Why Do Women Wear Bras?

Two models wearing joggers and sports bras

By: Heather Bien

As a young woman, shopping for your first bra can be an exciting right of passage, marking your journey into womanhood. After years of passing that mysterious and intriguing section of the department store, you’re finally welcomed into the world of soft fabrics and cute designs. 

In fact, regular bra shopping can often be about looks—how the bra itself looks, as well as how it looks on you. But there’s more to it than just appearance. Wondering why women wear bras? From aesthetics to comfort and support, the reasons are myriad, far-ranging, and personal. 

In this article, we’ll explore the four main reasons why women wear bras and dive into the different benefits of wearing a bra.  

#1 For Support

One of the reasons why women wear bras is to provide their breasts with support. To understand why your breasts may need support, let’s consider them for a moment. Your breasts are composed of fat, tissues, nerves, veins, and arteries.1 When they’re young and relatively small, all those components stay upright. Over time or with increased size, breast skin and breast tissue lose their elasticity and succumb to the inevitable drag of gravity. Medically, this is called breast ptosis.2

Other reasons breasts might sag or droop are:

  • Smoking
  • Weight loss
  • Breastfeeding
  • Being overweight

This breast sagging can cause discomfort around large or small breasts alike, as well as in your shoulders, neck, and back. While there’s no medical evidence that wearing a bra prevents sag, wearing a high-quality comfortable bra is a helpful way to lift and support both large or small breasts and keep your body feeling balanced and healthy. The key to finding a good bra is to make sure it has a comfortable fit. Bra fitting problems, such as uncomfortable underwire, may affect breast support.

women's bras

#2 For Protection and Constriction During Sports

Did you know that the earliest recorded bras were bandeaus worn by female Minoan athletes in the 14th century?3 And it’s no wonder why. Engaged as the Minoans were in sports like bull-jumping and boxing, keeping their breasts in place and out of the way was likely a priority for female athletes. 

Sporty ladies need just as much protection and security today as they did six hundred years ago. A well-fitting sports bra is essential for popular sports, such as:

  • Running, jogging, or walking
  • Tennis, soccer, field hockey, rugby, and anything dynamic
  • Yoga, pilates, and barre
  • Martial arts
  • Dance
  • Parkour
  • Cycling

By keeping your breasts in place, a good sports bra can ensure you stay comfortable during any of these activities. Plus, this bra style is often made of breathable and high-tech fabrics that is  gentle on your skin. Learn more about the types of bras to wear with tank tops.

#3 For Looks

Model wearing racerback bra and grey joggers

Madonna brought the bra outside the shirt in 1990 with her pink cone top, and we’ve never been the same since. Whether you’re wearing a corset bra as a top like the original Material Girl or wearing one invisibly beneath your clothing like pretty much everybody else, it can serve as a fashion element that can impact your entire ensemble.

What are some effects wearing a comfortable bra can have on your look? 

Smoothing

The best bras can make your breasts look round, smooth, and natural. Sounds straightforward, right? But finding the perfect bra takes a little luck and a lot of knowledge. Here are a few tips to getting a well-fitted smoothing bra for yourself:

  • Overall, the right bra should feel snug but not tight
  • The band should be parallel to the ground without riding up on the sides or back
  • The cups should be flush with your skin, neither gapping nor cutting into your breast
  • The straps should not leave marks on your shoulders

#4 For Necessity

Not all bras are made for athletic performance or looks. Some bras are specifically designed for assisting with certain medical events or conditions. These bras can include: 

  • Breastfeeding bras – A nursing bra  usually includes a flap or panel to make feeding a baby a snap.
  • Post-surgical compression bras – This bra style is usually soft, tight, and breathable, allowing recovery for patients.
  • Prosthetic bras – Also called Mastectomy Pocket Bras, these contain a form that replaces the shape of all or part of a breast that has been affected by mastectomy.
  • Binders – Though not technically a bra, binders allow compression of the breast shape much like a very tight sports bra or bralette  would.

Whatever Your Reason, Boody Eco Wear Has You Covered

Model Wearing Racerback Bra

From getting ample chest support to achieving a steamy boudoir look, women wear bras for all sorts of reasons. But regardless of your personal purpose, you should always choose bras that are well-fitting, high-quality, and sustainably made.

At Boody, that’s what we’re all about. Our wide range of luxuriously comfortable and sustainable bras are not only supportive, but also made from sustainable bamboo viscose. They’re breathable, odor-resistant, super soft, and, best of all, better for our planet. So no matter why you wear your bra, you can wear it proudly, with Boody Eco Wear. 

About the Author: 

Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.


Sources: 

  1.  "Breast Anatomy." Susan G. Komenhttps://www.komen.org/breast-cancer/facts-statistics/what-is-breast-cancer/the-breast-anatomy/
  2. "Are sagging breasts inevitable after breast-feeding?" Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/expert-answers/sagging-breasts/faq-20058322
  3.  Hawkins, Amanda. "The Evolution of the Bra." Good Housekeeping. 29 January, 2015. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/fashion/g1291/bra-history/?slide=1

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