Though we may groan and complain about wearing a bra every day, they’ve had quite the journey coming to be. Like any other fashion staple, bras have a history and a lineage. So where did they come from and why should you care?
Because bras have been around for hundreds of years and history is cool, that’s why. Check out these surprising facts about the fabric that’s supporting your girls everyday. You can even fling off your bra through your sleeve as you read them, we know the struggle.
1. Bras have been around since Ancient Greece.
Though the term “bra” had not yet been coined, evidence of women binding their breasts can be traced back to Ancient Greece. Women would wrap wool or linen across their chests and pin the back.
2. The term “brassiere” didn’t exist until 1907.
3. In the 1970’s the first sports bra was invented out of jock straps.
Yes, nasty jock straps. Luckily its original name “jock bra” did not stick. The first semblance of a sports bra was invented in 1977 when a woman complained to a costume designer about the discomfort of wearing a normal bra while exercising. Can you imagine trying to work out in a normal bra? No thank you.
4. The world’s most expensive bra is $15 million.
Victoria’s Secret Red Hot Fantasy Bra, which made its debut in 2000, is comprised of 1,300 gemstones and was worn by Gisele Bündchen. It is now worth $15 million…for a damn bra.
5. On average, women own about 9 bras.
Bras typically last anywhere from six to nine months (tbh, most of us are known to keep ours much longer). Even though we may have around 9 in our underwear drawer at a time, lord knows we’re only wearing (at most) two or three of them every week.
6. Cup sizes weren’t invented until the 1920’s.
Though bras have been around since the 1800’s, cup sizes didn’t exist until 1922. Russian immigrant Ida Rosenthal felt that not all women should be wearing the same size bra (no shit) so she decided to implement the use of varying cups.
7. Most women’s bra size will change 6 times.
This can be attributed to obvious factors like pregnancy or weight loss as well as changing hormone levels. Even smoking has been attributed to change in breast size and shape, due to the breaking down of a protein that gives your skin elasticity.
8. The first pushup bra was introduced in the 1800s while the first padded bra was invented in 1947.
Science & Society
Though it did not become commonplace until 1907, the first pushup bras created date back to 1880. An original padded bra can be seen at the Science Museum in London. Frederick Mellinger of Frederick’s of Hollywood, the lingerie shop can be credited with introducing women—and the world—to the first padded bra in 1947. Not to mention, he also introduced the thong to American women in the 80’s.
9. 34DD is today’s average bra size.
We can definitely attest to the fact that this is not true for most of us. However, according to Mashable the average has increased is a full three sizes larger over the past 30 years. In 1983, the average size was 34B.
10. In China you can major in bra studies.
Yes, it’s a thing. You can really study bras in China. A degree in bra studies can be attained at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University. China’s biggest lingerie manufacturer, Top Form, has a bra lab at its factory.
11. Former first lady of the Phillipines reportedly wore bulletproof bras.
Apparently, the former first lady Imelda Marcos was a boss ass bitch back in the day. Public opinion was that she wore bulletproof bras to protect herself. She left them and her 3,000 pairs of shoes behind when she later fled the country.