It fascinates both the wearer and the onlooker. Vo Bravado!
emerged as a sign of freedom for women in the West. It freed them from the confines of the corset; they could wear uniforms and work in factories when World War I broke out. It enabled them to engage in sports and gainful employment. The female form got a new shape, with less discomfort and became more accessible to the male grasp!
Dr Mary E. John, ex-director, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi, says: “Feminism has not taken up the bra as an issue. It is as compulsory a wear as it ever was. The bra isn’t going to disappear.” And it never did. Instead, what was once an “unmentionable” now stands out. Earlier a peekaboo for the male eye, the bra is now flaunted as a statement in urban areas and even in India – a strap here, some lace there.
Adds Dr John: “It’s performing a different function now. It’s an expression of sexuality, within certain codes.”
Time was when undergarments were functional, uncomfortable, unmentionable, bought in hurried embarrassment. That’s changed. Your bottom drawer can bulge with a froth of teeny thingies, some foreign contenders making triumphal entries by the month, with desi manufacturers claiming that their designs are specially formulated for Indian shapes and skins. They even have a brand name --- Innerwear --- which sounds sassy and classy! are unaware of their right size. After deciding on a size, it’s good to try a bra for spillage or discomfort.
A Chennai-born, San Franciscobased software engineer decided to do something about it. Aarthi Ramaswamy used her talent for coding to help women find the right bra fit online.
The young entrepreneurs say a bra is a complicated piece of work, fitted with over 20 components. Every bra fitter has a set of heuristics or unwritten rules in his head when searching for the bestfitting bra for a woman. “We baked these unwritten rules into a code and created a system where, when the user shares specific details through a quiz (for instance, what breast shape – round, bottom, sides or sides+bottom – are you), we are able to determine which set of bras work best for her.”
Meanwhile, researchers from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University say that not only a “woman’s breast is a very complex, 3D geometry but that the sizing may be inappropriate in the categorization of breast sizes for bras.” They say that there are more than 100 key measurements necessary to produce the bra with the perfect fit, and that the sizes should be based on a new depth/width ratio or ‘DWR’.
They have now lowered their 100 measurements to 8 factors to describe the breast shape --- overall build, breast volume, inner, out and lower breast shape, height and gradient and orientation. The new DWR method will help them increase the number of existing bra sizes by between 8 and 16 size combinations offering more choices to buyers. This is the first time that a bra-sizing system protocol has been proposed based on 3D nude breast characteristics.
Meanwhile, being busty sure comes with a heavy price, and it’s not just restricted to ogling eyes, for even bras’ prices increase with
GETTING THE RIGHT SIZE THE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS SAY A BRA IS A COMPLICATED PIECE OF WORK, FITTED WITH OVER 20 COMPONENTS. EVERY BRA FITTER HAS A SET OF HEURISTICS OR UNWRITTEN RULES IN HIS HEAD WHEN SEARCHING FOR THE BEST-FITTING BRA FOR A WOMAN.