A brassiere (UK // or US //), commonly referred to as a bra //, is a woman's undergarment that supports her breasts. Bras are typically form-fitting and perform a variety of functions; not only do women usually wear them to support their breasts, but they have also evolved into a fashion item.
Changing social trends and novel materials have increased the variety and complexity of available designs as well as allowed manufacturers to make bras that in some instances are more fashionable than functional.
The bra has become a feminine icon or symbol with cultural significance beyond its primary function of supporting breasts. Some feminists consider the brassiere a symbol of the repression of women's bodies.
- 1 Purpose
- 2 Etymology
- 3 History
- 4 Construction and manufacturing
- 5 Correctly fitting bras
- 6 Sagging of breasts
- 7 Health issues
- 8 Culture and fashion
- 9 Social issues and trends
- 10 Social and legal issues
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Women wear bras for many reasons – among them are comfort, appearance, or to conform to social expectations. Some bras are designed to enhance the size of breasts, while others are designed for maximum comfort. Still other bras are designed for nursing or exercise.
The term "brassiere" was first used in the English language in 1893.[notes 1] In 1904, it gained wider acceptance when the DeBevoise Company invoked the fashionable cachet of the French language by applying the term "brassière" to describe their latest bust supporter in their advertising copy—the actual French word from which the term derives means "upper-arm." That product and other early versions of the brassiere resembled a camisole stiffened with boning. Vogue magazine first used the term in 1907, and by 1911 the word had made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary. On 3 November 1914, the newly formed U.S. patent category for "brassieres" was inaugurated with the first patent issued to Mary Phelps Jacob. In the 1930s, "brassiere" was gradually shortened to "bra".
In the French language, the term for brassière is soutien-gorge (figuratively "throat-support"). In French, gorge (throat) was a common euphemism for the breast. This dates back to the garment developed by Herminie Cadolle in 1905. The French word brassière refers to a child's undershirt, underbodice, or harness. The word brassière derives from bracière, an Old French word meaning "arm protector" and referring to military uniforms (bras in French means "arm"). This later became used for a military breast plate, and later for a type of women's corset.
In the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, both soutien-gorge and brassière are used interchangeably. The Portuguese word for bra is sutiã, while the Spanish use the word sujetador (from sujetar, to hold). The Germans, Swedes, Danes, and Dutch all use the acronym "BH" which means, respectively, Büstenhalter, bysthållare, brystholder, and bustehouder (bust-holder). In Esperanto, the bra is called a mamzono (breast-belt). Despite the large number of nicknames for breasts themselves, there are only a couple of nicknames for bras, including "over-the-shoulder boulder-holder" and "upper-decker flopper-stopper".
Wearing a specialized garment designed to support a woman's breasts may date back to ancient Greece. Women wore an apodesmos (Greek: ἀπόδεσμος), later stēthodesmē (Gr: στηθοδέσμη), mastodesmos (Gr: μαστόδεσμος) and mastodeton (Gr: μαστόδετον), all meaning "breast-band", a band of wool or linen that was wrapped across the breasts and tied or pinned at the back.
In 2008, archaeologists working at the Lengberg Castle in Eastern Tyrol, Austria discovered 2700 fragments of textile, among them four bras. Two of them were modern-looking bras, the other two were undershirts with incorporated cups. All bras were from linen. The two modern-looking bras were somewhat similar to the modern longline brassiere; the cups were made from two pieces of linen sewn with fabric that extended down to the bottom of the torso with a row of six eyelets for fastening with a lace or string. The brassiere also had two shoulder straps and was decorated with lace between the cleavage, one of them possessing needle lace. The radiocarbon dating results showed that the four bras stemmed from the period between 1440 and 1485.
From the 16th century onwards, the undergarments of wealthier women in the Western world were dominated by the corset, which pushed the breasts upwards. In the later part of the 19th century, clothing designers began experimenting with various alternatives to the corset, trying things like splitting the corset into multiple parts: a girdle-like restraining device for the lower torso, and devices that suspended the breasts from the shoulder to the upper torso.
The German Christine Hardt patented the first modern brassiere in 1889. Sigmund Lindauer from Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Germany developed a brassiere for mass production in 1912 and patented it in 1913. It was mass produced by Mechanischen Trikotweberei Ludwig Maier und Cie. in Böblingen, Germany. With metal shortages, World War I encouraged the end of the corset. By the time the war ended, most fashion-conscious women in Europe and North America were wearing brassieres. From that point forward, women in Asia, Africa, and Latin America adopted the brassiere.
Like other clothing, brassieres were initially sewn by small production companies and supplied to various retailers. The term "cup" was not used to describe bras until 1916, and manufacturers relied on stretchable cups to accommodate different sized breasts.:73 Women with larger or pendulous breasts had the choice of long-line bras, built-up backs, wedge-shaped inserts between the cups, wider straps, power Lastex, firm bands under the cup, and even light boning.
In October 1932, the S.H. Camp and Company correlated the size and pendulousness of a woman's breasts to letters of the alphabet, A through D. Camp's advertising featured letter-labeled profiles of breasts in the February 1933 issue of Corset and Underwear Review. In 1937, Warner began to feature cup sizing in its products. Adjustable bands were introduced using multiple hook and eye closures in the 1930s.:101
Since then, bras have replaced corsets, and bra manufacture and sale has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
Although in popular culture the invention of the bra is frequently attributed to men, women have played a large part in bra design and manufacture, accounting for half of the patents filed. There is 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"). This originated with the 1971 book Bust-Up: The Uplifting Tale of Otto Titzling and the Development of the Bra and was propagated in a comedic song from the movie Beaches.
Construction and manufacturing
Bra designers liken designing a bra to building a bridge, because similar forces are at work. Just as a bridge is affected vertically by gravity and horizontally by earth movement and wind, forces affecting a bra's design include gravity and sometimes tangential forces created when a woman runs or turns her body. "In many respects, the challenge of enclosing and supporting a semi-solid mass of variable volume and shape, plus its adjacent mirror image—together they equal the female bosom—involves a design effort comparable to that of building a bridge or a cantilevered skyscraper."
Bras are built on a square frame model. Their main components are a chest band that wraps around the woman's torso, two cups to hold the breasts, 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. Some bras, particularly sleep bras or athletic bras, do not have fasteners and are pulled on over the head and breasts. The section between the cups at the front 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 the straps, are cut based on manufacturer's specifications. Many layers of fabrics are usually cut at the same time using a computer-controlled laser or a bandsaw shearing device. The pieces may be assembled by piece workers on site or at various locations using either industrial grade sewing machines or automated machines. Coated metal hooks and eyes are sewn in by machine and heat processed or ironed into the two back ends of the bra band and then a tag or label is attached. Some bras now avoid tags and print the label information onto the bra itself. The completed bras are transported to another location for packaging, where they are sorted by style and folded (either mechanically or manually), and packaged or readied for shipment.
The chest band and the bra cups are designed to support the weight of women's breasts, not the shoulder straps. Some bras, called strapless bras, do not use shoulder straps but rely on underwire and additional seaming and stiffening panels to support the breasts. The shoulder straps of some sports bras cross over at the back to take the pressure off an athlete's shoulders when arms are raised. Manufacturers continually experiment with proprietary frame designs. For example, the Playtex "18-Hour Bra" model utilizes an M-Frame design.
Constructing a properly fitting brassiere is difficult. Adelle Kirk, formerly a manager at the global Kurt Salmon management consulting firm that specializes in the apparel and retail businesses, said that making bras is complex.
Bras are one of the most complex pieces of apparel. There are lots of different styles, and each style has a dozen different sizes, and within that there are a lot of colors. Furthermore, there is a lot of product engineering. You've got hooks, you've got straps, there are usually two parts to every cup, and each requires a heavy amount of sewing. It is very component intensive.
Before the advent of modern fabrics, fabrics, including linen, cotton broadcloth, and twill weaves that could be sewn using flat-felled or bias-tape seams, were used to make early brassieres. Bras are now made of a wide 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 percent of bras sold in the United Kingdom and the United States use underwire in the cup. The underwire is made of metal, plastic, or resin. Underwire is built into the bra around the perimeter of the cup where it attaches to the band, increasing the rigidity of the bra. The underwire improves support, lift, and separation. Wirefree or softcup bras support breasts using additional seaming and internal reinforcement. Some types of bras, like T-shirt bras, utilize molded cups that eliminate bra seams and hide the woman's nipples. Others use padding or shaping materials to enhance bust size or cleavage.
Manufacturing standards vary
To mass produce bras, manufacturers size their bras to a prototypical woman, assuming she is standing with both arms at her sides. The design also assumes that both breasts are equally sized and positioned. Manufacturing a well-fitting bra is a challenge since the garment is supposed to be form-fitting but women's breasts can vary in volume, width, height, composition, shape, and position on the chest. Manufacturers make standard bra sizes that provide a "close" fit, however even a woman with accurate measurements can have a difficult time finding a correctly fitted bra because of the variations in sizes between different manufacturers. 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. Scientific studies show that the current system of bra sizing is quite inadequate.
Variance in bra sizes
There are several sizing systems in different countries. Most use the chest circumferences measurement system and cup sizes A-B-C+, but there are some significant differences. Most bras available usually come in 36 sizes, but bra labeling systems used around the world are at times misleading and confusing. Cup and band sizes not only vary around the world but between brands in the same country. For example, most women assume that a B cup on a 34 band is the same size as a B cup on a 36 band. In fact, bra cup size is relative to the band size, as the actual volume of a woman's breast changes with the dimension of her chest. In countries that have adopted the European EN 13402 dress-size standard, the torso is measured in centimetres and rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 centimetres (2.0 in).
Types of bras
There is an increasingly wide range of brassiere styles available, designed to match different body types, situations, and outer wear. The degree of shaping and coverage of the breasts varies between styles, as do functionality, fashion, fit, fabric, and color. Common types include backless, balconette, convertible, shelf, full cup, demi-cup, minimizing, padded, plunge, posture, push-up, racerback, sheer, strapless, t-shirt, underwire, unlined, soft cup, and sports bra. Many designs combine one or more of these styles. Bras are built into some garments like camisoles, single-piece swimsuits, and tank tops, eliminating the need to wear a separate bra.
Correctly fitting bras
Because standards vary so widely, finding a correctly fitting bra can be very difficult for many women. Medical studies have also attested to the difficulty of getting a correct fit. Women tend to find a bra that appears to fit and stay with that size for a long period of time. As a result, 80–85% of women wear the wrong bra size.
Checking band fit
Symptoms of a badly fitted bra band include the band riding up the woman's back, indicating that the band is too loose. Experts recommend that the woman reduce the band size. If the band digs into the flesh, causing the flesh to spill over the edges of the band, the band is too small. A woman can test whether a bra band is too tight or too loose by reversing the bra on her torso so that the cups are in the back and then check for fit and comfort.
Checking cup fit
If a woman's breast tissue bulges out the side of the cup under the arm, under the cup, or over the cup, women should increase their cup size. If the cup fabric is loose, the cup is too large, and women should choose a smaller cup size. If the shoulder straps dig into the woman's skin, the woman should first attempt to adjust the shoulder straps. If that doesn't reduce discomfort, then she should consider a larger cup size. If the straps slide off her shoulder, she should again first attempt to adjust the shoulder straps. If that doesn't help, the woman should consider a smaller cup size. If the underwire doesn't sit on the woman's chest or the gore doesn't lie flat between the breasts, this indicates the woman should buy a bra with a bigger cup size.
Bra experts recommend that women, especially those whose cup sizes are D or larger, get a professional bra fitting from the lingerie department of a clothing store or a specialty lingerie store. Generally, anytime a woman experiences a significant weight change, or if a woman has to continually adjust her bra or experiences general discomfort, the woman should get a new fitting.
Sagging of breasts
Robert Mansell, a professor of surgery at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff, reported that, "Bras don't prevent breasts from sagging, with regard to stretching of the breast ligaments and drooping in later life, that occurs very regularly anyway, and that's a function of the weight, often of heavy breasts, and these women are wearing bras and it doesn't prevent it." John Dixey, at the time CEO of Playtex, agreed with Mansell. "We have no medical evidence that wearing a bra could prevent sagging, because the breast itself is not muscle so keeping it toned up is an impossibility." John Dixey told interviewers. "There's no permanent effect on the breast from wearing a particular bra. The bra will give you the shape the bra's been designed to give while you're wearing it." Bras only affect the shape of breasts while they are being worn.
Deborah Franklin, a senior writer in science and medicine, wrote in Health magazine that, "Still, the myth that daily, lifelong bra wearing is crucial to preserving curves persists, along with other misguided notions about that fetching bit of binding left over from the days when a wasp waist defined the contours of a woman's power."
Franklin interviewed Dr. Christine Haycock a surgeon at the New Jersey Medical School and an expert in sports medicine. Dr. Haycock said that "Cooper's ligaments have nothing to do with supporting breast tissue... They just serve to divide the breast into compartments." She noted that most women's breasts begin to droop with age and that extremely large-breasted women are generally more affected. However, sagging is not related to ligaments or dependent on breast size.
A badly fitted bra can also contribute to health problems.
Large breasts and bra fitting
When purchasing bras, larger-breasted women usually have difficulty selecting a well-fitting bra. Buxom women are more likely than smaller-breasted women to wear an incorrectly sized bra. They tend to buy bras that are too small, while smaller-breasted women tend to purchase bras that are too large.
In addition to the difficulties already described, up to 25% of women's breasts are persistently and visibly asymmetrical. Manufacturer's standard brassiere sizes cannot accommodate these inconsistencies, and this makes it more difficult for women to find a well-fitting bra.
Bras and physical activity
Some occupations require women to repeatedly raise their arms above the shoulders. Female volleyball, high jump, or long jump athletes must continually lift their arms above their shoulders. This can cause the shoulder straps to dig in, putting the athletes at risk for shoulder pain. Even smaller-busted women who repeatedly lift their arms while wearing poorly designed or badly fitted bras can experience shoulder pain.
To compensate, female athletes can wear athletic or sports bras. Judy Mahle Lutter, president of the Melpomene Institute, a Minnesota-based research organization devoted to women's health and physical activity, reports that "Larger-breasted women, and women who are breast-feeding, often have trouble finding a sports bra that fits, feels comfortable and provides sufficient motion control."
Culture and fashion
Women's bra choices are consciously and unconsciously affected by social perceptions of the ideal female figure reflecting her bust, waist, and hip measurement. The culturally desirable figure for woman in Western culture has changed over time. Fashion historian Jill Fields wrote that the bra "plays a critical part in the history of the twentieth-century American women's clothing, since the shaping of women's breasts is an important component of the changing contours of the fashion silhouette." Bras and breast presentation follow the cycle of fashion.
In the United States during the 1920s, the fashion for breasts was to flatten them as typified by the Flapper era. During the 1940s and 1950s, the sweater girl became fashionable, supported by a bullet bra (known also as a torpedo or cone bra) like those worn by Jane Russell and Patti Page.
After the feminist protest during the Miss America pageant on 7 September 1968, bra manufacturers were concerned that women would stop wearing bras. In response, many bra manufacturers' altered their marketing and began claiming that wearing their bra was like "not wearing a bra". During the 1960s, bra designers and manufacturers introduced padded bras and underwire bras. Women's perception of undergarments changed, and in the 1970s, they began to seek more comfortable and natural looking bras.
Each fall, Victoria's Secret commissions the creation of a Fantasy Bra containing gems and precious metals. In 2003, it hired the jeweller Mouawad to design a bra containing more than 2,500 carats of diamonds and sapphires, taking over 370 man-hours to complete. German supermodel Heidi Klum later posed in the bra, which at the time was the world's most valuable, at USD$10 million. In 2010, Victoria's Secret hired designer Damiani to create a US$2 million Fantasy Bra. It includes more than 3,000 brilliant cut white diamonds, totaling 60 carats, and 82 carats of sapphires and topazes.
Visible bra and straps
During the 1990s, women in Europe, America and in some parts of Asia began to show their bra-straps, often as a fashion statement. Until that time, it was usually considered a faux pas for women to show their bra or bra straps in public. In some social circles, that is still true, putting women at risk as being seen as sloppy, slutty, trashy or immodest. Madonna was famously one of the first entertainers to break convention when she wore a cone brassiere as outerwear during her 1990 Blond Ambition tour. (Her brassiere from the tour sold for USD$52,000 at the Christie's Pop Culture auction in London on 29 November 2012.)
It is increasingly common in popular culture to see women wearing clothing in certain social situations that purposefully exposes a portion of their bra or bra straps. Actress Julia Roberts as the title character in the film Erin Brockovich frequently wore tops that revealed her Ultimo push-up bra and cleavage. In the television series Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw, the character played by Sarah Jessica Parker, wore a top that revealed a lace bra. Demi Lovato's appearance on Cosmopolitan's August 2013 cover in a plunging orange dress that revealed the underwire-buttressed center of an ornate teal bra was cited by New York magazine as a sign that exposed center-bra was becoming a surging fashion trend. The Fall 2013 Couture collection introduced by Versace prominently featured fashions that were open in the front, revealing underwire bras.
Other women have exposed their bras in public to draw attention and raise funds for charities like breast cancer research. Wearing clothing that reveals the wearer's bra or bra straps has become so common that Cosmopolitan and Seventeen created guidelines for women describing how to expose their bra straps or bras in an acceptable manner. The guidelines include avoiding flesh-toned, smooth-cup bras, so that the exposure looks deliberate and not accidental. They also recommend making sure the women's bra is in good condition and to wear a style that provides ample coverage. Other advice includes wearing a flesh-colored bra or a bra that matches the color of the sheer garment worn  and don't wear a bra that shows through the garment's armholes.
Bras and youth
When the Flapper era ended, the media substituted Flapper for teen. Olga manufactured a teen bra that was skimpy and sheer. Other manufacturers responded in kind. Since the end of World War II, a great deal of attention has been given to a girl receiving her first bra. It may be seen as a long-awaited rite of passage in her life signifying her coming of age.
Firm, upright breasts are typical of youth. As such, they may not physically require the support of a bra. A Pencil test, developed by Ann Landers, has sometimes been promoted as a criterion to determine whether a girl should begin wearing a bra: a pencil is placed under the breast, and if it stays in place by itself, then wearing a bra is recommended; if it falls to the ground, it is not.
In the early 1960s, 96.3% of female college freshmen bought bras as part of their back to school wardrobe. At the tail end of the 1960s when bralessness increased as a trend, the number had slipped to 85%. Only 77% of high school girls bought bras as they prepared to return to school.:151
Social issues and trends
Consumers spend around $16 billion a year worldwide on bras. In 2012, women in the United States owned an average of 9 bras and wore six of them on a regular basis. That is an increase from 2006, when the average American woman owned six bras, one of which was a strapless bra, and one in a color other than white. The average bra size among North American women has increased from 34B in 1983 to a 34DD in 2013. The growth in bra size has been linked to growing obesity rates, increased number of breast implants, increased birth control usage, estrogen mimicking pollutants, the growing availability of a larger selection of bras, and to women wearing better fitting bras.
Percentage wearing bras
Various surveys have reported that from 75% to 95% of Western women wear bras. According to underwire manufacturer S & S Industries of New York, who supply bras to Victoria's Secret, Bali, Warner's, Playtex, Vanity Fair and other bra labels, about 70 percent of bra-wearing women wear underwire bras.
A Harris Survey, commissioned by Playboy, asked more than 1,000 women what they like in a bra. Among the respondents, 67% said they like wearing a bra over going braless, while 85% wanted to wear a "shape-enhancing bra that feels like nothing at all." They were split over underwire bras, 49% said they prefer underwire bras while 49% said they prefer wireless bras.
Women sometimes wear bras because they mistakenly believe they prevent sagging breasts. Others simply feel that bras improve their appearance. Some wear bras because they believe others might consider their behavior—the unrestrained movement of their breasts or the readily discerned appearance of their nipples under their clothing—as "lewd". If a woman's nipples or areola can be seen through clothing, others may perceive this as "indecent" or inappropriate. Some women wear bras because they want to conceal the natural shape of their breasts and nipples, responding to cultural standards of modesty, or because they fear criticism or unwanted attention. Women's nipples may become erect when stimulated by environmental factors like cold, so women wear bras because they fear that their erect nipples will draw undue or unwanted attention.
In prior generations, if a women wore a corset, it reflected on her morality and her social standing. Only women of ill-repute or low-social standing allowed themselves to be seen not wearing a corset. Wearing a corset became a way for a woman to communicate that she was a worthy female member of polite society. In the modern world, bralessness is not acceptable in some social or business circumstances, and some people may judge a woman's social status depending on whether she is wearing a bra or not. At the same time, it has become increasingly commonplace to see public figures, especially celebrities, actresses and members of the fashion industry, who have chosen not to wear a bra, at least on some occasions.
When a woman chooses to go braless, others may assume she's making a political statement or that she wants sexual attention. On the contrary, women who go braless may simply desire to feel more comfortable. Some women, especially those with smaller busts, prefer to go braless and can get away with it more easily than larger-busted women. Women may wear bras because their work dress code requires it, but actually prefer going braless. Some women feel uncomfortable wearing a bra and take off their bras when they return home.
To avoid unwanted attention, women who want to go braless can choose clothing like camisoles that conceal their breasts and nipples or adhesive silicone nipple covers. Depending on the social context, women may wear different kinds of clothing to hide or reveal the fact that they're not wearing a bra. Some outer garments like sundresses, tank tops, and formal evening wear are designed to be worn without bras or are designed with built-in support. In some social circumstances, a woman may choose to go braless even when it is obvious to the casual observer. Unhappy bra owners have donated thousands of bras to the Braball Sculpture, a collection of 18,085 bras. The organizer, Emily Duffy, wears a 42B and switched to stretch undershirts with built-in bras because standard bras cut into her midsection.
Opposition to bras
Some people question the medical or social necessity of bras. Some researchers have found health benefits for going braless. (See health issues above.) An informal movement advocates breast freedom, top freedom, bra freedom, or simply going braless.
Bra opponents believe training bras are used to indoctrinate girls into thinking about their breasts as sexual objects. In their view, bras for very young girls whose breasts do not yet need support are not functional undergarments and are only intended to accentuate the girl's sexuality. Feminist author Iris Young wrote that the bra "serves as a barrier to touch" and that a braless woman is "deobjectified", eliminating the "hard, pointy look that phallic culture posits as the norm." Without a bra, women's breasts are not consistently shaped objects but change as the woman moves, reflecting the natural body. Unbound breasts mock the ideal of the perfect breast. "Most scandalous of all, without a bra, the nipples show. Nipples are indecent. Cleavage is good—the more, the better..." Susan Brownmiller in her book Femininity took the position that women without bras shock and anger men because men "implicitly think that they own breasts and that only they should remove bras."
In October 2009, Somalia's hard-line Islamic group Al-Shabaab forced women in public to shake their breasts at gunpoint to see if they wore bras, which they called "un-Islamic". They told women that wearing a bra was deceptive and against Islamic teaching. Girls and women found wearing a bra were publicly whipped because bras are seen as "deceptive" and to violate their interpretation of Sharia law. A resident of Mogadishu whose daughters were whipped said, "The Islamists say a woman's chest should be firm naturally, or flat."
Individuals opposed to bras in the United States organized a "National No-Bra Day", first observed on 9 July in 2011. The group encouraged women to go without a bra for the entire day. Women posted on Twitter comments about the relief they feel when taking off their bra. The lingerie firm Victoria's Secret commented that the day was not good for their business. More than 250,000 people expressed support for the special day on a Facebook page dedicated to the event.
Miss America protest
During the Miss America contest on 7 September 1968, about 400 women were drawn together from across the United States by a small group, the New York Radical Women, in a protest outside the event. They symbolically threw a number of feminine products into a large trash can. These included mops, pots and pans, Cosmopolitan and Playboy magazines, false eyelashes, high-heeled shoes, curlers, hairspray, makeup, girdles, corsets, and bras, items the protestors called "instruments of female torture." Carol Hanisch, one of the protest organizers, said "We had intended to burn it, but the police department, since we were on the boardwalk, wouldn't let us do the burning." A New York Post story by Lindsy Van Gelder about the protest drew an analogy between the feminist protest and Vietnam War protesters who burned their draft cards. In fact, there was no bra burning, nor did anyone take off their bra.:4
Hanisch said, "Up until this time, we hadn't done a lot of actions yet. We were a very small movement. It was kind of a gutsy thing to do. Miss America was this 'American pie' icon. Who would dare criticize this?" Along with tossing the items into the trash can, they marched with signs, passed out pamphlets, and crowned a live sheep, comparing the beauty pageant to livestock competitions at county fairs. "The media picked up on the bra part," Hanisch said later. "I often say that if they had called us 'girdle burners,' every woman in America would have run to join us."
Some feminist writers have considered the bra an example of how women's clothing has shaped and even deformed women's bodies to historically aesthetic ideals, or shaped them to conform to male expectations. Professor Lisa Jardine observed feminist Germaine Greer talking about bras at a formal college dinner:
At the graduates' table, Germaine was explaining that there could be no liberation for women, no matter how highly educated, as long as we were required to cram our breasts into bras constructed like mini-Vesuviuses, two stitched white cantilevered cones which bore no resemblance to the female anatomy. The willingly suffered discomfort of the Sixties bra, she opined vigorously, was a hideous symbol of female oppression.
Germaine Greer's book The Female Eunuch has been associated with the 'bra burning movement' because she pointed out how restrictive and uncomfortable a bra in that time period could be. "Bras are a ludicrous invention," she wrote, "but if you make bralessness a rule, you're just subjecting yourself to yet another repression." For some, the bra remains a symbol of restrictions imposed by society on women: "...the classic burning of the bras...represented liberation from the oppression of the male patriarchy, right down to unbinding yourself from the constrictions of your smooth silhouette." While women didn't literally burn their bras, some women stopped wearing bras as a form of rebellion or protest. By refusing to follow generally accepted norms, they intended to communicate their rejection of how society stratifies men's and women's roles.
Professor and feminist Iris Marion Young wrote that in U.S. culture breasts are subject to "Capitalist, patriarchal American media-dominated culture [that] objectives breasts before such a distancing glance that freezes and masters.":31 Some feminists suggest that when a young girl begins wearing a bra, it symbolically changes her breasts into sexual objects.
Social and legal issues
The United States Transportation Security Administration recommends that women do not wear underwire bras because they can set off the metal detectors. In response, Triumph International, a Swiss company, launched what it called a "Frequent Flyer Bra" in late 2001. The bra uses metal-free clasps and underwires made of resin instead of metal that are guaranteed to not set off metal detectors.
In June 2010, attorney Brittney Horstman was prevented from meeting a client at the Federal Detention Center, Miami when her underwire bra set off a metal detector. She removed the bra in a bathroom and was then barred from entering the prison because she was now braless, a violation of the detention center's dress code. The federal public defender's office contacted Warden Linda McGrew, who conducted an inquiry. Prison guards had received a memo allowing women wearing underwire bras to enter the prison, but the guards on duty during Horstman's visit were unaware of the modified policy. The warden concluded the incident was "an aberration" and promised it would not happen again.
In November 2009, parents and school officials complained about girls wearing sports bras and boys running shirtless before and after the Hillsborough County (Tampa area of Florida) Cross Country Championship track event. County athletic director Lanness Robinson informed the athletic directors of all of the Hillsborough County's public schools of a school board policy that even though sports bras are designed as outer garments, they must be covered with at minimum a singlet (sleeveless T-shirt) and boys cannot go topless, no matter how hot it is. The policy applies to all events and training sessions.
Plant High (Tampa) girls cross country coach Roy Harrison reported that out of concern for his student's safety, he would not follow the mandate. "We train all through August and September, when the heat index is 103 °F (39 °C), 105 °F (41 °C), 107 °F (42 °C) outside even in the evening and to me, it's a safety issue not letting boys run without their shirts and girls in sports bras." Coaches and athletes pointed out that sports bras, form-fitting compression shorts and running shirtless are common, as is wearing swimsuits and tight-fitting volleyball uniforms.
During 2012, Memphis, Tennessee Democrat Joe Towns attempted but failed to pass legislation that required female student athletes to wear shirts over their sports bras. Knoxville Republican Bill Dunn was shocked at the way the girl athletes dress.
...having several children who play sports, it's pretty shocking to me that you go to practices and games and young ladies are walking around in sports bras…would that be considered underwear?
Victoria's Secret was sued several times during 2009. The suits alleged that defective underwear contained formaldehyde that caused severe rashes on women who wore them. Six cases were filed in Ohio and two in Florida. At least 17 other suits were filed in six other states after January 2008.
The plaintiff refused to submit to a simple patch test to determine the precise cause of her reaction and her case was later withdrawn. The Formaldehyde Council issued a statement that formaldehyde quickly dissipates in air, water and sunlight.
In January 2011, a German court ruled that employers can require female employees to wear bras or undershirts at work. An airport security firm argued that requiring bras was essential "to preserve the orderly appearance of employer-provided uniforms." The court also agreed that the company could require employees to keep their hair clean and male employees to be clean shaven or maintain a well-trimmed beard.
In August 2011, Wendy Anderson of Utah sued her employer for sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In her suit, she claimed that Derek Wright, her employer, attempted to require her to adhere to a dress code that included a "No Bra Thursday". She alleged that he regularly discussed Anderson's breast size with her in front of other employees.
Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Rail in Britain, caused a row among his female train attendants when he introduced new uniforms in May 2013. A number of them complained that the new blouses they are required to wear are too revealing and expose their brassieres to the public. Virgin Rail offered a voucher worth ₤20 to allow the unhappy employees to purchase a top to wear underneath the new blouses.
- Evening Herald (Syracuse). March 1893. "Still of course the short-waisted gowns mean short-waisted corsets and those ladies who wish to be in the real absolute fashion are adopting for evening wear the six-inch (152 mm) straight boned band or brassiere which Sarah Bernhardt made a necessity with her directoire gowns."
- Dow, Bonnie J. (2003). "Feminism, Miss America, and Media Mythology". Rhetoric & Public Affairs 6 (1): 127–160. doi:10.1353/rap.2003.0028. ISSN 1094-8392. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- Wells, Jacquelyn. "The History of Lingerie [INFOGRAPHIC]". HerRoom. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "Brassiere". Clothing and Fashion Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- Apsan, Rebecca (20 October 2006). The Lingerie Handbook. Sarah Stark. Workman Publishing Company. p. 186. ISBN 0-7611-4323-8.
- Berry, Cheree. "Boom & Busts". New York Magazine. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- Mendehlson, Matt (4 December 2007). "The Bra has held up famously for 100 years". USA Today. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- Quinion, Michael. "Brassiere".
- US patent 1115674, Mary Phelps Jacob, "Backless Brassiere", issued 1914-November-3
- Duron, Alexandra. "History of the Bra". Women's Health. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Breast supporting act: a century of the bra". London: The Independent UK. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- ἀπόδεσμος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- στηθοδέσμη, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- μαστόδεσμος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- μαστόδετον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- Leoty, Ernest; Gautier, Saint Elme (10 September 2010). Le Corset a Travers Les Ages (1893) (in French). Kessinger Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 1-167-74666-X. Reprint of the 1893 edition
- "The Figure and Corsets. Mataura Ensign (New Zealand) November 11, 1887".
- Medieval bras discovered at Austrian castle. The Guardian. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "600-year-old linen bras found in Austrian castle". 19 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Thomas, Pauline Weston (September 2004). "Bra History – Bras and Girdles". Fashion-Era.com. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- Jenkins, Simon P. R. (1 July 2005). Sports Science Handbook: A-H (first ed.). Multi-Science Publishing Co. Ltd. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-906522-36-3.
- Farrell-Beck, Jane; Gau, Colleen (22 October 2002). Uplift: The Bra in America (illustrated ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-1835-0. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- Steele, Valerie (9 November 2010). The Berg Companion to Fashion. Berg Publishers. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-84788-592-0.
- "Brassiere (origin of name)". Snopes.com Urban Legends. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Nanas, Edward (February 1964). "Brassieres: An Engineering Miracle". Science and Mechanics. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Franklin, Deborah (October 1992). "Vanities: Femininity's Seamy Underside". Health (San Francisco) 6 (6): 24–30.
- "Bra Finder One Hanes Place Bra Glossary". Hanesbrands Inc. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "Gale's How Products Are Made: How is a Brassiere Made?". Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- Moberg, Matthew; Siskin, Jonathan; Stern, Barry; Wu, Ru (1999). "Sara Lee: Wonderbra". University of Michigan Business School. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Charnos takes the plunge with a brand new bra". UK: Aroq Ltd. 25 October 2000. Retrieved 22 April 2009. "The underwired bra accounts for 60 per cent of the market, but women with average or fuller busts must wonder why it is so popular. It is uncomfortable, non-machine washable, and difficult to make, but there has been nothing to replace it"
- "Boom in Bras as Women Go Busty". Daily Record. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2009. "Demand for the underwired bra is up by 12 per cent in the last two years and now makes up 70 per cent of the bra market."
- Riordan, Teresa (28 October 2002). "Patents; In bra technology, an incremental improvement can translate into comfort". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 April 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009. "Professor Farrell-Beck said the antecedents for underwire in bras date to at least 1893, when Marie Tucek of New York City patented a breast supporter, a sort of early push-up bra made of either metal or cardboard and then covered with fabric."
- Kehaulani, Sara (10 December 2004). "Functional Fashion Helps Some Through Airport Checkpoints". The Washington Post. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
- Cope, Samantha (26 April 2013). "Are you wearing the right bra? We go back to boob school". Mirror. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Chen CM, LaBat K, Bye E (April 2010). "Physical characteristics related to bra fit". Ergonomics 53 (4): 514–24. doi:10.1080/00140130903490684. PMID 20309747.
- Abraham, Tamara (2 October 2012). "'They vanity sized it': Modern bra sizes are a scam intended to flatter the wearer, insists top lingerie expert". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Zheng, Rong; Yu, Winnie; Fan, Jintu (2007). "Development of a new chinese bra sizing system based on breast anthropometric measurements". International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 37 (8): 697–705. doi:10.1016/j.ergon.2007.05.008.
- "Bra Size Calculator". DimensionsGuide.com. Retrieved 28 April 2010.[dead link]
- King, Stephanie (2 June 2005). "A short history of lingerie: Doreen the bra that conquered the world". The Independent (UK).
- "Figleaves.com fitting room".
- "Bravissimo – The Perfect Fit".
- "Bra Style Guide". AlAboutBras. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Bravado Essential Nursing Bra Tank". Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- US Patent Application No. 20070000009 Stretchable Nursing Tank Top With Invisible Breast Support
- "Jessica Seigel. Bent out of shape: Why is it so hard to find the perfect bra?". Lifetime Magazine. May–June 2003.
- Phillips, Jeanne (Van Buren, Abigail) (11 May 2004). "Dear Abby: Women tired of shouldering burden of bad bra design".
- McGhee, DE (2006). How do respiratory state and measurement method affect bra size calculations? 40. Steele JR. Sports Medicine. pp. 970–4.
- Wood, K; Cameron, Melainie; Fitzgerald, Kylie (2008). "Breast Size, Bra Fit and Thoracic Pain in Young Women: A Correlational Study". Chiropractic & Osteopathy 16: 1. doi:10.1186/1746-1340-16-1. PMC 2275741. PMID 18339205.
- "Right bra 'could halt breast ops' BBC". BBC News. 11 April 2008.
- "Are you wearing the right bra size?".
- "Rigby and Peller – Bra fitting".
- "Lingerie Bra Fitting Video". Fantasie. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- "Bra fitting tips from the German bra fitting forum busenfreundinnen.net". busenfreundinnen.net. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Stuart, Julia (2 November 2000). "Don't burn your bra just yet". London: The Independent. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- Cawthorne, Simon (November 2000). "Bras, the Bare Facts". Channel 4.
- Franklin, Deborah (26 May 1993). "Busted! Let's Uplift The Truth And Separate The Myth From All Those Reasons Mother Gave Us For Wearing A Bra". Health Magazine /Universal Press Syndicate. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Christine E. Haycock, MD". 29 October 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- Adams, Stephen (13 November 2012). "Bad back, neck pain and headaches: the perils of wearing a poorly fitting bra". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Breast Development". Massachusetts Hospital for Children. Retrieved 2 June 2010.[dead link]
- Krucoff, Carol (9 August 1999). "Sports Bras Are a Bust for Some". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
- Mitchell, Claudia A. (2008). Girl culture. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 198. ISBN 9780313339103.
- Burns-Ardolino, Wendy (2007). Jiggle: (Re)Shaping American Women. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-1299-1.
- "Bullet Bras". LoveToKnow.com. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Vecchione, Lanajean (2004). "The Bra Advertising Gallery—Bra Ads". Retrieved 13 September 2009.
- Marsh, Lisa (20 October 2010). "Adriana Lima in Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra: $2 Million Dollars, 60 Carats of Diamonds, 1500 Hours". Retrieved 14 December 2010.[dead link]
- "Bra Turns Hundred This Year". Life in Italy. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- "Show off our straps". Chicago Tribune. 14 August 2003. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Top fashion faux pas". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Warren, Ellen (5 August 2010). "Playing peekaboo". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "How to Dress With No Bra". Wikihow. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- DelliCarpini Jr., Gregory (3 December 2012). "Madonna's Iconic Cone Bra Sells for $52,000". Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Verner, Amy (6 July 2013). "Is showing off my bra an acceptable fashion choice?". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Bras on Top". Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Chelsea (5 August 2010). "Would You Wear… a Visible Bra?". Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- O'Connor, Maureen. "Everyone Is Showing the Centers of Their Bras". New York. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Bra walkers tackle night marathon". BBC News. 19 June 2005.
- Cardellino, Carly (25 July 2012). "How to Show Off Your Bra in Style". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Top fashion faux pas". Sheknows.com. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- McGrath, Kara. "The Dos And Don'ts of Wearing a Bra url=http://www.seventeen.com/fashion/tips/bra-dos-donts-062008#slide-14". Seventeen.
- McGrath, Kara. "The Dos And Don'ts of Wearing a Bra url=http://www.seventeen.com/fashion/tips/bra-dos-donts-062008#slide-18". Seventeen.
- DeSantis, Violette. "The First Bra". Retrieved 12 February 2009.
- Pitts-Taylor, Victoria (2008). Cultural Encyclopedia of the Body. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-313-34146-5.
- Gallant, Ann (1978). Body treatments and dietetics for the beauty therapist. Cheltenham, UK: Stanley Thomas Publishers. ISBN 978-0-85950-401-0.
- West, Richard (June 1975). "Texas Monthly Reporter: Low Talk". Texas Monthly (Emmis Communications): 12. ISSN 0148-7736. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Vanity fair" 58. January 1995. p. 108. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Teen Bras". HerRoom.com. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
- "Victoria's Secrets: 6 Surprising Bra Stats". Redbook. Magazine. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Acton, Johnny; Adams, Tania; Packer, Matt (November 2006). Origin of Everyday Things. New York: Sterling Publishing Co. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-4027-4302-3.
- Graham, Erika. "The Average American Bra Size Is Now a 34 DD". Racked. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Jones, Hardy (9 February 2012). "Larger Breast Size, Obesity and Diabetes Tied to Estrogen-Mimicking Pollutants". Huffington Post.
- "Bra Cup Sizes—getting fitted with the right size". 1stbras.com. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "The Right Bra". Liv.com. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Goo, Sara Kehaulani (10 December 2004). "Functional Fashion Helps Some Through Airport Checkpoints". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
- Luciani, Jene (1 December 2009). The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to Finding the Perfect. Ann Deal. BenBella Books. p. 224. ISBN 978-1-933771-94-6.
- Sischo, Lacey (2008). Women's experiences with breast augmentation and reconstruction: Bodies, emotions, and the self. The Florida State University. pp. 174 pages. ISBN 9780549949985.
- "Female Intelligence Agency: Why do women wear bras?". 007b Breast. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- "Yes, It's Okay to Go Braless". LingerieAddict. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Null, Gary; Seaman, Barbara; Seaman, Barbara (1999). For women only! Your Guide to Health Empowerment (Seven Stories Press 1st ed.). New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1583222782.
- "A Brief History of Bras". Bras on Top. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Brenoff, Ann (9 July 2012). "No Bra Day: I Spent My 20s Braless". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Gray, Emma (22 October 2012). "Small Breasts Advantages: This Empty 'Breastseller' Gets It Seriously Wrong". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Lauersen, Niels H.; Stukane, Eileen (1998). The Complete Book of Breast Care (1st Trade Paperback ed.). New York: Fawcett Columbine/Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-449-91241-6.
- Erin Donnelly. "Trend Test Drive: Going Braless". Lemondrop.
- Mejia, Lisette. "Guide to Going Braless". Women's Health Mag. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- Mejia, Lisette. "Guide to Going Braless". Women's Health Magazine. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "How to Dress With No Bra". Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "The Braball, Thanks". Emily Duffy.
- "Going Braless". GoingBraless.Net. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- "Going Braless". The Breast Site.
- "Going Braless... Top shelf dress tips". FocusOnStyle.com. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- "The History of the Bra – History & Info on Bras and Breasts". Feminist Zine. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- Young, Iris Marion (27 January 2005). On Female Body Experience: "Throwing Like a Girl" and Other Essays. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-19-516192-2.
- "Smoothies for a Bra" (in French). Radio-Canada Reuters. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- "Whipped for wearing a 'deceptive' bra: Hardline Islamists in Somalia publicly flog women in Sharia crackdown". Daily Mail (London). 16 October 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
- "Somali Islamists whip women for wearing bras". Reuters. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- "July 9, 2012 is the Second Annual 'National No Bra Day'". 9 July 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- Ragone, BJ. "National No Bra Day—Best Hand Bras on Tumblr". Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- Gray, Emma (9 July 2012). "No Bra Day: Women Tweet About The Merits Of Not Wearing Lingerie". Huffington Post. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "National No Bra Day gains support, boosts spirits". Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- Greenfieldboyce, Nell (5 September 2008). "Pageant Protest Sparked Bra-Burning Myth". NPR. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Levy, Ariel (August 1985). Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-4989-5.
- Duffett, Judith (October 1968). WLM vs. Miss America. Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement.
- Merritt, Stephanie (5 October 2003). "The Observer Profile: Germaine Greer". The Guardian (UK).
- "German Greer Biography". Retrieved 7 April 2010.
- Shearer, Violet A. "Motherhood, Feminism and the Graveyard of Unwearable Bras". Retrieved 7 April 2010.
- Kornblum, William (2011). Sociology in a Changing World (Ninth ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. p. 241. ISBN 978-1111301576.
- "TSA Travel Assistant". Transportation Security Administration. Retrieved 11 May 2011.[dead link]
- "Lawyer of the Day: Brittney B. Horstman Is Above the Bra". Federal Detention Center, Miami. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- Hill, Kashmir (14 June 2010). "Lawyer of the Day: Brittney B. Horstman Is Above the Bra". Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- Jay Weaver (12 June 2010). "Wrong bra, no bra: Jail bars lawyer". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Ward, Bill (5 November 2009). "Student athletes may feel heat of dress codes". Tampa Tribune, Florida. Retrieved 3 October 2010.[dead link]
- "Lawmaker Wants Female Student Athletes to Wear Shirts Over Bras". WPLN News. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Toxic Bras Update: Suits Won't Be Combined in Ohio". onpoint.com. 21 June 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
|last1=in Authors list (help)
- "Victoria's Secret Bras May Contain Formaldehyde, Cause Blisters". New York. 11 November 2008.
- Andrea Canning. "Victoria's Secret: Formaldehyde in Bras?". Jen Pereira, Mariecar Frias and Imaeyen Ibanga. Good Morning America.
- "Victoria's real secrets: A brand that needs a walk-in closet for its skeletons Date=3 April 2010". Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- "Victoria's Secret: Formaldehyde in Bras?". ABC News. 11 November 2008.
- "Court orders women to wear bras and keep fingernails short at work". News.com.au. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- Melinda, Rogers (5 August 2011). "Woman claims employer subjected her to 'Mini-skirt Monday'". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- "TRUDY NYCOLE ANDERSON vs. LONE PEAK CONTROLS, INC.". HOWARD, LEWIS & PETERSEN, P.C. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- "Bra wars: Virgin Trains in row over see-through uniforms". AOL Travel UK. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Yu W, Fan JT, Ng SP, Harlock SC (2006). Innovation and technology of women's intimate apparel. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-9105-7. OCLC 71139537.
- Ewing, Elizabeth (1971). Fashion in underwear. London: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0857-X.
- Gau, Colleen; Farrell-Beck, Jane (2002). Uplift: the Bra in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3643-2. (for reviews, see next section)
- Greer, Germaine (2001). The female eunuch. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-52762-8.
- Lindsey, Karen; Love, Susan M. (2000). Dr. Susan Love's breast book (3rd ed.). Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Publishing. ISBN 0-7382-0235-5.
- Pedersen, Stephanie (2004). Bra: a thousand years of style, support and seduction. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-2067-X.
- Steele, Valerie (2001). The corset: a cultural history. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09953-3.
- Stoppard, Miriam (1996). The Breast Book. New York: DK Pub. ISBN 0-7894-0420-6.
- Leigh Summers (2001). Bound to please: a history of the Victorian corset. Oxford: Berg. ISBN 1-85973-510-X.
- Warner LC (1948). Always starting things. Bridgeport, Connecticut: Warner Brothers.
- Fischer, Gayle V; Farrell-Beck, Jane; Gau, Colleen (2003). "Uplift: The Bra in America". Journal of American History 89 (4): 1539–40. doi:10.2307/3092606. JSTOR 3092606.
- Murphy, Michael (2003). "Book Reviews". Winterthur Portfolio 38 (2/3): 151–9. doi:10.1086/421426.
- BBC News (10 December 2007). "'Intelligent bra' battles bounce".
- Casselman A (22 November 2005). "The physics of bras". Discover.
- Freeman SK (2004). "In Style: Femininity and Fashion since the Victorian Era". Journal of Women's History 16 (4): 191–206. doi:10.1353/jowh.2004.0081.
- Seigel, Jessica (13 February 2004). "The Cups Runneth Over". The New York Times.
- Steele, Valerie (Spring 1998). "Le Corset: A Material Culture Analysis of a Deluxe French Book". The Yale Journal of Criticism 11 (1): 29–3. doi:10.1353/yale.1998.0023.
- Iken, Katja (5 July 2012). "100 Jahre BH-Revolution".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brassiere.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brassieres.|
|Look up brassiere in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- US PAT No. 2,433—1859 Combined breast pads and arm-pit shield
- US PAT No. 844,242—1907 Bust supporter
- US PAT No. 1,115,674—1914 Mary Phelps Jacob's Brassiere