Viking women wore these metal discs and clasps that formed shoulder protection and were actually meant to lift and shape the breasts. This first bra was banned once the Christians arrived, because it brought attention to women’s bodies. They were seen as pagan devices. Today, women commonly wear bras to conform to social norms such as a dress code, or because they believe bras prevent breasts from sagging, a fact that even bra makers do not support.
In western cultures, about 10 to 25 percent of women do not wear a bra, either as a matter of preference or sometimes for health or comfort reasons. Some garments, such as camisoles, tank tops and backless dresses, have built-in breast support, alleviating the need to wear a separate bra. There are several types of bras. Some bras are built for support; others are to make the breasts appear larger. There are bras with underwire and ones without.