Bust prominence related to bra fit problems

Chin Man Chen, Karen Labat, Elizabeth Bye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Poorly fitted bras lead to physical discomfort or more serious health problems such as muscle fatigue or pain. The purpose of this study is to find the relationship of bust prominence (one aspect of size) to fit problems women perceive in their everyday bras. To investigate this relationship, this study recruited female college students and measured their bust prominence using three previously developed methods of determining bra size. A bra fit questionnaire was then administered to survey the participants' perceptions on the bras they typically wore to school or work. Results show that lack of sufficient support is the most prevailing bra fit problem among this group of young women, and participants with prominent breasts, in particular, are likely to perceive the fit problems of tight bra cups and loose bra bands. Although the convenience sample may not represent a generalization of breast shape in college women, findings related to bra fit perceptions of women will assist bra companies in designing and producing better fitting bras for female consumers with various bust prominences. Meanwhile, information related to calculated differences of chest, bust and under-bust circumferences will help design a more practical and reliable bra classification system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Bra comfort
  • Bra size classification
  • Bust
  • Sports bras


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