Going braless is a luxury, mostly reserved for people with boobs of a size that omitting harnessing them in fabric doesn't hurt when they jiggle about. I certainly cannot go braless if I'm planning on doing any activity more vexing than casual walking. I mean, I can, but it would be sore. And I don't want to be sore. Still, I am a huge advocate for bralessness in low impact situations. Bras are the worst, which is why every person with breasts universally loves the feeling of taking their bra off at the end of the day. Breast liberation at the end of a long day is even more comforting than taking your pants off. If you can combine both, of course, you've won.
Women who prefer to go braless are often met with incredulity by underwear traditionalists. We hear things like, "Your breasts will sag," "How very rebellious of you!" and "Aren't you worried people will be able to see your nipples?" It's as though going braless marks you as some kind of untrustworthy or irresponsible person who is playing it fast and loose with breast health. This, obviously, is not the case. There are many reasons, both personal and health-related, why going braless is the best. Here are some:
1. You Can Be At Braless Comfort Level All Day Long
I've already discussed exactly how pleasurable it is to simply remove your bra at the end of the day. With one movement, you're free of the constricting band around your ribs. The underwire under your breasts is gone. The straps that have slowly twisted and chafed and dug into your skin all day are removed. I mean, you could say: "Get a better bra," but we all know that even a "better bra" is still an effing joy to cast off at the end of the day. It makes you feel free. Why not feel this good all day long?
2. Less Pain
While it all depends on if your bras are properly fitted or not, going braless can actually help with pain relief. "Tight bras can cause ribcage, back, and neck pain," Dr. Anuradha Seshadri, internist at UCLA Health tells Bustle. This can also "lead to grooves on the shoulders or on the back."
3. You Save Money On Bras
Bras are expensive. Cut costs by not wearing them.
4. It May Not Take Too Long To Get Used To Going Braless
"Many women with small breasts are going to be more comfortable and move more easily without a bra, while women with large or pendulous breasts may face daily discomfort unless adequately supported," Patricia Geraghty, medical director of women's health at Comprehensive Wellness, a California-based medical practice, tells Bustle. "But it goes back to fit, style, and comfort, but even more on the individuality and diversity of women."
5. Bras May Not Actually Do Anything For Your Boobs In The Long Term
University of Franche-Comté professor Jean-Denis Rouillon conducted a 15 year study into the effects of bras on breasts in that period of time. He found that there were no benefits to bra wearing, and said, "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity."
6. Not Wearing A Bra Can Make Your Breasts Stronger
In the same study, Roullion found that not wearing a bra actually made women's breasts stronger. The long term effects of not wearing a bra showed that more muscle tissue grew to provide natural support. "The body has to use its pectoral muscles to perk up the breast tissue against gravity," Dr. Seshandri says. So skip the weight machines at the gym, just throw out your bra!
7. And Perkier!
Due to all that extra muscle tissue, your breasts actually look "perkier" without a bra. Meanwhile, Roullion's study found that the nipples of women who didn't wear bras were lifted 7mm higher on average than women who did wear bras. However, Dr. Seshadri does say that this all depends on the size of your breasts. "If your breast size is larger, then wearing a bra may slow down the process of sagging," she explains.
8. Without A Bra Your Circulation Could Improve
Not wearing a bra allows blood to flow more readily around your chest, helping with that muscle tissue building as well as keeping your skin firm. But thankfully, Geraghty says even if you choose to still wear a bra, it's not a serious concern. "When a bra leaves red marks at pressure point around the ribs or on the shoulders, this indicates an effect on the surface circulation of the skin," she explains. "This is not going to cause negative health consequences in the otherwise healthy woman."
9. You May Be Able To Sleep Better
If you're someone who wears bras to bed, Dr. Seshadri says, "You may feel less restricted at night" by taking it off before you lay down.
10. It Could Help To Clear Up Your Skin
"The dirt and sweat that build-up underneath [your bra] can lead to skin infections and acne," Dr. Seshadri notes. This is especially important to remember in the summer time when your body is more likely to perspire.
11. But If You're More Comfortable Wearing A Bra, Go For It!
"The vast majority of women with breasts wear bras for a single reason: comfort," Geraghty exclaims. "This may be the physical comfort of well-fitted and styled support for the breasts or it may be the mental comfort of knowing she looks the way she wants to look as she then goes into action living her life."
This post was originally published on Feb. 1, 2016. It was updated and republished on June 27, 2019. Additional reporting by Kayla Greaves.
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