Seven truths you know when you never wear a bra
Cards on the table: I have convenient boobs. Whether I’m wearing a bikini or a dress/glorified blanket, my chest is just kind of there, a non-commanding physical feature. Though this gave me a lot of grief in the past (specifically, as I blindly fumbled through the choppy waters of puberty), nowadays I’m pretty comfortable with my breasts. One side effect of this is that I almost never wear bras anymore.
All of this is predicated on the fact that I can get away (within the confines of our “non-sexualized-breast”-phobic society) with letting the gals swing free — people with larger breasts, or with different, more formal wardrobe requirements, don’t necessarily have that option. But for those of us who wake up, pull on your clothes, and call it a day, the following statements will sound verrry familiar:
You’re way more comfortable.
The biggest reason I stopped wearing bras is because they’re damn uncomfortable. I do know my “correct” bra size, but I get light-headed pretty easily normally and wearing a fabric strap right across my lungs doesn’t help that. Maybe it’s a matter of finding the right cut; maybe it’s a matter of finding the right fabric; maybe it’s a matter of going wire-less; maybe it’s a thousand other things, or maybe nothing can trump the aforementioned fabric-strap-across-chest thing.
You’re paranoid about people seeing your nipples, but also kind of cool with it?
White shirts and cold days do give me pause, but ultimately, if other people are uncomfortable seeing evidence that I’m a nipple-having human, doesn’t that say more about them than it does me? (Right?!) It’s not as though the presence of bras makes jerks chill (pun-intended) about non-cis-male breasts anyway (anyone who’s had their bra strap snapped, solidarity).
When you do “have” to wear a bra, it’s a Big Deal.
I’ve made not wearing a bra a part of my lifestyle, so on the off chances that I actually do care about concealing/supporting my boobs, they’re momentous occasions. Just being at a “formal” function or hanging out with parents doesn’t necessarily mean that I “need” to strap on a bra; rather, if it’d be obvious that my boobs are out (most of the times, it’s only if I’m wearing a translucent top), then okay, I’ll grab a bra — but I’ll probably complain about it under my breath the entire time.
People have told you, “I can’t believe you don’t wear a bra!”
I usually don’t go around announcing the fact that I’m braless (notably, except for this article), because 1) that’d be really weird and 2) it’s not as though it’s an ideological choice; I just don’t like them. But if/when people in real life notice or find out about my braless status, they tend to react with some iteration of thinly-veiled surprise/disgust/awe. Mainly: “I can’t believe you don’t wear a bra!”
Yeah, and I can’t believe Donald Trump is seriously running for president, but the world is wild and full of surprises. Rather, bras are something I can generally do without; going braless is about as brave/risqué as going out without any makeup on — aka pretty normal in this day and age.
You don’t spend hours (or really any time) bra shopping.
Over the past five years, I’ve bought one new bra, and only because it was featured in Beyoncé’s “Rocket” video. In fact, ever since I donated a bunch of bras I’d bought during my freshman year of high school (RIP, you eye-searing Xhilaration creations), I own only four bras that barely get any use, including the Yoncé one.
Now, most people aren’t regularly buying bras (even though you’re “supposed to”), but when you’re literally not spending any time or money bra shopping, you will naturally save more of both. (Especially once you factor in the time you’re supposed to spend just trying on bras.) Sure, new innovations in the undergarments world, like bra-sizing apps, are pretty cool. Even cooler: Not spending money on bras.
But, you still get lost in pretty lingerie spirals.
You know that feeling when you’re on Etsy looking for a cute birthday gift for your BFF and all of a sudden you’re looking at gorgeous custom furniture that definitely wouldn’t fit in your tiny apartment but maaaybe you could make it work? That’s me with bras. (And to be honest, just about every type of lingerie.) I treat them the way I treat really intricate pastries or beautiful hardcover coffee table books or Rihanna’s street style looks — they’re amazing eye candy, but I don’t really neeeeed them in my life. (Okay, except for Rihanna’s outfits.)
You sometimes forget that not everybody has the same relationship with their breasts as you do.
It’s easy to reflect on my braless-ness somewhat cavalierly now; I routinely walk around my apartment wearing nothing but a giant tank top as a house dress, giving my roommates a healthy dose of side-boob. But of course, it took a lot of time, work, and second-guessing to get there. There are still times when I’ll look at my outfit of choice and think, “Maybe I should put a bra on, just to avoid any comments I might get.” Then at a certain point, I decided I didn’t want to care and slowly just… stopped.
This is a decision I own, and also something I understand that I’m lucky to be able to make; both to forego a bra entirely and also to overcome internal and external pressures to (quite literally) rein myself in. For those of you for whom braless-ness is a fixture, rather than a rarity, in your life: Cheers, mate. For everyone else: No sweat; except, for everyone, boob sweat.