About two years ago, I confronted one of the big questions of my life: why, when I loathe, detest, indeed despise, wearing bras, do I continue to spend stupid amounts of money trying to find one that fits right, that feels comfortable, that looks just right? Why am I wearing this boob-cage that is invariably the first thing that comes off when I get home (often even before the shirt I’m wearing)?
I had always just accepted that bras were a necessary part of life, having had my mother tell me repeatedly that if I didn’t wear them, my boobs would sag, and… Wait, no, that was pretty much the main reason. There was the insistence that if I wasn’t wearing a bra, I was not completely dressed, and therefore somehow indecent, but ultimately, the reason for wearing a bra was the same — boob saggage.
So I got to thinking, and then, after asking myself this all important question, I got to reading. The more I read, the less there seemed to be any kind of information supporting the idea that wearing a bra would prevent one’s breasts from sagging, or indeed have any kind of benefit. Almost everything I read said the main causes of that were weight loss, pregnancy and breast feeding, and since I’m pretty fit and healthy, and my partner and I are not planning on having kids, neither of those causes seemed too concerning. So, after some deliberation, I took the plunge (ha…) and ditched the boulder holders.
“But what about running?” I hear people cry, “Doesn’t it hurt? What about them wobbling, and the nipple factor, and white shirts, and and and…”
There were adjustments to be made, certainly. And the girls ached for about, oh, two weeks. And after that… nothing. No pain, no aching, in fact, I was more comfortable than I ever had been. It made sense — my pectorals were not being worked to hold up the weight of my breasts while I was wearing a bra, and suddenly they had to hold up these considerable lumps all day (full disclosure: I’m a 14D (AU)/36D (US)/36DD (UK), so I’m not particularly small).
I'm going to need a new wardrobe and I'm sure I'll be dropping off a lot of stuff at charity shops. But... can I do... Read more
The natural movement of my breasts was definitely something to get used to, and mostly it just came with time and confidence. Ditto with the potential of nipple protrusion, but I have both my nipples pierced, so that was something to get over quick — even when it’s not cold, I still show some, ahem, perkiness.
I still have a couple of bras for the odd transparent shirts, or special occasions (like my wedding, which I actually had to go and buy a bra specifically for), but in general I don’t really wear anything light coloured or awkwardly see through.
On the whole, I am so much happier two years on from ditching the bra. I get the occasional odd look, and friends do ask a bit about how I’m getting on, but I can honestly say going bra-less has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my personal comfort.
Comments on Ditching the boulder holders: 36D and bra-less for two years
Did you try bras without underwire? If had to wear underwire bras I wouldn’t wear them at all, they always pinch and poke horribly. Ones without underwire work well, even though salespeople in lingerie departments are always trying to tell me there is no way someone with a chest that size (not small) is getting enough support without underwire. Occasionally I let them try to find me an underwire bra that fits and doesn’t hurt, and they always give up after about four don’t work.
Go with what works for you and don’t be pressured into wearing uncomfortable undergarments!
The original poster seems happy with her bra-less state and I see no reason to mess with success, but for any readers who like the support of a bra and, like me, have a terrible time finding one that isn’t itchy and scratchy, I recommend these:
I used to wear a similar product from Barely There, then they discontinued it (and I cried!), but then I found almost exactly the same thing from Bali.
I wear them inside out so that the hems on the shoulder straps don’t dig into my skin and they are very comfy.
Hanes has another option that’s pretty awesome and really what I wear exclusively:
You probably want to try them on in person cause they run small thru X-large rather than bra sizes. I’m a 32-34B and I wear a small. They come in pretty colors too 🙂
Rather than wearing “bras” I wear slightly lose sports bras everywhere. I love them. I am always running around/walking fast ( I wear a much tighter sports bra when I actually run or do other working out) and I like how it flattens me. I have boobs on the smaller side 34 B/C- but this works great for me– I only wear lacy “real” bras when I’m trying to look super special and sexy for my husband
Same. Or I double up on tank tops/camis. I have scoliosis in my thoracic spine, and the straps on bras press right into my poor rhomboids, which have faced considerable damage from said scoliosis. I’m a 34B, with pierced nipples, so I have the protrusion thing going on sometimes. Big deal.
like sports bras too, no bra is pain full, braless also breaks done the skin tissue above and to the sides, with age layers of dropping sagging skin with overlaping folds and wrinkles. starts a lot sooner with no bra. already there
I do the same thing. I use cotton sports bras with thick, vertical straps. So comfortable!
I have been wearing an underwire since high school, and I fear I could not go without. Over Christmas i aanswered the door with out a bra on, for a delivery and I swear it was the first time in my life I did that. I hate bras, and if I wasn’t a G-J cup, depending on the weather… I would burn the lot of them.
I like my sillouette better with.
That will look real fine, untill you hit about 50, then youre gonna be thinking about getting a lift
Boulder-holders! I love that you call them that! My personal favourite name for them is “over-the-shoulder boulder-holders” — extra rhyming!
Thanks for sharing your story! I frequently get fed up with bras (honestly, try finding anything, let alone multiple choices, in size 30E for less than $100 anywhere in Canada…), but I’ve found exercising (or even, you know, going up and down stairs) uncomfortable with insufficient support, so I’ve always just assumed that I need to wear a bra, at least whenever I want to leave my (third-story walk-up) apartment. But maybe I just need a couple weeks to get used to it. Not sure I’m ready to take the plunge just yet, but you’ve planted a seed of thought in my brain.
30F here! Try brasstop and figleaves! They have tons of sales and are way better quality than any of the ones at Victoria’s Secret.
Depending on where in Canada you are, check out Change! I’m a 34J, and I have great success there. Bras are usually around $50 pre “club discount”, (10%), though more for special styles. But they will regularly have sales, and in fact, I was there today and got several bras on sale (50% off!). I personally dislike going bra free and appreciate the support and appearance of a good bra that supports me.
I agree! I love Change!
I so agree. I’m also a 34J and actually love my bras. They have underwires which I love (and sometimes feel totally alone in this) I also look 10lbs lighter in a well fitting bra.
I’m 34HH and I wear Bravissimo. They’re British, but they’re so reasonable that it’s worth the (fairly cheap) international shipping to Canada.
Thank you so much for this site! I’m in the US and even with the exchange rate and international shipping they make them less then what I pay for them here. I wear a 36FF so I have a huge ass problem finding bras that fit me that I can buy in a store for less then $100.
I am in love with you. So hard. Right now.
There’s a great blog, called Hourglassy that covers bras (and clothes!) for the big boobed. I’d give them a look-over to find good sources that work for you. I have found bras that work well for me, but it was nice to find tops that accommodate my bust without being a tent or revealing.
Linda the Bra Lady! (lindasonline.com) I’ve only been to their store but they do ship to Canada and have a good return policy.
30G and Canadian. Brastop is my favourite it has been a time and bank account saver. I’ve found that the UK site has cheaper shipping rates to Canada than American sites -unless of course you live close to the 49th parallel and can use free domestic shipping by shipping to the boarder.
If your not afraid of little DIY turning a 32 into a 30 (or just a bra that has stretched out) is not too challenging with most bras you just need to math out your cup size. I fall in the 30G to 30FF depending on bra style and make. A generous in the cup 32E with some band alterations: cutting the band at the same spot on each side and adding a seam, made for a decent inexpensive bra since I was able to buy it off the clearance rack at a local bra store.
P.S. Just a word of advice from my also busty and sewing teacher mother. Doing a small down size on the bra band can be great taking 38 band and trying to make it a 30 will end up being a bit more work since more areas may need adjustment.
yowza! that’s impressive. mine are 36 D’s as well (I went up both a band and a cup size after having a kid, and stayed that way) and while I love going braless at night, I can’t imagine doing it during the day, for two major reasns: one, I’m quite short, and unless my boobs are lifted up, my silhouette becomes really weird…not curves so much as a blob without a waist (because my boobs are obscuring it!) and two, they’re kinda different sizes – hard to tell with a bra on, really easy to tell with one off. But go girl, if it’s more comfy for you, let them swing free!
Yeah, I’ve worn bras for about 15 years, I’m relatively young, I haven’t had kids… and I have saggy boobs. They’re a simple fact of genetics.
I read an blog post awhile ago from a woman who was intentionally ‘reclaiming’ her hip wiggle – her whole life, she felt like she was constraining how she walked because it made her ‘too feminine’ (aka a ‘slut’) and she felt like she took up too much space. Part of accepting her body was accepting that the wiggle was her natural walk, that it didn’t make her a slut. I think bras sometimes serve the same purpose for women – it removes a natural movement that has become sexualized. A bra also gives me the ‘correct’ shape, which is another bit of social restriction.
And I say all this as someone who struggles to leave the house without a bra on, even just to walk the dogs.
Same here…no kids, worn a bra since fifth grade…still saggy. I did gain and loose a lot of weight in high school, so I assume that’s the reason for the sagging. The bra didn’t seem to keep them from sagging, but now that they do, I’m just not comfortable going without in public.
I could have written what you just wrote, Evee. I wear a 34D (or 36C depending on the bra), and the only time I am bra-less is when I’m home alone. Another reason why I can’t go bra-less all the time is because my girls ALWAYS get super sore before and during my menstrual periods. Sometimes I will wear a corset for special days like a anniversary-ish date or something. If anyone wants to give real steel-boned custom-made corsets a try, I definitely recommend them!
I’m 34 DD, and strapless bras are terrible and look like I’m wearing no bra at all. I just discovered using corsets instead, and I wear dresses all time now. In addition, some corsets and bustiers bind the breasts a bit, which I’ve found helps with pre-menstrual tenderness.
Epbot did a thing about how corsets have helped her with cramps during periods (if you want to read it HERE). I’m beginning to feel like the universe is trying to tell me something.
Actually I’m a 36E (UK) and I’ve been braless for about 19 months now. I also used to have the pre-menstrual breast pain, but it totally disappeared when I stopped wearing bras. I do wear camisoles and tank tops underneath my clothes when I have to, to prevent nipple protrusion, but for the most part it’s been a liberating and freeing 19 months!
I’m a 30G and I find stairs painful when bra-less how did you get past that?
I try to avoid running up and down stairs. And if I absolutely have to run, I just hold them (in a discreet manner, of course) so that it doesn’t seem like I am! I hope this helps. And truth be told, my work colleagues have not noticed anything different (or if they have, they haven’t mentioned it to me); and my husband is with me in this bra-free journey 150%!
Hi I am 36DD (I think) and also young and also my boobs are saggy. I have been braless for maybe half a year. It is AhMahzing! It has made me feel so much more at peace with my body, and more relaxed generally. I keep running into a problem where the underboob gets sweaty and irritated. The problem is all bras are so uncomfortable and restricting now that I have no solution! Sometimes I think about getting surgery someday but I’d much rather just learn to navigate the waters like women have done since the dawn of time. How do you manage?
I hate bras. I work in a professional office, though, so it’s expected that I wear one for the same reasons you stated. But when I’m home, that’s it. I’m done. It comes off and I shoot it across the bed room to wear the next work day. I have a particularly small cup, but I feel more comfortable wearing those “shelf tanks” or cheap-o sports bra types at home than none at all, mostly due to the post-breastfeeding droopage. The added bonus to wearing the cheap-o sports bras is that when I’m hot in the summer, I can take off my shirt and BAM I have an instant bathing suit!
i’ve already done all three (weight loss, pregnancy, and short/failed stint at breastfeeding, but there was milk production going on in there for 6 weeks nonetheless)…they’re just so sad without a bra. lol. i’m slightly green with envy that you can pull it off. power to you girl!
yea 6 weeks! great job mama.
Things I love about Offbeat Empire: names for things I would never have thought of.
Before “Boulder Holders”, there was “Boob Retainers” I saw on a Tribe thread, and have since adopted. Love it!!
I joke about stuff like this all the time with my guy. Calling boobs “sippy cups” and bras are “cup holders”.
I know this is an older thread but I can’t help but point out that my dad always called ’em ‘double barrel slingshots.’
We referred to them as boob baskets when my sister and I were kids.
I’ve always been rather small, but still would NOT leave the house without an underwire, fully lined, molded cup bra on. Even when just taking the trash out.
And I HATED it.
Ever since I got my first training bra, I’ve hated bras. They are SO uncomfortable! I’ve gone through many phases where I would try to find comfortable bras. Wireless, soft cup, racerback, I’ve tried them all, and they were all equally uncomfortable. That and my breasts were not the shape that bra manufacturers have in mind when they create these contraptions, so my bra shopping trips were always long winded and ended in disappointment. I felt I HAD to wear a bra to not only avoid the boob saggage, but also to even just look acceptable. My breasts had to be the perfect shape, perfectly smooth, the whole nine.
Then I had my baby.
Five days later my milk came in, my breast swelled up to more than double their size, and became super sensitive. I figured it was just a settling in phase and that I could resume wearing normal bras that made me appear socially acceptable in a few weeks. Well, 17 months later, my boobs are still large and heavy with milk, and still as sensitive as ever. I have not been able to wear more than a shelf bra the entire time I’ve been nursing, and honestly, it’s been freeing. Not only have I gained a new love for my odly shaped, lopsided boob just because they feed my baby, but I’ve grown to love them just as they are, now how a molded cup bra makes them look.
My boobs rock.
My biggest fear has been the transition back into a not lactating life style, meaning wearing ‘real’ bras again. But now I’m rethinking that. I might not ever go back to that, which is more about how I view my body more positively now than how much I hate bras. Although I do detest them.
When my milk dries up, they’ll inevitably sag and shrink a little, but after everything they’ve done for me (and my baby) that seems so much less like a problem than it did before. Why not house them in comfort rather than cage them in wires?
I’ll be thinking on this probably until the time comes that I have to decide.
“My boobs rock.”
Boobs, categorically rock.
They are soft and round and appealing. They are comforting. They are a source of pleasure for their owners and their owner’s lovers. They feed babies. They make good pillows.
I am a fan of breasts in general and mine in particular.
Get it, girl! I’m more of a wear-five-bras-made-of-steel-and-scaffolding type, but comfort is comfort. I’m glad your boulders are living the free life.
Though I’m pretty sure the sight of my untethered breasts would induce shocked gasps and pearl clutching in everyone I work with, I think it’s way awesome that you’ve made it work for you.
I’m a nudie bird. When I get home, it’s time for naked. I’ve been lucky to locate some bras that don’t bug me terribly, but I still shed that ish like it’s on fire the minute I get home.
Nudie birds unite! I lurve walking around my house in all my unclothed glory.
dootiesbug – I didn’t know I could like you even more, until you referred to yourself as a ‘nudie bird’. You are objectively amazing!
Naked time is the best time, I’m totally the same 😀 As soon as I’m home, there’s a pile of clothes on the floor by the door and I’m running free (pretty sure I’m destined to be a crazy old nudist haha)
Horray for ditching the bra! I also haven’t worn on for about 2 years(except for occasions I want them to shine). Most work days it didn’t last 2 hours before I tucked it away in my purse. I was always embarrassed about it, so it’s great to know I’m not the only one to decide to let them be free.
My favorite thing my mom ever told me regarding bras was that if I wore mine to bed, I would “ruin myself”. No explanation, just that. Like my boobs would grow in different directions or something. It was one of those old relic sayings from my great-grandma, I think.
I transitioned to tank tops with shelf bras in them a few years ago, and I’ve NEVER looked back. It’s like barely wearing a bra. It just basically adds extra nip coverage. I also like those Genie Bra things for going to the gym – very soft and squishy, no wires, etc.
There was a whole rumour going round the girls’ changing room at school that if you wore your bra at night you’d get breast cancer. I don’t know where the hell that came from but I’ve never been able to shake the fear, even as a 30 year old. Not that I want to wear a bra in bed.
I heard that one too! And we’re the same age. Must have been a thing back then.
I’m 21 and my mum would always warn me about stuff like that (don’t sit so close to the TV- you’ll get square eyes). I’m old enough to know better, but I’m just still a bit edgy about tempting fate.
The reasoning behind that rumour, and while not proven does have some merit, is that the constriction from the bra can interfere with lymph drainage thereby keeping toxins in your breast tissue and contributing to breast cancer. Below is six more reasons not to wear them to bed.
I wish I could find the article but I read that going braless is better being the natural movement of the breasts allow for lymph drainage or something like that. Better circulation, etc and is healthier for the breasts. I don’t feel comfortable without a bra. But I make sure to sleep without one and when I can stay home, I wear a very stretchy soft bra.
I only rarely wear a bra, and NEVER at home. Even when walking the dog, I put on a tank top with a built in shelf bra; I love the way my boobies jiggle when I walk!
Ugh! I’m so jealous that you’re brave enough to go bra-less! I am a coward, and will just be quitely praying that society says that we can let our boobies free. : (
Stupid 36D bra, I will murder you one day!!!
It doesn’t work that way honey….society doesn’t say we can let our boobies free…..
WE TELL SOCIETY WE ARE SETTNG OUR BOOBIES FREE ! ! !
Trust me, society will get used to it.
I’ve been bra free since 1980, when I figured out I couldn’t make enough milk for my newborn baby is the girls were all caged up in a bra. Anything that isn’t good for lactating breasts probably isnt good for any breasts…..so after weaning I stayed bra free. I’m 57 now, I’measure out to what would be a size 38C, and no they don’t sag at all. Free breasts are healthy breasts.
As uncomfortable as bras are (also a 36D – probably closer to D and a half or even DD), I feel just a little too… bouncy… to go braless for the everyday occasion.
when I first started at my university, they had a week of camping beforehand that I chose to go to. Since my selected thing was surfing, I spent the week braless, because when we were changing out of our wetsuits on the side of the road, there really isn’t a way to put on your bra and still stay covered (shirt goes on over the swimsuit, and then the swimsuit comes off underneath). but i was wearing about 3 shirts and a jacket most of the time, because it was quite chilly there. In just a t-shirt like I normally wear, I feel like there’s too much movement :/
I’ve been braless since college and yes, I do tend towards tighter shirts as a result. While I don’t wear a bra, I will wear a ribbed tank top (aka “wifebeater” – horrid term) as an undershirt if I am wearing a looser top. This reduces the free range movement which can get a bit distracting/uncomfortable, with out being nearly as restrictive and painful as a bra.
Hm, not a bad idea. Maybe I can try those tanks tops with the built in “bras” (ha, like they do anything) and then bras for more professional occasions
I like reading a perspective so different from my own. I am a petite 32F and love (love!) bras. It’s the only clothing I spend a lot of money on, and it is worth it. Going without leaves my back aching and my neck throbbing. Give a me new Prima Donna and I can take on the world and look good doing it. An attractive and functional bra is a boobular power-up.
I’ve often seen a D+ woman without a bra on and immediately think “Ouch! Why would she ever put herself through that?” It’s reassuring to hear that maybe she’s feeling just fine.
Where do you get your bras? I’ve had a lot of trouble finding anything in my size (30E)…
For a first stop physical store, I recommend “Intimacy”. At any good shop a specialist can measure you. Once I got my true size, I tried bras of different brands to feel which one was right. Bra sizes are not actually consistent across brands. Finding “my brands” was a big moment.
Prima Donna was my savior in bras. I think they rock for a small band size with a big cup size. They give serious band support, so the weight is not on the straps. That means no cutting into my shoulders or neck pain. The Twist collection has lots of fun colors and patterns and silly girly bits – if you are into that. At most stores if they even had my size it was, “for you we have nude, beige, or sand.”
For sports I love Freya sports bras, which are kinda cone shaped and come in super hero colors (red! aqua!). Before them I was layering multiple cloth bras and shelf bras and still suffering. A good sports bra lets you run and jump, and really, who doesn’t want super boobs?
Now I buy online at bigger bras dot com. Really good bras in rarer sizes can be gasp-inducingly expensive, so yeah, prepare for that. However, for me they are the difference between pain and not-pain, and they are much cheaper than a chiropractor. By the way, I don’t and have never worked for any of these companies…I’m just sharing the comfort. And for you ladies swinging free, no disrespect.
“Nude, beige, or sand” — or, if you’re lucky, they might have white, or even (ooh la la!) black! In fact, it’s such a phenomenon that an amazing woman I know wrote a sketch about it: http://www.bigblackpig.com/lccarson/lacy.html
If you are in the UK, I totally recommend Bravissimo for bras that are actually pretty while still supporting bigger cup sizes. You can order online, but I have no idea if they do international shipping or not!
They ship internationally too. I order from them all the time. Usually between the exchange rate and shipping I still come out ahead over most of the US suppliers of Euro brands. Also they have a house brand that goes to L cups sometimes.
I’m in my 40s & have lost a significant amount of weight. I’ve gone from a 48 DDD to a 38D (hoping to lose more & get down to a 36D). Perky is the LAST word I’d use to describe my girls. Living in TX, if I didn’t wear a bra, there’d be a constant pool of sweat from my under-boob pouring down my body & I’d poke my eyes out or give myself a concussion while running.
More power to you perky gals!
GAWD do I hate underboob sweat. This is pretty much my number one reason for wearing a bra.
I am 44 and 3 years ago I had weight loss surgery, I dropped from a 52g-h to a 38dd so no bra is not an option
Trust me when I tell you I am a pro on how not to crease sweat because doing so with me can cause serious health issues. Here is the best way to conquer it.
Bath with an unscented or lightly scented hard ‘french milled’ soap and get totally dry with a soft absorbent towel
Use men’s RITE GUARD SPORT STICK clear in the least scented version you can find, I look for the one that says 48 hour protection
It goes on kind wet so wait 10-20 minutes before dressing (put on your make up, make breakfast, whatever) then if it is still damp dab at it with a tissue
Do not use powders they make a mess and for me trap moisture.
If you find yourself sweating during the day a trip to the bathroom with a bit of tissue will help, dab at it and give it a few seconds to dry.
If you ever do get a rash then hydrocortisone ointment will help as will using a piece of a very soft old T-shirt tucked under your gals
Good for you! I hate bras. For a long time I barely wore them (though shelf bra camisoles are fantastic), but then I randomly grew a cup size in my early twenties. Then I bought some Freddie’s underwire contraptions and have been wearing them to work consistently. However, weekends are staunchly bra-free. Rawr.
I’ve noticed that my bras are getting stretched out and the elastic is a bit unhappy. There seems to no longer be a middle ground between falling off and PINCHY DEATH. I was thinking that I’d need to pay many monies to get a new fitting and a really expensive bra (having long ago given up on cheap Target bras; those are not fun), but maybe I’ll just switch back to camisoles for a bit and see how it goes. Hmm.
I love vintage underwear and lingerie (garters and stockings and slips and even corsets sometimes), but modern bras are just not comfortable.
Does anyone have recommendations for the best layering camisoles, with or without shelf bra built-in thingies?
I’ve found target makes long lasting cami’s with shelf bras. My one gripe about them is they start to ride up after about 2 years.
As I said above, I’m a big fan of the men’s style ribbed tank top.
Patagonia’s camis (both with and without lining) are pricey but awesome. This weekend they’re on sale for $20-30 each.
I only wear a bra when I leave the house, and since I work part time, that’s not too many hours of the day. I used to go braless occasionally a few years ago, but whenever I walked/biked anywhere I got harassed horribly by creepy guys and just generally felt really unsafe because of it. It sucks that that has to be a factor. :/
Has anyone else had that experience when going without a bra? I’m a 36C in U.S. sizes, so it’s fairly obvious when I’m not wearing one.
Hmm. I’m the same size and haven’t had that problem, BUT I live in a fairly rural environment and wear lots of dresses that either actually have or practically have built-in support, so YMMV. Of course I’m also generally followed by 2-3 children when I’m out, too, so that may be the reason!
YMMV? What is this?!
your mileage may vary 8)
That’s one of the main reasons I don’t go without (besides being used to bras). I’m a 36B with perky nipples, and it’s *really* obvious when I’m not wearing a bra. To me it pretty much feels like not wearing a shirt, and I don’t want that kind of attention.
Funny, I just saw a retro advertisement the other day from the ’70s (I think) for a bra with false nipples…so you can have that sexy “chilly” look while still having the support of a bra.
Yeah I have been braless on and off since my teens and that has definitely been a factor for me. I’m a 38C US and I’ve experienced comments, stares, and increased unwanted advances. Back when I was in college and partying a lot it was worse. Maybe because of just being around a lot of hormonal young dudes? I am sorry to hear that you had to feel unsafe! I know the feeling and it sucks that it’s even an issue… like dude, just because you noticed I am not wearing a bra does not mean that any of the assumptions you made about me (I’m slutty, kinky, etc) are true and it certainly does not mean I owe you any type of response to your inane, creepy-ass remarks! They are just a part of my body, like my legs or feet or hands or my nose, but because we live in a society which happens to sexualize breasts, suddenly a pair of body parts just hanging around in their natural state act as a magnet for douchebags.
Nowadays I wear a bra only to work because I just do not ever want to have a discussion about my underwear with my boss so I avoid that situation completely by adhering to the expected social standard. But everywhere else the girls are free to do their thang.
I personally haven’t noticed any increased unwanted attention since ditching the bras, but then I feel like I don’t get as much harassment in my area as in other places (eg. was in Sydney for work last week, and was catcalled three times in ten minutes, and I honestly can’t recall the last time I was catcalled in Canberra, where I live). It was a big concern for me when I started going braless, because it does legitimately frighten me, but I think I’ve been very lucky that where I live it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I think it’s definitely about gauging how safe you feel, as much as it’s upsetting that such a consideration still needs to be made in this day and age, it’s an unfortunate truth. Sometimes it can also be just about working out whether what you’re wearing is hiding or flaunting the braless factor too. Some of the commenters above had some great suggestions re: camisoles and shelf bra tops and such 🙂
I would love if you could please give me some advice on how you take care of your underboob. Mine are 36DD (US) and are very frequently getting irritated and sweaty when Im up and about now wearing bras. Mine sag a few inches. I can’t stand it! But I can’t stand wearing bras even more. It’s so hard to find this kind of info online because the whole internet is infected with the bra-mindset. Liberation!
Yeah, one of the many reasons I wear a bra when I go outside is the creepers (also, why I don’t wear my hair down, or wear skirts very often, or a whole lot of other things). At a 34H, though, you can REALLY tell when I don’t have a bra on.
I understand exactly how you feel and it really sucks. When I was younger, I was a 32B and refused to wear a bra in the summer. I did get a lot of unwanted attention and remarks from the guys I was around. After college, and especially after kid, my boobs burst out to a 36D. I get a lot of comments/remarks/unwanted advances about my boobs with or without a bra. I hate it. It makes me uncomfortable. It’s definitely worse when I don’t wear a bra. I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing a lot of undershirts to minimize cleavage but it’s still a problem. Worse if I try to wear a shelf bra since my boobs don’t fit into them and are more prominent as they desperately try to escape.
I’m a 34 B/C (depending on which boob we’re talking about!), and never wear a bra except for rare fancy occasions. I’ve never had any unwanted male attention because of it, but I do get bad reactions from other women. I actually had one woman put her hand on my shoulder. She felt the strap of my tank top through my shirt, and then said, “Oh, never mind. For a second there it looked like you weren’t wearing a bra.” WTF?
I didn’t wear bras from when I was 17 until about a year ago at 33. And I started back up BECAUSE OF SHIT LIKE THIS. I just don’t want to deal it anymore, I’m sick of putting band-aids on my nipples and I’m sick of having to explain why I don’t wear a bra.
I have kind of been enjoying how much bras push me up, as a 36-A/sometimes B, it is nice. And no dudes staring at my nips is a plus. But seriously, ladies don’t be hating on your fellow sisters living a freewheeling, bouncy, bra-less lifestyle!
And then you say, “And how is this any of your business?”. Really, people have no concept of personal space or minding their own business anymore!
I had a psychiatric hospitalization when I was nineteen, and I made sure to bring comfy clothes with no drawstrings to fit in with the psych ward standards. Most of the t-shirts I brought were ones I slept in, and a few of them were white (y’know, standard Hanes twofr). I had a nurse approach me saying that one of the other patients was uncomfortable because they could see my nipples through my shirt. She asked me to either wear a bra or put a sweater on. I did as I was asked, but I was furious! There were multiple men on the ward who had breasts bigger than mine and whose nipples were visible through their shirts; why the heck could they walk around without bras and I couldn’t?
It’s because women are just as brainwashed by their whole lives of the bs way mainstream society view women and boobs. I used to feel that way when I saw braless women – it’s like you project your baggage onto them. Then eventually I woke up about it.
THANK YOU. I’m a frequent bra-go-withouter myself, though it’s somewhat different at 36C. I’ve read that constricting garments like bras – especially underwire bras – are actually bad for your health, too.
It’s nice to read a column by a fellow braless babe!
This makes me feel way better about myself. I have rather small boobies (my preferred term for them) and honestly, I can just never FIND a clean bra to wear. I only have like, three, and they’re never wear I think they are, and I wake up at 4am for work and am always in a mad rush. Also, it’s dark, I can’t turn the light on or else my boyfriend will wake up, so lately I’ve just been skipping the bra. I know no one can tell the difference, and yet I still felt…weird. Underdressed. I felt GREAT, don’t get me wrong, but it’s like, it goes against nature to not wear one. And WHY?! I’m so much more comfortable without one! I have yet to deal with any saggage, being only 24 and childless, so dude, you just inspired me. I am currently wearing a white tank top with no bra, and dammit, I am going out in public like this.
So interesting. My 38Gs LOVE my bras they are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing that comes off at night. I tried going without for a week once when camping and never got over the aching and ended up walking around holding them.
For the ladies that think bras are uncomfortable: Professional fittings at a real lingerie store (often free!). Most women are wearing the wrong size and different brands are better for different shapes. Changed my life.
I can’t go without a bra during the day. I mean, I wish I could. But I look weird without one: first of all, my boobs are small and way asymmetrical; one’s an A cup, the other is half that. And second: my nipples are insanely perky and sensitive, so going without a bra is uncomfortable (and super noticeable). And I teach college students… they’d definitely notice (and be distracted).
I am with you, I’m a 36D like the author – and I have been larger in the past. I adore my bras! I have had uncomfortable ones that I’ve hated but the fit wasn’t right. When you get a bra that fits it’s like heaven 🙂 I enjoy mine so much, it’s all been a matter of finding the styles and the size that fit right for your body because the one that fits right on me isn’t going to fit right on the next person and so on, that’s just common sense, I actually really like under-wires whereas I know a lot of other people can’t stand them. Of course I am a big believer of each to their own, I mean I hate socks… but I live in Canada so I wear them in the winter so that my toes don’t scream, but as soon as the snow is gone I ditch them until it’s too cold to stand it again 😉
I have some truly enormous tits, 38K(UK)/38N+(US). Basically the very tail end of manufactured bras anywhere. I don’t feel ready to tackle the world (or housecleaning) without a good bra on, frankly, for many of the reasons other have mentioned; they get in the way, movement, sweating.
I find this to be a great middle ground though. Not quite swinging free but not locked and loaded either. http://decentexposures.com/Bras/Detail/Un_Bra Made to order in Seattle and customizable. They are rocking my world at the moment. 😀
Bras and boobs are definitely a cultural expectation issue, a lot like shaving. There are other people’s expectations, your own comforts, and all the ways you can make choices about them to manipulate the way you are perceived.
Thanks for the link! The un-bra looks awesome.