The Man Bra: Shopping for Underwear in Japan

Mens Brassiere: For the man who loves to wear a bit of lace.

The Mens Brassiere: For the man who loves to wear a bit of lace.

For a long time, I had experienced a certain rejection towards Japanese fashion only because it was so bizarre (for instance, the ganguro trend of the 90s). I was pleasantly surprised then, when I went to Japan some years ago and found a lot of the fashion had progressed, producing a lot of things I would wear. Obviously, this is in accordance with personal taste, which does not speak for everyone but I think there may be one or two people who may agree with me.

That said, we come to the Man Brassiere as featured by the brand WishRoom and Men’s Lingerie by HommeMystere. These both offer lacy and silky options for men and are said be very popular items. Apparently, they are not only for the cross-dresser but for the straight breeder who likes the feel of tight satin. My Japanese isn’t great but on one of the ads for the WishRoom set, a selling point is apparently that it makes the man less coarse and softens him up.

I am of the opinion that if you like a certain item of clothing, wear it. I have absolutely no intention of telling a person what to wear because really, that is none of my business. If you ask my opinion, however, we are entering my aesthetic and if you don’t like what I have to say, that would be your fault. I then asked myself, what if a potential suitor and I were to get intimate and it was revealed that he enjoyed wearing a man bra? What would I do?

Sensory overload: what would I do indeed. I have no idea because in reality, I don’t find it attractive. And to be honest, I like my men “coarse”.

And it reminded me of when I was in Japan, some four years ago. I was traveling with my mother and when I had told her that it was difficult to find bras in my size (for some reason, bras for smaller knockers aren’t that readily available in Mexico), she suggested that we shop for them in Japan, considering there would be more women with a similar body type to mine.

In the Harajuku area of Tokyo, we went into a shop that sold the frilliest underwear I had ever seen, all padded to the hilt. The measuring system is different and I am still not completely sure what it was based on but the shop attendant brought out her tape and wrapped it around my torso.

“90E,” she said.

That sounded quite large but if she measured, I suppose it was right. She lead us to the rack that had my supposed size.

You have got to be fucking joking. One bra cup was big enough to put on my head as a hat. I told the attendant that 90E was definitely not my size.

What followed came as a surprise: in a sort of clinical manner, she took two fingers and gently pressed the side of my breast.

I was getting felt up by a shop attendant.


“No, I’m pretty sure it is the correct size,” she said, after touching me.

My mouth was still agape as my mother dragged me out of the store.

Needless to say, I did not buy underwear in Japan.

Size 90E: My supposed bra size. You've got to be shitting me.

One of the many frilly examples of lingerie in the Harajuku bra shop in Tokyo.

Just some of the many bras that I saw in the Harajuku shop in Tokyo.

Frilliness in all colors, shapes and sizes.

90E: Supposedly my size. You've got to be shitting me.

90E: Supposedly my size. You’ve got to be shitting me.


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