Difference Between Bra and Bikini

Bra vs Bikini

When it comes to fashion, the difference between certain items of clothing can be extremely uncanny. However, a bra and a bikini may not be too hard to differentiate since they are worn for different reasons and for different occasions as well.

What is a Bra?

Short for brassiere, a bra is a woman’s undergarment that is form-fitting, intended to support the breasts. Worn for comfort and for reasons of appearance, the bra today has become a symbol for feminity while certain feminists view the bra as a form of suppression of women. While some bras are designed to enhance the shape and the size of the breasts, others are designed for maximum comforts while there are special types of bras designed for exercising or for nursing purposes. First used in the English language in 1893, the word brassier became popularized when the French term “brassière” meaning upper arm was used to describe the latest bust supporter introduced by the DeBevoise Company.

In the olden days, materials such as linen, cotton broadcloth, and twill weaves that could be easily sewn were used to make bras whereas today, more modern garments such as Tricot, spanette, Spandex, Latex, satin, microfiber, foam, Jacquard, mesh, and lace are blended into the design in order to achieve specific effects. Certain bras contain an underwire in the cup which is made out of plastic, metal or resin, improving the lift, support and separation. Some types of bras such as the T-shirt bra utilise moulded cups thus eliminating seams and hiding a woman’s nipples whereas other types utilise padding or shaping materials to improve the cleavage.

What is a Bikini?

Generally a woman’s two piece swimsuit, a bikini is consisted of a top part and a bottom part covering the breast area and the groin and buttock area of a woman, leaving the midriff exposed. Primarily a bathing costume, the bikini comes in a range of variants such as Microkini, Monokini, Trikini, Tankini, Bandeaukini,Pubikini, Skirtini and Sling bikini. Men’s briefs used as swimwear are also known as bikinis.

Introduced by French engineer Louis Réard, the modern bikini was also introduced in Paris in 1946 by fashion designer Jacques Heim. First made out of cotton or jersey, it was with the introduction of lycra that shaped up the body that the bikini was more popularized among more people.  Not only for sports purposes, bikinis are also used as sportswear for sports such as beach volleyball, dancing, athletics and bodybuilding as well.

What is the difference between Bikini and Bra?

  • A bra is a woman’s undergarment used for supporting the breasts. A bikini is primarily a swimsuit.
  • A bra is a one piece garment. A bikini usually consists of two pieces with the exception of monokini which means only a panty.
  • A bikini is usually made out of thicker material. A bra can be made out of softer, thinner material.
  • A bra usually features adjustable straps and metal hook-and-eye closures in the back. Bikinis are usually tied at the back or at the neck or they have a plastic hook on the back band fitting into a loop on the other side of the band.
  • Bikinis are made out of stretchy fabrics that are designed to dry out quickly. Bras are usually made out of moisture absorbing fabrics such as cotton.
  • Most bikinis feature an inner lining. Bras usually don’t have an inner lining.
  • Bras are available in many cup sizes. Bikinis come in free sizes as they are made to stretch and adjust according to body type.

Therefore, a bra is an undergarment while a bikini is primarily a swimsuit usually consisted of two pieces.