They may be pressing against a milk duct which may consequently lead to a plugged duct, or worse, an infection of the breast mastitis [Source:
Some women have protested societal expectations and sometimes school and workplace dress codes that require women to wear support garments. As early as , author Elizabeth Stuart Phelps advocated that women burn their corsets. This was echoed in at the protest during the Miss America Pageant when women symbolically threw a number of feminine products into a large trash can. A reporter conflated their protest with Vietnam-era men who burned their draft cards , creating the trope of bra-burning feminists.
In French, it is called a soutien-gorge literally, "throat-supporter". Vogue magazine first used the term brassiere in ,   and by the word had made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary.
Wearing a garment to support the breasts may date back to ancient Greece. Fragments of linen textiles found in East Tyrol in Austria dated to between and are believed to have been bras.
Two of them had cups made from two pieces of linen sewn with fabric that extended to the bottom of the torso with a row of six eyelets for fastening with a lace or string. One had two shoulder straps and was decorated with lace in the cleavage.
From the 16th century, the undergarments of wealthier women in the Western world were dominated by the corset , which pushed the breasts upwards. In the later 19th century, clothing designers began experimenting with alternatives, splitting the corset into multiple parts: Women have played a large part in the design and manufacture of the bra, accounting for half the patents filed.
Brassieres were initially manufactured by small production companies and supplied to retailers. The term "cup" was not used until , and manufacturers relied on stretchable cups to accommodate different sized breasts. In October , the S. Camp and Company correlated the size and pendulousness of breasts to letters A through D. In , Warner began to feature cup sizing in its products. Adjustable bands were introduced using multiple hook and eye closures in the s. An urban legend that the brassiere was invented by a man named Otto Titzling "tit sling" who lost a lawsuit with Phillip de Brassiere "fill up the brassiere" originated with the book Bust-Up: In Germany employers and companies are permitted to require their female employees to wear a brassiere as part of the dress code, and may fire female employees who do not wear them.
Mass-produced bras are manufactured to fit a prototypical woman standing with both arms at her sides. The design assumes that both breasts are equally sized and symmetrical. Manufacturing a well-fitting bra is a challenge since the garment is supposed to be form-fitting but women's breasts may sag, vary in volume, width, height, shape, and position on the chest.
Some manufacturers create " vanity sizes " and deliberately mis-state the size of their bras in an attempt to persuade women that they are slimmer and more buxom.
A bra is one of the most complicated garments to make. A typical design has between 20 and 48 parts, including the band, hooks, cups, lining, and straps. Bras are built on a square frame model. Lingerie designer Chantal Thomass said,. It's a highly technical garment, made of lots of tiny pieces of fabric, with so many sizes to consider for the different cups, etc.
It's a garment you wash every day, so the seams and structure need to be extremely robust. It's very different from a piece of clothing; it's in direct contact with the skin, it needs to be super solid. The bra's main components are a chest band that wraps around the torso, two cups, and shoulder straps.
The chest band is usually closed in the back by a hook and eye fastener , but may be fastened at the front. The section between the cups is called a gore. The section under the armpit where the band joins the cups is called the "back wing". Bra components, including the cup top and bottom if seamed , the central, side and back panels, and straps, are cut to manufacturer's specifications.
Many layers of fabric may be cut at the same time using computer-controlled lasers or bandsaw shearing devices. The pieces are assembled by piece workers using industrial sewing machines or automated machines. Coated metal hooks and eyes are sewn in by machine and heat processed or ironed into the back ends of the band and a tag or label is attached or printed onto the bra itself.
The chest band and cups, not the shoulder straps, are designed to support the weight of women's breasts. Strapless bras rely on an underwire and additional seaming and stiffening panels to support them. The shoulder straps of some sports bras cross over at the back to take the pressure off the shoulders when arms are raised.
Manufacturers continually experiment with proprietary frame designs. Bras were originally made of linen, cotton broadcloth, and twill weaves and sewn using flat-felled or bias-tape seams. They are now made of a variety of materials, including Tricot , Spandex , Spanette, Latex , microfiber , satin , Jacquard , foam, mesh, and lace ,  which are blended to achieve specific purposes. Spandex, a synthetic fiber with built-in "stretch memory", can be blended with cotton, polyester, or nylon.
Mesh is a high-tech synthetic composed of ultra-fine filaments that are tightly knit for smoothness. Sixty to seventy per cent of bras sold in the UK and US have underwired cups.
The underwire is made of metal, plastic, or resin. Wirefree or softcup bras have additional seaming and internal reinforcement. T-shirt bras utilize molded cups that eliminate seams and hide nipples. Others use padding or shaping materials to enhance bust size or cleavage.
In most countries, bras come in a band and cup size, such as 34C; 34 is the band width, which is the measurement directly underneath the breasts, and C is the cup size, which refers to the volume of the breasts. Most bras are offered in 36 sizes; the Triumph "Doreen" comes in 67 sizes, up to 46J.
A B cup on a 34 band is not the same size as a B cup on a 36 band. A poorly fitted bra can cause back and neck pain. In a survey in the United Kingdom, 60 per cent of over 2, women between the ages of 16 to 75 said they had had a bra fitting, and 99 per cent said that fit was the least important factor when selecting a bra.
Bra experts recommend professional bra fittings from the lingerie department of a clothing store or a specialty lingerie store, especially for cup sizes D or larger, and particularly if there has been significant weight gain or loss, or if the wearer is continually adjusting her bra.
Signs of a loose bra band include the band riding up the back. If the band causes flesh to spill over the edges, it is too small. This allows the wearer to use the tighter hooks as the bra stretches during its lifetime. Bras may be designed to enhance a woman's breast size, or to create cleavage , or for other aesthetic, fashion or more practical considerations.
Nursing bras are designed to aid breast-feeding. Bras come in a variety of styles, including backless, balconette, convertible, shelf, full cup, demi-cup, minimizing, padded, plunge, posture, push-up, racerback, sheer, strapless, T-shirt, underwire, unlined, and soft cup. While there are medical and surgical needs for brassieres, most are worn for fashion or cultural reasons.
In the s in the United States, the fashion was to flatten the breasts as typified in the flapper era. During the s and s, the sweater girl became fashionable, supported by a bullet bra known also as a torpedo or cone bra as worn by Jane Russell and Patti Page. As outerwear, bras in the form of bikini tops in the s became the acceptable public display in modern times. After the Miss America protest in September , manufacturers were concerned that women would stop wearing bras.
In response, many altered their marketing and claimed that wearing their bra was like "not wearing a bra". Victoria's Secret commissions a fantasy bra every fall.
It became fashionable from the early s to wear clothing that showed bra straps. Madonna was one of the first to start showing her bra straps, in the late s. Wearing clothes that reveal the bra or straps became so common that Cosmopolitan created guidelines in on how to expose them. Advice included avoiding plain, flesh-toned, smooth-cup bras, so that the exposure does not appear accidental; making sure the bra is in good condition; and wearing a style that either matches the colour of the outerwear or is dramatically different.
Bras are not universally worn around the world; in some third-world countries bras may cost up to 10—30 hours of a woman's wages, making them unaffordable to most of the population. In Somalia's hard-line Islamic group Al-Shabaab forced women to shake their breasts at gunpoint to see if they were wearing bras, which they called "un-Islamic". Surveys have reported that 5—25 per cent of Western women do not wear a bra. Among the respondents, 67 per cent said they prefer wearing a bra to going braless, while 85 per cent wanted to wear a "shape-enhancing bra that feels like nothing at all.
In an online survey for All You magazine in , 25 per cent of women reported that they do not wear a bra every day. Wearing a bra does not prevent breasts from sagging.
Many women, in the mistaken belief that breasts cannot anatomically support themselves, think that wearing a brassiere will prevent their breasts from sagging later in life. The average bra size among North American women has changed from 34B in to a 34DD in —,  and from 36C last year [ when? While there has been some social pressure from the anti-sweatshop and anti-globalization movements on manufacturers to reduce use of sweatshop labour, most major apparel manufacturers rely on them directly and indirectly.
Prior to , a trade agreement limited textile imports to the European Union and the US. When those quotas expired on 1 January , the so-called Bra Wars began. Within six months, China shipped 30 million more bras to the two markets: Morocco was second and Nigeria third, while Mauritius topped purchasing on a per capita basis.
Children were employed to assemble bras and were paid 0. In one day they could earn 20 to 30 yuan. Informal surveys have found that many women began wearing bras to be fashionable, to conform to social or maternal pressure, or for physical support. Women sometimes wear bras because they mistakenly believe they prevent sagging breasts.
While many Western women recognize that they have been socialized to wear bras, they may report feeling exposed or "subject to violation" without one, or that wearing one improves their appearance. In at the feminist Miss America protest , protesters symbolically threw a number of feminine products into a "Freedom Trash Can". These included bras,  which were among items the protesters called "instruments of female torture"  and accouterments of what they perceived to be enforced femininity.
A local news story in the Atlantic City Press erroneously reported that "the bras, girdles, falsies, curlers, and copies of popular women's magazines burned in the 'Freedom Trash Can'".
Feminism and "bra-burning" became linked in popular culture. Dow has suggested that the association between feminism and bra-burning was encouraged by individuals who opposed the feminist movement. Douglas wrote, that the women were merely trying to be "trendy, and to attract men.
The trope of feminists burning their bras was anticipated by an earlier generation of feminists who called for burning corsets as a step toward liberation. In Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward wrote:. The adjacent sizes to the left one size down and right one size up of your real bra size are your sister sizes. A bra, which is a shorter term for a brassiere, is an undergarment that is meant to cover the breasts and provide support to the person wearing it. It is regarded to be among the most complex garments to ever be manufactured.
Its main components include:. Bras come in different shapes and types, which serve various purposes and are meant for specific body types. As a guide, here are several of the most common bra styles currently being sold in the market:. At present, the clothing industry has made it possible for women to choose their preferred brassieres from a wide selection of styles which suit their needs and tastes alike.
Choosing the perfect bra, however, is more than just about fashion. Believe it or not, wearing an ill-fitting bra can actually make you sick. It can cause headaches and neck pains, which may eventually lead to posture problems. Even worse, it might negatively affect how well your lymphatic system functions. A lot of women, as it turns out, do not wear the right bra size. This is because many of them do not take the time to consult with a professional regarding their bra size or even take their own measurements.
Instead, these women rely on the size of their old and used bras when shopping for new ones. This is supported by our study participated by 1, women who were asked in an online panel about bra sizes. Result of the survey showed the following:. Ever wonder why you have the set of breasts that you do? Here are four of several factors that influence the size and shape of your breasts:.
There are several red flags to watch out for when fitting bras, and once you encounter one, you need to either size up or size down. Here are some of the signs that you are wearing the wrong bra size:. To find a great-fitting bra that provides optimum support and gives you a more flattering form, it is not enough to take your underbust and chest measurements as well as your cup size in consideration. You must also think about the shape and positioning of your breasts.
Here are several breast types and the bra styles that suit each one best:. Do you have a slightly larger bust? Then it is important that your bra is the right size and fits well. As a rule, a big bust is very heavy and should be properly supported with the appropriate bra. Women with a large bust whose bras do not fit properly can suffer from various physical discomforts. When buying, you should consider that the intended support of the bra is 80 percent dependent on the underbust brace and not on the wearer of the bra, as is often mistakenly suspected.
If the brace of your bra fits too loosely and slides upwards, the bust load is transferred to the bra straps. As a result, the bra straps intersect causing tension and pain in the back and neck area. Do you have a big bust?
Then you should pay attention to the following aspects when choosing the right bra:. With breasts of different sizes, the shape of the breasts is often different, the nipples sit in different positions or point in different directions and the volume can vary from side to side.
In the case of pointed breasts, however, the course between the upper part of the breast and the nipple is conspicuous and can appear almost triangular in profile. To a certain extent, bras with molded shells act as a template and shape maker shapewear.
They do not allow the nipples to shine through the upholstery and clothing, creating a balanced appearance. To increase the symmetry in case of small side differences, the beam lengths can simply be adjusted. For larger differences in volume, on the other hand, cushions and pillows are suitable.
But even then it is important to choose the right bra size first. Breast malformations, operations, and hereditary predisposition can lead to a pronounced difference between breast sizes. However, removable cushions or additional cushions can be used to achieve a more symmetrical shape. Shell bra cups or variable padded push-up bras can be used as the basis for this.
Removing removable pads and cushions on the side of the larger breast is ideal and easy. On the side of the smaller breast, on the other hand, they are inserted so that support is provided in the underbust area. On the one hand, this has a relieving effect. On the other hand, the breast tissue is pushed upwards by this measure, fills the basket and promotes a symmetrical appearance.
Brassieres with straps running over the neck are suitable for asymmetries as well as for pointed breasts. The breasts are automatically raised slightly, which makes the upper part of the breast more voluminous. In addition, different sizes can be easily compensated for by the aforementioned aids. Inserts that are used attract less attention or are easier to laminate. However, it is also important for these triangle or neckholder bras to focus on designs with padded cups.
There are many advantages that come with regularly wearing properly-fitted bras. Aside from hiding the nipples and enhancing the aesthetics of your upper body, wearing a supportive and right-fitting bra might help delay the sagging of the breasts. It also reduces the pain and discomfort you feel when your breasts are bouncing, especially if they are larger than average. Bras also provide insulation, reduces friction, and regulate sweating in the bust area.
Nowadays, a lot of women choose not to wear a bra at home and in public. Women are hit by puberty at different ages. However, there are early bloomers that develop breasts as early as 8 years old and late bloomers that do so at 15 years of age. Fruit of the Loom. Price Shown at Cart.
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