Heads Up Chicago, I've Officially Given Up On Wearing A Bra

Bradlee Bryant

Photo by Castorly Stock from Pexels

I’ll never forget the way my grandma used to open the front door with her arms strategically crossed over her chest to conceal the fact that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

She would invite you in and quickly rush into her bedroom to put a bra on. All of us grandkids used to pop in for visits and rarely called first, which turned this into a silly little routine.

She used to holler out to us, “let me get decent.”

When I was finally old enough to understand it, I asked her why she went to the fuss of putting on a bra for us. She told me it felt wrong to have her ladies on the loose with company over. Then she suggested I wear a sturdy bra religiously so my “tits wouldn’t end up flat and floppy like her old girls.”

Grandma was awesome, and I thank her almost daily for passing down her trademark candor. But, I think she had it all wrong about always needing to wear a bra.

I haven’t worn a bra in over a year, and my old girls look and feel better than ever.

In high school, I avoided padding, push-ups, and underwire at all costs. Instead, I wore two sports bras for extra support. My tits felt a bit suffocated, and all that elastic made taking deep breaths a bit of a challenge, but they bounced a little less while playing sports — so it seemed worth it.

For a woman like me, with noticeably large breasts on a small frame, containment was critical.

I’m a full D-cup, and I’ve always been a little shy about my size. As I got older, I constantly worried they would start looking like two oversized pancakes with nipples — floppy and flat, just like grandma suggested.

For the majority of my adult life, I took her advice. I constantly wore a supportive bra, and guess what? My tits still don’t look like the perky melons I had at 18.

I’m 35 now. There’s literally nothing about my body that looks like my 18-year-old self. I’m an inch taller, 20 pounds heavier, my skin is clearer, my tits are a cup size bigger, my hair is longer and healthier — oh, and I’ve got all the right curves in all the right places.

I don’t want to look like I did at 18, and I don’t want to feel like I have to wear a damn bra either…even if someone stops by.

What does science say?

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

It turns out there’s actually no evidence that bras impact breast perkiness negatively or positively.

One study from 2013 is frequently referenced, but its author explained that he’s hesitant to give any one-size-fits-all advice to women and noted this topic requires much more research.

His initial findings suggested women should consider going bra-less as his research indicated bras were basically useless. He then clarified that he’s unsure middle-aged women with 2.4 children would benefit from abandoning bras at all.

The research is quite contradictory, so whatever decision we make about bras is neither right nor wrong — scientifically speaking.

It’s about doing what is most comfortable for you, which is exactly how it should be.

Grandma would think I’m crazy.

I haven’t worn an actual bra since the COVID-19 lockdowns started, and I’m not sure I ever want to again. Citizens of Chicago, be warned...this trend just might take off.

There’s no company coming over, and I’m not really going anywhere — so I haven’t thought about the issue of “getting decent,” as grandma used to call it.

I’ve never considered a woman not wearing a bra to be indecent, anyway. I worked on a college campus for years, and I’m fairly certain bras went out of style about 10 years ago, and those of us over 30 just missed the memo.

The only time I have to wear a bra is when I go running.

My size makes it nearly impossible to do most physical activities without wearing some type of containment device. It’s really more of a self-protection mechanism than a bra, though…because my main concern is the potential for a black eye or knocked-out tooth from a bouncing tit. After a run, I immediately rip that sweaty stifling mess off…and then I can finally breathe again.

Other than the occasional run, I’m living my best life braless — and I freaking love it. I’ve noticed a bunch of improvements after finally ditching bras for good, including:

  • Better posture: I realized it a few months after ditching my lady luggers. My neck, back, and shoulders ache a little less, and my posture has improved. Even my chiropractor noticed!
  • Feeling free: Looking back, I feel bad that my grandma wasn’t comfortable without a bra on. I wish I would have told her to skip the bra and let them loose because I certainly didn’t care! Letting mine loose makes me feel quite liberated.
  • Perkier…maybe? It might just be my improved posture, but I really do think my breasts look a little perkier now than they did a year ago — my husband agrees! They feel better too. No more painful underwire or stupid restrictions — they’ve escaped!
  • Easier to grab: This isn’t for me, but my husband loves seeing me walking around the house without a bra. I used to wear one all damn day, but now he can see them bounce and move. (According to him, this is a good thing.)
  • Comfort: The best part of going braless? I spent a lot of time pulling, twisting, and adjusting my bra…even after working with bra fit experts — it still felt uncomfortable. Without a bra on, I can take a deeper breath and not worry about elastic digging into my skin.

Although grandma would most certainly disapprove, I’m considering ditching bras for good. Now that I know how much better I feel without one, why go back to the uncomfortable torture I put myself through for years?

Bras are no longer essential, and Victoria’s Secret can’t convince me otherwise.

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I’m a quirky, opinionated, mom of three from the Midwest. I love pizza, adventure, & Chicago ❤️

Chicago, IL

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