To Bra or Not to Bra?

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by Leandra Medine
October 8, 2013
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Because the conversation on cloaking your chest is never a bad idea.

Today is the first day I’ve worn a bra in over three months. I put it on because it’s been so long, I almost forgot what wearing one felt like, but now I remember. It’s suffocating. I feel like my shoulders are being forced to stay down and like my back might fall apart if the clasp wrapping the black satin cloth around my chest pops open. I am eager to take it off.

You know what, I’m going to take it off. I probably never should have worn it in the first place.

Then again, though, it does look beautiful peeking out from under my black muscle tee, offering a delphian sense seasoned femininity.

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A woman’s relationship with her foundation garments is an interesting one. Robustly endowed (excuse the pun) ladies might argue that considering the internal manipulation they are capable of achieving with just a mere patch of fabric is a point of power and victory. While others, like myself, will search and subsequently find that same blazon of power in the comfort of choice; that and feeling – which is different from looking – like one of those impossibly cool French models (or, you know, Erin Wasson) who harbor bodies like little boys but still command a very distinct brand of sexiness.

I stopped wearing bras last winter. They seemed unnecessary underneath my sweaters and I hated when sometimes they would show through my button down blouses. Call me profane but as far as I can tell, the slight glance of a nipple appears far more, dare I say, elegant when peeping through my blouse than does a bra.

Often too, I will wear white t-shirts. And when I do, my nipples will spare no detectable remorse. I don’t mind this so much as I do feeling like I am disrespecting all the men who have ever cared about me but that makes me uncomfortable for a number of reasons.

Why, on the one hand, do I feel like I’m disrespecting anyone in choosing how to express myself sans verbiage but on the other, I can’t kick the initial question impregnating my inquisitive mind: why should my dad, or brother, or grandpa have to stare my chest in the face when they see me? It’s awkward and slightly afflictive. This then leaves me to wonder, if I feel most powerful when I’m not wearing a bra, must I accede to putting on one when I feel uncomfortable?

As it turns out power and comfort are not mutually exclusive.

But what I’m more concerned with is in understanding why I feel that sense of dynamism in the first place. Is it because I work in fashion and therefore find myself driven by the lithe nature of the industry’s architecture? If that’s the case, I’m essentially conceding to act and look like people who are not me. If I think hard enough about that, it likely puts me in a fairly powerless position. So maybe this reverts back to my initial point about the latter group of bra-debunkers and that power of choice.

If you ask my mother, she will never tell you that she feels better when she’s not wearing a bra. For as long as I’ve known her, the nude colored, satin bras that feature lace work on their back ends have almost defined the identity that she projects. I, on the other hand, can fare both ways. Though my proclivity is obviously in forgoing the cups, every so often, a beautiful piece of lingerie will sneak into my Cosmo and become just as important to my outfit’s infrastructure as say, a pair of shoes are. Knowing that I can be both–the wearer and the shunner, that’s my power.

And here’s where a camp of larger-breasted protestors might argue they don’t holster that same choice.

We all have that choice, though. It’s just a matter of growing to love and appreciate the vision you will project and affirmatively declare ownership over it. The result might not be “beautiful” to the rest of the world but whatever happened to change the sentiment from ‘I must wear a bra’ to ‘I will wear what I am comfortable in’ is all that really matters. So, maybe I’m going to put my bra back on now.

Or maybe I won’t.

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Trench coat by 3.1 Phillip Lim, t-shirt by Diesel (under, of course, the watchful reign of Mr. Formichetti), jeans by MiH and shoes by L.K. Bennett.

REPLIES
  • Amatoria Clothing

    I have to wear a bra outside because my boobs get cold. A little padding keeps me warm and makes my boyish body look a little more curvy. The trick is to find the right bra, so that it is not uncomfortable.
    I love your Diesel T. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I am wearing pink today, since I am attending a fundraiser. Let’s all celebrate our boobs, big and small!

    • Leandra Medine

      Or none at all! Double mastectomies take mad courage, too.

      • Amatoria Clothing

        True dat. The boobs don’t make the lady.

      • schoep

        I had a bilateral mastectomy last year with breast reconstruction and, while I no longer need to wear a bra (having perfect new breasts and all), I found that I really missed wearing one. There’s just something so “normal”, so my pre-cancerous life, about it that I now wear one every day just because I want to.

    • freetits

      Really though, the only need my AA/A sized chest finds for a bra is for warmth (stopped wearing bras in the first place because of said warmth) or fashion (sometimes it’s just really pretty/the outfit you want). Let’s bring back the nipple(s). One breastfeeding and/or braless woman at a time.

      • freetits

        And, practically, bras make excellent pockets for those of us with less than necessary cleavage to hold things in place there.

        But actually though, no one can even tell the difference when I wear a bra or not, so for me, why wear one?

  • a.n.a.l.u

    So funny! I love the shirt ( but to be honest i don´t think i can wear it!) I must say, i understand why not wearing a bra is freedom.

    LAZYCATSTYLE

  • Jenny Jones

    More power to you to choose whatever you feel like on any given day, but for those of us with more up top it’s not just a question of freedom but avoiding the pain inflicted while running for the bus/work/crosswalk if we go without.

    • freetits

      You’d be surprised at the strength your own boobs find after being artificially supported and then not. A lot of people have argued that going no-bra strengthens the muscles in your boobs and prevents sagging though the studies are far from extensive and obviously this would work better to never start wearing the bra to begin with. Though my boobs know how to disappear so I can’t understand your situation.

      • Highland Fashionista

        I’m pretty sure thats one of those old wives tales. The only thing that strengthens muscle is weight bearing exercise. If gravity was the only thing needed to keep muscles tones, we’d all look like Daria Werbowy.

        • free
        • Ollie B

          as someone who previously had large boobies (36D, previously 34DD UK sizes) I decided to stop wearing bras because I have a short torso and most of them dig into my underarms. so, I decided to wear camisoles in a size too small. (M rather than L). I understand, some may think that size isn’t large at all, but it was/is for my frame. not wearing a bra meant that I’ve lost weight on my breasts, and not because they’re being effectively ‘squashed’. in 6 months, they’ve become a 38A/36B (depends where I’m going) and I now do fit into the camis that I bought. I have a broadback (welp) so my back size is usually around the 34/36 mark – yes, I gained weight but lost cup size. ultimately, I agree with the fact that braless = stronger boobies = smaller boobies = comfort. I think it’s a trial and error thing. though, if it didn’t work this way, then how do you think women coped before the bra was invented? it’s all about reliance, really, on the unnatural bra structure. they shouldn’t be worn for ‘support’ but to complement an outfit, in my opinion. :-)

  • nudo

    I wish I could, but I don’t think I have the confidence. Also don’t think I’d enjoy people staring at my chest when I get cold (and I get cold quite easily). Love seeing other women go braless though! And those Stella McCartney triangle lace bras, man if only I had the budget – those seem as comfortable as bras can be.

  • Megan Corletto

    I go bra-less with every chance that I get. I’m still not comfortable wearing nothing under a white shirt but everything else is pretty a go. It’s no mystery that I have boobs, even if they are small, so why should I have to hide them like they’re a bad thing. Plus nothing is more uncomfortable than a bra.

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    It’s all about doing what’s comfortable for you and your chest. For me, wearing a bra in the daytime is a necessity. They’re large, in charge, and get sore as hell if I let them flop around un-tethered. However, in my younger years, when they weren’t so large, I could forgo the bra occasionally and be cool with it.

    I also live in the Midwest, where the mere hint of a nipple is cause for much social distress and yelling about it being “slutty,” or “trashy.” The reason I wear padded bras, especially at work (where I’m up in front of people all day), is partly to avoid having to hear about it as though it’s on par with having my fly open. Here, it’s NEVER intentional – it’s always assumed that your nipple’s out because you didn’t prepare yourself for the colder weather…or you’re doing it to piss off daddy.

    People here have no problem telling you that “you must be cold, dear – put on a sweater or get a better bra.” In my job, nipples are seen as sexual and subversive, and as a teacher those are two things you’re really not allowed to be (sucks, but it’s true). So for now, they stay hidden away (as much as you can hide a couple DD’s) during the daytime.

    However, there is no better feeling of freedom and relief when you get home and rip that bad boy off. :-)

  • http://www.editorialite.com/ Maggie Winterfeldt

    Yet another great piece of writing–and great timing with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Breasts hold an unnerving power over men. Strange considering how incestuous they are; you feed from your mothers, you derive pleasure from your wife’s. Personally, I feel bouncy, bare and self-conscious without a bra, but I am on the larger chested side so unless I’m vegging out on the couch it’s truly more comfortable to sport supportive cups.
    http://www.editorialite.com

  • ray

    as an 18 year old (a boobless one at that), my friends emit varying expressions of shock, disgust and confusion at my choice to not wear a bra. I had about 12 weeks off for summer holidays, I would say I wore a bra for 2 weeks of that, and only because my shirts at the supermarket I work at chaff unbearably. So much so that when I did forget my bra at a friends house before leaving for work, I was forced to borrow her d-cup monstrosity. I can happily say I would have preferred the chafing, as this thing I struggle to call a bra, left me grazed and bruised under the armpits. I run everyday and whilst usually wearing a form of support, there came a day I forgot to, it was the greatest revelation of my life, knowing I can run for half an hour braless and feel no consequences. I felt like forest gump reinvented. Whilst my other double/triple A friends express sadness at their lack of lumps, I revel in mine, and I think confidence in a lack of breasts is so much sexier than those of the female variety who have theirs on show 24/7, give the bras a break, but just make sure when going braless you aren’t in the close vicinity of hot males and their parents when one boob decides to break free from your carefully chosen loose button down blouse.

  • allyn gold

    manrepella! where did you find that tee? it is perfectly silly.

    • Kate Barnett

      it’s one of the diesel reboot t’s designed by nicola formichetti!

  • Mama Lyd

    i have to digress, my boobs do hang low and wobble to and fro….no i cannot tie them in a bow….i am reaching 30 this coming Sunday and my chest has massively grown since i was 20..first i met my husband….went from a b cup to a c…then i had my daughter,,c to d, then i had my son…d to dd. so as you can see bras are a necessity although i have yet to find a comfort worthy one that fits me. hell i even thing i am bigger than a dd, but in my sad little excuse for a city..there are no professional bra fitters worthy enough to size my massive mammories….do people think i am fat? could i have exercized them off? NO and no. i am not a large person nor am i a tiny person. average with a little here and there…which by my husband’s standards is perfect. i do not wish to have lesser boobage, i love my huge gozangas…anyway, if i get a reduction, my husband’s t shirt that states “i love a big rack” with a picture of a rack of ribs…will become dull and pointless. do i not lose these twins because my husband likes it? no i could care less…i am just hoping one day i can be fitted correctly with a perfect bra.

    • jsophia

      Dear Mama Lyd, I feel your pain. After years of searching for the perfect bra for my perfectly uncommon breast size (30G, thanks grandma), I was turned on to a British lingerie and swimwear company that caters to larger chested women called Bravissimo (let’s just call that British humor). Yes, I’d also love to be able to wear those beautiful delicate lacy triangle ones, but hey, they just about cover my nipples! So I can’t recommend Bravissimo enough or their Freya Deco bra which is a moulded underwired t-shirt bra and effectively creates a “bumpy” cleavage. They come in a few solid colors and shy away from the fairly ugly mannerist design you find in their other models.

      I don’t know about you, but this is my version of the aforementioned celebratory spirit of choosing not to wear one at all; pushing them up and showing them off! And after being fitted properly and having found the right shape, this no longer equals pain or discomfort.

      Dear Man Repeller team, great piece of writing. I hope you’ll forgive me for advertising a company (I shied away from inserting a link) but after reading this lady’s comment I couldn’t help myself!

      • MamaLyd

        thank you so much Jsophia. this does help. inserting a company name is not a sin for us large chested ladies that need all the help we can get. thank you soooo much. i will check it out.

        • Different Strokes

          I can also vouch for Bravissimo, they have a cult following in larger-chested ladies in the UK. Also I love them for myself as they’re the only place you can get a 28DD.

  • Ronni

    Amen sistah.

  • Samantha

    What if you have size D breasts, like me, that aren’t quite as perky as you’d care for them to be? You can exactly go braless and if you did it wouldn’t be a very good idea

    • dk

      Exactly. Also have you tried running for a cab/bus/the mailman? This with a D cup? It hurts like a bitch.

      • http://1142style.blogspot.com/ KM Fern

        And if you are a D or bigger, don’t even try to do jumping jacks without a bra, ouch!

        • Super Banana

          D cup? Try a 34 G cup. Going braless for the past week has been the best! If you are worried about no support at all camisoles are very nice or tight shirts underneath a regular shirt or whatever.

  • Chish

    I have to say that even though I have larger breasts, I often go for beautiful lacy and cupless bras despite the fact that they aren’t very practical, they make me feel elegant and I love the more natural shape they create. Yeah, sure they don’t give my breasts that perky look but they make me feel awesome!

  • Jennie

    I would ware a bra in the shower if I could. I like the trapped feeling, I would wear a straight jacket if it were acceptable. Plus, I fear that they will hang down past my knees without some hoisting.

    • Kathy Jacobsma

      Actually, wearing bras all the time tends to loosen the muscles that keep your breasts perky. Unfortunately, this is the society we live in, where women are “forced” to wear a bra all the time, lest she get saggy. No one will admit to it, but wearing bras for long periods of time — or the wrong size of bra — is a huge factor in the uprising (not quite the word I’m looking for, but I digress) of breast cancer.

      I admit, I do wear a bra everyday, pretty much all day. I blame it on the cold. I don’t need to draw attention to that area just because I get the goosebumps. But bras are really not healthy.

    • http://1142style.blogspot.com/ KM Fern

      Lol, I know what you mean. Oftentimes I wear a bra plus a shelf cami to make sure that they stay where they are supposed to.

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    Oh, it must be great to have the choice – I really support that. Just do what you want to.

    (I need to wear a bra cause my boos (my boobs, actually, what a silly typo) would go bang-erz on my knees and then, who knows. But I found out how to determine the right size some time ago, where to find soft, organic cotton everyday bras and how many hot lacy bras fit into my lingerie drawer (containing other lacy, holey, stringy … things)

  • L

    If I’m wearing black- no bra! And i almost always wear black. But if I’m in anything too light I feel self conscious. Plus I work at a law firm… so there’s that. But those lace cosabella sports bra thingies are as covered as I get.

  • Kristina

    Like the breasts all opinions are different, and as you stated it’s all about how comfortable you feel in the bra. I personally can’t stand one single minute without the bra because my breasts are too heavy so it starts to hurt me and I would give anything in the world to stop wearing it but in my case it’s not the choice it’s the necessity.

  • Amelia Diamond

    I’ve just recently become more comfortable going braless in non-fashion situations, like if I need to run to the supermarket or something. I think the power is, like you said, feeling that you have a choice, that you will not get burned at the stake as a woman if you leave the house without a bra, but also that you are not being anti-feminist if you do, in fact, wear them. I LOVE BRAS. they are so pretty. and so are boobs!

    • Leandra Medine

      Weirdo.

  • Hayley Mitchell-Gardner

    Im going to start going braless more, as i do believe we arent meant to wear them! And for people who are worried about getting cold, you can get nipple covers online! Im going to get some cute little flower shaped ones so i can go braless more :) I only really started wearing bras more when i was 13 as other girls made fun of me! :(

    Hayley xx
    http://www.addictionstoshopping.blogspot.com

  • http://www.beautifymylifeblog.com Jessica

    Sorry, Leandra. I think the suggestion that all women have the choice to not wear a bra is a bit silly. TECHNICALLY, yes, I could choose to let my 34DDs fly. But I can guarantee you that I’d spend my whole day being stared at — and not in a good way. And please don’t tell me that I shouldn’t care what other people think.

    Oh, and…boob sweat. ‘Nuff said.

    • JS

      Yes, yes, yes to all of that! Also, let’s not forget the pain! I guess I could *choose* to be in pain from the weight of my breasts flopping about and my very, very sensitive nipples chafing against my shirts, but…..I’d rather just wear bras all the time. I’ve tried to ‘toughen up’ my poor nipples by going several days or even weeks in a row without my usual nighttime protection of a soft, non-mushing yoga bra, but to no avail–I just end up miserable and raw. So, yeah, to bra or not to bra IS a choice, but for women like me, it’s not much of one. It’s like choosing between having a sharp rock in your shoe or not–still technically a choice, but why would you want to be in pain all the time?

    • muffin banana juice

      34 G’s I go braless all the time. It’s great! Though I have wear a sports bra if I plan doing major jumping or running for long periods of time since it’s only been a month. I have to say my bewbies are a bit perkier from not wearing those dreadful things.

  • Becca Barton

    I feel the same way about wearing bras as I do about shaving. No, there’s no medical or other reason to wear a bra or have your legs and armpits completely hairless all the time, buuuut, sometimes it just feels better to enter into public that way. Looking into it, though, I realize I’m only uncomfortable leaving the house because society’s set the standard that bras are necessary and that being hairless is socially acceptable and desirable, while remaining hairy or forgoing a bra are not. So then I feel uncomfortable succumbing to societal norms that I don’t agree with. Thus far I’ve compromised by shaving every month or so, and switching to bras without underwire. Baby steps, right?

    As a side note, did you ever see this study on bras? (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2307278/Women-better-bras-say-scientists-took-FIFTEEN-YEARS-inspect-womens-breasts.html)
    Apparently they’re actually bad for you. Now we have a medical reason NOT to wear them. And it was done by the French, who have a reputation for not shaving…coincidence?

  • Ludapris

    Some women wear them to bed. The horror.

    • liv

      This gave me a good laugh. The horror indeed!

    • JS

      I do, and I wrote about it just above. Sorry to horrify you with my desire not to awaken daily to throbbing nipples. :-/

  • Brie

    My sis just had a double mastecomy and the ladies in my family are trying to go the whole month not wearing bras to show her our “support”. Plus I really hate bras. They are the devil. And this is coming from a somehwat busty woman. I rarely wear bras and I am a d-cup. I have never understood why my other busty friends say they have to wear a bra. You don’t…just let em loose and set em free.

    • Leandra Medine

      My moms getting one real soon. I can’t wait to show her how great life can be sans bra.

      • Betsy

        Bless her heart !!! I hope she recovers quickly …. I wear Bra-lets by Hanky Panky closest thing to comfort of bra-less.

      • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

        Can you tell Laura kudos for me? As a girl with great history of breast cancer in her family (lost my g-ma to the shitty stuff), I have such respect for women who can take that leap. My grandma had to get a mastectomy on one side and she was a busty woman (opposite of, me and my mama). She was always making the most of situation, and one of her sentiments post-mastectomy was “God, I should just get the damned other one lopped off as well! This is so convenient not dealing with these things!”
        I miss her so much.
        But re: to bra or not to bra — I’m re-entering my Jane Birkin phase so I will have to go with sans bra.

      • Brie

        Oh good luck! I will be thinking of you and your mom. F cancer. And F bras.

  • pamb

    It must be nice to think that “we all have a choice” when it comes to wearing a bra. My DDDs would heartily disagree with you. Not only is going without a bra not a choice for me, saying that “so what if it doesn’t look ‘beautiful’, you do you” is unrealistic as well as unprofessional and uncomfortable. Can you picture a DDD lawyer appearing in court braless? Or a DDD teacher? Running to catch a bus is now out of the question, and the cat calling from men would be out of control.

    A more realistic approach would have been to say “I realize that I’m lucky enough to have this option” and not pretend that everyone has the same choice.

    • Leandra Medine

      Sorry to have offended you–my point was simply to hone in on the ability we have to choose what we personally, respectively and unilaterally believe is beautiful and go with it – my vessel in this case was bra wearing vs. not but I would hope the larger message transcends the boundaries of the story.

      • JS

        I’m not sure it does. Reading the article, and many of the comments posted, have left me feeling judged for needing to wear bras for what I feel are really valid reasons. Like I posted above, it may be a choice, but for me it’s not a very good or realistic one.

      • Helena

        Which size do u have in this amazing t shirt?

    • freetitis

      ‘unprofessional’ is quite relative

    • Banna manna lanna

      Lady I have G cups so…anyways try camisoles they are life saving if that is how you feel about going braless. Also if you’re worried about nips showing wear pasties.

  • inle

    At 12, I was giving Jessica Simpson a run for her DD-fueled money. By 15, I was packed into E-cups. Overweight? Nope. Hours of chest exercises somehow managed to hold them firm but going braless was an impossibility. College, 30lbs of weight gain, and G-cups later, I practically live every hour of my life in bras. The day I discovered cute bras in my cup size was the day the heavens opened and rained kisses upon my nipples and poor, beige-glad Galapagos tortoises. I am fairly sure the world would shatter if I quit wearing bras. Unfortunate, because bra-less is so chic and natural. The other day I was free-boobing in a racerback. I would shift to one side and a boob would fall out. Flip to the other and the other would. When I lie on my stomach I’m fairly sure there’s a five inch gap between me and whatever I’m lying on. I envy the braless.

    • jasmine

      H-cups here, please share where you found these cute and heaven opening bras?

      • inle

        The brand is Panache. You can get ‘em at barenecessities.com, among other places.

  • Brie

    while you may be able to wear a white tee sans bra at “work”, if i wore a white tee with no bra not only would i feel extremely uncomfortable i would be extremely unprofessional. i can only hope to one day have a job where i can wear my white tees without a bra in peace.
    on the other hand, or breast, as long as i don’t have torpedo boob i’ll go braless, if i’m not working. beware of torpedo boob.

  • Aly

    While I chant “Amen, sista” in support of one’s freedom of choice in wearing/forgoing bras, I find the last paragraph of this article to be fairly starry-eyed and unrealistic. For many women, myself included, transitioning from bra to bra-less is not simply “a matter of growing to love and appreciate the vision you will project and affirmatively declare ownership over it,” but often a practical choice to forgo back pain, discomfort, ill-fitting clothing, prematurely saggy breasts and blatant judgement from a society which scorns big-boobed women (in addition, of course, to anyone who doesn’t fit that seemingly ideal C cup) for ‘flaunting’ their bodies simply by possessing them in their natural form. It’s a complex problem because, while I automatically shun the idea of forcing women to conform to society’s unfeasible expectations, I also fully embrace an item of clothing which, though historically connected to the oppression of the female body, now offers me freedom of movement, comfort and confidence. I think we’re at a time when the bra has the potential to no longer be maligned. The frustration and discomfort our mothers dealt with in choosing between three standard cup sizes and next to no choice has now been replaced by a myriad of options. Damn, it simply takes watching an episode of that ludicrously entertaining show ‘Double Divas’ to see the empowering potential of a well-fitting bra.

    Again, I support the theory of choice more than the most durable of bustiers, but to claim that big chested women just need to be brave in order to burn their bras seems to disregard larger issues in regard to underwire.

    • CameronByars

      Wonderful comment. As a DDD gal I found this article so bizarre and other worldly, as this “choice” has never been an option for me. I cherish my bras and won’t even go outside of my apartment sans bra.

  • AAB

    I absolutely love going braless, or if anything, those cute little training bras that basically serve no purpose besides being a random triangle of fabric over each of my breasts. Is anyone else terribly embarrassed when they are nipping out though? I feel like it is as if two headlights are just staring everyone in the face….

  • Lilli

    I used to be afraid to go braless becuase i was afraid i could get a slight case of fripples, But my friend told me to embrace them because everyone has them …so see you later all bras that have under wire and hello to free boobing or bralettes!

  • http://www.abstractorganza.blogspot.com/ Idalia

    I feel like bras are symbolic for trapping our individuality & creativity. Kind of how females used to wear corsets & all those crazy contraptions back in the day. And unfortunately I was born with rather big tatas, forcing me to wear a bra on multiple occasions. I honestly envy females with a smaller chest because I would love to be free & not wear a bra. Its such a hassle and I’m so over having “big breasts” as glamorized in Hollywood. I hate bras. I wish we could all just throw em in a huge pit of fire so that no woman could ever wear bras again. Hmph

    cheers,
    Idalia
    http://www.abstractorganza.blogspot.com

  • Laura Stanley-Bratley

    If I had smaller ones I would go bra-less everyday! I hate the sight of straps when you’re wearing vests and the bumps from a lace bra look awful..

    x

    http://velvetmojitos.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Her

    great discussion. every time breast awareness comes up it’s uncomfortable if you don’t have a lot going on up there. i suppose we all have to make peace with our breasts and how they do or do not define us as women. small or large–does that make us more or less? i would like to think no (as I am one of the smaller ones) but it’s hard. society does equate breasts with womanhood.

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    I only wear a bra when I absolutely have to wear one.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • http://b-tg.tumblr.com/ Colleen Garrity

    I’m a huge fan of JUST underwire bras, sans cups. Just enough to keep the ladies in place when I’m running to try and catch the bus, but so little that it barely really feels like a bra at all. And who doesn’t like a little high fashion nipple every so often? ;)

  • http://longleggedlady.com/ Jessi de Bergerac

    I love going sans bra. I think it’s elegant, especially under oversized/masculine tops. And as an A-cup girl, I feel like most bras create more problems for me than they solve anyway.
    But I do wear a proper bra when visiting family. My poor dad has been through enough raising me, I’ll spare him the awkwardness of facing my nipples at the dinner table.

  • http://www.asequinloveaffair.com/ Shira

    Ha I feel way more comfortable wearing a bra lol. I like them….to be higher up lol.

  • Jennine

    I love the idea of going bra-less, but alas my chestage does not allow for it. Especially this year, being pregnant and nursing, my boobs went right up to a G cup. Makes it easy for nursing without getting out of bed, but hard for controlling in situations like.. uh, walking. Now I’ve learned the art of strapping the girls in tight while still having easy access to them. Wish that kind of skill can go on my resume! ;)

  • CHL♡E SARGEANT

    The only time I wear a bra is when I wear lingerie. What’s the point underneath clothes? They hurt and make your entire day uncomfortable! I haven’t in years. I feel way more comfortable with a nip showing through my tee, too. I’m in love with this post Leandra!

    http://swimwiththecurrent.com

  • olivia

    being part of the ibtc, bras are always optional as they don’t really make a difference for me

    http://parolf.blogspot.ca/

  • Chloe

    Hell, as long as a bra doesn’t involve a wire (I mean, really, who thought that was going to be comfortable? Clothing with a _wire_?!!), it’s just as comfy as a tee. Otherwise… burn that schtuff.

  • Rebekah May

    these are the best gifs i have ever laid my eyes on PERFECTO

  • Harper Elaine

    I’d love to go bra-less all the time, but my tatas are slightly too big for that. I can get away with it sometimes, but mostly I wear it to not offend other people… but then that makes me feel like a terrible feminist… but then at the same time, I sort of don’t want that kind of attention anyway… It’s difficult. I’m the kind of woman who hates when my breasts get slightly larger before menstruation, and any boobylicious shirt makes me we want to throw on an XL sweater.

  • Perry

    If you are not wearing a bra, I am not wearing underwear.

  • fabioladorange

    The girls locker room. I was the queen of boobs and all my bra-less flat chested peers were my subjects. Being the first girl in my class to have a bra was an honor (I totally should’ve gotten a spot in the yearbook for that). But as time went on and the rest of my classmates caught up to me in the puberty department, I started recognizing boobs and bras for what they are: annoying. Also, bras are really fucking expensive. I DIDN’T ASK FOR THIS.

    I’m not really sure if its the big boobs, the super supportive bra or the combination of the two, but there’s something really uncomfortable about not wearing a bra. Maybe because its a habit or maybe because I’ve worn a bra for so long what my body can’t support the weight of boobs. (IDK) Some of my friends go braless all the time and speak of the joy and freedom it brings them. As much as I wish I could go braless. I can’t. Not because I’m afraid of being judged but because walking, walking downstairs and moving in general would be hell without the support of a bra. Confidence also plays a large role. I have enough confidence to go braless (wearing certain pieces but definitely not a white tee) but I know many busty girls who don’t have that confidence. Probably because society has conditioned us to believe that a female body is to be covered up.

    I think that the choice to wear (or not wear) a bra comes down to two things: comfort and confidence So going braless may work for some and may not work for others. Personally, I think I’ll stick with a bra and look forward to the awesome feeling I get when taking my bra off after a long day.

    Also note: I just realized that bra is a really ugly word.

    Fabiola D.

    http://www.anewclassic.com/2013/10/to-bra-or-not-to-bra-response-to-man.html

  • bloomaglow

    I can’t go out w/o a bra, I feel very uncomfortable otherwise. But i do hate them. No matter how pretty. The more lace, the more uncomfortable. If people come over, the first thing I do is rush to the room to grab a bra. As soon as I come through the door, it goes off. Go figure most of the time I go wireless lol

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    I can’t stand wearing a bra , even the cotton lined comfy ones are uncomfortable to me, so around the house I never wear one.However, I force myself to wear one in public, because I do think obvious nip show in daytime is rude and sleazo looking. I wish someone would make a wonderful silk, loose fitting, kinda sorta bralette, almost like the top of a cami – but no elastic and nothing to make it grip to you, with enough light padding to give a smooth silhouette.

  • s

    taking off my bra at night makes me want to blast the song freedom. I just can’t muster up the courage to be free all day though! I love the shirt btw!

    don’t forget touch your boobies for breast cancer awareness month (and every other month)!
    xx

    http://spoonfulofdiamonds.com
    http://www.facebook.com/SpoonfulOfDiamonds

  • Dee

    [Just because I feel the need to add a title to everything these days] Title: But What I Really Want To Know Is What Is Victoria’s Secret

    I like wearing a bra. I might be in the minority but I genuinely enjoy wearing a bra and I’m not afraid to admit it (says the girl who is typing this from behind a laptop screen). Maybe this is because, I feel robbed that I didn’t get to wear a real bra until I was in high school or maybe this is because I have small boobs and wearing a bra makes them appear bigger than they are but the fact of the matter is that I like bras dammit!

    For me, the sight of a bra peeking out of my blouse or t-shirt has always been a sort of symbol of an in-side joke or secret shared by all those who wear it. It’s like saying, “hey look I’m wearing this one today!” or “yo girl, my boobs look this fantastic because of this black bra from Victoria Secret”. Just the way we, women, will gloat and brag about the fact that we got these really cute Celine loafers on net-a-porter for super cheap, why can’t we be proud of the fact that we are wearing a bra?

    I don’t understand why women feel embarrassed when their bra does show through or peak out of whatever article of clothing they are wearing…and believe me, I’ve tried to understand. What are you so ashamed of? The fact that you’re wearing an article of clothing? or the fact that, that particular article of clothing covers your breasts? or the fact that you have breasts? Not that I’m advocating going out of your way to make sure your bra is showing, but as the saying goes, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”.

    At the same time, I do agree with you Leandra that the choice is in each individual woman’s hands and I applaud you (among many other things) for choosing to do something because you want to.

    PS – I. Must. Get. That. Trench. Coat.

  • http://www.momeditorial.com/ DatME

    I say to bra. I don’t care for bras that have padding for small breasted gals. It just looks pointless. The bra just sitting on the bones, empty. No, no, that’s not pretty. A dainty bralette is the answer. A pretty and refined bralette is sexier than going braless and it will diminish the embarrassing situation of nipples pointing at people.

  • Jen

    I am obsessed with this Diesel t-shirt. And no one can wear it better than the Man Repeller herself. I say To Bra. Check out my fashion blog at http://www.theboonreport for great reads on fashion! :)

  • RochelleFox

    You are the most hilarious and witty writer. Never stop being you x

    ♥ ♥ ♥ A FOX THAT MEOWS

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

    I like having nice lingerie, and I always get good quality (meaning a little expensive, but hey, I’m French, going to a lingerie shop in France is like going to the Museum of lace). But the point of wearing a bra for me is not about being sexy, it’s about support! I had very small breasts when I was younger, and I’ve always worn a bra (I even wear a night bra), and I’m glad I did it, because at 41, after breastfeeding twin girls and gaining 2 cups, my breast still look good. I just don’t want to end with two dried hanging figs/bananas when I’m older…

    Mafalda ❤
    http://www.mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • Tina Ong

    Great piece! I would personally prefer not to wear a bra, and wouldn’t when I don’t need to ie. travelling to a safe city, layering or wearing thick fabric. But on many occasions i know i have to. I live in the Philippines where crime rates fly through the roof. Groups of men stare and verbally or physically harass women on a regular basis like it’s normal. So a bra is necessary so as not to attract nipple attention. Of course I’ve done myself the favour of picking up bras with no extra padding or push ups or under wires. Also, I think women with big boobs need the support! Can’t imagine my mother or better-endowed sisters and friends walking around without bras on.

    Want your tee though, and would def wear it when I know i’m not walking outside too much x

    http://www.religionblack.blogspot.com

  • The Fashion Panda
  • Highland Fashionista

    This is generally not a question those of us who are C cups or larger ask ourselves. The question is which bra, not should I wear one. Something like running down a flight of stairs with my (not huge but big enough) 36 Cs untethered feels like I am just hastening their gravitational pull in a downward direction. Like I have an armload of jello moulds that is getting away from me…..nah.

  • seriously?

    I’m sorry, but this is one of the silliest posts I’ve ever read. So PREDICTABLY non-conformist. Perhaps you should give up shoes too…

  • Elisa Taviti

    Great, my dear!! ;)

    With love,
    Elisa
    My Fantabulous World

  • Lorna E

    I really liked this article, as with very other you put up. But agree that it must be done on an individual basis. I hate the confines of a bra (and the delay it causes during “alone time” with my boyfriend) so never wear one in my flat. But know that if I ventured out without I’d be crying for one in moments. My boobs are not so petite that they will sit nice and not cause an asthma attack or black eye if I walk any faster than a snail! E cup boobs do not behave unless correctly secured. But thank you for making the topic of conversation for my flat mates and myself tonight our boob freedom, it is one we regularly return to!

  • hmmmm

    Sorry but as a formerly large chested woman I have to interject ( breast reduction) you have no idea what you are talking about regarding the “choice” D cup + women have to go braless or not. It simply isn’t a luxury they have, large breasts that are so pendulous and heavy can cause rashes, serious back pain that is only enhanced with no support (like leeefuckinggit back pain,my spine was starting to warp and I was a DDD) and pretty much nothing looks good with sagging granny boobs. That sheer dainty blouse, on my old braless honkers would’ve been more like why is all that gorgeous fabric wrapped around cow udders?…that’s real MR right there. I understand that we should all love ourselves as we are, but let’s be honest if we all did that we wouldn’t read this blog or obsess over Chanel Rouge, which I believe there is nothing wrong with let’s just keep ourselves honest.

    However, now that I’m a comfortable C i go braless all the time and it’s liberating and there is something so feminine and sexy about it so I totally get it…now :) Enjoy!

    • Claire

      Your blurb just made my day. Thank you!

  • http://Naomipicks.blogspot.com/ naomi martin

    Anything C cup and larger really just can’t get away with it – it is a matter of logistics and esign. Also the unwanted attention even with a bra is enough i dare not go out with any shade of a nipple. Honestly, I dare not imagine walking around London braless – it’s not even a matter of “regaining” control or empowerment. It just wouldn’t be worth the hassle. It would be nice to not wear a bra but otherwise not only will boobs droop in a matter of days but it would just get sore. Perhaps a non metal bra is your answer?

  • Shawnee Rajala

    ACK-I love this. I’ve always loved Erin Wasson because of this and sometimes I find I like the look better.. I’ve stopped wearing push-up ones because I hate the fakeness and the way they ruin the slouchy tee look. Not sure if I’ll totally give them up anytime soon but….who knows. it’s sweater weather.

  • http://www.mylifeinthecurvylane.com The Curvy Girl

    I wish I could skip a bra…but as a 38DDD, there is no way!

  • Haley Rosnthal

    this is extremely relevant! More and more I find myself not wanting to wear a bra, and the feeling when I don’t is should I say…liberating? (I guess). It feels so great not to wear one but the whole nipple thing can be a problem for me.

  • lawgal

    I couldn’t agree more about the complete discomfort of binding my breasts with straps and wires. I recently traveled to Southeast Asia where I was happily bra free most of my days. Upon returning to the states I felt a distinct pressure (internal or external, I’m not sure) to apply the requisite breast bondage and foray back into society. However, one problem arose – I couldn’t go back. The freedom was too good, too satisfying, too comfortable. Unfortunately my job (a lawyer) doesn’t enable me to allow a nip slip or a provocative peek. Further, I actually do think at 27 that my once perky B/Cs are becoming a little less peppy. I beg science to find the proof in bra-less bliss so I can claim I am foregoing these pesky undergarments for perkiness reasons. Until then, I suppose I will go braless whenever possible and fully bound in the workplace. Perhaps a metaphor for my life is in there somewhere.

  • Jennifer

    Eh, I am abrely an A so if my top is thick and loose enough, I don’t bra!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • Lisa

    I ditched the bras during my senior year in highschool, now my friends have begun to try it seeing the freedom I have and the acceptance I have with my size c/d breasts. If it’s a little colder I may have a lace bandeau but really the winter time will call for nipple covering layers and if my nips do show just consider it my special gift to you.

  • mal

    Hi Leandra, Im Malcolm – which is an alias, because im too pussy to admit that…I LOVE YOUR BLOG – and your fashion. You have a great sense of describing fashion events.

    Best,
    MAL

  • Adrianna Grężak

    The problem is that American bra companies do not even include 90% of sizes – very few women actually fall in the 32AA-38DD range. My life completely changed when I discovered my true size – 30H. It’s not supposed to feel like you’re wearing a bra if the bra fits you properly/perfectly. Also, I hardly have a choice in the “bra or not to bra” debate – large breasts are heavy. I don’t even care how it looks – it is incredibly uncomfortable not to wear a bra.

    • NinjaCate

      Agree, except on the last part. 38HH and I HATE bras. They’re restricting. Underwire cuts. But a good fitting bra is like manna from heaven, I will give you that. The first time I got properly fitted was like a REVELATION. A good bra really can change your life.

  • Alicia Jameson Gotye

    I would love to go bra-less… but seeing that I get an angsty slash threatening email from the she devil tyrant who runs HR if a single hair wanders it’s way out of my tightly kept bun before 5′o’clock…. I’d better not. I should also look for another job come to think of it =]

  • Gabi

    I haven’t worn a bra in about 4 months! I wear the occasional bandeau to spare young children from seeing my nipples at work, but I give such consideration to no one else. Fuck that shit. Free the nippies!!!!

  • liv

    I’m a 36D/34 DD (depending on make and model) and I only wear a bra when I exercise. Hate the feeling of bras, and I love to be free. But, I agree, it is an individual choice.

  • Bex

    Girl, I love you, but aren’t high heels more uncomfortable than a well-fitted bra??

  • NinjaCate

    I wish I could go braless, but I’m a 38HH and do so would be considered obscene in a public space. I don’t wear them at home though. That’s my rule.

  • Alex

    I have to say, the reason why I can’t not wear a bra is simply pain. I don’t know if any other big chested ladies have this problem, but have you ever tried to move without a bra in anyway that is not slow and even? Because once a bra-less me starts running/jumping/ moving quickly/on uneven terrain the boobs move! Up and down, side to side stretching and pulling at my skin an it hurts! Moving breasts hurt! So unless I’m going to be moving absolutely minimally (including not bending down) I have to secure my breast in a bra or face at last minor pain.

  • zo

    FINALLY SOMEONE WHO SHARES MY OPINION! Haha, I’ve been debating or not whether I should continue to wear a bra when it makes me feel oh-so-uncomfortable. Thank you Leandra for continuing to justify why you are my hero. #longlivemanrepeller

  • Sara

    I have A sided breasts and a lot of time can get away with not wearing a bra. I almost never do with sweaters in the winter. I do wear one almost always to work. I teach elementary school, and it just feels wrong to have 8 year old’s see my nipples.
    I am 100% more comfortable hanging free! Though, lately I’ve had a couple tees cause me wicked chafing – I’ll have to remember to wear one with those!

  • Nic M.

    Speaking of cancer, you might want to do a search on “breast cancer and bras” and see what you come up with. There is lots of belief that bra wearing increases our risk for developing cancer. I’m a believer so I wear bras rarely, mostly just on Tuesdays and Fridays, and alternate Sundays.

    As for me, I’m small and often choose to go braless but hey DD Ladies, even we small women run the risk of getting stared at too. Mine bounce, my nipples stand-out, and well, just saying. :)

  • Rack ‘em up 28H

    I have somewhat large breasts, and while it really is a choice to wear a bra, I can’t imagine not wearing one. Besides aesthetics, I cannot stand the feel of my own breasts resting against me (they aren’t so perky after pregnancy). When they rest there they inevitably get sweaty which is gross, smelly, and rather uncomfortable. I don’t like the feel of them ‘moving about’ either. When I go up and down the stairs sans bra I have to hold them to my chest, not to mention moving faster than a walking pace! Plus it’s easier to button up a shirt when they’re held up and supported. Then my posture! Maybe it’s psychological but my posture really does improve tenfold when my boobs aren’t ‘weighing me down’. I miss my smaller boobs I could cover with a bralette and call it a day. I miss not having to wear a bra almost 24/7 for my own personal comfort.

    Well besides my rant about big boobs, I really liked this article. I’m not so sure why nipples and breasts are so sexualized as they really have nothing to do with sex… they’re meant for feeding babies. It shouldn’t be such a big deal for women to not wear a bra. I’m glad you have the confidence to flex your freedom.

  • WhyAreYouTorturingMEH

    UGH. Where can I get that tshirt?! It’s not even available in the US or Canada, wth???

    • NVM

      Ok, hyperventilation aside, I found it. LOL. Carry on.

  • neijames

    Find out how you can make 50 bucks a day at your home!! simply enter the url surveymoneymaker dot net

  • Middle-Aged Jewish Guy

    I’d say you’re doing a pretty good job of being attractive, Ms. Man Repeller. If you like going braless, then more power to you. As an admirer of women’s bodies, I applaud you. It’s your life and your body, but the more things you do that feel right to you seem to me to make you more sexy and less of a Man Repeller. There is nothing more appealing to a real man than a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, who knows what she likes and doesn’t like, and lives her life on her own terms.

  • kate

    A freakin MEN sister! Seriously bras suck. They are restrictive, confining, and uncomfortable. I love beautiful lingerie, but lingerie is made to make women feel beautiful…and also to come off. Bras should be used for seduction not the every day.

  • guest

    Braless is fine, if you can. I’m a 30E. Running or just moving around without support is uncomfortable. Also, I’m a manager with (straight) male employees; I don’t need to provide that kind of distraction.

  • JB

    32DD here and I have worn a bra about half-a-dozen times over the last year. I have had to adjust to the look of a different silhouette and have had to let some of my tops go, but I am never looking back. I do yoga and go jogging in a double layer of fitted camis, and I have no soreness. Once my boobs adjusted to being down, they stopped being sensitive, and the relief in shoulder and back pain is remarkable.

  • LadyKnight

    I stopped wearing bras a few years ago, after realizing that I was only wearing them so that my nipples were hidden. But, I realized that there is nothing “slutty” about fully clothed nipples, and that no one stares at my chest any more braless than they did when I wore bras. The idea that nipping out is some kind of irresistible thing to men is a myth in my experience. The only people who have ever commented/stared were women aghast that I had left the house in such a state of dishabille.

  • Jennifer Urato

    Ew, everyone dosnt want to see your little tits poking out, it’s gross and disrespectful of others to get off on flashing ppl! Not everyone can go braless and some just don’t want saggy boobs…

    • Allison Wellnitz

      She gets off on FREEDOM, to live outside of the norms that people like you try to force on her. Not on flashing. And the point is that not everyone has to do either way, but sorry that your gender construct is so easily shattered. I will say: saggy boobs are caused because your boob muscles flop. You don’t have to have boobs up to your chin to be beautiful. Boobs are beautiful, you are beautiful, and In any way you choose to live your life!!! Just don’t f**king hate on other people’s life choices, sister! Rude.

      • Jennifer

        Lol, my ” gender construct is so easily shattered”

        • Allison Wellnitz

          pft really? That’s all you have to say and you upvoted your own comment? Sad. Saggy boobs are because bras atrophy your muscles, along with the effects of aging. Going braless actually keeps them perkier. I feel like men and women should both be allowed to go topless in certain situations, and it’s only the sad american ideals that try to push the female form down! Women all around the globe display their breasts without a second thought. When we as a society decide that boobs are somehow pornographic, and promote our laws against prostitution and other “immoral” acts, we promote rape culture and the oppression of women. To which you say “lol” without your comment having a single reason why your gender construct isn’t easily shattered.

          • Jenn Urato

            Sorry to burst your bubble but welcome to sexamerica!!! Boobs are sexualized weather you like it or not! There for no I’m
            NOt for topless people! Regardless of sex! And I’ve also herd from educated DRS. That’s saggy breast are from hanging out with no support!!! Just look at all the “perky” breast in other countries!

          • Jenn Urato

            Also try not to be so sensitive about my comment and my opinion! Don’t like it move along! ;)

          • Allison Wellnitz

            I’m fine with you having an opinion, but you called someone gross and disrespectful for their lifestyle. If YOU didn’t like it, why didn’t you move on? *insert snarky winking face*

          • Jenn Urato

            Lol you sound like slow! Haha I don’t care! I said it’s gross and disrespectful! Which goes back to my point again, MY OPINION! Lol get over your self, your wasting your time.

          • Allison Wellnitz

            Oh god, I’m sorry. I literally can’t stop laughing. Look, your opinion your problem. But when you turn around and attack someone for theirs and tell me to keep mine to myself, you’re just being a huge hypocritical bitch. And with every exclamation point and “lol” “hahaha” I’m just picturing this twelve year old sexually repressed girl trying to sound like she’s hot oppressive shit and its hilarious as hell.

          • Jenn Urato

            Lol! You either must be really bored, or really obsessed with me :)

  • Sopa

    Okay fo realz though, what’s the point of wearing clothes if your boobs are showing anyway? Like I get that going braless can be more comfortable but seriously, why even bother wearing the shirt if it’s going to show your boobs? And men can’t help that they’re attracted to boobs. It doesn’t matter what they’e made for, they’re just attracted to them, that’s how it is. I fell like being modest upholds the mystery of women. Like, if guys can get all of you just out of a first impression then what else do they need? They can’t help being more visual, it’s just how they are by nature. I mean, some of it is from society I guess, but you can’t forget to examine the nature of all of us as humans too.

    • Allison Wellnitz

      A huge part of it is from society! And yes. Human nature. The caveman liked to touch the cavewoman’s boobs. But the caveman didn’t invent the internet. We have risen and progressed as a society, and I don’t understand why I can’t walk around shirtless like men do. We’ve discovered the cure for diseases, but not this weird ingrained sexism? The point of this article is that women like you and women like me can both be comfortable in a world that meets our varying standards of what is and isn’t mystifying. tbh once someone’s had sex what mystery is there?? oh no he saw those two dots poking through, he’s totally known every inch of you intimately there is no mystery at all oh nooeeee its not like he’ll have to know you as a human being no there always has to be some end goal or piece taht’s always mystifying. jesus women

  • http://pennygrace.blogspot.com Penny Grace

    It’s nice that you don’t feel like you “need” wear a bra but you are acutely aware that the choice to wear one or not is completely up to you.

    I do not wear a bra on a regular basis. I have not worn one to work in over a year. At first my C cups felt strange and abnormally bouncy and sore without a bra, but after a few days the discomfort subsided. It feels good not wear a bra, and it feels good being free from restriction.

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