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The good, the bad, and the ugly of going braless

I remember getting my first bra. I was 12 years old and my mom took me to the store. I was embarrassed and excited at the same time. I wanted to be a ‘grown-up’ and equated being an adult woman with wearing a brassiere. But in all honesty, bras are really just a pain in the…back.

Lately, the media has been buzzing over women in Toronto going braless and I decided to join the trend for a week. I wanted to know how it felt to let the ladies roam free and during this experience I learned a lot about myself and my body.

Going braless made me feel insecure initially. To be honest, I felt a bit of internal shame for my reaction amidst a feminist world of ‘free the nipple’ campaigns and bra burning predecessors. Why did I feel so thrown off my not wearing a simple undergarment? Full disclosure: I often opt in for hot shorts (popular name for very short shorts) instead of underwear because they are comfortable. I am not bothered at all by this change, yet not wearing a bra nearly set me into a full-blown panic attack.

I pushed through the anxiety and left my house feeling ready to tackle the world with my found fashion sense. I ride my bike to work every day and was worried that it would be an issue, but found no one cared. At all. The insecurity that comes with wearing a bra is an invention of the mind. Wearing a bra or not, people are so busy staring into the abyss of their phone that they are too busy to notice a pair of knockers swinging by.

I also found that weather impacted my comfort level. When it is really hot outside, it is surprisingly uncomfortable to go braless. It just doesn’t feel nice. A bra helps to lift the breasts and cool the body down. It is also uncomfortable to have no covering layer with cold air as well. However, on a nice mid-weather, warm fall or spring day, it is wonderful to feel the breeze and be unencumbered by a bra. Some women are comfortable with the effects of fluctuating weather patterns on the breasts, but I found this anxiety-provoking.

My back and ribcage felt much better while I was going braless. I also started to notice my body more often, meaning the way I moved or if I was sitting and standing straight up. Bras give us an excuse to slouch because our over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders give extra support that allow for bad posture. Going braless doesn’t allow for slumping at all.

Certain styles of clothing and materials are more compatible with the free flowing look as well. Avoid itchy and tight cotton shirts. I had a very bad day wearing one of these tops. Instead opt in for satin, which is smooth on the nipples, or other soft materials like velvet. I also found cinched dresses very comfortable. It was loose at the top and tight on the bottom, which gave me a nice shape and also gave the ladies room to breathe.

I would recommend going braless for a week. It forced me to look at my body in a whole new light and to love the more natural elements of the female physique. I also realized the bra gives breasts an unrealistic shape and is systematic of the patriarchal ideal of the woman’s body. Round soft curves are beautiful and I’m glad I celebrated that this past week. I will also admit though that I will wear a bra here and there in my future. Sometimes bras can be comfortable depending on your outfit and other times they are not. Do not forget though, they are an option and only need to be used when desired. Try taking one day off a week with no bra and check out #nobrathursdays and #nobrarevolution to get involved. Enjoy the freedom ladies — it feels great.

Try going braless and let Women’s Post know how you felt in the comments below.