Scientists tell women to stop wearing a bra was the sensationalist headline widely used in 2015. It announced the results of a 15-year study conducted by sports scientist Professor Rouillon. The study conducted on 330 women, concluded that not wearing a bra could:
- Result in more pert breasts. Non-bra wearers had a 7mm lift in their nipples compared with bra wearers.
- Hamper circulation and reduce breast tone over time
Wearing a bra is more than just about where your breasts sit and how pert they are. In this post I want to look at the reasons for wearing a bra and give you some tips on when you should buy a new one.
But before I do that I want to share my story about wearing a bra. My eating disorder meant that my breasts almost disappeared. From the age of 20 I gave up wearing a bra completely.
What happened? Nothing. While I did plenty of exercise, because my bust was so small I did not feel any effects of not wearing a bra.
I was very self-conscious of my small bust. I did at one point visit a consultant to enquire about implants. The risks and the way he looked at me put me off completely!
But as I gained weight and started to do more upper body training, I started to develop a bust. I timidly ventured into the fitting room of a lingerie specialist.
Initially wearing a bra didn’t feel comfortable and I continued to wear the same bra until it fell apart! Not a good idea!
But now having found a good specialist I’m unlikely to be found not wearing a bra, at least when I’m out.
So what are the reasons for wearing a bra?
Improve Your Confidence
Enhancing your silhouette with a well-fitting bra will make your clothes hang better. If you know that your figure is more attractive this will help your confidence. A good bra will give you an attractive cleavage.
Conversely though a badly fitting bra will not do anything for your shape or your cleavage. While I may sound like a well worn record, wearing a bra that fits properly is essential.
High-Impact Exercise Is More Comfortable
Running or lots of high impact exercise can damage your breasts if they are not properly supported. Let alone the fact that if you have large breasts it can be very painful.
You can risk long-term damage to the ligaments in the breasts. These ligaments are not elastic and will stretch over time if they are not properly supported.
Improves Posture And Reduces Back Problems
For women with larger breasts it can be uncomfortable and adversely affect posture if the breasts are not supported.
If you do not have the correct support your shoulders will roll forward to accommodate the weight. Or you will start to lean back to retain balance.
Neither of which is great for your posture.
You Are Less Self-Conscious
Women who don’t wear bras tend to cross their arms across their chest.
They may subconsciously worry about appearing provocative. Given how a bra can help a woman to feel sexy sounds like an oxymoron!
They may also worry what other people think. While it’s entirely your choice it can also be a distraction if you are worrying about your nipples showing or simply feel too exposed by not wearing a bra.
Reduces irritation from under boob sweating
Sorry I couldn’t find a more delicate way to phrase that! If you suffer from sweating under your breasts and the moisture remains there, irritation and even fungal infections can occur.
A good fitting bra with the right support may not prevent you sweating but will help to ensure your breasts don’t constrain the moisture.
But there is no point in wearing a bra if it doesn’t fit. Not only will it not do anything for your figure, it may be painful or cause irritation. 80% of women in the UK are not wearing a bra that fits correctly.
If You Are Wearing A Bra That Doesn’t Fit
You will find that
- Your breasts spill out of the top of the bra
- The straps cut into you and or so does the band
- Your bra feels so tight that you can’t breathe while wearing it
- The straps fall down no matter how much you adjust them
- You can comfortably fit two fingers between your side and the band of the bra
- You simply don’t feel supported and your breasts are sagging
How Do I Know If I Need a New Bra?
The signs that you need a new bra are:
- The band rides up your back even when you’re using the tightest hook
- For an underwired bra, if the wires poke through the fabric
- When the moulded cups have lost their shape
- If you’ve lost or gained weight
- If your body shape has changed, this can happen if you change your activities – increase weight training for example.
Extend the life of a bra by allowing your bras to recover after wearing them! Do not wear on consecutive days and this gives the elastic an opportunity to recover.
How Often Should I Buy A New Bra?
That depends! Not a very helpful answer, I know. But it will vary according to how many bras you have and rotate in your wardrobe.
The rough guidance is to change your bra every 6 months. For bras you wear less frequently such as strapless bras, these will obviously last longer.
Wearing a bra that has been properly fitted in the first place will also help your bras to last.
The more bras you have and wear in rotation the longer your bras will last.
Finding A Good Lingerie Specialist
When I started on my search for a lingerie specialist I asked around.
First I asked other women locally where they shopped for bras and about their experience. Then I reached out to other stylists to get their recommendations.
I have been very lucky and found a great independent lingerie shop. It’s an owner-managed local business. The owner has built her reputation by offering great customer service. She employs empathetic, well-trained and very knowledgeable staff.
I hope you have found that useful?
Please feel free to ask any questions or share your experience on shopping for bras below.