Do Men Wear Bras? (+ 3 reasons why)

In this brief guide, we will look at the question “Do men wear bras?”.

Do Men Wear Bras?

Yes, men may wear bras, and this may be for many reasons, for instance, when someone has gynecomastia, or because they are drag queens, or simply because they enjoy wearing them.

Men who wear bras may simply enjoy wearing women’s lingerie but it has been reported by several medical statistics that there has been an increase in numbers of men suffering from a condition known as Gynecomastia, and in these cases men wear bras to support their swelling breast tissue.

Gynecomastia is the medical term for male breast development and it has been found to happen in approximately 15 percent of all adult men and it has been associated with several things, including use of steroids, marijuana, and a large number of legitimate medical drugs. 

Also, there are many types of legal medications, which are numbered around 90 and those that include those prescribed for depression, mental disorders, heart conditions, and prostate problems, that can cause breast growth in men. 

Men suffering from Gynecomastia may have to resort to surgery to get rid of the fatty tissue that they are suffering from, but it may be the only treatment option, which naturally isn’t always possible due to medical or financial concerns.

How can men find the right bra?

These men may have to wear bras to look for comfort, support, and containment and in some cases these may be the only things that help them feel better, or help them achieve a better look.

Men who may be suffering from over-developed breasts, or Gynecomastia may have trouble figuring out where to get bras from, and they may benefit from finding a Bra fitter who may be able to deal with these requests. 

Erica Windle of A Sophisticated Pair is one such person who does great work with helping fit men with the right bras to help them look their best, and she says about the work:

“Men who need to wear a bra are often harder and trickier to fit. For starters, all of the men I helped were in 40+ bands, which can be a tough market. Factor in that they were in the B-D cup size range, and it becomes even more difficult to find options. These men are usually budget-conscious and are interested more in comfort than anything else. Often, they want something totally smooth under clothes.

One customer had great luck finding basics at Walmart while another found some at Hanes, but I have actually recommended quite a few to the website “Woman Within” (ironic, I know) because they have a decent selection of basic, comfy wireless bras in 40+ bands and smaller cups.”

Men who wear bras may also face challenges in cases of what kind of bra they need to get, because naturally what will work for women or the type that will work for women will not work for men, and this can lead to problems choosing.

Men who wear bras for gynecomastia may prefer bras without embellishments like fancy straps or extra hardware and these are definitely harder to find because of how oriented to the female population this market is, and therefore this may be harder to find. 

Men who wear bras may also find that sports bras or those in racerback styles, may be a good choice and men who have shallow upper breast tissue and wider set breasts may prefer the  sports or racerback type bras a lot more, Erica says.

She also recommends that men who wear bras may want to try those made of stretch lace, mesh, or memory foam, because such fabrics have been known to adjust to unique breast shapes with more ease.

Erica has one final piece of advice for men who wear bras and are looking for the best possible fit and type and where to look for them:

“For shopping and fitting, I recommend searching for a local boutique in their area and calling ahead. Many boutique owners have experience fitting and helping men with bras, but they may set up a private appointment outside of store hours. Sadly, not all of our customers are comfortable with the idea of being fitted and trying on bras next door to a man doing the same thing, and none of us would want any of our customers, male or female, to feel uncomfortable with the process.”

“They can also feel free to email or call store owners as well and conduct the process virtually. I’ve had great success with this, and many of my male customers have felt better about the process. If they want to try the online shopping route, it could be worth ordering from companies with clear return policies and free shipping.”

Bras for Men

Male bras, or bras for men are used for multiple conditions, as mentioned before, and these may range from Breast fetishism to Gynecomastia.

Male bra, or bras for men, are also known as compression bras, compression vests, or gynecomastia vests and these are all names for the types of brassieres that are worn by men. 

Men sometimes develop breasts because of taking medications or abusing drugs or other genetic or hormonal conditions, and usually the conditions related to this problem are presented as estimates “because the definition of gynecomastia varies and the method of surveying varies.”

A key distinction between women’s bras and men’s bras is that while women’s bras are meant for shaping, lifting and supporting breasts, men’s bras are typically meant to flatten rather than lift or support.

The reason for this distinction between men’s and women’s bras is that men’s breast development even in the condition of gynecomastia, is not the same as that of women, and there is considerably less fatty tissue in case of male breasts.

While some men, who are suffering from gynecomastia, may wear bras for the purposes of flattening and making the chest look more typical, the other category of men who wear bras may do so for the purpose of cross-dressing or for sexual purposes such as transvestic fetishism or feminization.

Some men who wear bras may also do so as a form of submission to their partner, and there are also those that are forced to wear bras under petticoat discipline, which is a type of humiliation based punishment that is enforced on young men or boys.

There are also some male athletes, in particular, runners who may choose to wear a sports bra under their shirts so that they can prevent a common medical condition called jogger’s nipple, also known as nipple chafing. 

This kind of problem usually occurs because of excessive rubbing of wet sweat-soaked material over one’s nipples and this is a [painful condition which is often made worse due to the sweat that continues to come about when one is running.

There are also bras for men which include heart rate monitors and such, so that people may wear those to keep a track of their health when they are engaging in sports.

Gynecomastia: Why men may wear bras

Gynecomastia is a condition in which men may experience enlarged breast tissue, because of various reasons, and usually surgery is the only way in which it tends to go away.

According to Cleveland Clinic, there can be three phases in which gynecomastia may occur in a man, and these are as follows:

“After birth. Newborn boys are still under the effects of the estrogen they received from their mothers while developing in the womb. More than half of newborn males are born with enlarged breasts. The gynecomastia goes away within two to three weeks after birth.

At puberty. Hormone levels are changing during puberty (usually 12 to 14 years of age). Breast enlargement usually goes away six months to two years after the start of puberty.

At mid-life and beyond. Breast enlargement often peaks in men between the ages of 50 and 80. About one in four men in this age range have breast enlargement.”

Furthermore, while gynecomastia may be a result of something as simple as obesity or hormonal imbalance, there can be medicines that cause the condition as well, and these may include:

  • Anabolic steroids for improved athletic performance
  • Estrogens
  • Amphetamines, marijuana, heroin, methadone (“street” drugs) and alcohol
  • Finasteride (Proscar®, Propecia®) for enlarged prostate
  • Spironolactone (Aldactone®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), amiodarone (Cordarone®), and calcium channel blockers
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl®) for bacterial infections
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin for fertility problems
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet®) and proton pump inhibitors for heartburn
  • Diazepam (Valium®) for anxiety
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral®) for fungal infections

Men struggling with gynecomastia may already be suffering through problems, but when men wearing a bra is stigmatized it becomes even more problematic and difficult for them. Here is an experience of someone who went through this problem:

“Someone got my mother-in-law a book about breasts for Christmas. (She’s a lactation consultant and they thought she would enjoy it.)

The very first pages of the book show a man wearing what looks like a bra, and 2 kids mocking him for it. The pages thereafter talk about how men don’t need to wear bras because they don’t have breasts.

Things like this frustrate me to no end. As a man with gynecomastia, I’m struggling to get the word out to others and educate them. Things like this go against what I’m trying to do.”

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at the question “Do men wear bras?”.

There can be many reasons for which men may need to or want to wear bras, which is something that traditionally women have done due to both fashion trends and what the society demanded.

Women’s underclothes have changed significantly over time, and they have included corsets and other types of undergarments which men have not had to wear, but with changing fashion trends and so on, men and women have changed in terms of their clothes.

If you have any questions similar to “Do men wear bras?” please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do men wear bras?

Do girls with very small breasts wear bras?

Yes, girls with very small breasts also wear bras, and they may do so to provide their body the shape that would make their clothes fit better, or they may so do because even though girls may have small breasts may need the support that bras can offer.

Do morbidly obese men wear bras?

Yes, morbidly obese men can wear bras, but it is not a necessity that they absolutely will have to wear bras.

Also, men, even morbidly obese men, have different body shapes which are not the type that bras are usually made for, and they may usually find that bras are quite uncomfortable to them.

Do men wear bras for fun?

Yes, men may wear bras for fun, if they want to, and sometimes men may also wear bras if they are drag queens, which is the name for men who perform as famous starlets in flamboyant clothes and makeup.

Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_bra

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/advice-for-guys-who-wear-_b_4564484#:~:text=Guys%20who%20wear%20bras%20generally,percent%20of%20all%20adult%20men.

https://medium.com/@mom4509/do-men-wear-bras-bras-thongs-and-garters-for-men-a9b213989813

http://www.brassiered.com/brassiered/visible.html

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Sara Quitlag is an Applied Psychologist, with a deep interest in psychopathology and neuropsychology and how psychology impacts and permeates every aspect of our environment. She has worked in Clinical settings (as Special Ed. Counselor, CBT Therapist) and has contributed at local Universities as a Faculty member from time to time. She has a graduate degree in English Literature and feels very connected to how literature and psychology interact. She feels accountable and passionate about making a "QUALITY" contribution to the overall global reform and well-being. She actively seeks out opportunities where she can spread awareness and make a positive difference across the globe for the welfare of our global society.