Received some cute illustrations about bra codes so I thought I'd add on more meat (forgive the pun) to the post.
First, a little history is in order.
The first modern brassiere to receive a patent was one invented by a New York socialite named Mary Phelps Jacob in 1913. Mary had just purchased a sheer evening gown for one of her social events. At that time, the only acceptable undergarment was a corset stiffened with whaleback bones. Mary found that the whalebones poked out visible around the plunging neckline and under the sheer fabric. Two silk handkerchiefs and some pink ribbon later, Mary had designed an alternative to the corset. More info here...The History of the Brassiere
For more information, you can also visit the Wiki.
By the way, remember the song "The Girl from Ipanema"? Ipanema is the touristy part of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and Brazil is well-known for her beaches and more so for the perfectly-tanned, body-beautiful ladies in their skimpiest of skimpy beachwear. The bikini was actually invented by a Brazilian lady who used strings to hold the pieces of teeny-weeny bits of cloth together and voila! the bikini was born.
And, if you have often wondered about the bra-codes (yes, you got it right - bra-codes not bar-codes), well, wonder no more. Here is the lesson which would be difficult to forget, I am pretty sure.
Now you know.
Of course, there is always the other side of the coin to balance things up. There is a school of thought that encourages not using this uplifting(?) contraption due to them being hazardous to health. Read article.
Illustration source unknown