But in early in 1913 Mary Phelps Jacobs was getting ready to attend a formal affair that featured a plunging neckline and being rather large on the topside she had a problem. She did not want to wear the usual bone corset as it did not work with her gown. But with no support her sensitive parts were visible and that forced her to create a solution. She had her maid sew two handkerchiefs together and added thin straps which would be hidden by the gown. It worked and so became the brassiere. Another invention had been fostered by necessity! She wore it that night and soon began marketing and selling in well known stores and salons. From her autobiography:
"It is among the objects of the present invention to provide a garment in which a number of features of novelty and utility are combined, among which are the provision of a garment which has no back and therefore does not interfere with any design of evening gown that may be chosen; one which is capable of universal fit to such an extent that for commercial handling it need be made in but few sizes, with reasonable certainty that the size and shape of a single garment will be suitable for a considerable variety of different customers; and to provide a garment which is characterized by extreme simplicity by freedom from bones so that it may be finished with laces or embroideries for wear beneath a sheer waist or diaphanous gown, and which when worn is both comfortable and cool and so efficient that it may be worn even by persons engaged in violent exercise such as tennis; and which has other advantages that are characteristic of the invention herein set forth".
So, now more than 100 years later the debate continues as to bra vs. no bra. Either way, gravity will win and the choice is a simple personal decision.