Why Buying a Bra Is Such a Pain in the Ass

December 17th 2016

Laura Donovan

I purchased my most recent bra online. It didn't fit, but I keep wearing it because shopping is one of my least favorite activities — especially bra shopping. This, among other reasons, is why the following College Humor comic about the many woes of bra shopping resonates so strongly for me. 

The comic points out the many frustrating steps that women often go through to purchase this specific item of clothing (that some women are choosing to eschew altogether).

Bra comic

Bra fitting specialist Bobbie Smith told The Huffington Post in September 2013 that it's important to have at least six bras so you can alternate between them and increase their lifespan, avoiding the scenario in the comic above.

“When worn correctly and taken care of correctly, a bra is going to last you about eight months,” Smith explained. “After that, the band is stretched out, so it’s not going to support you anymore."

In addition to noting the lousiness of wearing an old bra that no longer fits right, the College Humor comic points out that trying to figure out your bra size at home can be ineffective:

Bra comic

Wearing the wrong bra size is more common than not, according to a 2014 study from Swiss lingerie brand Triumph. After surveying 10,000 women worldwide, the study found that 64 percent of women wear the wrong bra size, and 29 percent of these women are aware that they're wearing the wrong bra size.

I understand firsthand why someone would put up with wearing the wrong bra size, as it's a pain to go to a store and try on multiple bras to find the perfect fit:

Bra comic

The comic also confronts the reality that some women experience pain while wearing a bra, as ATTN: has noted in a video.

Bra comic

A 2006 study commissioned by the North American Spine Society and Maidenform Inc. found that roughly 60 percent of women reported experiencing pain from their bra. This isn't just uncomfortable either. Dr. Melissa Lem, a Toronto-based physician, wrote in a July 2015 piece for Canadian news site CBC.ca that ill-fitting bras can create a host of health issues for women:

"Lack of support for your breast tissue makes it droop and tilt forward more, putting stress on your trapezius muscles, which sit atop your shoulders. Persistent strain of this muscle can lead to tightening and spasm, which can literally be a pain in the neck and back."

Did we mention bras are also expensive? Research shows women spend around $4,000 on bras in their lifetime. 

Watch ATTN:'s two videos below on the many struggles of bra shopping:



Check out the full comic at JoyReactor.