The Real Reasons Bras Are So Expensive

If you own an excellent bra, you probably paid more than you wanted to pay for it. Sometimes it feels outrageous how much you have to shell out for a well-fitted brassiere, especially since you likely have more than one. In fact, the Daily Mail reported that women own an average of eight bras, which means your lingerie drawer is worth a lot of money. Natasha Harding, a stylist with Rigby & Peller, told the publication that if you wear a bra every day, you should not only wash it by hand, but also replace it every six months because the material stretches out, which of course, adds to the bucks you shell out on the support garment. 

According to a report from Today, you can pick up a bra for as little as $10 from a big-box retail store if they have your size because they buy in bulk, which lowers the price. However, higher-end brands can cost in the $100 range, with luxury rising to $300 (via Broad Lingerie). If you're a hard-to-find size, you might be stuck with fewer options that cost more money. Believe it or not, there's a reason why good bras cost so much, and it doesn't have all that much to do with the type of fabric that makes up the undergarment.

Bras are more complicated than most clothing

Bras cost so much because they consist of a lot more pieces than a typical item of clothing, and they come in a much wider variety of sizes than clothes (via Today). Lively founder and CEO Michelle Cordeiro Grant explained, "Within one bra, there's as many as 25 components." These items include clasps, straps, and adjusters. "If you're a small company ... you're not going to get the price advantage as if you're running 10,000 or 60,000 units," she added. "If you're running just five 34Bs, six 36Bs ... that makes it really expensive."

Another factor that goes into the price of your favorite bra is that they are typically handmade because they have so many different parts that must fit together correctly, which requires experts in both construction and fitting (via Broad Lingerie). "The labor, the expertise, the time it takes to make, the fact that there are some bras that have taken years of research and development to produce ... all of that together is what contributes to that final cost," Cora Harrington, founder of the Lingerie Addict and author of "In Intimate Detail: How To Choose, Wear and Love Lingerie," explained to Today.

When searching for a new bra, do a bit of research to find out which brands make your size, and go from there. If possible, you can save a bit of money if you wait for sales to make your purchase.