Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why should men care about bra fitting?

Recently a reader sent me an email with a few questions and one that really stood out to me is:
Why should men care about bra fitting? 
I have about a million responses to that but I'd like to make this an open discussion with my readers so first let me encourage you to respond in the comments!  I'll discuss my own thoughts on the subject below.

Health Issues

I've often discussed health related issues due to bad bra fit on this blog.  Over the years there have actual been a number of studies on bra fitting, some of which I've discussed in my posts Fit is More Than Fashion, ByeBye Underarm Fat, Hello Big Boobs!,  and So bras ARE necessary... when exercising. I've also discussed my personal history with back and shoulder pain here and how finding bras that fit alleviated my pain.

A breakdown of what the research says (with the links to the studies):

I will add (and as of yet I know no study on this sadly) that too tight of cups can decrease ones milk supply while nursing too (personal experience there) and it's no surprise when one decides to wean they recommend wearing tight sports bras.

For what it's worth, the breast bounce during exercise (with an insufficiently supportive sports bra) is so common there is a Facebook page made for it with over 8,000 likes!

The Facebook Page

Body Image Issues

There are a lot of Curvy ASSumptions that busty women (and also small breasted women too!) have to deal with.  While proper bra fitting (and knowledge thereof) can't fix all of them, the simple knowledge that women come in a variety of shapes and sizes (and fit into a much larger range than 32-38 A-D) can go a long way towards body acceptance.

I've often heard (and dealt with) the assumption that a large bust means that the women is fat or unhealthy.  The reality is that breast size has no relationship to ones health!  Another assumption that often comes up is that large breasts must be fake.  However, as a natural K cup, I can assure you that's another false assumption right there.  I'm sure there are many more that I didn't even touch on here but I think you can get the point.

Relevant Professions

There are a number of professions that males regularly go into that could deal with some bra fitting awareness:

  • Medical professionals: Back pain may be cured through proper bra fitting instead of immediately turning to breast reductions.  Problems nursing could be caused due to poor bra fitting too. 
  • Politicians/Educators: I feel strongly that including bra fitting in health classes in schools could help young women both avoid pain and increase their self-confidence.
  • Personal Trainers/Nutritionists: Understand that bust size is independent of health and this knowledge is important if you work in a weight loss industry.  Moreover, as clients lose weight proper bra fitting can make a huge difference in terms of ability to exercise and body acceptance. 
  • Clothing designers/Tailors/Fashion Industry: Clothes just don't fit the same way over an ill-fitting bra.

Relationships and Sexuality

I'm grouping together relationships with friends/family and personal sexuality here but there are a few points:

  • Some men like to wear bras.
  • Some men will go on to be fathers of children who will wear bras.
  • Some men will be husbands of lactating moms.
  • Some men like to purchase lingerie for their significant other.
  • Some men have friends who could benefit from bra fitting awareness/advice.
  • Some men who are in a relationship with a female might have a hard time understanding why well-fitting lingerie is such an financial investment.

General Awareness and Sympathy

So far I've given a lot of reasons why men can benefit from learning about proper bra fitting and general awareness of bra sizing.  I will add that there's a basic component of human empathy here too.  There are a number of diseases and ailments that I know about, not because they would affect me directly, but simple because I don't live in a vacuum.  I live with men, I work with men and, therefore, I know about male patterned baldness, erectile dysfunction, and testicular cancer.  I also have friends who are of African descent and am aware of sickle cell anemia and how one would take care of African hair even though both don't affect me directly either.

There's something to be said about learning about others.  Learning about their struggles in order to create sympathy and understanding.  We live in a patriarchal system and I strongly feel the more we demystify female bodies for males, the more we can move away from that.  Males should know that women aren't dirty when we have our periods, that our brains function just as well as theirs, and that they too can help with domestic duties and childcare.  They should know that finding well-fitting bras can be a seriously struggle for women (and a major financial investment).  The same argument could be applied to those of different races, sexualities or ethnicities.  We live in a globalized world and it is about time we start learning and caring about our neighbors too. 


  1. I still have a difficult time getting educators on board with a bra education class in high school which is strange to me since so many of my customers are bringing me their daughters as early as 11 for bra fittings, so clearly, the moms are on board.

    Also, a nice percentage of my customers have come to me because their significant others heard their partners complaining about back pain or bras and took it upon themselves to find a solution. I think that's wonderful. Just because you're a guy does not mean you shouldn't care. Your initiative could help a daughter, sister, mother, partner, etc. feel more comfortable and confident in her own skin.

  2. I totally think guys should care about bra fitting because it affects all the women around them! A good fit can make the difference in terms of a woman's confidence and self-esteem, which can directly impact the morale and health of any relationship.

    1. I also wholeheartedly agree with your statement regarding breast reductions. I've been saying this for quite a while; doctors, in all realms including plastic surgeons, should really be educated about proper bra fit because women have so many avoidable issues due to poorly fitting bras, and they think that a doctor will know what's best because they're, well, a doctor! I feel plastic surgeons also have a misunderstanding of bra fit a lot of the time, so women may end up with a completely different size than what they estimated you "should" have with implants.