The Bra


The Bra

Posted By The Hawi Image

I watched a show on TV the other day  and the topic was bras; bra sizes, common bra problems, and bra etiquette so  to speak. To sum up the show and get on to my article, a bra should give you comfort and not discomfort.

As Kenyan women who still hang their underwear in the bathroom and wash our own bras by hand even if the wash lady has come, bra is still  to us an embarrassing topic. So taboo is the topic that you will find a full grown woman only has three or four bras that are now hanging by their threads. This woman will have ten pairs of shoes, expensive jewelry and fancy clothes but if you would take a peek inside that silk blouse, you will know what I’m talking about.

We are not entirely at fault here. In Kenya, bras are not made locally so everything in the market is imported whether it is sold second hand or brand new. A brand new bra costs anything from 250 to 5,000 Shillings or even more. A second hand bra on the other hand costs anything from 20 shillings to 300 shillings. I once bought a wonderful corset for 30 shillings at Toi market in Adams Arcade whereas a brand new one by the same designer would cost about 4,500 Shillings.

The price difference is quite significant and so many women of average means prefer to shop at the flea market where it is cheaper and it is believed that the bras there are durable. Which is true since these are cast offs from Europe and the US where people do spend money on designer underwear.

There was a lady called Winnie who shared her challenges of having a big bust size. This is not unusual in Kenya, in fact, some women with a bigger bust might have to really search to find something that at least fits.

Why so much emphasis on a good Bra size Anyway?

There was a forward doing some rounds in the emails some years back about a good bra being like a good friend. …a friend who provides good support and holds you close to their heart…or something close to that. Bras are designed to provide comfort and support.  That is why they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. A good bra also makes a lot of difference to an outfit. It can make one feel sexy and beautiful inside since it improves on your looks.

On the contrary,  the wrong size of Bra can change the way you look. You have seen those girls that seem to have four boobs or those who in search of a push up bra, end up with their boobs pointing to their chin.

So what should you look for in a bra?

  • For one, it should not ride up your back.
  • There should be no space between your bra and the lower part of your breast.
  • Your breast should fill up the cup of the bra. If it divides your boob into two, then go for a bigger size. Something else to remember is, as your body changes, so does your bust size. When you lose weight, you need to get smaller sizes of bras as you will need to get a bigger size in case of weight gain.

Bra size is a universal concern, the larger  percentage of the women folk actually do not know their bra size. But a quick way to get this out of the way is the same technique tailors use when doing a dress fitting. Something you can do at home. They measure the fullest part of the bust, as well as the under bust. The fullest part results determine the cup size while the under bust measurements define the band size.

With these in mind, then you can look against a chart that will indicate the category you fall under, as the chart below displays.


A Sample Bra size chart
A Sample Bra size chart

Some outlets will have dressing rooms where you can try on a bra, but always try it on top of what you already have on. You don’t know what the person before you was carrying. That means, you will need to wash the bra before you wear at home. Incase you are in an open air market, shopping on a sunny day is more practical so you can shed off some of those sweaters. Fitting on top of a light blouse should give you desired results.


Bra Trivia

1.How many bra sizes are in the market?

2.Why are there up to three fastening hooks on your bra?

3.What is there a difference between a nursing bra and a normal bra?

Scroll down to mark your test.

Bra measurement pointers
Bra measurement pointers



1. The sizes vary from country to color, though the most popular is the letter naming A,B,C,D.

2. The hooks are to adjust the bra as the fabric wears out, to keep it firm.

3. Nursing bra has clasps that an easily be unhooked to access the nipple. See below.

A nursing bra
A nursing bra


picture credits:, shefit custom adjustable,

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Written by The Hawi Image

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