Text Box: The shopping trips with mother at Liles Co. had made a lasting impression on young Branice. The mezzanine floor fitting rooms with curtain drapes, mirror walls and convenience benches seemed to conjure images of women struggling into girdles and turning themselves from front to profile, peering expectantly for a voluptuous image. On these occasions when mother  was busily involved, having herself fitted for bras and girdles by Miss Lucille, Branice couldn't resist going from booth-to-booth in the fitting rooms to watch other women being fitted. Through the years these images often stirred the fires anew for Branice: images of women at Liles Co. being fitted for bras and girdles; thrilling hours with Aunt Lucille's trunk of clothes; mother's encouragement for Branice with long golden curls, a pretty doll, Lucy Jane, and a darling little tea set. This collage of thoughts instantly appeared to Branice that beautiful Saturday afternoon one spring as Branice strode down Cookman Avenue and spied Ruth's Corset Shop. The shop windows were absolutely filled with bras, girdles and lingerie displays. There must have been a dozen-or-two torso mannequins, some with bras jutting proudly upward so that a woman could closely see the stitching on the underside of the bra, and other hip-torso mannequins stretching the latex elastic of girdles so that a woman could easily visualize herself being molded into a glamorous figure.
Once again, Branice couldn't resist. She ignored her trepidation, opened the door and before she could realize it, there she was, fully inside Ruth's Corset Shop. Branice could sense the lingering fragrance and body scent of women who had moments earlier used the dressing room  to try on new girdles and bras.
"Good afternoon, how are you this lovely spring afternoon," greeted a woman’s cheery voice from behind the glass counter as Rose continued to rearrange boxes of bras and return them to the shelves.
"Just fine," Branice responded, "I came in to see your selection of bras."
Standing there at the counter in her high heels and nylons, Branice could feel the molding hug of her girdle and the secure support of her garters tugging at her thighs.
"We have many lovely styles that are popular with a lot of women," Rose began. "We are all so different that we need to try-on a number of styles and have a custom fit. Here is a lovely style by Vasserette and a lovely style by Olga that is a favorite of many mature women.  Here is a longline bra that will give you firm midriff control.  If you would like high uplift for a party occasion, this Maidenform style is popular with a lot of younger women."
With her years of experience as a corsetier, Rose knew the fine points of assisting women with their selection of bras and girdles.  For the many customers of Bra & Girdle, Rose greeted each woman warmly and  proceeded to personally handle each fitting.
"There's no hurry," said Rose, "Just take your time and look as long as you like at the design and workmanship of each bra."
Branice held each individual bra in her hands, just as women before her had held it, feeling the texture of the silky material of the cups, the elastic midriff band and noticing the number of hook-and-eye fasteners on the back clasp.  Comparing each bra, Branice could feel the stretchy straps that support the bracups.
"Here, you can try-on these bras," Rose offered.  "We always suggest that women try-on a bra.  You never know how a bra will fit and how it will feel until you try it on."
Rose led Branice to the fitting room and drew open the curtain.  The fitting room was small and cozy and showed some wear from many past fittings of women.  A full-wall mirror on one side gave a completely revealing view from the wood bench on the opposite side.  There was almost no blank space on any wall of the fitting room.  On the wall areas that had no mirror, there were stapled large ads showing women modeling all-in-one corsets, open-bottom girdles and high-uplift bras.  The mirrors reflected these images of the corsetry ads, increasing the number of images.  As Branice entered the fitting room, she entered a world surrounded by images of girdles, bras and corsetry.  When Rose closed the curtain, Branice was fully inside the most intimate part of Ruth's Corset Shop.
 A woman who tries on a bra in the fitting room has a completely revealing view of herself as she experiences how the bra feels and how it provides support. After Branice had tried on several bras, Rose handed Branice several other styles.
"Here is a pretty bra, although it will have to be altered somewhat to fit you properly," Rose cautioned as she handed it through the curtains.
This bra was very much like the Jodee bra, which is America's favorite after-surgery bra. The entire upper cups were covered with a lace appliqué, and the under cups were high-sheen rayon satin. The midriff band and the side panels were latex elastic to accommodate extra side-fullness in the bracups. The bra straps were attached to the apex of the bracups in a long slender bridle of material designed to produce graceful curves under knit dresses and sweaters and to permit plenty of joggling natural movement in walking and other daily activities.
At this point a woman could try on the new bra to adjust the fit of both bra and girdle. She could run her fingers over the satiny material of the bra and stretch the side elastic to feel its tension. Then she could insert her arms into the bra strap loops, lean forward slightly to cause her breasts to dangle as she draws the bra around her breasts, then grasp the ends of the back band with her fingers and fasten the hook-and-eye closure. Then Branice could begin to check the fit of her bra. She could insert her enameled fingertips beneath the elastic side band to feel the tension. She could slip her fingers beneath the bra strap attachment at the apex of the bracup. She could place her fingers beneath her bracups and gently lift and feel the weight being supported by the bra straps.
Rose explained that Branice could use a smaller size bra with larger cups by using a bra extender in the back.  Rose took the two bras that Branice had selected and returned about ten minutes later with the extenders neatly sewn into the back clasps. It was a pretty bra.  Stretch lace side panels and firmly-molding lace cups made this bra a perfect choice for knits.  The disrumpled folds made it evident that this bra had been tried on previously by a number of women.  Branice looped the straps over her arms and shoulders, adjusted the cups comfortably and hooked the rear clasps.  To see the overall effect she pulled her stretchy sweater over head and looked in the mirror for a three-quarter profile.  The look was devastating.  And the feel was delightful as the straps tugged at her shoulders.
The midriff of the Rego High-Waist Panty Girdle feels firm and secure with her new bra. The midriff flesh is bulged up into the bracups for increased measurements with plenty of extra weight to stretch the bra straps for natural joggling movement when walking and hurrying along in daily activities.
Ruth's Corset Shop