Why wear a bra?

(43 Posts)
BettyCF Mon 14-Apr-14 18:14:13

Not a question from a 14 year old boy !

I’ve seen several threads here about boobs and bras. Many posters says things like “ I hate my bra and the first thing I do when I get home is take it off”

Surely in today’s liberated and freedom loving society we should be free to go around in public without a bra – or is that only for the brave? Are we really forced to wear something we don’t want to just to please others (men?, other women?, the boss at work?)

Of course, some of us feel physically more comfortable in a bra – especially if you have heavy breasts. But is a bra necessary to be comfortable in the head?


rinabean Mon 14-Apr-14 18:26:55

I have heavy breasts and I'm much more comfortable without (after the first month or so which was sometimes painful, I guess the ligaments realign or whatever). And yes, they were all properly fitted.

Bras are part of a 'modern' alternative to a corset from a hundred years ago. But they certainly seem mandatory.

Nocomet Mon 14-Apr-14 18:33:11

Because It's what expected in society. A woman isnt considered decent unless she is wearing a bra and (if they show has her legs shaved).

Both conventions that massively piss me off.

DD2 would be mortified if I didn't wear a bra in the presence of anyone she knew. (she has to lump the fact I do not wear one on holiday anywhere hot).

This is despite the fact she BF for years and was very adept at shoving my bra out the way.

TimeForAnotherNameChange Mon 14-Apr-14 19:16:02

Interesting question. I'd say no, a bra is not necessary to be comfortable in the head, and I say that as the proud owner of a rather large pair of 30HH's! I happily go braless around the house on occasion and sometimes will go out for a quick jaunt to the shops without one if I've a thick coat over the top. But in terms of physical comfort I generally prefer to wear one, and I also look vastly better with one on as it keeps them up and front as opposed to round my waist!

ProfondoRosso Mon 14-Apr-14 19:22:31

I'm a 32F and I just don't feel comfortable being out and about without a bra. My boobs bounce everywhere and hurt. I tend to get into my dressing gown when I get in from work so go braless then but I'm not moving around much.

soaccidentprone Mon 14-Apr-14 19:23:20

I assume if your breasts are in the slightest bit droopy, that you would get skin rubbing against skin where the great meets the chest area, which would then make an excellent warm, moist breeding ground for bacteria, thrush etc (nice).

Also a bra lifts the breasts and gives a more defined waist as it separates the 2 areas.

I also think you would get loads of stretch marks on the top of the breasts where the tissue and skin is pulled down by gravity.

soaccidentprone Mon 14-Apr-14 19:24:28

Great? = breast. No idea how that happened!

I wouldn't be comfortable without one. It's nice taking it off - it's also nice when I take my shoes off but I'm hardly about to go barefoot everywhere.

ExcuseTypos Mon 14-Apr-14 19:28:18

I'm 28FF. If I didn't wear a bra my boobs would be bopping and swinging about all day long.

Notfastmainlyfurious Mon 14-Apr-14 19:33:13

No way would I ever consider going out braless, that would be so uncomfortable. I don't take mine off when I get home either. Hate that jiggly wiggly feeling and being pregnant they're heavy and sore just now too.

Raskova Mon 14-Apr-14 19:33:47

Because it's bad enough people see my stomach if I reach up, let alone the bottom of my spaniels ears boobs hmm

Once I've finished procreating spawning I'll have a boob job. shock

Marylou2 Mon 14-Apr-14 19:58:19

I'm a 34g and I only remove bra to shower or bathe. I wear support vests in bed.I hate the feeling of no support even for a few minutes.

Redcoats Mon 14-Apr-14 20:03:14

Because It's what expected in society Not for me. I'm a GG cup, going without would be uncomfortable. My back and shoulders ache with the weight of them as they are.
I don't wear one in bed or in the shower. That's it. I've even got a bra built in swimming costume.

Bunbaker Mon 14-Apr-14 22:22:54

I wear one so that I don't look like a boy.

BettyCF Mon 14-Apr-14 23:57:25

I posted the original question about why wear a bra. Thank you all for your kind and illuminating replies.

My post really concentrated on why society makes us wear bras. Is it respectability? or to stop men being turned on by the natural shape of a breast? Or...

I realise that many women are physically more confortable (less pain!) in a bra, but that was not the intention of my post.


Eastpoint Tue 15-Apr-14 07:18:16

I think that if you don't want to wear a bra you don't but the people who have chosen to comment do wear bras because they find them more comfortable than not wearing a bra.

Last year Oxfam ran a campaign asking women to bring their unused bras in - women in developing countries are keen to be more comfortable and apparently bras sell quickly in clothing markets.

Big Bra Hunt

Bunbaker Tue 15-Apr-14 07:27:10

I think women are very critical of other women who don't wear one. Especially when it is clear that they would definitely benefit from the support they give.

AnnieFrance Tue 15-Apr-14 12:11:48

I really smiles when I read these comments. I'm old enough to remember the times when....

.... all respectable girls HAD to wear girdles (late 50s, early 60s). We had tightish skirts and to show 2 buttocks was a no no. I and my friends started girdles when we were 15, whether we needed to not - we were less chubby in those days. My mother could tell at 25 paces if I was not wearing my girdle and sent me upstairs to "become respectable".

....trousers were for wearing at home only. Remember the early 70s when many companies banned women from wearing trouser suits to the office? I remember girls not being allowed to wear trousers to school even in a very cold spell with icy winds.

I know what the original post was asking, if we have got rid of the rules that you MUST wear a girdle, why MUST you wear bra today. Wear a bra through choice yes, because someone else says so "no".

I've worn some really tight, uncomfortable and impractical clothes in my time, but I've done so (except for those schoolgirl girdles!) through my choice, not because someone expected me to wear them.

I think it's sad that women HAVE to wear a bra today because other people expect to see a slightly artificial shape and no wobble.

Love to you all...........Annie

helzapoppin2 Tue 15-Apr-14 14:57:15

BettyCF, sometimes I find them really restricting. I was out one night, walking through a city, trying to keep up with everybody and thinking "Youre feeling your age, girl!" We arrived at the destination, I unhooked my bra, and on the return journey, walked back in comfort and happiness.
Why do we have to have a thick band of elastic round our chests? I also believe I'm not in need of an intervention, size wise.

Each boob weighs a stone.

My comedy breasts need support.

sybilfaulty Tue 15-Apr-14 15:07:45

When I qualified as a solicitor in 1996, the "lady fee earners" as we were called (ie the solicitors as opposed to support staff) were not allowed to wear trousers! That's not even 20 years ago. My firm was very traditional but still. They didn't say anything about bras though....

I have big boobs and always wear one. Even when I come home and put pyjamas on I still have the bra until I go yo bed. I wouldn't like to be seen outside the house without one. And too uncomfortable.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 15-Apr-14 15:12:20

I wear a bra because when I don't, I need to manually support my boobs if running, or walking up and down stairs. Quite a lot of the time I wear a sports bra - I see this as being liberating, rather than the reverse, allowing me to be as active as a bloke in comfort.

It's nice to take it off in the evening when I can lounge around and am not carrying stuff up and down stairs. As someone says, like taking off your shoes.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 15-Apr-14 15:14:41

>My post really concentrated on why society makes us wear bras

I really don't believe it does. If you don't want to wear one, just don't.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 15-Apr-14 15:16:34

I think it's left over from Victorian corsets - I hope someone invents something more comfortable or we just do without and let them go free!

ArsePaste Tue 15-Apr-14 15:25:38

I wear a bra because if I don't, my knees tend to get sweaty.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 15-Apr-14 15:34:15

> I hope someone invents something more comfortable
The most comfortable support I know of is a wetsuit, but that doesn't really work well on dry land grin

Nocomet Tue 15-Apr-14 15:58:33

I hadn't realised, not showing your buttocks was the original reason for girdles. I always assumed (early '70s) DM just wore one because she's a bit large.

For some reason she stopped wearing one before I was old enough to get round to asking.

I do know they looked very hot and uncomfortable and felt sexist even to a six year old. I've never warn spandex because it triggers the same feelings.

I guess bras, make up and shaving my legs do too.

Dear society why do I have to do all this fucking time wasting rubbish and wear this stupid thing when men don't!

TulipOHare Tue 15-Apr-14 16:00:15

Mine are smallish but I don't feel comfortable without one. They sag. I do take off my proper bra when I am home for the day, but I switch it for a sleep bra, just a soft crop-top type of thing.

I did used to go braless when I was younger and could pass the pencil test, in fact I never thought anything of it, really, until a lecherous man commented "you never wear a bra, do you?" and I was genuinely surprised that (a) anyone was looking and (b) they could tell blush

squoosh Tue 15-Apr-14 16:30:12

I never understand those 'take my bra off as soon as I get in the door' posts. For me a bra is a thing that greatly increases my comfort rather than restricts it. Wearing a bra I can walk, run, jump, and dance with ease and without a second thought. Without a bra doing these things causes my large breasts to drag and sag.

Snog Tue 15-Apr-14 17:00:11

Big boobs joggling around are quite attention grabbing and look uncomfortable imo. Small boobs not really an issue in the same way. Agree it should be a free personal choice though.
Surgery to increase boob size is the one that leaves me flummoxed. Why on earth would you???!!!

Bunbaker Tue 15-Apr-14 19:29:01

Snog Do you know what it is like to be so flat chested that you need a bra to not look like a boy?
Do you know what it is like to buy clothes that sag emptily where your boobs should be because you can't fill that part of the outfit?
Do you know what it is like to feel so self conscious and unfeminine because you lack curves?
Do you know how frustrating it is trying to find a bra small enough to accommodate your lack of curves?
Do you know how hurtful it is to be called flat chested by the boy that you fancy?

That said, I still wouldn't have a boob job. And smaller bras are much easier to buy these days. But I don't have much sympathy for curvy women who bemoan their curves. FGS just buy a decent bra and celebrate them.

I would happily not wear a bra if I found them uncomfortable. The reason I wear a bra is because they support my boobs and stop them wobbling around uncomfortably. I never get it when people say they are relieved to take theirs off when they get home - maybe they are wearing the wrong size.

Snog Tue 15-Apr-14 20:38:19

Bunbaker you prove my point! And yes I've never had much in the way of boobage, or wanted it. Women who have boob jobs or want them aren't generally flat chested to start with ime. I dont think small boobs are any less sexy and wouldn't fancy any bloke who thought mine were too small!

Nocomet Tue 15-Apr-14 20:42:49

I just cant keep the straps on the stupid things on my narrow shoulders, so I hate them with a passion and wish they would just cease to exist, like girdles have.

curiousuze Tue 15-Apr-14 20:45:28

I used to go bra-less comfortably but since having DS I have a giant chest which I hate. It's really uncomfortable, they flap around everywhere and get sweaty underneath, I have to wear two sports bras to exercise, and if I go bra-less they jiggle around like potatoes boiling in a pot. Plus PERMANENT erect nipples makes everything bar a t-shirt bra look porny. And t-shirt bras make the mega tits look even more mega so it's lose lose...

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 15-Apr-14 20:51:39

I hate wearing a bra but I do like the way they make my boobs look.
they are big and full and without a bra my nipples are lower than my elbows. It depresses me.

If I could have a procedure to be a c/d cup I would

PigeonPie Tue 15-Apr-14 21:08:38

Betty I agree with you completely. I think that bras have been forced upon us as the 'norm' just like corsets were in the 19th and early 20th centuries - all part of the accepted 'look' of women and anything else was (and is) considered unacceptable.

I've heard of dress codes, both here and the US which demand bras, which I find unreasonable, it shouldn't be for them to dictate our underwear.

I also don't agree with sending bras to the 'third' world. It's putting our ideals on women who have never worn them before and is, frankly, unnecessary.

squoosh Tue 15-Apr-14 21:11:39

Well thank God bras have been 'forced' on me, as it's 100 times more comfortable than going without one! Have never heard anyone describe a corset as being comfortable.

Marylou2 Tue 15-Apr-14 21:35:01

Bunbaker, I think it's good to debate this as I admit to being hugely jealous of other women with smaller boobs.I don't think I'd ever have a reduction but I dream of the freedom to move, sleep and dress more freely. Your post outlines beautifully the view from the opposite side of the fence where the grass is not any greener.

Bunbaker Wed 16-Apr-14 08:57:11

Thank you MaryLou2. I am not in proportion either so it makes me even more self conscious. My hips are 6 inches bigger than my bust, so I have to be very careful about what I wear.

sebsmummy1 Wed 16-Apr-14 09:00:09

I wear sports bras mainly because I don't want them jigging about or down around my armpits. Plus they give me a better shape in my clothes.

MirandaWest Wed 16-Apr-14 09:08:39

I have small breasts (30C). With some clothes I don't wear a bra but with others my clothes look nicer with a bra and I get some cleavage too. I don't understand the taking your bra off the moment you get into the house as I find I am comfortable with or without a bra. But maybe if mine were bigger I would feel different?

LadyVetinari Wed 16-Apr-14 10:34:40

My bra size is 28HH. Without a bra, I can't walk fast, bend over, cycle, or do cardio exercise without pain. I just bought 2 Shock Absorber sports bras and, for the first time ever, I can run without the need to adopt the T.Rex stance for extra support...

I still like unhooking my bra at the back when I get home, as the clasp digs in at the back after a couple of hours of slumping on the sofa if I don't.

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