The Real Reason Good Bras Are So F#%king Expensive

Good bras are never cheap, and cheap bras are seldom any good.

Good bras are never cheap, and cheap bras are seldom any good.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is no such thing as a perfect bra. More annoying is the equally universally acknowledged truth that good bras are never cheap and cheap bras are seldom any good. Every bra-wearer in the world has shaken a fist at the sky and cursed the powers that be for pricing the cutest bra on the rack so high that buying one is a huge splurge, much less buying three in different colors, for under all kinds of tops.

You’d think that in an age when you can carry a device to access all the world’s knowledge (and all the world’s cat pictures) in your pocket, there should be a way of making an adorable, functional, and inexpensive bra. Alas, there is not. It turns out that bras are actually high-tech devices. Making a bra do what it’s meant to do is complicated and, therefore, expensive.

According to an article in TeenVogue, there are plenty of good reasons why good bras cost a pretty penny. The Lingerie Addict blogger Cora Harrington tells us a lot of interesting stuff about the costs of fabrics and the difficulty of developing patterns that meet standards of function and comfort. Then she lands a bombshell: All lingerie is handmade.

Oh. I didn’t know that.

It’s not just luxury brands that require hand-sewing. Every six pack of cotton granny panties in Kmart has been hand-constructed too. Lingerie is mass-produced — not by machines, but by people.

When you realize that there is no Victoria’s Angel machine churning out push-up bras, but instead hundreds upon hundreds of skilled workers crafting your bra, suddenly the prices tags make a lot more sense. And I, for one, feel a lot better about paying the price. I’m all for making sure garment workers get a living wage. 

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