Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Keeping abreast of the threat


The German Bundespolizei have announced what the BBC are calling a “bullet-proof bra“.

It may sound like a joke, but this is a serious matter – the policewoman who came up with the idea said normal bras can be dangerous when worn in combination with a bullet-proof vest.
“The impact of a bullet can push the metal and plastic bits of the bra into an officer’s body, causing serious injury,” said Carmen Kibat, an adviser on equal opportunities for the Hamburg-based Bundespolizei – Germany’s federal police force.
“I always thought normal bras posed a safety risk and I wanted to change that,” she said.

Now, I’m sure Frau Kibat’s heart is in the right place, and I would certainly not want it to be pierced by either a bullet or a brassiere clasp or underwire fragment, but I have to suggest here that “I always thought” doesn’t suggest that the decision to develop this article was made based on empirical data.
While I admit it’s interesting to see “Polizei” on a brassiere, it’d have been better to ask those that are concerned about the “risk posed by normal bras” to simply buy one that is made entirely of cloth, since they are readily available through non-governmental channels.
Photo: Reuters, via Die Welt [link to no longer works]

3 comments on "Keeping abreast of the threat"

  • Anonymous says:

    Depending upon how one is built, all-cloth bras can be unsupportive and uncomfortable. It’s basically impossible to find high-impact sports bras for those with cup sizes over D or so that don’t have fasteners, because they are otherwise impossible to get into. Even the ones without underwires have hooks and eyes.
    On the other hand, the chances that this bra is availabe in sizes that don’t work with commercial cloth bras, or if it does that it works any better, seems unlikely.

  • Chris says:

    The article in Die Welt says that sizes up to 95E are available. Thanks to the very helpful converter at, I know that is 36D in US units.
    Agreed that this bra is unlikely to be innovative.

  • Jim Burrows says:

    As with many efforts that involve standardization, a major benefit, and perhaps the point behind the introduction of this garment, is raising awareness and establishing habits that lead to increased safety or preparedness. By developing, publishing the plans and possibly issuing the garments, officers who might not have thought about the dangers in wearing the more usual types of bras may be encouraged to wear safer garments, either these or commercial ones that are similar.
    Additionally, if the project gets publicity and does not provide the full range of sizes, as noted by Anonymous, the need for such might come to the attention of commercial manufacturers, increasing the availability of high impact sports bras in larger sizes even for non-police.
    One of the lessons of the law of unintended consequences is that there can be additional consequences beyond the obvious, and that these can be a powerful tool.
    And on a lighter note, one can hardly view the illustration without conjuring up amusing “You’re a cop!?” scenarios.

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