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Asking women from cup sizes A to F why they don’t wear a bra

IMAGE VIA @DOAN_LY/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY AUDREY DENIER

Because comfort is key.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a poorly fitting bra has the potential to ruin the day of its wearer. It almost feels a little personal, y’know? Like bras prefer to put us in these compromising positions wrist-deep, subtly attempting to fish around under our shirts to fix issue after issue. Chafing, pinching, digging. So why do we put up with this? 

Upon its introduction in 1914, society considered the bra a necessity, a clothing utility that shaped women’s bodies to fit the ideal appearance – plump, young and perky. But, as times changed, so did women’s desires. During the second wave of feminism in the ’60s, women began protesting the restrictive nature of the bra, using it as a visual anchor for the movement. 


Want to read more about how others navigate the world? Try our Life section.


And while for some, bralessness may continue to conjure images of bohemian women burning their bras as a middle finger up to patriarchy, the motives behind these choices have changed. Bralessness is now considered a fashion statement and the decision to go without is based more on the wearer’s aesthetic desires and comfortability.

If we are entirely frank, the COVID-19 induced working-from-home situation has allowed many (myself included) to forgo old habits and pledge allegiance to the nip. And the reasons for doing so will vary depending on the person: comfort, empowerment, aesthetics, or health. I spoke to women from cups A to F to discover what prompted them to ditch their bras. 

Lindsay Thomasson, size A

I think hard nipples are a cute accessory to every outfit. I also like the social implications behind going braless. It’s a small act of rebellion that I can easily get away with daily. I was 15 years old when I first left the house without a bra, and I don’t think anybody noticed, considering I have pretty small boobs. The transition was so simple and easy that I’ve never looked back.

Usually, when men see someone who is braless out in public, they assume it’s because they want male attention or are trying to send a promiscuous message when most of the time it’s just women existing and having body parts. I don’t take any notice of how men look at me because I do this for me, and so should you! 

Laura Cameron, size B

For the most part, I go braless for comfort. I find I don’t need much support with smaller breasts, and I hate the restrictiveness that bras confine you to. I first started to go braless when I turned 18. I already liked the idea of freeing the nip, and a few older friends encouraged me to be confident in my values and choices. It took a little bit of time, but by the age of 19, I had purged myself of all but one bra.

If you’re thinking about going braless or just want to try it more often, absolutely do it! It isn’t always easy unlearning our attachment to bras and the connection of shame and embarrassment with breasts that don’t look perky and perfect. But all breasts are beautiful, and you deserve to be comfortable and proud of your body. Besides, no one is staring half as much as you think, I promise!

Grace Mercado, size C 

Initially, I wanted to rebel against my mum and her prim and proper ideals. But then my passive-aggressive protesting moved to comfortability, convenience, and at times, sexiness. So I stuck with it. 

I have had friends ask me, “Isn’t it uncomfortable? What if you have to run? What if somebody sees your nipples?” But, half of these events don’t happen enough for me to worry about the logistics. As much as it’s sexualised, it’s also just a nipple. And god forbid people find out that you have nipples! For anybody considering ditching their bra, do it. It’s so freeing and has honestly been one of the motivators for my self-confidence. 

Amelie Mcintosh, size D

I stopped wearing a bra around the beginning of the first lockdown in Melbourne. I was wearing more informal, baggy clothing at home and just slowly transitioned in favour of my comfort and hygiene. I was experiencing a lot of underboob sweat in the summer and found it lessened when I didn’t have my bra on.

People seem to believe that not wearing a bra will affect your breast tissue or deforms your boobs. I’ve found that my breasts have stayed the same size and shape. Wearing or not wearing a bra doesn’t have to be an active decision you make. Your comfort is foremost, and if you can find yourself happier in the long term without the pain of wearing a bra, I’d say go for it. 

Cait Emma Burke, size E

I’ve dabbled in bralessness since I was 15. I’ve always found it hard participating in fashion with big boobs. In my early teen years, I discovered that going braless would allow me to wear items that typically wouldn’t look good or fit right with a bra underneath them – items like tiny halter tops or structured boob tubes.

I think there is this misconception that if you have bigger breasts, you should always be wearing a bra and going without is for women with small, perky breasts only. As an E cup, I’ve often found it empowering to buck convention and go without. I feel my best when I’m not wearing a bra with my outfits, but it’s the way other people react that puts me off doing it 24/7. I think going braless when you have big boobs is a bit of a ‘fuck you’ to convention and rules. Plus, it’s prioritising comfort, and nothing is sexier/cooler than that.

My advice for anyone considering ditching the bra is that it might take some trial and error figuring out the right type of tops, dresses etc that you feel comfortable to go braless in. I find tops that are figure-hugging or made of thicker material (stretchy knit fabrics are great) can provide a little support and help shape the boobs.

Nadeemy Betros, size F

As someone with a larger cup (12/10 F), finding cute, affordable bras is difficult. What cemented my decision to ditch the bra was that I didn’t like the aesthetic of my larger cup in clothing. I’d say I’ve been braless for over seven years now. 

A common misconception is that bralessness makes your breasts saggier. I’ve found this to be completely untrue. I also read a study done in France that said women who don’t wear bras have higher sitting breasts because they use their pectoral muscles.

For people that say larger breasts can’t go braless, shove it. I will do what makes me feel good. Women are at the will of the male gaze and societal pressure every day, and it’s time we use our autonomy to say fuck what society says. Breasts come in all different shapes, colours, sizes and heights, and they are all beautiful. 

To find out more about the benefits of bralessness, head here

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