy is currently dreaming up more variations on the popular design, including a leopard version, a sports-bra style, a sports T-shirt, swimwear and a line of Betsy bra-top dresses. So that separate bra and top trend that's plagued women for centuries? That may be a thing of the past.