Can we abandon our bras?

Every morning, I find myself asking the same two questions: 1, why do I wear make-up, and 2, why do I wear a bra? Because I don’t enjoy either. I find putting make-up on boring, a waste of time and even more of a pain in the arse to take off in the evening. If you ever say ‘fuck it’ and roam the streets fresh faced and fancy free, you’ll know the sheer delight that is rubbing your eyes without smearing mascara halfway across your face.

And I feel the same about bras. I find them uncomfortable, I don’t like the way they look through clothes and I’m endlessly adjusting bra straps because I have a weird child-sized torso but with normal woman tits. I take no joy in shopping for bras, as pretty as they often are, because I know that as soon as I pop it on, I’m going to be counting down the hours until I can take it off.

But of course, going bra free is easier said than done. I’m quite lucky in a sense – I have B-cup boobs and pretty broad shoulders, so I can hold my puppies up without problem. For someone with F-cups and a back that’s giving up, going commando is not so easy. And I get that. Before I get any further, I know we’d all love to throw our boobs to the wind and burn our bras in an act of rebellion, but a lot of the time, bras are key for support and are actually helpful, rather than a hindrance.

Playsuit – Missguided via ASOS
Shoes – Accessorize*
Sunglasses – Ray-Ban via Sunglasses Shop*
Bag – Zara (La Redoute alternative here)

For me, however, they’re worn simply for aesthetic reasons. Whether it’s to hide pointy nipples or to dull the side-to-side bounce that is characteristic of uncaged breasticles, the reason I wear bras is to cover up and to hide, rather than to help or enhance. And I resent that I can openly share my disdain for bras and still feel obliged to wear them. I won’t go into the office tomorrow with the girls unstrapped and at risk of a chill, simply because I feel like I can’t.

I remember Lily Allen once saying she doesn’t wear a bra because she doesn’t like them. This was years ago – I must have been in my early to mid teens – and I remember thinking “fuck yeah, why wear it if she doesn’t want to?! Her tits, her rules!”. And as much as I am still devoted to this mindset, I feel like I can’t really follow her path.

It’s all well and good to make a statement by glaring your nips through a sheer grey t-shirt when you’re a famous performer, but when you work in a corporate environment, are not so body confident or don’t have those small, perky, stretch mark free boobs that the media loves, then you’re a bit stuck.

(As a side note, if you do like to wear a bra or choose to wear a bra for comfort, then you’re also expected to keep it hidden. Bras should be worn, but should not be shown. Make sure you opt for nude or strapless or multi-way or t-shirt – undergarments are for function and modesty, and should only be celebrated in the bedroom. Bra straps showing? Well madam, to room 101 with you.)

For some reason, nipples are still taboo. They’ve been manufactured into sexual subjects – most of the time without our permission – instead of the natural, unisex body parts that helps to keep tiny humans alive. And that unisex part is important to remember, because only female nipples are overtly sexualised.


Take your boyfriend, brother or Dad to a BBQ and there’ll be no fuss when he whips his t-shirt off to cool down. Heck, you might even hear a supportive “go on lad”, because he’s hot, you know? But when you get the girls out for some much needed cool air and chill, your Grandad faints, the neighbours bring their kids in and you’re all set for a long-winded chat about ‘common sense’ and ‘self-respect’. Tell me – why can men wander around public parks shirtless and care free on a roaster of a day, but when a woman strips down, it’s suddenly an issue of public indecency? Because your boobs have been decided for you, not by you.

Heck, I would love to live my life nipple cover free, let alone bra-free, but I worry that when I’m walking around and my nips inevitably start to show, it will attract unwanted attention. I don’t want creepy old men leering at my tits because they’ve suddenly realised I have nipples. I don’t want middle-aged Mum’s turning away and whispering because they can’t believe I’ve forgotten to get dressed that morning. I don’t want a schoolboy and his mates to shout “TITS!” as they giggle and bike down the road, tiny Nike backpacks in tow.

(It’s worth mentioning at this point that Keiran just came and sat back down on the sofa and leaned over to give me an affectionate boob squeeze, only to be met with a hand slap and a fervent exclamation of “they’re mine!!”. Unfortunate timing on his part.)

But how do we reclaim a part of our bodies whose associations are so heavily dictated by outside perceptions? I want to not wear a bra, but I also don’t want to have to deal with the archaic and sexist reactions that will inevitably come as a result. It’s something I so often feel conflicted about, but something I feel I’m starting to make some leeway with.

After discovering petal nipple covers, my bras have been largely out of use. Yes, I’m still subduing a natural part of my body, but it’s one step away from tight straps and back suffocation, and one step closer to freedom. There wasn’t a bra in sight today when I headed out to shoot, and even when we took the dog for a walk and I popped on a comfy grey t-shirt, I thought “fuck it – yes they are going to wobble and move and do their own little dance, but that’s what boobs do – if it shocks anyone, then they’ve got some serious biology to read up on”. Hardly the grandest feminist expression of all time and painfully white of me (BuRn BrAz), but hey, it’s something.

Let me know all about your boob bothers and nipple niggles in the comments below, or come and find me over on social @chloeplumstead on Twitter and Instagram! Until next time lovelies x

  • I wore this playsuit on holiday when we went on a trip out for the day and ended up regretting it and wishing it had no cut out at the front.
    My boobs have always been big (DD) and not very perky which I was really self conscious about. Also, when I put a couple of stone on, they grew to an E. When I lost it they went back to a DD but even saggier. A couple of years down the line I lost another half a stone and they dropped another cup size (D) and are now so so saggy.
    I despise them and the loose wrinkly skin. They look like half empty sacks. My nipples point down, not forward. For that reason I could never ever dream of going braless despite wanting to sometimes.
    When I bought this playsuit the week before my holiday, I Loved it. When I put it on on holiday I felt awkward because my bra showed through the cut out and I felt like everybody was staring at it/me on the train and metros and like it didn't look acceptable. On the other hand, if I didn't wear one, I'd feel everyone as staring at my saggy boobs with nipples pointing in the wrong direction thinking "god, she needs to put a bra on!" (As well as disliking my own appearance without)
    As soon as we got back to the hotel I got changed and I'll probably never wear it again!

  • I hate bras! First thing I take off once I get into my house and I live for the days when I can sit at home and let them all hang out… underneath a slouchy tee of course coz I don't want my stepdad or brother to keel over and die at the sight of these 30E boobies bouncing along. My little sister on the other hand who's 4 would probably love it coz she's totally obsessed with my boobs and inappropriately squeezes them at every opportunity… hoping it's a weird phase and that she eventually grows out of t because I'm sick of the embarrassing grabs. ANYWAY… bras suck but for me a necessary eveil coz I'm big busted and they sag a bit so I need those fuckers to hoist them right up. My nipples are bullet nipples as my boyfriend lovingly calls them… always damn erect! When I get weird stares in the gym I'm like nope I'm not happy to see you mate and it's definitely not coz of the air con but let's just pretend it is because they're always this pronounced. I've learned to just accept bras and not worrying about my bullet nips along with the fact that I'll probably wear a bra out in public until I'm six feet under and I certainly won't ever have the pleasure of wearing a backless dress or a very low cut top… sucks but I guess there it could be worse. I could not have a boob or both, that would really suck ass! Loved this post as always! Xx

  • I have small boobs so going bra free is easy for me – doesn't really make a difference. however, I do get slightly paranoid when it comes to wearing camisoles (or anything else low cut) as I don't want to accidentally flash my boobies to unsuspecting people ahah x

    CLUB AVENUE / / instagram

  • I loved this post – it's so empowering and honest. I agree with you, I think everyone should be free to choose whether they want to wear a bra or nor depending on their needs, but in the case they want to go bra free they should be totally allowed and it should be socially accepted. That taboo thing that surrounds women's nipples is so stupid, they're just nipples – everyone has them!! There is no difference between a man's and a woman's and if he is allowed to walk around without a top on the so should we! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Ugh yes I hate wearing make up and bras too- literally two of the most pointless things about being female. As I'm small I can get away without a bra for some outfits but it must be rubbish for bigger girls. Winter is the best time IMO as you can go out in a massive jumper and who's to know!

    Eleanor Frances | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • This is such a lovely playsuit! And you go girl! Rid yourself of bras if you so wish! I'm cursed with a double D's so unfortunately feel rather uncomfortable getting them out, but man do i fist pump to those girls that do, I wish I could join you! Least I can in the no make up department, I very rarely put it on just for A) I like my bare skin the sun and B) well f*ck that too much effort haha! Also don't you find it's just a common thing for your boyfriend to just come and squeeze! Mine does it so regularly and I just give him such a glare!

  • I love a good no bra day, Bra's are literally the devil. I have to be so careful as my boobs are huge!

  • Not gonna lie, I wear bras as little as possible, even though I'm big busted. I read that they don't actually prevent sagging though, it's genetic, so I'm cool with it.

    Beaut outfit as per!

    Julia x

  • Love this and I agree sometimes no bra is better! xo

  • YESYESYESS. Friggin' really enjoyed this gal. My bra / boobs have been giving me RIGHT jip recently. I work at a desk all day in a dress and heels (ugh) and as the dress is tight and I wear a bra for my D's, by about 3 my back is in agony. I have a dodgy ole spine anyway, but I am starting to think the bra ain't helping either. I read this, nipped to the bathroom, took my bra off, popped it in my bag and HALLELU I feel like a weight has been lifted!I am going to try and not feel forced to wear a bra from now on, I heard that it is far better for your babelonias without anyway, so there! Immy x

  • I would love stopping wearing bras, but it really unconfortable for me. Although it's difficult to find the perfect bra, I always keep looking for it.
    Your jumpsuit is gorgeous, and fits perfect on you. Have a nice day!

  • This is looking so cute ! I wear a bra only to work, then, it's off ! ahah


  • I love the liberation here! whilst I haven't yet gone completely bra-less, I have just started wearing those little lacy bras that have no underwire or padding, Oh my god they are so much more comfy and also make me look smaller as my chest isn't hoiked up and pushed forward! Win win situation in my opinion!

    I also have some of those petal things so will give them a whirl soon 😉


  • I love this! Rachel The Hat recently did a post on this too: Why I've Chosen to Ditch The Bra.

    I wear a FF but luckily I have a small back so I am able to wear bralettes; however as my boobs are quite big it can be difficult to find a bralette that will hold those puppies in place.

    And to get over the whole nipple thing, I've starting wearing the inserts of sports bras!

    Jaye x
    The Life of JayeP

  • I wish I didn't have to wear a bra I literally hate it and take them off the first chance I get! But unfortunately, braless, my boobs don't talk to each other (they must have had a falling out at some point and revert towards the armpits the moment they're set free). But I also get nervous about the nip like you do! It's another one of those annoying things that men don't realise how lucky they are not to deal with *cough* periods, PMT, childbirth *cough*

    Laura x

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  • I love this post very much! I gained weight over the last year due to sitting and writing my thesis for my degree. I changed from a B to a D cup and I still wear my old bra’s and a problem occurred: my nips keep slipping out now and then. My boyfriend made a comment about it when we out in public and told him “they are mine!”. He meant it in a caring way and thought what other people said. I also want to go carefree and started buying lace bra’s compared to the push-up, restraining, and uncomfortable ones. I totally love them even in the cold weather when they like to come out!


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