By: Katie Lemon
Going braless: it’s easy, it’s breezy, and during quarantine, it seems like the obvious choice. But is going braless really all it’s cracked up to be? The answer lies in a variety of factors, and it’ll really depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences.
5 REASONS FOR GOING BRALESS
1. GOING BRALESS CAN IMPROVE CIRCULATION.
The tighter your bra is, the more it’s blocking healthy blood flow from reaching all areas of your breasts, back, and chest. If you wear a bra all day every day, there’s a chance your body isn’t circulating blood as effectively as it would if you weren’t wearing a bra.
By going braless you can let your body breathe and your blood circulate more easily, which is one reason why it feels oh-so-good to take off your bra at the end of a long day.
2. GOING BRALESS COULD CONTRIBUTE TO PERKIER BREASTS OVER TIME.
There’s a pretty common myth that going braless will cause your boobs to stretch and sag, when actually the opposite might be true! A French sports scientist conducted a 15-year study and found that women who went braless “had nipples on average seven millimeters higher in relation to their shoulders each year than regular bra users” according to Medical News Today.
While it was a relatively small study, the data is promising. Plus, even if going braless doesn’t create perfectly perky boobs, there’s something to be said for letting your body live and move naturally, and that this would contribute to stronger breast tissue over time. Hooray for the human body!
3. GOING BRALESS CAN HELP RELIEVE SKIN IRRITATION.
Red lines, itchy patches, too-tight straps and bands, you name it: bras can cause some serious bodily discomfort, especially if they don’t fit you right. Going braless is a great way to give your body a well-deserved break and let your skin heal and breathe.
This is especially true for women with large breasts, who are more likely to suffer from under-boob sweat and trapped moisture in thickly padded bras. If you struggle with bra-related skin irritation, going braless could be the right move to relieve the pain.
4. GOING BRALESS CAN FEEL EMPOWERING AND FUN.
With the rise of the #FreeTheNipple movement, many women have come to relish the concept of going braless as an act of empowerment. Ditching your bra can feel really freeing and even radical in some ways.
If you want to embrace your natural size and shape and you feel comfortable doing so, going braless can be a great way to celebrate your body exactly the way it is and maybe even encourage other women to do the same. If you’re feeling inspired, definitely check out the #FreeTheNipple campaign and corresponding documentary!
5. GOING BRALESS CAN BE OH-SO-COMFORTABLE.
The most common reason women go braless is for comfort. Both you and I know that all-too-familiar feeling of taking your bra off at the end of a long day; it’s practically heaven. Going braless is one of the fastest ways to feel way more cozy and comfortable, so I don’t blame you if this is your number one argument against wearing bras.
That being said, I’ve got some news for you: while all of the above reasons for going braless are totally valid, there are more than a few reasons why you might want to reconsider and throw on a bra.
7 REASONS YOU SHOULD NOT GO BRALESS
1. GOING BRALESS CAN WREAK HAVOC ON YOUR POSTURE.
Without proper support, bra-free breasts can impact your overall posture. The right bra helps to keep your spine and muscular structure in a better position for good posture. Not only does good posture project confidence, it’s also super important to your overall back health.
Here are some potential side effects if you routinely have bad posture from unsupported breasts:
- Worsened lung function, which can deprive your body of the oxygen it needs.
- Misaligned spine, which can cause pain and muscle spasms.
- Poor digestion, which can affect your metabolism and vitamin absorbency.
2. GOING BRALESS MEANS ONE LESS LAYER OF PROTECTION.
Going braless can feel freeing, but more often than not you and I would rather feel supported than anything else. By opting to wear a bra, you’re keeping your breasts safe and protected from all sorts of potential mishaps.
A bra will keep you warm in cold weather and prevent nipple chafing in sweaty weather. Without a bra, you’ve only got one layer between the sensitive skin of your breasts and the outside world. Stay comfortable and know you’re protected by wearing a bra instead of going braless.
3. GOING BRALESS LIMITS WHAT OUTFITS YOU CAN WEAR.
If you say goodbye to bras, you may as well say goodbye to even remotely sheer tops, low cut tanks, and possibly even your beloved button downs. That’s right, because without a bra you’re that much more likely to accidentally expose yourself in many of the outfit options you take for granted on the daily.
By wearing a bra, you can enjoy a wider range of clothing options. Bras make it possible to wear light-colored clothes without worrying about your nipples showing through, or wearing a buttoned shirt knowing that no one will get an eyeful through a gap in the buttons. Talk about peace of mind!
4. GOODBYE BRA? GOODBYE SUPPORT.
Whether you’ve got tiny boobs or large breasts, we all need the help and support of a good bra—without one, our breasts are bound to move around much more, which can cause pain, discomfort, and even keep us from doing the activities we love.
Did you know that just when you’re walking at a moderate pace, your breasts move on average 3-4 centimeters? Now imagine going braless while on a run or while cleaning up around the house. All that movement is going to cause stress for your body without the support of a good bra.
5. GOING BRALESS CAN CAUSE BACK PAIN.
Without a good bra, you’re more likely to encounter back pain, especially if you have large breasts. The average American woman has breasts that weigh 6 pounds in total—that’s twice the weight of your brain!
Breasts are essentially pockets of fat and tissue, so if you go braless you’re bound to encounter eventual back, shoulder, and/or neck pain over time. Save yourself the discomfort by finding a bra that supports all that extra weight so you can avoid chronic pain in the future
6. GOING BRALESS AT WORK IS USUALLY A NO-GO.
While not impossible, it’s definitely tough to rock going braless at work. Most women’s professional clothing is somewhat sheer or at least finely textured, making it extremely obvious when you’ve decided to go braless to work.
If your office culture supports going braless, then that’s great! The reality is that most women work in companies where it just doesn’t make sense to be going braless all day. A good bra helps you to feel polished and professional, no matter what your day holds.
7. GOING BRALESS CAN DIMINISH YOUR CONFIDENCE.
Without the support and added protection of a bra, many women just don’t feel as brave or confident. The right bra makes all the difference: you’ll feel comfortable and supported and ready to tackle whatever obstacles lay in front of you.
Of course, everyone is different. If you’re a #FreeTheNipple fanatic and love the way it feels going braless, then more power to you! That being said, wearing a bra is a totally valid way to bring a little more confidence and courage into your daily life. We all have the power to choose what works best for us!
GOING BRALESS VS WEARING A BRA: HOW TO DO BOTH
HOW TO GO BRALESS: TIPS AND TRICKS
If you’ve got your heart set on going braless, you should definitely give it a try. Keep in mind that your breasts need support, so try to switch things up and only go braless when you know you don’t need a lot of protection or extra support. Here are some easy ways to incorporate going braless into your life without taking on too many of the negative side effects listed above:
- Go braless strategically, like when you’re lounging or sleeping. Avoid going braless at work or when you’re in a sheer outfit!
- Go braless when you’re wearing thick, protective clothing—like cozy winter sweaters or structured dresses.
- Make sure to avoid strenuous activities when you’re going braless so you don’t harm your Cooper’s ligaments (which are responsible for maintaining the shape and structure of your breasts).
HOW TO STAY COMFY IN A BRA: TIPS AND TRICKS
At the end of the day, it’s not bras in general that are making you itch to go braless. It’s the bras you’re wearing! If your bras are causing you skin irritation, bad circulation, or discomfort, then it’s clearly time to find and invest in bras that fit your lifestyle and your needs.
Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind to stay comfortable and happy without going braless:
- Bralette vs bra? Go the bralette route! Options like the triangle bralette are cute and functional, while a good racerback bralette will still be supportive without all the structure.
- Look for bras made from breathable, soft, and durable fabrics. Your best bet is to stick with natural and organic fabrics. My top pick? A hemp bra, of course.
- Take care of your bras and they’ll take care of you. Learn how to hand wash bras to sustainably extend the life of your undergarments.
CONCLUSIONS: GOING BRALESS VS WEARING A BRA
At the end of the day, the choice is always up to you. Whether you decide to go braless or don a bra, it’ll depend largely on your personal preferences, your cup size, your daily activities, and many other factors. So do what works best for you on any given day!
Remember that a good bra won’t cause discomfort or pain, so if that’s the case it just means you need to find a bra that fits you properly. If you’re curious, our FAQ page can you help figure out what size hemp bralette you should be wearing.
Where do you fall on the great debate of going braless vs wearing a bra? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!