Bra Care

20 Bra Myths Debunked That Are Nothing But Balderdash

bra myths

Bras! Improving and magnifying women’s beauty and postures at one time and irritating and tiring the fuss out of them the other time. Every woman will agree that they have happy-sad relation with their bras. We love them one moment and hate them another.

There are enough bra related problems already regarding the size and type. Furthermore, there are misinformation about bras that is floating from generation to generation, do and don’ts about bra and your breasts and health.

We, women have known these small piece of garments from early age and have heard so many myths and facts about them bras. Here, we will bust all those bra myths that you should stop listening to and believing.

1. Sleeping with bra on will prevent breasts sagging.

bra myths

A big NO. Your breasts just don’t care if you wear a bra or not while you sleep. They will be whatever they want to be, saggy or perky. You wearing a bra to bed doesn’t really have any effect on your breasts. It will only be uncomfortable. Deborah Axelrod M.D., a breast surgeon and associate professor at the NYU Langone Medical Center says, ‘Unfortunately, there’s no real proof that your breasts look better if you wear a bra at night.’ It doesn’t matter if you wear a bra or not while you sleep. But if you feel more comfortable sleeping in your bra then it’s your choice.

Also Read: Most Common Questions Women Ask About Bras

2. Sleeping with your bra on ruins your boobs.

bra myths

In no way, bra can do that to your boobs. It is just that some of us feel comfortable to sleep without bra and some of us the opposite. Dr. Carlos Burnett, a plastic surgeon in New Jersey says, ‘Sleeping in a bra will not harm your breasts in nay way.’ However, we have been hearing that we should not sleep with our bra on, as it is bad for our breasts and how they should at least be free at night. However, Dr. Amber Guth, associate professor of surgery and director of the Breast Cancer Surgery Multidisciplinary Fellowship at NYU Langone Medical Center states, ‘There is certainly no evidence that sleeping in bras is either helpful or harmful.

3. Not wearing a bra ruins your boobs.

bra myths

Lie. Most women think that not wearing a bra makes their boobs saggy but that is not true. It is just that when you don’t wear a bra, your breasts take their original shape. Dr. Guth also says, ‘Sagging or changes in the breast are due to a number of factors: pregnancy and breastfeeding being the most common causes, along with time and gravity.’ Not wearing a bra is not a reason for your saggy breasts.

Also Read: 16 Interesting Facts About Breasts that You Didn’t Know

4. Your bra size is consistent for life.

bra myths

If you think your bra size is consistent for life, then my dear, you have never been so wrong in your life. Change is course of life and your breasts follow that course too. Jene Luciani, author of The Bra Book says, ‘Unfortunately, there is no consistency at all.’ There are various factors that cause change in your breasts size leading to the change of your bra size, such as pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain, etc.

5. Training bras boost your breasts’ growth.

bra myths

Please, stop expecting much from a training bra. Training bras do not have any thing to do with the growth of your bra. The trainer bras are designed for young girls who have just begun to develop breasts. The one thing that training bras do is support the developing breasts and that’s it. They are there for support and comfort, not enlarging your breasts.

6. You should clasp the tightest hook.

bra myths

No, you should never do that. If you do so, you will just be stretching out the band of your bra faster. “A bra is going to stretch about three inches in its lifetime,” bra fitting extraordinaire Bobbie Smith told Huffington Post, and when it does, “that’s when you go to the next set of hooks.” Always fasten your new bra in the outermost hook. This way you can move to the inner hooks and tighten when the bands start stretching as bra ages. Also, your bra will last longer.

7. Underwire gives you cancer.

bra myths

Scientific American explains this myth was spread in 90s when a couple of medical anthropologists who claimed, “By inhibiting lymphatic drainage, bras trapped toxins in the breast tissue, which caused cancer.” But there is no such evidence to back up this theory. Underwire might be uncomfortable and poke you if it breaks through the lining of your bra but it does not cause you cancer.

8. Band size is least important.

bra myths

This is one of the reasons why more than 80% of women are wearing wrong size bra. Band size of your bra is equally important as the cup size. Bands are supposed to provide 80% of the total support to your breasts. But if your band is loose, the weight of your bra pull down the straps looking for more support which causes your straps to dig. That is why it is important to make sure that your band is snug and fit.

9. 34B is the average bra size.

bra myths

Well, there is no such thing as average when it comes to the bra size. This is because there is wide range of bra styles and sizes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Above all, most of the women are wearing the wrong size. The American average bra size has increased from 34B to 34DD. But again, that is just for Americans and the average size is different for UK and other countries.

10. 32B and 36B have the same cup size.

bra myths

Most women think that cup sizes are the same if they are labeled with same alphabet but that is not true. The cup size increases with the increment in the band size. Hence, 32B and 36B are not the same cup size. The cup volume of 36B is greater than that of 32B. However, 36AA has same cup as 32B and 32D has the same cup as 36B.

11. Bra sizes are universal.

bra myths

The bra sizes vary depending on the manufacturers and bra types. Since there is not anything like International standard for the bra size, the labeling of the sizes vary from country to country, manufacturer to manufacturer. Pechter, in his study ‘A New Method for Determining Bra Size and Predicting Postaugmentation Breast Size’, found that bra label size was consistently different from the measured size even within the same country.

Also Read: Bra Size Calculator

12. Bras make your breasts saggy.

bra myths

We have already discussed about how bra does not play any role whatsoever in your breasts being saggy or perky. There are women who think that breasts become saggy if bras are not worn, however there are some who think that wearing one makes your breasts saggy. 15 years study shows that bras are useless and women just become dependent on their bras as supporting muscle tissue withers.

13. Loose fitting bra is the comfortable bra.

bra myths

Wrong. A comfortable bra is never loose fitting. A perfectly fit bra is the comfortable one, which is not loose at any point. The band of a comfortable bra is snug and not riding up your back. Straps should be snugly resting on your shoulders without falling or digging. And the breasts should be well fitted into the cups.

Also Read: How to take care of your bra in a proper way?

14. Tightening the straps makes your bra fit.

bra myths

Tightening the straps does not make your bra fit better. I repeat. Tightening the straps does not make your bra fit better. Too tightened straps result digging straps causing redness and soreness and more problems. It’s not the straps that support your boobs; it’s the band of your bra doing more than 80% of the hard work. Make sure your band is snug and fit.

15. White bra is invisible bra.

bra myths

This is the biggest lie ever. It is funny how most of us thought that white bra is invisible and no one will notice your bra through your clothes, especially when you are wearing white tops. If you want to hide your bra while wearing white and light colored tops, wear nude colored bras or beige color.

Also Read: Types of Bra

16. There is just one right way to put on a bra.

bra myths

There are various ways to put on your bra. Whether you slip on your arm one by one and clasp it at the back or first clasp in the front and spin around and slip your hands through the straps, it is just your choice. However, you will be amazed with the result if you try the technique called Swoop and Scoop.

17. You should wash your bra just once a week.

bra myths

This is not necessary routine. The body’s natural oils and sweat can break down the fabric if worn regularly without a regular wash. “The dirt and oil in our skin can break down the elasticity of the bra,” explains Luciani. “So it’s best to wash as often as possible.” Just make sure to gentle wash after 2-3 wears and air dry.

18. Machine-washing destroys your bra.

bra myths

When it comes to washing your bras, hand washing is always preferred over machine washing. But that doesn’t mean machine will destroy your bra. Just make sure to use a lingerie bag while machine-washing your bras and never put your bras in dryer. If you do it the right way, machine wash won’t destroy your bra.

19. You can wear same bra two days in a row.

bra myths

Well, you can wear same bra two days in a row but that will obviously reduce the life of your bra. It is recommended that women should rotate their bras regularly. However, if you don’t sweat a lot and wear bra for just couple hours a day then you can wear a bra for 2-3 days before being washed. But, a bra needs a 24 hours gap between 2 years, that way it keeps elastic from stretching too much.

20. If you take good care, your bra will last a year.

bra myths

Unfortunately, this is not true. Most of us want our bras to last more than a year. No matter how much you take care of your bra, it won’t last you more than 9 months. Most bra-fitting experts agree that bras have a relatively short shelf life, somewhere around 6 to 9 months. However, gentle hand washing your bras with an alcohol free detergent is recommended to ensure long-life of your bras.


  • Sydney Ross Singer

    You mentioned me in your article. I am one of the medical anthropologists researching the bra-cancer link. Actually, there are numerous studies which now support the link. FYI.


    1991 Harvard study (CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos (1991). Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2):131-135.). This study found that, “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users…”

    1991-93 U.S. Bra and Breast Cancer Study by Singer and Grismaijer, published in Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Avery/Penguin Putnam, 1995; ISCD Press, 2005). Found that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men. 24/7 bra wearing increases incidence over 100 times that of a bra-free woman.

    Singer and Grismaijer did a follow-up study in Fiji, published in Get It Off! (ISCD Press, 2000). Found 24 case histories of breast cancer in a culture where half the women are bra-free. The women getting breast cancer were all wearing bras. Given women with the same genetics and diet and living in the same village, the ones getting breast disease were the ones wearing bras for work.

    A 2009 Chinese study (Zhang AQ, Xia JH, Wang Q, Li WP, Xu J, Chen ZY, Yang JM (2009). [Risk factors of breast cancer in women in Guangdong and the countermeasures]. In Chinese. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009 Jul;29(7):1451-3.) found that NOT sleeping in a bra was protective against breast cancer, lowering the risk 60%.

    2011 a study was published, in Spanish, confirming that bras are causing breast disease and cancer. It found that underwired and push-up bras are the most harmful, but any bra that leaves red marks or indentations may cause disease.

    2015 Comparative study of breast cancer risk factors at Kenyatta National Hospital and the Nairobi Hospital J. Afr. Cancer (2015) 7:41-46. This study found a significant bra-cancer link in pre-and post-menopausal women.

    2016 Wearing a Tight Bra for Many Hours a Day is Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer Adv Oncol Res Treat 1: 105. This is the first epidemiological study to look at bra tightness and time worn, and found a significant bra-cancer link.

  • DDtop

    But did you know it’s the gene that gives you breast cancer is the same one that gives you ovary/uterus along with prostate/testicular cancers. it’s a predisposition to cancer so if you have it then could well have it and if you don’t then could you will be fine.
    Just like diabetes some have it run through there family while others don’t.
    If you look after your bodies and diet then lessens any risk!.

    The thing that id be worried about over cancer is what you put on your bodies as the chemicals in cosmetics is dreadful and much is put in arm pits which is where Lymph glands are which are open as sweating.

  • LaceNoirLingerie

    Very interesting post! I think your bras can last longer than 9 months though with proper care etc. I have some bras from Boux Avenue that are 2 years old, I wear them very regularly and they are still like new ☺

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