I want you to know, that if you have no interest in going braless, that's totally fine! This blog is for women who are thinking about making the leap but aren't sure how. We will talk about building confidence and also other ways to find support for your breasts!
For me, I used to describe bras as bear traps. They hurt me and everyday I'd have a kaleidoscope of imprints left from my bras digging into my skin. I’ve suffered through nights of pushing and pulling up strapless bras that taunted me as I tried to have fun.
Some might say bra's shouldn't hurt, others might say I was wearing my bra wrong but in reality I was wearing them to accomplish a goal, a social norm that made me feel more confident. I was subject to my own construction of "perfection" and I wasn't happy with my body. I am now.
What has holding me back? I never felt confident without a bra.
I of course tried over the years to go braless but I’d end up running back into the house before leaving to put one on. I felt like people would notice and find it distasteful versus my normal sculpted elusion created by my bra. Now, I'm happier and more comfortable in my day to day world and with myself. Here is how I did it.
How to go braless:
In theory, it's easy! In reality, it's hard. Going braless is a personal choice and it can be a mental leap to overcome. Today we are going to go over some steps to help you transition, if you want to, into a world where going braless isn't as scary. Scary? You're thinking, not me! Well let's recap the last seven months. We've been in our homes more because of Covid and depending on our living situation, we've been in our pajamas more, we've been forgoing makeup and bras more often than before. Now, as work locations are opening back up and we are seeing people again we are starting over. For some this might make it easier to leave the bra behind because let's face it, it's comfortable. For others, the last 7 months of being home because of Covid might make it harder to go braless because we are readjusting to the world again. Though you might be thinking... "I want to go braless but I can't, I need extra support." We'll go over that in this blog too. Also this blog isn't about going 100% braless, sometimes bras are needed, like sports bras! There is a time and place for a bra and if you love wearing a bra, that's fine too. This blog is about allowing yourself to have the freedom to go without a bra, without feeling held back.
How does it feel to go braless?
I'm not going to lie, when you first venture into the world without a bra, you'll feel the difference. Nothing pulling them against you and keeping them from moving. You'll be more conscious of their movements. Going up the stairs, walking on different surfaces, hugging someone, temperature changes.
Going into the real world without a bra was super weird for me. Especially because of the type of bra I liked to wear, I'm not sure why I liked the super thick ones. I figured it had more shape to it and hide my nipples. It also hid all feeling! Having a bra with shaped, thick cups really did void all feeling in my chest. The first thing I noticed when I went braless was the breathability of no bra, the second was my fear of people seeing my nipples.
So how do you take the leap? A lot of it is mind over body. Once you are accustomed to not wearing a bra, your boobs will be as normal as fingers or legs and you won't over think it. At the beginning though, you might end up wearing a sweater, you might pull your hair forward to cover your nipples or cross your arms over your chest because you'll feel that people know you're not wearing a bra.
How to make the transition to going braless:
1: Start with a bralette. Bralettes are kind of like a mini extra shirt, they are thin pull overs with spagetti straps, in a t-shirt/cotton material. They are comfortable, give you some support but they leave the metal wires and pads behind. Some come with mini pads in them, start with them and then pull out the pads (most come out from a side pouch).
2: Start at home. Once you're feeling good with a bralette, go braless! Start feeling confident without a bra on in your room, then your living room. Walk to the mailbox braless or take a walk. Cars driving by are not going to notice, bikers and runs aren't going to notice either, so it's an easy place to start where you'll feel exposed but everyone around you is too distracted. Plan a coffee date with a friend and skip the bra, try wearing a t-shirt that has thicker material if you're worried or a top that naturally has a little form to it.
3: Overcoming your first cold day. It's going to happen, once you feel confident and totally fine going braless you're going to hit a random cold day and you're suddenly going to feel exposed by perky nipples. You can't always be prepared and pasties are great for particular outfits or if you know a head of time that it's going to be a cold day but in general they aren't super convenient. In fact a recent pair I got are so thick that they actually make it look like I have nipples that are twice as large and thick as reality, so they aren't perfect. At the end of the day, you just have to own it. If you start to look around, you'll see other nipples peeking through material, men too. It's natural and it will pass.
4: Love yourself. It might seem cliche but loving your own body is actually really hard but it is possible. We see so much perfection on the internet, perfect everything including boobs and it can be hard feeling okay with something different than that. Super small boobs, saggy boobs, asymmetrical boobs are beautiful and I think that's why it's great having influencers who share body love, like Chidera Eggerue who started the #saggyboobsmatter movement. She's helped tons of women realize that there isn't one type of perfect, all types of boobs are beautiful and totally just as awesome as any other boobs out there.
No Bra? But My Boobs Need Support!
Wearing a bra does give you more support but if you want support and still want to go braless here are some helpful ideas that work great, especially if you have larger boobs and have found going braless isn't so easy.
Front tie tops: these are great for larger boobs because you can set the tightness and have this act as support. This is often more of a summer time look but it's worth a try when the weather in nice!
Tight bodysuits: these are stretchy and tight enough to act as support. Body suits with higher necklines will also allow you to stay more comfortable while moving around, as it keeps your boobs in without having to worry about them popping out.
Thicker material: this is a hard one to describe but sometimes tops with thicker material and a zipper have a lot more structure overall and this can help you go braless while keeping everything in place.
Dresses or tops with lacing: similar to a corset style will help you get the right snug fit and act as boob support, this mimics a bra in someways but without some of the wire and thick straps that wearing a bra will normally give you.
Fashion tips, Tricks for Going Braless on a Special Night!
Fashion tape: For those times when you don't want to wear a bra or can't pull off wearing a bra with that backless dress, you can try tape. It might not be very comfortable but if you're prepared to do some extra work for a particular look, why not! Once in awhile isn't going to hurt... well, according to Kim Kardashian it does but it also works.
"I definitely had to share my tape secret with you guys!! It's my secret trick to have perfect cleavage in photos. You tape them up so they are super lifted. It takes a little work but trust me it's all worth it LOL. I've used everything from duct tape to packing tape to masking tape and I think that the best I found is gaffer's tape. It sticks the best! Make sure you don't have any lotion or oils on when you're lifting your boobs up with the tape. Just brace yourself for when it's time to take it off LOL." - Kim Kardashian
I do want to remind you that you don't have to give up your bra. If you love wearing a bra, then don't stop. There is no research that supports that you need to wear a bra so it really depends on your overall comfort level. I wanted to write this blog mostly because I realized how many women felt the social pressure of wearing a bra and I realized that I couldn't leave a bra behind without taking the above steps, that I was afraid. I'm sharing this because I'm not afraid anymore and I can't go back to a life of wearing a bra (unless I'm going to the gym or on a run and need a sports bra). Going braless was the best thing I've done.