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In the event of emergency, remove shirt

Emergency Bra developer Elena Bodnar unveils its male counterpart at MIT this week--an emergency dress shirt with a filtration panel sewn across the shoulders.

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
2 min read
MIT Museum Director John Durant models Eleana Bodner's prototype Emergency Dress Shirt yesterday. Bodner, right, explains step 5 of how it converts into a breathing mask. Darren Garnick, Boston Herald

First, the bra that is meant to be taken off won an Ig Nobel award in October 2009. Then, just last week, the inventor unleashed the lacy gas masks on the open undergarment market at $29.99 a pop.

At the risk of overkill, this third (and likely final) mention of the bra is to put to rest all the rumors of just what the male counterpart will be. And no, it is not a jock strap.

Dr. Elena Bodnar first invented the Emergency Bra, which is now available for $29.99. ebbra.com

Boston Herald's Working Stiff columnist Darren Garnick, who reports this morning from the trenches at MIT, tells us that Dr. Elena Bodnar has whipped up an Emergency Dress Shirt suitable for such dangerous events as fires, explosions, and chemical attacks.

It's really a shame. Just as the Emergency Bra's rather narrow size range left the flat-chested A cups and well-endowed D cups alike wanting, so does the dress shirt leave those who work in their PJs or comic book T-shirts in the (dangerous particle) dust.

And even for those who do wear dress shirts regularly (and this includes women who like to wear men's dress shirts and/or do not like to wear bras), there is one wrinkle that needs to be ironed out: the shirt, which includes a filtration panel sewn across the shoulders, looks tricky to assemble, involving wrapping the shirt sleeves around the back of one's head with the end result resembling a confused (in that it is on a man) burqa.

Garnick reports that the emergency dress shirt is just a prototype, but that Bodnar expects to bring it to market by year's end. I applauded her gas mask bra, but the male version needs tweaking; the look on the face of the model, MIT Museum Director John Durant, says it all.