Influential factors of bra purchasing in older women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – In addition to the psychological differentiation of older women, ageing has numerous effects on the breast, influencing the volume, density and constitution of the tissue. It is currently unknown how these changes may affect bra requirements and bra consumer behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to explore factors of importance in bras in a cohort of women aged 45 to 65 years, whilst considering purchasing behaviour, brand loyalties and self-image. Design/methodology/approach – Following a grounded theoretical perspective, this study was exploratory in nature, including a mixture of five semi-structured interviews and two focus groups with women, aged 45 to 65 years, to discuss bra habits, considerations, and influential factors of purchasing. Data were content analysed with additional frequency analysis. Findings – The paper provides five key dimensions within which older women focus their attentions when purchasing bras. These are aesthetics, comfort, practicalities of bra purchase, breast support and psychological aspects. Participants purpose their bra requirements to be multifaceted and changing with increasing age. Practical implications – Bra manufacturers and distributers may need to consider these factors when marketing towards an older population of women, to optimise products and subsequent sales. Originality/value – The paper advances the literature by providing fundamental information on the key areas of consideration for older bra consumers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-380
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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