About BrasA brassiere is an article of clothing that covers, supports, and elevates the breasts. Since the late 19th century, it has replaced the corset as the most widely accepted method for supporting a woman's breasts. Women wear bras for a variety of purposes, for support, to improve the shape of breasts, to reduce or to enlarge the perceived breast size, or to restrain breast movement during an activity such as during exercise, to enhance their cleavage, to facilitate nursing. Most bras are designed to lift the breasts off the chest wall if they sag and to restrain them from movement. Bra designers strive to produce a garment that is both practical and attractive.
- 1893: Marie Tucek patented the "Breast Supporter" and it saw the birth of the first garment similar to the modern-day bra.
- 1907: women's magazines were using the newly coined term; "brassiere".
- 1912: The word “brassiere” won its place in the Oxford English Dictionary.
- 1913 - 1914: New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob patented "Backless Brassiere" design.
- 1917: During WWI, the U.S. War Industries Board called on women to stop buying corsets; this ended up saving 28,000 tons of metal.
- 1928: Ida Rosenthal developed the bra further by introducing cup sizes.
- 1934: The first strapless bra and underwired bras were worn to give breasts a more substantial silhouette.
- 1935: Warner Brother's Corset Company added the A to D sizing system to their American product line.
- 1937: Nylon became the standard material used to produce bras.
- 1948: The first push-up bra entered the market and sports bras were also introduced into the USA.
- 1964: The first invisible bra was introduced and lycra became incorporated into many bras.
- 1968: The first Wonderbra was introduced with the marketing line; “make 34 look 36, makes 36 look pow”.
- 1970s: The 70s saw some braless years and mesh tubes were available for wearing underneath the famous boob tubes.
- 21st century: Julia Roberts popularised the Ultimo silicon bra in the movie Erin Brokovich and Australian scientists announced the invention of the smart bra prototype.