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).
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.