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The influence of breast asymmetry on the product development of bras: A mixed methods research
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: The fashion world is increasingly aware of different body types and becomes more diverse every year. However, breast asymmetry, which is highly common among women with a rate of 88 percent, is not addressed by the fashion industry at all. Current advertisements of lingerie brands mainly support a flawless, slim and symmetrical body type. This beauty standard seams not in accordance to the high rate of affected women with breast asymmetry. Moreover, there are several factors which are negatively influenced by breast asymmetry, such as a failing weight support of the bra, an asymmetrical look due to the ill-fitting bra and confidence issues.

Purpose: The aim of this research is to empirically investigate the influence of breast asymmetry on the product development of bras.

Method: The research makes use of a mixed methods research design. This concurrent design has the focus on the quantitative part. The empirical tools, which are selected for this research, are a survey and semi-structured interviews. In order to obtain more information about the research topic, a literature review has been conducted first. The systematic review critically examines the already existing literature. The theoretical starting point of this research begins with breast asymmetry and product development to then continue with conducting a survey among women and interviewing experts, based on interview guides.

Results: The results are gathered through the survey and interviews. More than 65 percent of the respondents of the survey see or feel a difference between the two sides of their breasts. In total, almost 60 percent of the women identifies the left side of their breasts as larger. More than 80 percent of the women mention volume as the affected asymmetry factor. The degree of difference between the two sides of the breasts differs from woman to woman. Around 25 percent of the respondents, who say they are affected with breast asymmetry, indicate that they try to even out the breast asymmetry.

Conclusion: In consideration of the rate of affected women and current product development practices, a differentiation between a low degree of asymmetry and a high degree of asymmetry has to be made. Lingerie companies should consider to adapt low breast asymmetry in their product development, as current solutions are sufficient to even out small differences. Adequate labelling and branding of the products, which are suitable for breast asymmetry, need to be introduced. For the high degree of asymmetry, special bras need to be constructed. This is feasible for most brands, yet only successful for brands where this type of bra matches the product portfolio and values of the company.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Breast Asymmetry, Product Development, Bra Development, Intimate Apparel
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22070OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-22070DiVA, id: diva2:1371952
Subject / course
Textile management
Available from: 2019-11-22 Created: 2019-11-21 Last updated: 2019-11-22Bibliographically approved

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