Aktualisiert: 1. Juli 2020
The other day I read a post by a lady that stated that the bra is a symbol of the woman's oppression by men. Please don't ask how I got on that page as I do not know myself. I am quite happy with my lot, thank you. Although I am not one to debate her, surely somehow, reasonable point of view, I have to admit that I feel that quite the opposite is actually true, which is what caused me to sit down and write today.
When I think of a bra, the first things that come to mind are comfort and beauty. Comfort because a well-cut bra allows us to do many things without having to worry too much about physics, yes, I bring physics in here. You see (well, actually, you know already), there are no bones, ligaments or muscles in that area to help hold it in place, so that area tends to bounce a bit as we move, and if we love sports then we tend to move a lot.
This can hurt, even a lot sometimes. I am not promising that a bra can prevent all of this, but it can go a long way to reducing the effect.
So, after a long and hard day we are sure to feel a difference when not wearing a bra.
But even more than comfort, I see a lot of beauty in a bra. I end up being entranced by this shapely, beautiful thing. You see, I love fashion and all nicely-done things connected to it. And no, I am not entranced by it because it is beautiful, I am entranced because when I see it I know what it can make us feel when we are wearing it. Often even more so than other clothing. It is not really the thing that I am seeing. I see the possibilities that it offers to all of us to make us feel happy, or sexy, or sensual, or powerful, or just simply to be a woman. Sometimes we all need that.
That's actually a big part of why I am doing what I'm doing. Beautiful clothing that fits well makes us... just more. It should be a pleasure to wear, first and foremost, for ourselves, because, honestly, if we are not comfortable in our clothes, we cannot be comfortable in our skin.
From a fashion designer's perspective, I also see the possibilities of aesthetics. Often a bra helps to give a desired shape to a garment by creating a foundation. What is important here is to ensure that we choose the right style of bra and that it fits well too. This is especially useful with loose summer clothing that just can’t support or shape.
Of course, bras, and lingerie in general, can be an important part of seduction, even when fully clothed. The way they accentuate us, or simply how they are seen can be entrancing. When we want to get sensual, the right bra enhances our qualities and the sensuality of concealment just cannot be overstated. I feel though that the word lingerie has too much sexual innuendo nowadays and that is kind of sad, as I really love how it rolls across my tongue when I say it.
The more I think about the beauty of bras, the less I can understand the writer's point of view in the introduction. Maybe she always felt that her bras were uncomfortable. As I said before, the fit is of singular importance and we sometimes talk about how some women are complaining that, especially, bras do not fit them well and might even hurt. Of course there is a possibility that a specific brand has unshapely cups or puts too much pressure where it shouldn't. But this should really not be an issue any more, at least here in Europe.
Even though most brands use their own cup forms, in the end, they are all very similar. Funny fact: some brands guard their cup designs like a state secret. Think Coca-Cola's secret ingredient, but in lingerie.
But I digress. The biggest problem is simply that some of us still have not yet found our right size and it always seems strange to me that some women would allow their underwear to make them feel uncomfortable. Why would anyone buy something that they are not comfortable with? Maybe there is some belief that that that is the way it is. Or maybe it has to do with some sort of stigma associated with underwear. I really do not know.
So, especially for younger readers:
Golden Rule number one in bras:
If you feel uncomfortable wearing it, then it is not you. It is the product. Contact the shop and get another size.
Check out our guide on the lingerie page, I think it is extensive enough. By the way, if you order something from us and the size is not right, just call us and we sort it out immediately.
Another beautiful thing that I love about bras is that they are so versatile. They come in all different shapes for many different occasions and clothes. Here at Traumstoffe.ch we focus on four of the most popular current designs and I just quickly wanted to give some input into them that maybe not everybody knows about.
The triangle bra is one of the most comfortable models. Its classic shape is instantly recognizable: the straps are part of the center panel at the front meaning they cover the bust entirely without hiding your cleavage. It is glamorous and creates a lovely V-shape cleavage. Triangle bras provide enough support for small and medium chest sizes because their shape wraps around the bust. The straps being part of the top of the cup also means better support.
The bralette is a very lightweight, simple design, usually an unlined, soft-cup pullover style bra. The breasts are covered but the bra offers little, if any, real support and is especially suitable for small busts. Absolutely great if you have a bit a smaller bust and are mostly interested in comfort. For some time having been ignored, in the last few years it became again quite popular and this very comfortable design is going through a real renaissance.
The push-up bra was designed in the 60s and has been a must-have underwear for the last 20 years without ever being fully appreciated. This bra boosts your power of seduction. Some people unfairly see this type of bra as a way to “cheat” as it boosts your bust and has a reputation for only suiting small or medium chest sizes. That's not completely right. Push-up bras have other assets: your bust can lose its firmness with age and pregnancy so push-up bras are your best friend for a sculpting and lifting effect.
Alongside push-up bras, balconette bras are among the boldest designs. They unleash your inner temptress to reveal the top of the bust and lift the chest for glamorous results. The balconette bra comes in classic and half-cup shapes. Balconette bras reveal the top of the bust so they sculpt the chest and boost cleavage. Straps are fitted to the sides to showcase your "assets". The classic balconette bra is like a sculpting push-up model as it lifts the breasts and some models redefine the bust. Most designs have a vertical stitch in between the cups to give your chest curves. I would generally advice a balconette only for medium-sized or larger-sized busts.
But how did that gorgeous thing actually come to be?
Up until around 1910 or so, we were all punishing ourselves with corsets. Maybe you've seen that very constrictive construction somewhere before. First they were made out of whale-bone, and later on mostly out of metal. I shudder to think about what the ladies of that epoch used to wear and how they constricted their waist just to... look more presentable.
I had to study those designs for fashion school once upon a time and still have this very vivid image in my mind of a metal prison that we used to create for ourselves.
Anyways, around 1910, all the metal was needed for other purposes and the men were mostly not around to work in the factories (there was a war on), so the women were asked to work on the home-front.
At around the same time some people, one of them a New York socialite by the name of Mary Phelbs Jacob came up with the idea of the bra. The submission for Jacob's patent was for "a device that was lightweight, soft, comfortable to wear, that naturally separated the breasts, unlike the corset, which was heavy, stiff, uncomfortable, etc". Impressive when you think that it took over 350 years for someone to finally find out that the corset might actually not have been all that great after all.
Supposedly, since women at that time became more prominent in the workforce we needed less constricting undergarments and that was basically it. From those days onward the classical corset ended up largely forgotten and the bra went on to rule.
Of course, some of the earliest designs just seem plain silly nowadays, such as the one in the picture here. Although I do seem to remember that Madonna was wearing something similar just a couple of years ago, around the time that she did her one-eyed pirate thing during the Eurovision Song contest.
She really should have known better.