A bra (US: /brzr/, UK: /brasr/ or /brzr/) is an undergarment that supports and covers women’s breasts. A typical bra consists of a chest band that wraps around the torso and supports two breast cups held in place by shoulder straps. Bras may be fastened in the front or back, and a variety of sizes and styles are available. Some bras are designed for particular purposes, such as nursing bras to facilitate breastfeeding or sports bras to minimize discomfort during exercise.
The first modern bra was invented in 1889 by Herminie Cadolle of France. Her garment, called a corselet gorge or soutien-gorge, cut the traditional corset in half, with the lower half acting as a waistband and the upper part supporting the bust with shoulder straps.
Bras have evolved in tandem with changing fashions. As the androgynous flapper look came into vogue in the 1920s, some small-busted women downplayed their natural curves with bandeau bras that flattened their breasts. The 1930s saw a boom in the industry with innovations such as adjustable elastic straps and padded cups for smaller-busted women.
Today, bras are more widely accepted as a feminine staple and are viewed as an essential piece of lingerie. Bloggers Jasmine Elder of JIBRI and Thamarr Guerrier of Musings of a Curvy Lady both highly recommend Lane Bryant’s Cacique line of bras, which offer wide straps and bands that blend in under clothing and don’t pinch the skin. The balconette bra, in particular, is Guerrier’s go-to for everyday wear, as it delivers the shape she wants and smoothes the nipple without a tight fit.women’s bamboo bras