Whether you wear a bra for support, to enhance the appearance of your breasts or because societal norms tell women they have to, there is no doubt that the bra has had a huge impact on women's lives, fashion, and sex appeal.
There is no feeling quite like having your lover unhook your bra and slip if off your shoulders, particularly if you are highly sexually aroused and your breasts are engorged and feel like they are going to bust out of the cups.
Too many men, it makes no difference whether the bra is a Playtex white cull coverage brassiere or a black sexy little number from a lingerie store.
They simply see it as something to remove to get to the goods. Other men love when a woman wears a silk bra and panty set.
Did you ever see the movie "Beaches" where Bette Midler does that crazy song about the history of the bra asking if you wear a tit sling or a brassiere?
That was an interesting take on how bras came to be but let's take a look at the real story of how the bra evolved into the multi-purpose item that both supports a vital part of female anatomy and is sexy as hello to boot!
All Things Greek
As with many things from history, bras seem to date back to ancient Greece. Women wore a breast band type of garment made from wool or lined called an apodesmos.
These were wrapped across a woman's breasts and tied or pinned in back.
Archaeologists struck bra gold again in 2008 when they discovered four bras among fragments of textile in Austria.
Interestingly two of them looked like modern bras and they were made from linen. Radiocarbon dating puts these bras in the 1400s.
Goodbye Corset, Hello Bra
The bra design from the Greek period disappeared as the corset became the undergarment of choice during the 16th century.
Women of France embraced the corset in order to achieve the perfect female form.
The corset of this time flattened women's breasts, pushing them up to where they were almost falling out of their dress.
However, that all changed in 1869 when the corset was split in half by French woman Herminie Cadolle calling it the "corselet gorge." Even though Cadolle was thought to have created the bra by splitting the corset in half, Christine Hardt was the first person to patent it.
Then came Mary Phelps Jacob in 1914 patented her handkerchief bra design.
Around 1912-1913, a German from Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt invented a bra for mass production.
This came about because of the metal shortages during WWI. Corsets were made with a lot of metal and that metal was needed elsewhere so it was goodbye corset, hello bra.
By the end of the war, most fashion conscious women in Europe and North America had switched over to the bra.
Which gradually led to manufacturing bras becoming the million dollar industry it is today.
Shapes and Fashion
Like most other clothing, bras have been and continue to be affected by social perceptions of the ideal female figure.
This is usually measured in her bust, waist and hip measurements. We know that what is considered desirable in a woman changes over time and bras are an important function of these perceptions.
How the breasts are presented depends on the fashion standards of the day and bras play a big part in the presentation of breasts.
The 1920's in the United States was roaring. The breast fashion of the day was to flatten them.
You can see examples of this in the Flappers that made the 1920's famous. Bra cups made for individual sized bras were first introduced.
The bra fashion of the 1940's was once again influence by war. Material shortages from WWII were finally coming to an end by 1947 and women were ready to dress up again.
Clothing of the day was made to enhance the hourglass figure favoring naturally rounded and perky breasts.
In 1943 the bikini bra made its first appearance thanks to a Frenchman named Louis Reard.
This tiny little bra turned heads and stirred up controversy.
In 1947 a woman was arrested for indecent exposure while wearing a bikini at Venice Beach.
If you flash forward to the 1950s you need to think of Jane Russell and other sweater girls like Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield.
Fashion told women to accentuate their assets and bullet bras that had cone shaped cups were worn.
These cone bras made breasts stand up and out and were especially flattering for women with large busts.
Women still considered the bikini bra outrageous through the 1950's and 60's and few were sold.
In 1962 Hollywood again worked its magic and created a fashion storm when it put Ursula Andress in the first James Bond film wearing a white bikini.
Suddenly women were rushing to the stores and bikinis flew off the shelves.
Bra Burning and the 1960's
The 1960's was a time of unrest in the United State with many populations marching for equal rights. The bra became a symbol to women of the gender discrimination in the workplace, education and society in general.
This sparked the famous Miss America of 1968 bra burning protest that took place on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.
Women were encouraged to go braless for comfort and as a political statement.
These protests made many bra manufacturers nervous.
If women stopped wearing bras they had no product to sell.
Their response was to market bras that were advertised as more natural and not like wearing a bra at all. It was all about free love and free breasts.
During this time padded ￼and underwire bras were first introduced and as we coasted into the 1970's women were looking for more comfortable and natural looking bras.
The Soft and Natural Look
In the 1970's women gravitated toward bras made of neutral colors, the exact opposite of the bright and garish colors of the 60's.
Spandex was used to make bras lightweight and with seamless cups.
Then in 1976 the Sex Pistols changed everything. Bringing the wave of punk fashion used sex as a way to shock people. It was very "in your face."
This also launched bras as fetish and club wear highlighting open breast bondage style bras. This changed the way the world was forced to view bras.
They used to be something to wear under our clothes and now they were the main piece of wardrobe often being the only thing a woman wore above the waist.
1977 held the birth of what is today the most famous lingerie store in the world: Victoria's Secret. This was a launching pad that hurled the bra market right into space.
A store that focused only on women's lingerie, Victoria's Secret is the go to place for any women wanting sexy lingerie.
Times Have Changed
Madonna ushered in a whole new look in the 1990's with her cone bras on the outside of her clothes.
Lingerie that was once considered private is now a must have for any women no matter how shy or outgoing she is.
Today there is a bra for every activity, every type of clothing and every occasion.
Strapless, sports, lace, push up, plunging, front hook, back hook, satin, silk, lace, every color and material.
The right bra can make or break an outfit. There is nothing like a bra that enhances cleavage for a sexy look.
Bras can be very sexy. The right bra can instill confidence in any woman and make her feel sexy, sleek and sensual.
The right bra and panty combination can make even the shyest woman put on a trench coat and head for her partner's house with nothing but that bra and panties.
Add some high heels and he will be pleasantly pleased. And that is a powerful feeling, for a woman, to have that effect on a man.
There is something about shopping for a sexy bra that starts the process of arousal and seduction. As you shop you are playing out the scenario in your brain.
What you will wear, where you will go and how the bra will look flung to the floor or thrown over a chair as because he won't be able to wait long to get it off of you.
There is a smile on your face as you thumb through the tables and racks of bras at the lingerie store.
If you have never purchased a sexy bra, now is the time. Why wait?
They can make a woman of any age feel great as their breasts are supported in lace and silk.
Every woman should own at least one sexy bra for a special sex occasion.
If bra history has taught us anything it is that women can use bras to their advantage.
There are bras for every type of body and every type of breast.
What you do with your assets is completely up to you but if you want to be a true naughty girl you will invest in a sexy bra today!