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Why Do Women Wear Bras?

by Debbie Niidor on April 22, 2019
Why Do Women Wear Bras?

Many young girls cannot wait for their boobs to develop, to “arrive”; they whisper amongst themselves and check each other out enviously because already at that young age, they know that not only girls but prospective guys are eying them out too! Other girls have mixed feelings about their developing chests, not sure if they like or want extra attention. It’s simple – breasts on a young girl tell the world she is moving on to a new phase of her life – womanhood. Sometimes girls worry about their breasts because they think that they don’t measure up to what they see in the movies, the TV, and magazines. They look at the Hollywood stars, and wonder how they “compare”. And no magic cream or pill can speed up the process to make a girl’s breasts larger if that is her desire. Sometimes girls’ forget that breasts are there to do more than look good – women have a critical job later in life when they have a baby, and we all know just how important breast milk is for babies.

Getting a bra

  • Once a girl does have breasts, then a bra is a good idea, particularly if the girl loves playing sport because then a bra can protect the breast tissue and also keep the breasts supported.
  • Sometimes a young girl has to put up with a highly intrigued brother who often spends his time snapping the straps against her back, especially if he has noticed she is wearing one for the first time!!
  • Let’s learn quickly about bra sizes because there are two parts to bras. You get the chest size or band size which is the size of the girl, more or less, when she is measured from around her back and over her chest with a tape measure. She might measure in at 32, 34, 36, 38, etc. The cup part is the size of the breasts, and the cup size of the bra will hold the breast. If a girl is small breasted, she will probably need an A cup. The average bra size for women in the USA is 34DD, and the sizes can go quite high for the very big breasted women. It is important to get the cup size and the chest size right when you are trying on bras to fit your figure. Don’t worry, and we explain here how to go about measuring and buying your first bra.

 

cartoon bikini

A little bit about how bras came about

Way back in 1889 there was a Frenchman, Herminie Cadolle, who invented the first modern bra. But the first ‘bras’ that women wore were made simply of handkerchiefs, dating back to probably ancient Greece when the women would tie fabric over their breasts, pinning them back. The first real bra, the one that lifts and separates with cups and straps, etc. became officially part of the world way back in November 1914. Dresses were cut out for very slim women with boyish- like figures – and they had plunging necklines. Mary Phelps Jacobs, who was well endowed and preparing for a ball and at 19, was so frustrated about looking awkward. She took two pocket handkerchiefs brought to her from her maid, with some pink ribbon, and with some quick sewing made her first type of corset. When the ribbons were tied and taut, she recalled looking really “proper” for the ball. She went on to show her corset in dressing rooms all over Manhattan, filing for a patent with an attorney. Her new creation extended way past the fashion world, arguing that this would allow women to have wonderful freedom of movement.  She concluded that the main advantages were that her newly created bra "does not confine the person anywhere except where it is needed."

What kind of bra should you be buying then?

There are many, many kinds of bras out in the world today that are designed to suit all types of needs and desires. You get sports bras, which are often girls’ first type of bras to wear today. The most natural looking bra is the soft cup, which doesn’t change the shape of a girl’s breast too much, and they come in different thicknesses and fabrics – some even have an underwire. It is like a U-shaped wire hidden inside the fabric that goes under the breasts to help support them, particularly like the larger breasted girl with maybe a C-cup, for instance – then the underwire bra gives that extra support.

Moving on to today

  • Today’s modern millennials are going topless. The conventional bras seem to be gathering dust in the closets of some of the jet setting, adventure seeking, money-making millennials.  In fact, check out the latest trends and you will see just how the wireless bralette or nothing at all is the rage right now!
  • OK, going braless isn’t anything new, the whole concept is pretty old since the days of the women’s liberation movements of the 60s. But for young women today; it’s all about their triumphs, it’s their choice of being trendy, comfortable, and empowered.  Top, sexy bra sellers such as Victoria’s Secret are now presented with challenges with sales and shares, both down quite a bit, becoming as many modern women believe today, “out of touch”. The contemporary woman is choosing to go natural, to not wear a bra if she so feels like it.
  • Celebs, too, are wearing crop tops and slip dresses without undergarments; maybe with no-wire, very-meant-to-be-seen lacy bralettes. Beautiful celeb, Kendall Jenner, wore a velvet bralette as a top into a Los Angeles event, with many others following suit, the likes of Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna – all loving being photographed in bra-free outfits – all red carpet ensembles meant for the world to ooh and aah.
  • According to a 2015 National Purchase Diary (NPD) study, the sports bra is the one the millennials are choosing.

    women wearing black bras

    A cupful of advice

    Bras are quite a conversation starter! – Some consider them a ridiculous invention; others consider them the tool for emancipation. Research completed by Sport Science researcher Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor from the University of Franche-Comte, shows from their 15-year study the effect of bras on women aged from 18-35. The findings suggested over this period that wearing a bra from the start of development did nothing to help support the chest or reduce back pain or even prevent breast sagging. It was concluded that medically, physiologically, and anatomically, breasts did not gain any benefit from being without a bra; that they get “saggier with a bra”, so said Professor Rouillon in an interview. The researchers believed that women gained more supporting breast tissue and tone by not wearing a bra. Their study, though not a requirement of the study, showed that the women who did stop wearing bras had a 0.3-inch lift in their nipples when compared with women who wore bras.

    What is the purpose of wearing a bra?

    • The whole point of wearing a bra is to apportion some of, or all of the weight of your bust onto the shoulders and waist area. When a bra is properly fitted, about 80% of this weight is carried by the band, and the remainder by the shoulders. When a bra fits poorly, most of the pressure is on the shoulders, which might cause headaches or pain in the shoulders and neck. Women and girls wear bras for a variety of reasons. Below are just some examples of why women wear bras:
    • To hide the nipples.
    • To delay, but not prevent sagging.
    • To prevent breasts bouncing around, like in sport.
    • A bra makes clothes look better and enhances their beauty.
    • Controls sweat marks under the bust and thus onto the clothes.
    • Prevents spine issues and backache in busty women.

    Sometimes, however, women who don’t wear a bra act self-consciously, like crossing their arms over their chest all the time. In the work situation, women who don’t wear bras might come across as not being professionally dressed. At social gatherings, other guests might look at a braless woman as being unfashionable and backward, not sophisticated – others might believe she is deliberately sexually provocative. There are just many reasons why women wear bras or don’t. As a woman, you will know your reasons for wearing or not wearing yours.  

    woman with nipples uncovered

    If you are wondering whether there are any benefits to not wearing a bra, and you like the thought of it, read the link. It was in the 1960s that some researchers came up with the term “Cooper’s droop” for breasts that sagged if a woman went braless for extended periods. Further research seems to show that sagging breasts in older women do not appear to be linked to breastfeeding or going braless – and that going braless is more of a fashion statement than a health matter - you decide.

    Your cleavage is an accessory to dress up or down

    Remember, a bra is not a medical necessity, but listening to your body is the key to feeling comfortable with how you feel. If you don’t feel like wearing one, it is not required, but if you feel like you need to wear it, it will probably ease some distress or pain. – It’s your choice, and it should make you feel uplifted in whatever decision you make!

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