The Cost of Bras We Don’t Wear

It’s our morning ritual: We pull open the drawer and rifle through 20 different bras until we find one of maybe three that we love—the ones we know won’t let us down. Or scratch. Or make us feel miserable. That bra might not look like much, but we know what we’re in for. That got us thinking. What’s the cost of the bras we don’t wear? So we did the math.


The average bra costs $58.

According to our research, most women own 11 bras, but only love three of them.

That is $464 of bras we don’t wear taking up precious bra drawer real estate.

But that’s not where things end, dear reader. That is just the beginning.

What did it cost to get to the store to buy those 8 bras whose sole purpose in life is to endlessly circle one another in the dark confines of our bra drawer?

Two hours at the store. ($20/hour is the national average hourly wage) 30 miles in the car. ($0.55/mile). Multiplied by three stores.

And it cost us $169.50 just to buy those bras we don’t wear that never see the light of day save for a few moments in the morning and evening.

We are up to $633.50 for the privilege of buying bras we don’t love.

At this point, Marie Kondo sheds one solitary tear and suggests that you read her most recent book, Spark Joy, which is currently $13.08 for the hardcover version on Amazon.

We could stop. But we won’t. Because the true cost of the bras we don’t wear is bigger than one bra drawer.


It turns out that the cost of the bras you don’t wear also depends on where you live. Let’s assume that you have a very reasonable dresser from IKEA and that one drawer is 3.53ft². Here is the cost of those drawers across the country:

  • Portland - $935.45
  • Minneapolis - $691.88
  • San Francisco - $3,399.39
  • New York City - $5,048.90


At this point, we thought it only reasonable to take this exercise to its natural conclusion and calculate the costof poorly fitting bras to the U.S economy.

Let’s assume for a minute that you work an eight-hour day, take your federally mandated 15-minute break, and silently suffer 20 minutes of productivity loss each day to that damn bra that literally has it in for you.

Given average wages, those 20 minutes cost $7 in lost productivity per woman each day.
There are 72 million of us in the workforce in the United States.

That equates to $131 billion lost to the U.S. economy each year.*


Wouldn’t it be great if there was one bra that did it all?

* Disclaimer: We are not licensed economists.

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