A Comparison Study of Brassiere Preferences and Breast Perceptions among the Middle-aged and Older US Women

  • Received : 2014.10.11
  • Accepted : 2014.11.24
  • Published : 2014.12.30


The bra is one of the most essential pieces of women's underwear which gives support for the breasts and holds them in position to make better outer appearance of upper body. Despite being worn by most women of all ages, brassiere manufacturers often use brassiere sizes and shapes that are close to the body measurements of women in their 20s, which raises questions whether the bras are suitable for older women's physique. Also, many lingerie markets tend to center on designs and tastes of younger women, leaving those of older women are largely ignored in the manufacturing process despite the fact that their purchasing power and market shares are expected to grow in conjunction with the aging of the global population. Against this backdrop, this study attempts to provide information about bra preferences and breast perceptions of the middle-aged and older US women over the age of 40 years to help manufacturers better understand the bra purchasing priorities and bra elements of older women and prompt them to design bras with a high level of fit and comfort that are appreciated by the population groups as a means to ultimately acquire competitive edge in the fast growing aging market. An email survey and interviews were conducted with 301 US women who live in New York City. The findings of this study suggest that there are internal and external factors such as changes in body and breast shapes with age influence the level of fitness and effectiveness of bra components, and thus the responses to the questions on bra preferences and breast perceptions varied between the researched age groups.


US women;Brassiere;Preferences;Breast perceptions


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