Social Question

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Exactly how is / was an "underwire" supposed to hold boobs up?

Asked by Dutchess_lll (8225points) July 23rd, 2019

As asked.

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38 Answers

kritiper's avatar

It isn’t /wasn’t. It was to hold the shape of the cups.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

And the shape of the cups were supposed to do what?

zenvelo's avatar

The cups were supposed to hold each boob. Where the wires join in the cleavage was to anchor the cloth to hold up the cup to keep it from sagging.

And the cup was made out of a silk like cloth with lace, while bras without an underwire are made with a thicker stiffer cloth.

Yellowdog's avatar

You can also use the wire and one cup to improvise an allergy mask.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Don’t ya find it great @Dutchess_lll that guys seem to know more about bras then women do.
You can tell what is important to us.

Pinguidchance's avatar

This is a problem that confronts scientists seeking to create a viable Martian atmosphere.

A magnetosphere is a region of space surrounding an astronomical object in which charged particles are manipulated or affected by that object’s magnetic field. It is created by a planet having an active interior dynamo.

In the space environment close to a planetary body, the magnetic field resembles a magnetic dipole. Farther out, field lines can be significantly distorted by the flow of electrically conducting plasma, as emitted from the Sun or a nearby star. Planets having active magnetospheres, like the Earth, are capable of mitigating or blocking the effects of solar radiation or cosmic radiation, that also protects all living organisms from potentially detrimental and dangerous consequences.

The wire, attracted to the magnetosphere, makes boobs point up and countervail gravity.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Thank God you’re back @Pinguidchance!

canidmajor's avatar

Gosh, I know the real answer, but I wouldn’t want to contradict all the 14 year old boys here who know better. ~

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Points if you can tell me who invented it without using Google.

canidmajor's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me: I can’t imagine why anyone would bother to know that.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Howard Hughes, so the starlet in his film the outlaw would have perfectly shapen breasts.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Do underwire bras set off metal detectors at the airport?

chyna's avatar

It keeps them from sneaking out the bottom of the bra.

JLeslie's avatar

Underwire is mostly for shape, but it does lift and separate also, because of the shape that it holds the breast to.

@elbanditoroso I’ve never had an underwire trigger a metal detector, but I’m usually wearing no other metal, or sometimes just a watch and ring. I always go through metal detectors in airports, because I refuse the scan and do the pat down.

In the last 10 years the only international flights I’ve done (I think) were Canada and Japan, so it’s possible other countries have their metal detectors set to a more sensitive setting.

I used to always travel with the same belt, which had a little metal on it, and ring, watch, and a bra, and never triggered a metal detector. One time in Detroit they were obsessed with us removing everything metal, I was pissed. The security area was more frantic than I’ve ever seen anywhere. I don’t mean they were running around with their heads cut off, but they were yelling at us to remove everything, and there was just more movement in general because more had to be done with these TSA agents on top of us. I still had my bra on, no problem getting through the metal detector. A couple of weeks later the underwear bomber was apprehended in Detroit.

@canidmajor I’m not sure why you’re always so sarcastic and mean with eye rolls, calling jellies children, criticizing men for answering questions about women’s clothing…men have been boxing us into clothing for centuries to contort us into their preference.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to answer, it was a woman who is credited with inventing the bra. I don’t remember her name. She used a scarf or handkerchief, I don’t remember exactly.

One of our male science jellies helped to create a part of bras that from heat it goes back to its original shape. I don’t remember if it’s the wire or the foam, I think it was the wire.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, @JLeslie, I am not, and what a rude thing to say.

But I get sick to death of any mention of breasts or breast related topics being hijacked by men being “cute” or pretending to know the answers. At least this time we no longer have to put up with the former member who was obsessed with the “pencil test”.
For some of us, the bra is necessary for a number of reasons.

jca2's avatar

The bra setting off a metal detector was in a recent article in the NY Times. It caused a heated debate because the attorney was made to remove her bra. Read more:

Dutchess_III's avatar

I learned who invented the bra on Drunk History. It was a woman.

The problem for me is the damn wire does absolutely 0 for me. Shove the wire from a coat hanger under a water balloon and see how far it goes to “lift and separate,” much less “shape.” I need a bra made out of aluminum to “hold shape.” Then I would have bullet boobs and I don’t want that either.

Zaku's avatar

I suppose women should be glad they aren’t being offered bras designed to look like men’s hands… ;-)

As for aluminium bras, they wouldn’t need to be in 1950’s bullet boob shapes, would they? I imagine they could even be shapable by the owner.

anniereborn's avatar

I don’t know, but I hate them and gave them up a really long time ago. And I am a full figured lady.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We just want something to hold them still so we can do shit, right @anniereborn? When I was younger, and more athletic, they slowed me down an awful, awful log. As it is now, they sway and it’s really freaking embarrassing.

kritiper's avatar

Certain parts of certain pieces of women’s underwear were once made of whale bone for stiffness. Such items now days would not set off any metal detectors. Possible, but I don’t know for sure since I’m a guy, but plastic stiffeners could be used in place of whale bone.

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_III I don’t really do much shit that causes them to bounce around. I have never been athletic. But if I did I used a sports bra to pack those babies in.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Do those actually work @anniereborn?

JLeslie's avatar

^^Does a sports bra work? Yes! Especially, a quality one that’s well fitted. If you you’re going to be with both feet off the ground (running, high impact aerobics, and alike) and you want to save your breasts, they should be in a bra with good support. Sports bras tend to have very strong fabric and minimize your breast closer to your chest. You don’t want your breasts bouncing around, it harms the delicate tissues, and those tissues can’t be exercised back to health like muscles. It doesn’t have to have a wire, it needs to hold ‘em in place.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Yes. I know @JLeslie. I’ve had these boobs for about 50 years.

JLeslie's avatar

I was just answering what I thought was your question. I know a lot of women who have never worn a sports bra for exercise.

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_lll What JLeslie said.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

So it’s the stiffer material that does the trick? If so, why don’t they make regular bras out of it?
Also, do they have a flattening / squashing effect?

kritiper's avatar

I don’t think bras made out of duct tape would be very comfortable…

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III The sports bras with the most “hold your breasts in place” do flatten.

Sports bras do vary. I used to love a Wacoal sports bra that was very close to wearing a regular bra in terms of breast lift and shape, and had regular hooks in the back and adjustable straps. Here is a link. It didn’t squish much, but we used to tell customers for very high impact we recommend a bra that does really hold in your breasts, not this one. This bra had extra fabric between the wire and your skin for added comfort. I can’t wear it now. Bothers my injured shoulder.

I never liked sports bras that go over your head rather than hooking, although when I was thinner and more nimble I could do it.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

The flat thing is a deal breaker for me. It’s tacky.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have a thousand sports bra’s and I love them, the air flow can be restricted though, so you need breathable support fabric, which we’re finally getting. Actually feels like you have no boobs and it’s awesome after lugging these things around, flat or not.

Those dumb underwire things will snap under boob weight eventually, just a C cup but I’ve broken my share.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I have never broken an underwire.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve never had a wire break either. I’ve never heard of it from a customer or department salesperson either, and I worked for bra companies.

@Dutchess_III What exactly are you looking for? You want a sport bra that you can wear daily under clothes like a regular bra? The one I linked is basically that. Or, are you looking at a sports bra for exercising?

For daily I recommend a very good quality full figure bra like Wacoal. The quality of the fabric and fit is noticeable, it will have better support than Warners, Bali, Victoria Secret, etc, and that bra will last a long time. Wacoal has some bras that are specifically cut for C cup and larger. They also have minimizers, but I’m not talking about minimizers.

Also, if the entire cup is lace it will typically have good support, but lace doesn’t work with t-shirts, and so it depends what you are wearing.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I want one that leaves a decent shape, not flat, that also supports.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, the Wacoal are excellent. Macy’s has them sometimes if you have a Macy’s near you. Sometimes the selection is small or not at all if the Macy’s in an area that’s not very affluent. The bras are a little pricey.

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