5 Surprising Facts about Bras You Didn’t Know

Bras are integral in every woman’s life, but have you ever thought about the story behind this undergarment worn every day? When were they invented, and what’s their story?

It turns out there are plenty of interesting facts about bras that you didn’t know. Here are a few facts about bras that most women don’t even know.

1) Bras Were Invented in France

The birthplace of bras is France in the 1890s as an evolution of the corset. The corset is a piece of lingerie with two parts, with the majority of the material being the bottom half of the bra. The upper part of the corset was also known as the corselet gorge. Three decades later, the upper part was sold as a stand-alone piece.

Ever since, a lot has changed to their design. Padded was invented in 1947, and the push-up bra came a year later, which radically changed the industry.

Today, we have all kinds of styles: padded, unpadded, sports, unlined underwire bra, wired, and non-wired, among others. All of these are much more comfortable than the first bras, but we have France to thank for the initial invention.

2) The Name Came Much Later

Although the French were the first to make and sell them, they didn’t call them bras. The first word for a garment that resembles what we have today was coined in 1907 when Vogue used’ brassiere.’

It wasn’t until four years later that the word was first included in the dictionary. The word is an evolution of several intriguing names, including ‘bodice bundle’ with ‘B.B.’ as its short form.

3) Cup Sizes Came in the 30s

Cup sizes were invented in the 1930s. You can only imagine the level of discomfort ladies had before this point. Credit goes to S.H. Camp and Company for the first cup sizing system. The cup sizing system was so ahead of its time that it’s still similar to what we use today, almost a century later.

Over the years, the range of sizes expanded, and more sophisticated methods of cup size measurement were deployed. However, it’s all based on S.H. Camp and Company’s initial cup sizing system from the 1930s.

4) Ordinary Women Designed the First Sports Bra

Ordinary everyday women designed the first sports brassiere by hooking two jockstraps together. It might not be pretty, but it did the job. In the 70s, many women had their own version of the same. It hit the market first in 1977. Rumor has it that it was created after a complaint about how uncomfortable the regular one was when exercising.

5) The Average Size is Not What You Think; it’s Bigger

Take a good guess of the average size. It’s much bigger than that. Nine years ago, the last time a survey was conducted, the average was 34DD in the U.S. and 36DD in the U.K. The average size has grown from that, considering it had gone from 34B to 34DD in 20 years between 1992 and 2013. So don’t be surprised to find a bigger one at your local retail shop.

According to research, 80% of women wear the wrong size, despite the avalanche of information on the internet regarding how to choose the right one. The problem is that women don’t get measured often enough. The wrong size is uncomfortable and won’t support your breasts the way they should. That wrecks your confidence.

To prevent this, measure your size regularly to know the correct size with changing times. Experts recommend rechecking every six months to a year.


From handkerchief and jockstrap sewed bras to engineered push-up brassiere, there’s no denying that they have come a long way. Yet they are still central in every woman’s wardrobe today. The next time you see a bra, perhaps you’ll appreciate just how far these undergarments have come!