Underprepared, again

I believe that I may have made my position on the brassiere public before in a subtle manner. I’m pretty sure too that copping publicly to the fact that I only own one of the regular sort of them means that they’re pretty low on my list of priorities.  I’ve got about 16 rants that I could give you on bras.  

Rant 1: Why aren’t womens bodies good enough without modification or alteration?  [Note: Rant 1 leads directly to Rant 1a:  How come women have to shave stuff and wear lipstick to be acceptable, but men are fine the way they are? and as such it is best to avoid triggering Rant 1 unless you have time for a two-fer.]
Rant 2: Doesn’t pretending that breasts look or are located differently than they actually are just set us all up to think our breasts are crappy? 
Rant 3: For something that everyone seems to agree all women should wear, they are pretty expensive.  Seems like a trick. 
Rant 4:  I was an IBCLC for 10 years. Breasts come in more variety than bras do.  Also seems like a trick.
Rant 5: How come bras are all designed to give you the breasts of a pre-pregnancy 21 year old? My breasts are working class, thank you very much, and have seen tons of action.  Stack that up against your inexperienced breasts. 
Rant 6: I think that insisting that I pretend my breasts are 21 forever implies that there’s something wrong with women aging. Is that what you’re trying to say? Is it?  Eh??

I’ll stop there.  I’m sure you have your own, and that a bunch of you will finish the list in the comments. The point is, that I don’t like them and I don’t wear them much.  I don’t have an issue with other women wearing them, and I even have moments when I wear them myself.  I wear them when I’m doing something fancy,  when all my body parts are trying to look their best.  I wear one when I’m running, because I can agree that their mobility is not an advantage in that activity, and I’ve been known to wear one when I put on a tailored shirt and discover that the fashion industry has an inflexible notion about where my breasts should be located, and that without a bra, I am may be challenged to have my "empire" above an empire waist.   It’s just that the rest of the time – nobody has ever been able to give me a reason beyond "Don’t you want to be pretty?" (and yes, I do… but I’d rather do it in a way that isn’t an illusion that would shatter bystanders if they saw me naked)  why I personally should wear a bra.

All of this said, today I have a meeting with the school, and I have discovered over the years that for some insane reason (Rant 7b) people seem to think that you are smarter and more reasonable if you have controlled breasts.  I have tried to explain that I don’t think with my breasts, and that whether or not they are controlled has nothing to do with whether or not I have sound judgment or good ideas, but really, all that does is make me the crazy braless mother instead of just the braless one. For today, I should like very much to be taken seriously, and so I decided to put on a bra so that everyone can see that I am a proper mother.  (Rant 8b  A whole lot of mothering- especially the early part,  is easier to do if you’re not wearing a bra.   Why do we make even more complex bras to deal with that?)  Thing is? I can’t find it.  I have ripped up this whole house and I can’t find it.  I am now confronted with a choice between being going without and trying to hide that with a complex scarf/sweater plan I’m working out (which will likely make me "that sweaty mum" instead of "that braless mum" and actually has the potential to make me "that sweaty braless mum" which really could be worse…)  or I can give up, go there like I am, and sit there braless and knitting while my daughter rolls her eyes,  and just acknowledge that I’ve gotten this far in parenting without a bra, and say "I’m up here" if anyone stares.

I hate this. I do have most of a nice sock though.  Do you think it will help?

559 thoughts on “Underprepared, again

  1. Two words. Bandage tape. I’ve found as long as the headlights are off(impossible if you’ve breast fed) people don’t get as bent. Good luck at school. I had phone calls from three teachers last week.

  2. Well, you could walk in, flip off your shoes and thump your feet onto the edge of the desk. That way they will be forced to admire your socks and your braless state may not be noticed right away, lol.

  3. I have taken to wearing colored sports bras just because I get so frustrated trying to buy a bra and every single person I talk to measures me at a different size – everything from 34-38,A-C. It shouldn’t be that hard.

  4. Maybe if you knit on that (beautiful!) sock at chest level …. or slightly below …. nobody will notice.

  5. I love the socks.
    I always wear a bra, because I’m very large, and it hurts to go without. I don’t care whether you wear one or not.
    I think your problem is one of organization, not brafulness vs. bralessness. You’d be just as upset if it were your car keys that were missing. Oh, I forgot, you have a car-optional lifestyle. Okay, if the coffee had gone missing. If you always keep your car keys in the outside pocket of your purse, your coffee on the kitchen counter, and your bra in the top left drawer of your dresser, you will be able to put your fingers on any one of them at will.
    Best of luck in appearing smart and respectable at your conference. I’m sure you’ll carry it off in fine style.

  6. You are my hero. I have fought with the very idea of bras since puberty. I was the only girl I knew who wasn’t breathless with anticipation of a training bra. (I didn’t ask what it was “training” to do.) The bra comes off right along with my shoes, as I come in door from work. Which is only place I wear a bra, if I can help it.

  7. I love that this is something you feel strongly about, and that you express your position clearly, without implying that your position is the one true way for everyone. I think that there is an all too common tendency to say that there is only one ‘right’ way to do things, or to look, or to behave and that any deviation from that way is wrong. It’s so much better to acknowledge variation.
    Now, as for the clothing dilemma, could you wear the jogging bra to the school event? Depending on the rest of your clothes, it could be a good solution.

  8. Do you have a tight camisole you can wear as a base layer under a loose sweater?
    I love empire waists, but I have a long torso. So often, even with a bra, the empire comes out somewhat below the seamline. Such a bummer.
    Good luck!

  9. Don’t even get me *StarteD* on the underwire bit!! From an engineering standpoint, a bit of wire placed laterally underneath the point of projection of a cantilevered load does NOTHING to support said load!!! Why then, is that bit of wire there?!

  10. I am a pre-pregnancy 21 year old, and I still need a bra to make my breasts look like those of a pre-pregnancy 21 year old. Mine have never been the cute and perky type. I always wear a bra just because I’m much more comfortable with the support they provide.

  11. Like Marina, I wear a bra because I’m large and it would hurt not to wear one. My bra also is used as protection from my grabby 4 year old (“I need a handle to get up to Mommy’s shoulders – hey, these look good!”). Just don’t get me started on pantyhose – one of the most useless woman hating money-sucks ever invented. Oops. Sorry – I guess I DID get started….

  12. Having rather an excess of boobage, I find it necessary in most instances, for the sake of my own comfort, to corral the gals. Finding the right undergarment to do the trick is a trick indeed, and one which has been known to incite me to fits of lingerie rage at the department store, for which I am not apologetic.
    More than ill-conceived underware though, I tend to rant on-an-on about stupid wobbly uncomfortable high heeled footwear. Slopping around in those shoes just makes you look childish.

  13. I’m not that big, but I do feel more comfortable when I’m supported. My back feels better, sudden movements don’t give me that “woah, maybe not such a good idea!” sensation in the chestal area, etc. That it gives a more, er, perky look to things isn’t one of my reasons.
    But hey, if you don’t mind that feeling of perpetual torso motion and aren’t cursed with a ridiculous degree of back issues, then what should anyone else care what you wear under the clothes they can see?

  14. I would have to say that mine are definitely the working class variety. This post is so funny and yet so true.

  15. I always wear a bra – it is a comfort issue for me. Everyone else should wear what is comfortable for them.
    My friend Duda keeps things that she rarely needs but must find quickly (airplane tickets, engagement rings that she’s considering – don’t ask) in the butter container in the fridge. Not practical for everyone but a really good idea IMHO.

  16. My Bra comes off the second I get into the house too – most of my bras can be found near my shoes.

  17. This is why I love sports bras. They allow for coverage without requiring your boobs to be half your age. Of course, I’m with most of the bustier women. I wear one because it is more comfortable.
    I’m also with Sarah firmly against pantyhose. Really hate the stuff (which is why I wear pants almost all the time).

  18. LOVE! @Suzy Don’t even get me *StarteD* on the underwire bit!! From an engineering standpoint, a bit of wire placed laterally underneath the point of projection of a cantilevered load does NOTHING to support said load!!! Why then, is that bit of wire there?!

  19. Would someone please tell me why my nipples are an offense to the public at large. Men walk around topless and “glistening” with sweat. If I happen to show a bit of nipple outline through a blouse, I’m a fallen woman. Why?

  20. My bra is like my glasses. I’ve been wearing them the same length of time, and its more of a pain to try and go without them than to just put them on and forget about them.
    That said, bras are the evolution of corsets, which were always just packaging for the benefit of men. They throw in some moralistic nonsense so women will feel guilty for not putting their sweater kittens front and center for optimal viewing.

  21. I wear a bra, too, for comfort, but I am in COMPLETE agreement with the comments about pantyhose and high heels. Haven’t worn either of those in years – UGH!

  22. So you won’t be attending any bra making courses soon?
    My solution, big chunky sweater! You have one of those?

  23. I’m another one of those who find walking around without a bra to be uncomfortable. My breasts aren’t huge, but they’re certainly not small, and having them flap around is not comfortable. Also, when it’s hot outside, I find having them lifted and separated a bit to really cut down on sweating. So I’m a big fan of the bra and whomever invented them. That being said, none of my bras are suitable to be seen, being rather ratty and worn, but they get the job done.
    Any woman who doesn’t want to wear them, though, should not have to do so. It should be a matter of personal preference, like short hair or long hair. Then again, people have lots of opinions about that as well, I suppose. How does that saying go? You can please some of the people, some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people, all of the time.

  24. I am not particularly well-endowed but find that a combined total of 4 years of nursing has left my breasts far too…communicative with the outside world. So if I want people to focus on my face and my fascinating conversation, I have to wear a bra to keep the breasts from yelling “Look at me!” at every passerby on the street.

  25. My over abundance requires the “control” of a good bra otherwise, it girls gone wild. Not a pretty sight 😉

  26. I hate wearing a bra. I am a big girl (over 200lbs) with DD’s and can never get a bra that feels comfy for more than 5 minutes. I have never had those perky 21 yr old breasts (I am 29 now) and have some major gravity issues already! Since I work in a professional office, I have to put my best face (and breasts) forward. But off it comes when I get home!!

  27. well, i can’t likely give you a very great reason why you personally should wear bras, but i wear a J cup and feel like my bras do me a good service. but still, bras *are* a racket. and for the price, they aren’t very well designed. we can send people into space regularly, but can’t effectively support two cantaloupe sized breasts in a comfortable fashion. i call shenanigans on that.
    from the bra wearers side, i too think i could give you 16 rants about bras. like why are big breasts idolized beyond all things, but it’s nearly impossible to find cup sizes larger than a DDD in 99% of stores that sell bras? why do manufacturers of larger sized bras not reinforce the ends of the under-wire tubing (it’s always the first thing to go), or always have straps that are either uselessly thin or too thick to wear with anything, or only make larger bra sizes in white, black, and nude? why do they almost universally come up to my mid chest when, generally speaking, shirts cut that high aren’t that flattering on larger breasted women?
    the whole thing is just crap, all around, i agree.

  28. I’m with Marina. There hasn’t been an option to go braless since I was nine. I’ve always been envious of those who could wear sundresses and whatnot without. Strapless is a whole new kind of torture.
    My philosophy is that it’s about the illusion of control, or rather self-control. Braless is reckless and wanton. More power to ya.

  29. Add me to the list of the bra-less. I wear tank tops or camisoles underneath, or vests on top, or choose looser, opaque tops, or even shirts with chest pockets. But I get by just fine without a bra!
    What I’ve never understood though is that even for smaller women like me it is somehow taboo to be able to see any sign of your nipples, even the shape. Wouldn’t breasts without nipples be so much stranger???

  30. You have made some excellent points, especially regarding fancy pushup or lacy bras… but HONESTLY… I love bras. I am in my late 20s and never been pregnant, but a very full (non perky) C cup. If I went down any stairs without a bra on… OUCH. It is NOT pleasant. Not to mention my um “points” would be showing quite obviously through most of my shirts! I do not really want to put those on display… it would invite men to stare, wouldn’t it? I know they shouldn’t be looking there but it would catch their eye more! Also in the winter – NO BRA? Good lord, I am not even in Canada but BRRRRR… Bras keep my girls warm. Just some thoughts!!!!!!!! Thanks!

  31. Nothing says distraction like a gorgeous hand-knitted sock in progress!
    May I recommend for additional rant material Jill Fields’ great book: An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality? It has some problem spots, but I think you would find much with which to bolster your argument (ha!)

  32. You know, my headlights are a personal matter – I’d like to share as little knowledge of them with the general public as I can, so I don’t have an issue with wearing a bra, but I respect and applaud your opinion…but you did touch on a whole ‘nother matter, namely the whole makeup deal. I have never, ever “gotten” that one. What is wrong with how we really look?

  33. I always wear a bra because, like many others, it’s a comfort issue for me. I will say this regarding bra manufacturers… what is the deal with the demi-cup? Am I the only 40ish, post children-bearing woman that falls out the top of those darn things when I bend over? Yet they’re *everywhere*. Grrr. I say go the school as you are. I would hope that the school would be more focused on your child’s education than your undergarment decisions!

  34. Amen again! Bras had to be invented by men, right? (Like stilleto heels, just saying.) Underwire bras were created by Satan. I’m overly endowed in that area and have longed to get reduction surgery due to back troubles….but you can guess how that goes over with DH. The only time I notice someone NOT wearing one is when the woman has huge breasts, so I figure that means EVERYONE would notice if I weren’t wearing one, so I do.
    Social convention totally bites.

  35. The only reason I wear a bra is because of the enormity of my boobs. I have a rack of doom. If I don’t wear a bra and walk anywhere, the arc of their swing will literally knock me over. I’m convinced that’s why they’re called knockers.
    I like the idea of keeping your bra in the butter section refrigerator. Good luck to you.

  36. Do you (or any of your daughters) have tank tops with built-in shelf bras? They layer well, and can give someone less-endowed-than-me enough support to pull off a bra’d look!

  37. I wouldn’t hate bras so much if they made one that actually fit. If they can make an iphone jump up and tap dance on your desk, I think they should be able to come up with a better bra! They have had plenty of time to work on that design!

  38. Just throw a sweater over your blouse/shirt. If the school official is busy checking out whether or not you are wearing a bra, then he/she has a problem of their own. I only wear a bra when I go to work, otherwise, it’s a jacket or sweater over the top. As I’ve explained to the men in my house, wearing a bra all day is the equivalent of men having to wear a jockey strap all day.

  39. You know those really useless circle band aids that come in the variety pack? They turn off the head lights… Which is what most people stare at in the braless…
    If it weren’t for headlights, I would look like a twelve year old boy… But I raised two really cool kids on these puppies and that is breast enough for me!

  40. I wear a bra for the same comfort reasons listed above. Why is it when you are younger you are told big breats are a good thing? Now I’d be happier with the non-breats of my althetically built friends. And if you can’t find the bra does that mean no running? Sounds like a trick to me. (one that I would pull)

  41. At 66 I still dream of the days when I had to stuff a bra to make it look like breasts. Now at a 42 D that is the stuff dreams are made of. I would LOVE to go braless.

  42. I agree with all your rants – and could probably add a few of my own – but am another who is large & feels better with a bra than without. I totally concur with those who hate pantyhose (or tights as we call them in the UK; what a descriptive name!). As for those “style gurus” who say a woman should never have bare legs, even in summer, I say “Oh, go & boil your head!”

  43. Ah, fond memories of walking into the lingerie dept at Penney’s and asking the woman, “What have you got for someone with nothing to put in them?” Caught her offguard and then totally cracked her up.
    Easier for some of us to skip’em and not have it be an issue, because, well, who could tell?

  44. Personally, I can’t stand having the girls scraping up against my shirt, and as my shirt has more of a tendency to move than a bra does, there you have it. Protective layer. But I did find out recently that I’ve been wearing a bra 2 cup sizes and 6″ in the band too small. So I’d like to rant about how impossible it is to find a bra that fits you without the mean ladies at Victoria’s Secret glaring at you.

  45. I also dislike ill fitting bras. Even as I type this I am being poked in the right boob by a wire that has decided to take up a shape of it’s own. There has to be an answer. Otto Titslinger invented the first bra…maybe he, if he were still alive, could come up with an answer.

  46. Oh to have the option of not wearing one! J-cups and no bra = hunch back and bedrest for a week. You go girl. You must be meeting with up tight people.

  47. I love my bras, but it took a lot of sweat and tears (thankfully, no blood) to find them. I always HATED bras until I had a proper fitting. My breasts aren’t huge, but they’re… um… *sizable* and I am so much more comfortable in a well-fitting bra than without one. Most women wear bras in the wrong size, which is a shame. Most women need to go down a band size (or two) and up a cup size (or two). I thought I was a 36B for years… nope – 32DD!
    That said, if a woman doesn’t want to wear a bra, that’s totally her choice. I just don’t feel fully dressed without one!

  48. One word in defense of bras: I usually avoid them, but I just finished designing and knitting a vest that has seed stitch “suspenders” on either side of an intarsia motif. Without a bra, the suspenders bow out in very strange directions. I dug up an old and reasonably comfortable black wired bra: problem solved.

  49. All of your well-stated arguments against bras are no match for the fact that if I don’t wear a bra, my breasts make my back and shoulders hurt and that is definitely not fun.

  50. I’m with the people who wear them because it is far more physically comfortable to wear one than not.
    Because you do feel compelled to wear them at times, I would recommend going to the best bra-fitter you can find (Nordstroms in the States), and get a good fitting. My guess is that single bra you own probably doesn’t fit too hot, making the whole experience even worse than it already is.

  51. I am speaking only for myself here – but after a certain size is crossed going braless is not so much fun – especially if you wish to do anything remotely active – like chase small children, never mind more recognised forms of exercise such as jogging. I have to get mine specially altered – apparently manufactures believe my rib cadge size should not equate to my bust size. I would adore a reduction – for comfort reasons only.
    Lipstick…lipstick is a whole different kettle of fish.

  52. I’ve quintupled my bra stash in the last year (ie, now I have five) because I live in a place that is 75% male-populated, and a huge portion of said males are migrant workers far from home. So a woman is closely regarded at all times, and I don’t want to give them anything to stare at besides layers of clothing.
    BUT – what I meant to say was, when I found the ONLY 36B’s in the whole department store, they were clearly meant for some skinny pre-teen who has yet to develop fully, because the straps, at their longest, are still a bit tight on me. Grown women aren’t allowed to be as flat-chested as me, says the bra racket.
    I wear the thing to go out shopping, then I relieve myself of it as soon as I’m home.

  53. I love bras. They save me from having sore large breasts. A well engineered bra and my back is well worth the $$ that being said, the wireless push up bras- creep. me. out.

  54. My personal rant:
    Try finding a bra that fits you when you are post-bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Not a good idea to go without one, but finding one that is comfortable, fits properly, with cups that shape to irregular breasts is darn near impossible.

  55. I can’t imagine not wearing a bra on a daily bases. Often on the weekend I don’t wear one if I’m just hanging around. But as soon as I need to actually do something, especially bending down, the boobs are really in the way and I need to contain them. It’s just too uncomfortable not to wear a bra.

  56. “The foundation of empire is art and science. Remove them or degrade them, and the empire is no more.”
    William Blake

  57. You know, I agree with you on all those points, but I have to admit I’m so used to wearing a bra that I’m uncomfortable without one (unless I’m sleeping). The first year of nursing both kids, though, I had to wear a bra 24/7 because I leaked so badly. I was a veritable fountain, and if I hadn’t worn a bra with extra pads to bed every night, our room would have smelled like a neglected dairy farm.
    That said, my own mother, who is significantly more buxom than I, goes without a bra as often as she can. This is b/c a severe bout of shingles 2 years ago left her with chronic pain right in that unfortunate area, and wearing a bra only makes it worse.
    Sorry if that was a little too much information…good luck with the meeting.

  58. Thank you. I go without a bra as much as possible (actually, unless my husband happens to notice when I’m on my way out the door I can’t be bothered to put one on). They’re uncomfortable, don’t fit right (and I used to do bra fittings, it’s just hard to find one made right for me) and can end up making a woman feel insecure if her breasts don’t look like “normal” ones.

  59. My comment on this is why is it so much easier to find a bra for a woman that doesn’t need to wear one than it is for a woman that really, really needs one? DH mentioned victoria’s secret – and I almost died laughing – they certainly mostly have bras for women that can go without and not a one for the well-endowed female form!
    I agree, just wear a camisole under whatever or get some of those ‘discrete’ petal thingys and sally-forth without!

  60. I think the person who came up with the idea of bras was a sadist (judging from the spelling my guess a Frenchman). I wear one only when necessary.

  61. If your girls are properly lifted and separated, your waist looks smaller. I doubted, but I had a proper fitting and now I believe.
    The modern brassiere was invented by a woman out of two hankies and a bit of ribbon, from which we can conclude her figure did not require extreme engineering.

  62. Totally with you on all rants. After wearing makeup, pantyhose, and bras for business, I gleefully gave them all up when I left Corporate Land and now work in my home office. Still have to wear a bra now and then though and the only ones I’ve found that are reasonably comfortable are those carried by http://www.titlenine.com. If you’re old enough and lived in the U.S., that company name makes sense. Not affiliated with them at all, but thank goodness I found them as bra shopping is a depressing and annoying activity.

  63. Count me in on the “wear them for comfort” team. I’m both quite busty (38C) and developed pretty early, so I’ve been wearing bras for a looooong time and wouldn’t feel comfortable–either physically or psychologically–without one. It’s like trying to work without shoes on; I’m just not really dressed without it. On the other hand when the work day is done and I can lie around knitting, it’s the first thing that comes off. Whatever works for you, I say.

  64. I don’t suppose any of your daughters wears the same size, or close enough to borrow? We won’t tell her. 🙂
    Did anyone else see the story on CNN.com a few days ago about the Somali women who were being attacked/stoned because they WERE wearing bras? Apparently the militants doing the attacking thought it was false advertising. 🙁

  65. “Working class” breasts – LOL!
    My gals are more comfortable in a bra though I’d love to do without. I’m sure I’d agree with you on the majority of those 16 rants though. As for makeup and high heels, makeup is for costuming only. Ditto for heels unless perhaps I were dressing up to meet the Queen of England. I’d still be bare-legged though. I can’t keep a set of those infernal pantyhouse run free longer than 30 minutes!

  66. Also, I’d like to add a rant about *strapless* bras, because, like some of the previous posters, I too am envious of women who can wear strapless dresses or tops without a bra. Strapless bras, the only non-corset option for us slightly-bigger to much-bigger girls, are really just uncomfortably-shaped under-the-clothes *BELTS*. I can never get mine to stay up, no matter how many rows of that bizarre dried-hot-glue grippy stuff it has. MAN I HATE THOSE THINGS.

  67. I am among those women who wear a bra because not wearing one makes my back hurt–but I have to agree with those who wonder why nipple visibility is so scandalous. Large cup sizes with 1/4 inch of padding to disguise your nipples are available in most stores–and I’m sorry, but my D/DDs don’t need any padding. They’re fine the size they are. Also, I’m not the only person on the planet who has nipples, so why should I try to pretend that I don’t have them?
    Wear a bra, don’t wear a bra, whatever–I agree that modern bra culture is insulting to breasts. It’s a shame.

  68. The sock is beautiful – I say wear a sweater and forget the bra…You are not what you wear…(Keep in mind I frequently try to get away without wearing a bra as often as possible) a good alternative is a tank with a double layer in the front – no shaping and also no bra!!!!!

  69. I have a problem with the whole notion that we must cover up specific body parts because we will incite men to become flaming, raging sexual beasts. Here’s my question – if they are so out of control, shouldn’t they be locked up someplace nice & safe so the rest of us (the sane ones) can enjoy ourselves? Doesn’t that fall under “blaming the victim?”
    That’s my bra/bhurka/blanket-as-clothes rant.
    My make-up/hair rant is for another post.

  70. DPNs or underwire? I have been stabbed more times by one than the other. Can you guess which I own more of? Off now to cast on a sock…bra-less

  71. All this just makes me even more jealous of women with breasts of conveniently manageable size! I can’t even sleep comfortably without a bra on. That said, I have had multiple arguments with the staff of certain shops which ONLY stock bras with padding or ‘moulding’. I do not want my breasts to be ‘moulded’, especially not into the cubist representation of breasts these things produce! It’s not the actual stock that makes me angry (well it does, but I have to admit a business can stock what it likes) but the complete inability of their staff to acknowledge that a rigid plastic structure is just not going to fit everybody.

  72. I would love to find a non-bra arrangement that would make me socially acceptable and also comfortable. There is no advantage I can see to wearing tight elastic around my chest when the humidity is 96%. I’m a plus-sized older auntie lady in sensible shoes. No other part of me is supposed to levitate for the enjoyment of the general public.
    I saw a knit bikini-like thing on Ravelry. In the younger ladies it is doubtless fetching as swimwear (doesn’t it sag when wet?), but I wonder — in cotton knit with larger straps, would it levitate me sufficiently to allow me to run for a bus?
    I dare someone to come up with a comfortable pattern in 52B. I’ll even learn increases to knit it. Imagine what you could do with a tasteful arrangement of cables. That ought to puzzle all those sweater-scrutinizers! 🙂

  73. GRAVITY WORKS… two words that pretty much sum up the entire situation.
    The only time my ‘cubs’ behaved was for a brief and shining moment when I was 19. Then two kids later in my early 20’s and they started heading south ever since. I gained weight and they became my initial ‘meet and greet team’ but from increasingly lower levels of my anatomy! (repeat: gravity works)
    I never had a bra-less phase but courted many designs and types. Back closure, front closures(for when I was between husbands! Oo la la!) Regular bras that shove the two cubs into a a large lump with points… and eventually found the underwire support that divide and conquer. I have tried padded shoulder, reduce a size bras (cubs grew up more than was advertised!)
    It’s a real love hate relationship…I declared a truce and wrestle into one every day as I must admit that the cubs’ nose are pointing south and are closer to my waist than is comfortable! I asked my BFF what she wears and now we are both ‘Olga gals’ with their comfort bra and it truly is. It’s just 30 years late but oh, well…
    There is a similar spread and drop associated with men ‘of a certain age’ and when I consider this option, I’m darn glad I have breasts on my chest. They could have been even lower and just imagine the mess that would have made of walking!!
    Thanks for the laughs!

  74. The underwires aren’t exactly for support. They are to keep the band flat and tight on your chest. That, in turn, helps the cups hold the shape they were intended to hold. Also reduces uniboob.
    I own almost exclusively wireless bras, though, myself. I think clothing should be soft.
    In any event, I completely agree. There are some comfort benefits, to me, to wearing a bra, but I mostly do it because I feel dirty, dirty shame when the people around me can see the actual shape of my breasts. And I have young, 100% mainstream socially acceptable breasts. I spent years in middle school and high school heavily slouching to hide the remotest impression of any shape, which I don’t think has been good for my posture in the long run. Why? I dunno. I don’t have crazy anti-breast parents. All I knew was that I was embarrassed.

  75. I am more comfortable with than without a bra, but I envy women who don’t need them. They are expensive and hard to fit and I fall out of the pervasive demicups when I bend over.
    On the topic of nursing bras, for those of us who have a tendency to leak unpredictably beyond the newborn stage, having a bra to hold nursing pads is important. Having a wet spot on my shirt invites staring, which I get enough of when I breastfeed in public (don’t even get me started on the American discomfort at seeing a baby nurse where *gasp* other people could see), and it also chafes. Happily, I find today’s nursing bras to be easy to use one-handed, something my mom told me the nursing bras of twenty-thirty years ago weren’t.
    I don’t want the girls flirting with my belly button in twenty years and I’m big enough that they will if I don’t have support today. I’m also one of those for whom stairs and toddler-chasing are not fun while braless. In fact, even with a bra (never with underwires because those are pointless), I have to hold things in place when I’m going down stairs.

  76. You know, I’m reasonably large breasted and I gotta say, I’m happier and more comfortable if I have some help keeping them supported. Also, if I reach in some directions, it helps if they are out of my way (ie, above my elbow region). Also, because they are as they are, they have more than average swing and heft. People next to me could get injured. And I tend to get sweaty and gross underneath if they are left to their own devices.
    Really, I’d like to have removable ones just so I can take them off for every day life. It would be nice to just get on with the business of living without having to take them into consideration all the time. AND they are NEVER very comfortable. It’s like having a large baby clinging to your front all the time. My body is what it is, but I don’t love this part at all–bra or not.

  77. I bought a couple of those stretchy “sports” bandeaus at Old Navy for less than $10; previously, I’ve used those shelf-bra tank tops.
    Now that I’m older (hehehe), I still use the Old Navy bandeaus as they’re more comfy than a bra. I just can’t have nipples rubbing on cloth…it’s way too uncomfortable.

  78. I’m with Donna. Except mine usually comes off in the car on the way home from work. My hubby is amazed at how I can take them off with my shirt on, while driving. I’m fortunate enough to be itty-bitty though so it’s not so bad to go without.

  79. I was very upset a couple of years ago upon noticing that the gals were really starting to sag. I was 40+ years old and had just finished nursing my second baby. Dear hubby then said the sweetest thing. . . don’t worry hon, it just means they’ve been well loved! So, off went the bra and now I love my saggy boobs just the way they are (although, I do wear a bra to work).

  80. Decent Exposures (.com for the website)
    Make em to your size, give you a chance to request adjustments. And you can request them without latex elastic!
    (stupid appearance conventions) (grumble)

  81. I will never again be able to put on a bra w/o thinking of my breasts as “cantalevered loads”!
    Suzy…Your post is perfect and priceless!

  82. LOL at the William Blake quote!
    I’m a 34A with enough confidence in my nippular area to go without any time I want, but I don’t. I have to admit, I bought into the hype and think mine look better when sufficiently wrangled and augmented. Also, this helps most tops fit properly, as the fashion demographic is really more of a 36C. A little added size to support the drape of a shirt is simply how I prefer to look.
    But you… I’ve seen plenty of your photos on the blog, and you look great without a bra. Downright womanly. I say, if it suits you, screw the damn things. And if it doesn’t for whatever reason (size, fashion, whatever) do the best you can, and know that most of womanhood regrets the discomfort and expense along with you.

  83. I have to wear one, being quite large…as my mother used to say’ not wearing it would chafe my knees ” My rant is: why is it that, as soon as you find a bra that fits decently, they will discontinue it the next week?

  84. Having just written a long and tearful tale of woe in my own journal about body dysmorphism and anorexia I want to tell you that I love your rants! They are all so very true.
    I say take your braless, sock knitting self to school and if anyone tries to take you less seriously you wow them with your writerly vocabulary and let them feel like the dolts that they are. But then, I might be a little ranty myself today 😉

  85. I’ve alway wanted nice little decorative ones, but mother nature decided that I’m going to be fully “ripened”, that said, at home I’m just swingin’ in the breeze. Count me in with the ladies that drop the purse, shoes, and bra by the back door the second I get home from work.

  86. I feel about panty hose the way you feel about a bra. It’s the most uncomfortable and useless piece of clothing ever invented for women. It doesn’t let your middle breathe, it pinches, it bunches, and before you know it, there’s a hole in it and it runs. I abhor the material panty hose is made of, nothing made of that kind of nylon should touch the skin. It doesn’t keep you warm when it’s cold, and it’s too hot when it’s warm. And it makes your feet sweat. There. I feel better.

  87. I am in perfect agreement with you Stephanie. I would find an outfit I was comfortable wearing and let the devil take the hindmost. You are going there to represent a concerned mother, not the fashion police. My working class boobs did their job nurturing my children now they are free range as much of the time as I can manage. If jumping up and down makes them uncomfortable then there is one more good reason to sit and knit instead. I’m with Gilda Radner who claimed to base her fashion sense on “what doesn’t itch”. If God wanted us to wear those things he would inspire someone to make one that is comfortable.

  88. See, I’m a feminist and I can totally get behind the rants and all, but I am honestly happier in a bra, at least sometimes. My breasts are large and dangly and I like to feel they’re under control. (Mind you, those secret support things are fairly brilliant, when they fit.)
    I suppose I should cop to liking lipstick and high heels also, though. Can’t pretend that’s comfort talking.

  89. What I don’t get is why it is so hard to find a bra that isn’t padded, lacy, elastic-strapped? I’d use duct tape except, well, you know.
    Also, underwires are intended to provide structure to the bra itself, and thus in turn support the ladies, not do it all on their own. If the underwire is poking, it’s a sign that the bra doesn’t fit.

  90. What I find irritating is that the good quality nursing bras (which at my size are even MORE necessary for support than otherwise), are noticeably MORE expensive than regular bras even though you only wear them for 1-3 years. And the only addition on a nursing bras is a little extra fabric and some sort of clipping contraption that rarely works as well as it is supposed to. I tried going cheap on the nursing bras the first time and was sorely disappointed.
    Even if they were the same price as the regular bra that I can wear for 8-10 years, I wouldn’t be as pissy about it.
    FWIW, I wear my bras (nursing and otherwise) for me and not for anyone else. They make me feel more comfortable, confident and I feel that they make my clothes look better. But I support your right to go braless just as I know you support my right to be…um, well…supported. 🙂

  91. If I only didn’t have D’s I would be in complete agreement with you on all points. Actually, I am in complete agreement with you, but my D’s are the caveat. I would have serious back pain without a bra…. I can’t argue with the support that a well made bra provides me, but I personally hate all the itchy, tarty, lacey, strappy straight jackets the hussies at VS hock my way. I love me some smooth, stretchy, sans-underwire support.

  92. I have to wear one otherwise I look like those native women in National Geographic. They reach pretty far down my chest. I’ve thought of having them surgically placed back up where they belong, but I figure gravity will win in the end anyway. I’ve never found a comfortable bra; the straps dig in to your shoulders and the band cuts into my ribs. And during PMS time when I’m so swollen that I actually have cleavage, it’s so hot and sweaty, I have to put a tissue between them so they don’t chafe. Fun times. And let’s don’t talk about the “headlight” issue. I figure they shouldn’t be looking there anyway.

  93. You remember a couple of years ago when Janet Jackson had the infamous ‘costume failure’ and exposed herself on stage, live?
    Dolly Parton was talking about it later on Oprah I think. She asserted that if that happened to her, she’d take out the first few rows of the audience!

  94. i agree, hate the bra, and would not wear one especially since i am in the “nearly A” size except after extended breast feeding two babes, my nipples always look alert
    and I hate the staring!! like everyone thinks I am constantly aroused, so i squish them into submission with a comfy and not flattering sports bra giving me uniboob…

  95. I love living in a small town. Here the put-together-bra-wearing-hair-sprayed-made-up mom is the one we all wonder about. The rest of us are lucky if our shoes match… And there are a lot of old hippies up here 🙂

  96. If I could find a bra that would give me back my 21 year old assets I’d buy it at any price. I’d love to be able to run for a bus without having to hold everything in place with one arm. I’m giggling at CTJen’s “rack of doom” because that is just such a good description.

  97. I attended a small liberal arts college that was competitive, full of judgment, and (as most higher-level education tends to be) well seated within traditional male social structures and expectations. I spent my time there crusading against the pressure I felt to be “feminized” by other people’s conceptions of womanhood. I wore sleeveless shirts with no bra, did not shave my legs or armpits, and became my own hairdresser–the scruffy kind with a set of nice sewing scissors. I knew only two other women who presented themselves similarly.
    I found that if I expected people to respect me, they lost their power to control my behavior. (Well, at least it *sounds* easy…) Once a male student mocked my clothing in class, so I turned to the female professor and quipped “I know, I’m the new fashion plate for Winter”. We had a good laugh, and gained social power over the offending person while we were at it.
    It was quite tough not to change my habits at times, as most of my friends eventually did. I think it says a lot about the pressures of education that women often feel obligated to aspire to particular models before they feel free to focus on their studies.

  98. There are too many comments for me to see if someone else has addressed that, but apropos Rant 1:
    If you’re buying push-up bras and shaping bras and cleavage-enhancing bras, then yes, I totally agree with you. However… I have large breasts. Very large breasts. In fact, they are very large, *very* floppy breasts. And they get in the way. If I’m running around the bump around and hurt. If it’s hot out they get sweaty and friction burned. If I don’t have a bra on during the day, I wind up with horrible back pain and friction issues everywhere.
    But that’s why I wear a sports bra. I don’t give the slightest damn that sports bras don’t lift or seperate. I don’t care that they’re not lacy and don’t make my boobs stick out like cones.
    Women who complain about bra discomfort and underwires and crap like that are missing out, because sports bras are the way to go for comfort and support without compromising one’s natural feminine beauty.

  99. count me among those that is more comfortable with than without. (all size related)
    and why don’t they carry nursing bras in sizes larger than D in stores? come on.

  100. Laughing my ass off here. But you raise so many good points (no pun intended) about fashion issues related to gender. I’m all for free choice when it comes to breast support, but I’ve been going braless for forty years, my working-class, nursed-five-children-including-twins breasts have grown from a 34A to as 40C and, hey, they’re not down to my knees yet. Modesty issues? One word: camisole.

  101. i love that you take into consideration stranger’s reactions should they see you naked. because, you know, sometimes it’s an option.

  102. Hate ’em. Only wear ’em when the visual comfort of others is paramount (like client meetings an such).
    Get yourself a jean vest (like a jean jacket, just without sleeves). They are sturdy enough that interior movement isn’t obvious, they can be worn any season (summer over t-shirts, winter over sweaters), and they are comfy.

  103. It makes me wonder what the true general reaction was from women when these were brought onto the scene. I’m guessing it was “Eh”.
    Anybody else notice that a lot of woman’s underthings are similar to bondage contraptions?

  104. Genuine question here, doesn’t any elses nips hurt if you go braless? Mine are really sore after about an hour of no bra! I agree the right size bra is a revelation, and most bra fitting is a crock.
    As for tights / pantyhose, nice thick winter weight tights are a joy to wear with skirts! Forget those lght laddering things though!

  105. Oy, gravity. Me, I’m more comfortable wearing a bra when I’m out of bed, and it’s essential in my preferred hobby of riding dressage (think sitting trot, not posting) and my preferred mode of exercising (jogging). And if I didn’t wear one (which conveniently held absorbent pads) during the year and a half I was breastfeeding, all my shirts would have sported big wet spots. Yuck. The advantage of wearing them as I have is that at 48, mine ARE still perky; not good for mammograms but my hubby of 25 years seems to appreciate them!
    I’m glad we all have the freedom to choose. 🙂

  106. I feel that way about socks. I live in the Deep South, and just this week I’ve been forced to cover my feet with more than slip-on shoes or sandals : (

  107. Someone commented “If your girls are properly lifted and separated, your waist looks smaller.” And I ask, Why is it necessary for one’s waist too look smaller than it is?

  108. I wear a bra because my workplace is very, very cold, and my nipples appreciate the extra insulation. Before I nursed two children, bras were very optional. Now, the “at attention” position is more than a little uncomfortable after a while.

  109. I used to have a (female) office manager who was obsessive on the subject. Since I always wear sports bras & don’t have any other kind, she would follow me into the coat room and ask “don’t you have a bra on?”. I would then fish out a strap to show her and say “yep, here it is”. We ended up one day in a discussion about why I didn’t feel the need to force my meager rack into the appearance of 1950s nuclear warhead nose cones and she finally gave up.
    Re: the underwires – I don’t know either why, from an engineering standpoint, they exist. But they show up real good on a dog x-ray. 2 happy smiles, side by side. Ask me how I know.

  110. Philosophically, total agreement. Realistically, too much boobage to be comfortable without a bra. But what surprises me is that I seem to be the only one who actually prefers underwires. Much more comfortable for me. My beautiful teenage daughter always ranted about how uncomfortable her bras were and I suggested she try one with underwires. She thought I was insane, couldn’t possibly work. She tried it and is now a convert. It took almost 40 years of trying every damn bra in the universe for me to find the right one, but the last ten years have been great! Saved my daughter about 25 years of bra angst. Maybe my greatest motherly accomplishment!

  111. I have to admit, I have trouble comprehending being more comfortable withOUT a bra than with one.
    I can’t STAND going without a bra, at home, even. Walk as far as the mailbox without one? HELL no. Of course, size may have a lot to do with that. Walking down a flight of stairs braless HURTS. It really does. And they get all sweaty underneath, no matter the temperature. So it’s gross AND painful. Plus, with the proper bra (one that makes my girls look way “nicer” – i.e., round, the way I’d always dreamed the could look, rather than pendulous – than they ever did, even at 21), my back doesn’t hurt.

  112. I teach. I wear a bra when I do so. I have worn nursing bras, underwire bras, softcup bras, bandeau/shelf bras–whatever was clean.
    Then a student, on an anonymous TEACHING EVALUATION wrote that s/he (I assume he, but do not KNOW for sure) found it very unprofessional that I wore bras and/or clothing that revealed that I had nipples. Unprofessional to have nipples.
    Chew on that one for a bit.
    I was mortified. Wanted to find the little shit and smack him/her.
    Then I went out and bought padded bras.
    I mentioned this to a coworker and she said: “damn, now I can’t come by your office to check your chest for the temp outside. Those are perky nipples you have.”
    WHY, oh why are my breasts of so much interest to the general public? Hmmmm?
    (traumatic rant over)

  113. I absolutely see all of your points in re: bra wearing and the social pressure to do so. That bit of this argument makes total sense to me and I am in full agreement. 🙂 But you DID say nobody had given you a good reason why to wear bras to begin with, and thus I say unto you:
    As a 40G-breasted woman, my bras will be pried only from my cold, dead…well, breasts. I cannot STAND the sweatiness, & dangly-bits uncomfortableness (how do men DEAL with having scrotum? I really can’t fathom this.), not to mention the truly foul skin infections that would result for me if I did not wear bras every day. So that’s my good reason for wearing one.
    It’s be marvelous to me, though, if the former industry for custom-fitted undergarments were to make a miraculous recovery. Paying Nordstrom or a UK company $80-$120 per bra for bras that only sort of fit well is suckitudinous in the extreme. 🙂

  114. If I could go without I would but I am of the bigger working class variety. But in a pinch (i.e. forgot the bra in gym bag for changing after a morning workout) just put on your sports bra. No one will notice if you are wearing a “regular” bra or that. The comment for a tight cami or built-in bra tank would work well too.

  115. “I have tried to explain that I don’t think with my breasts, and that whether or not they are controlled has nothing to do with whether or not I have sound judgment or good ideas” unlike the other gender which DOES think with their organ and if it is uncontrolled leads to unsound judgment and bad ideas.

  116. “Bondage contraptions” indeed. We’ve had support mechanisms for centuries, but all too often that’s what they amounted to. I’m just grateful not to live in the age of the corset…I’ve trained in one for performance, and the only good thing about it was TAKING IT OFF! Cheers to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and bloomers!!

  117. I really like bras. A good bra gives me cleavage. I’m petite and Asian, and it would be nice to have cleavage.

  118. Rant #5 is my particular favourite. 8^)
    I hate ’em but I have to wear them. It is totally unfair that a good bra, a bra that works and lasts, costs the earth. And it is unfair that a beautiful one must cost even more, or worse still, is an elusive creature when you are ample bosomed like myself. I wear one because my bosom and chest feel more comfortable when I do, and because a good bra makes me look thinner. Vanity. Plain and simple.
    I think we need Suzy to design the perfectly engineered bra.

  119. err…can’t you just put on one of your gorgeous sweater (like that brick red one) and the sports bra? I can’t go braless for very long nowadays, a dramatic change from when I was a 21 year old Wonderbra maniac…so that’s what I’d do if I was in your shoes. (I’d also run away with these lovely socks!)
    If there was another article to add to your rant, it could be about the bras you can buy at “La Vie en Rose”….duh, apparently when you have a little more boobs the bra store isn’t there for you, they only sell 32aa’s and the like…Women with breasts buy bras at TheBay and Sears, the breastless in the bra stores I don’t get it!

  120. FWIW, I have never in my almost 50 years of life noticed whether or not another woman has been wearing a bra.
    Also, I gave up on bras and started buying those camisoles with the second layer of fabric and elastic that the manufacturers delusionaly call a “built in bra”. It appeases the masses who insist on some sort of support, and doesn’t give me bruises (HATE underwires). Plus they’re $12 for a two pack, which is much better than $45 each for the “good” bras.

  121. Are you able to find a swimsuit? You can wear it *almost* comfortably under your regular clothes and the spandex will keep the girls in place fairly well.
    I have a single bra that I never wear either, and decided to make my mother proud by wearing it to my brother’s wedding. Couldn’t find it due to a move, but did locate a swimsuit top and wore that.
    Might not work if you are extremely large-breasted.

  122. I disagree with the idea that no one objects to big sweaty men walking around topless, I’m sure a lot of women object to uncensored views of hairy butt cracks and sweaty pits. Its just that men are usually bigger than us. The difference between them and us is that they don’t care what the world thinks of them. Or in some cases are so overconfident that they think the space between them and everyone else is so that people can get a better view to admire them, rather than just an attempt to escape from the miasma of their BO.
    On the one hand I’m poor enough that I’d love to go braless and do anything useful at the same time, alas it can’t be done. I’m not huge, and I used to be thin and even then the epic pain of letting them bounce around was more than I could bear for more than 5 minutes.
    On the other hand I prefer the control element of wearing a bra, not just the control of the bewbage itself but also of anyone in eyeline who is a fan of bewbage. There’s something satisfyingly unfeminist in getting cheap coffee or priority service just by leaning forward a bit :p Plus the bewbage distracts from my face. I’m sure if I turned up with my boobs round my waist there’d be nothing to draw the eye from my ugly face and I’d have to pay extra for my coffee and get terrible service everywhere.

  123. I love wearing a bra…without it my breasts HURT. They ache, deep inside, all around the edges if I go too long braless, or if the bra is not strong enough/fitted right/locked and loaded. Gyno says it is not uncommon…though I have never met a woman with the same complaint.
    But hey, celebrate diversity! Bras are not required in my book…and with the chilly Toronto climate you should be able to conceal your bralessness if you imagine it a problem. One request: my spouse thinks bralessness is very sexy, so please do not parade you girls around him.

  124. Bras..yeah, I hate them, too. I wear them outside, but often take it off at home. I think underwire bras were probably created by men. I say we create an underwire jockstrap and see how they like it. 😉
    A cardigan is a good foil..go for the cardigan with enough detail that they see that and not the lack of support.

  125. I can’t even believe that I’m admitting this on the internet, but whereas usually I wear bras (I really just like the feeling. Hate having ‘the girls’ flopping about all the time)… this morning was just crazy and I was halfway to work by the time I realized that I had completely forgotten a bra.
    I still can’t figure out how it happened. (Pass the coffee.)

  126. Try a tight undershirt or an ace bandage, you are a normal size for your frame and it might work if the bra can’t be found. Unfortunately I have very full, very mature, breasts (mid 40’s)(US size 42 DDDD). Not wearing a bra in painful and they get in the way. If they were smaller, I think going without a bra much of the time would be very comfortable and free.

  127. See, now, I thought the solution to the missing bra was going to lie with knitting. Surely a nice fine-gauge scarf could be tied criss-cross under one’s shirt for short-term containment?

  128. To all who, like me, have boobage of the sort that is far more comfortable contained, I have to agree. The search for a well-fitting 42DD bra that doesn’t look like a medieval iron maiden, however, is crazy-making. Damn near impossible if you want a front-hook. Pantyhose, however? Instrument of torture, conceived by a sadistic maniac, and necessary for lawyers to look like lawyers. I. Hate. Them. Come in the door in the evening kicking off shoes and peeling those #$%^&*(%^& pantyhose off as soon as possible. As for cost, durability, etc. of pantyhose? I need a whole ‘nother rant for that.

  129. Wear your sports bra. I wear mine everyday that I’m working in the summer. I led a landscape construction crew this year.
    If you don’t like that the suggestion of medical tape is a good one. That’s what we used to do when we had dresses that wouldn’t accomodate a bra in the days before the stick on invisible ones. Think of the old Cross your heart ads. Tape from the outside of one to the inside of the other crossing in the center. Tape across the nipples to help with the ‘headlight’ effect. I’ve seen the whole thing done with duct tape but would not advise.

  130. While I agree in theory, I find that I am pro bra. Mostly because once your ladies have advanced through a certain portion of the alphabet, a bra becomes your ally. The thought of my girls swinging freely is unsettling and uncomfortable. I only wish that they were petite and perky.
    On the other hand, I have grown to love the ladies even as they become somewhat saggy and decidedly wasted. They managed to support two growing girls through the first months of their lives and for that I will be eternally grateful. Now they are retired from active service and I feel the least I can do for them is a luxury condo with a view.

  131. I agree whole heartedly with all rants listed- though I keep thinking about dressing in period costume with stays… at least with a bra I can sit down! (Though my posture isn’t as good) 🙂 Best of luck!

  132. What I really hate is being a big woman with a rack. Almost all the bras I’ve found tend to give me a uniboob. Ugh.
    But for the record, my male doesn’t get a free pass, either, re being fine the way he is. He has a beard, which for the first time I like on a man. But only if it’s kept neat and sharp. I can’t deal with the mountain man look it’s too much like some very distant relations of mine I met once, from in the Appalachians.
    Plus, he has eyebrows that will scare small children and cause farm animals to stop producing, if not groomed.

  133. Yep. I’m with you on all accounts. I’m fortunate to be able to get away with it, though. While I’m big in the chest, I’m only a B cup, so it’s a challenge to find a bra with large enough circumference.
    I’ve found my favorite bra is a nearly all-cotton lounge bra that keeps them from bobbing about like bagged mice. It doesn’t make them perky torpedoes, it fastens in the front, and it’s very comfy. But given my preference I would go without. And in a pinch I wear a nice springy camisole.

  134. Did you knit that whole sock since yesterday? You’re so fast I’m jealous! Bras? We were talking about bras? I didn’t notice anything!

  135. I have breasts on the small-to-medium size, and have found that now that I am older and more saggy, they hurt if I don’t wear a bra.
    It’s like knitting (I think everything is like knitting) — the same tools and techniques don’t work for everyone.

  136. I dance every morning. Bouncing DDs are not comfortable — they hurt. So, naturally, I go down to the sporting goods store and see tons of 34As and 34Bs on the rack, the odd 34C, and nothing that I could possibly squeeze my bosom into.
    Why why why would they only make sports bras for A and B cups (who mostly probably don’t need them) and not for those of us who seriously need the support?
    As for underwires, I like em. I hate having my breasts squashed flat (too much like having a mammogram – yeouch!).
    And the other bra rant: after 17 years of breastfeeding four children, I only want pretty bras that make me look and feel good. Nothing industrial-looking, nothing that remotely resembles a nursing bra. I want something pretty and feminine and feline and sexy. My breasts have done a lot of hard work over the the years. They’re beautiful and they deserve to be celebrated. So I want red lace and tiger stripes and bright colors and embroidery and snakeskin and sparkles.
    Gild those lilies, baby!

  137. Oh Stephanie, thank you for posting this! I often wonder if my breasts are really crazy and different from everyone else’s, or if bras are just made for only one style of breast. (I think it is the latter.) You just made me feel better about myself.
    I agree with the women who wrote that nipples can be distracting- try taping those up a little, and the rest, well, that’s just what you look like and it’s obvious that you are a wonderful and intelligent person, bra or no bra!!!

  138. I think I bought a bra several years back, just to see what it would be like… no idea where it is. Don’t care to go looking for it, either.
    The only advantage I can see for me to wear a bra is that some shirts are see-through enough to show off nipples (though, we’re getting into the cold weather now, so this is becoming less and less of a problem!). My entire life up until a few months ago, I just avoided wearing light-coloured t-shirts. I went to a wedding in May, though, and wore a dress (also a rarity for me!) that I really liked, but the material in the top part wasn’t very comfortable. A bra would have solved everything.
    So I bought a plain camisole dealie.
    As far as I’m concerned, people who care about how I look should count themselves lucky when I decide to shave my legs in the summer. 😛

  139. My best bra story is from when I went to visit my son after he moved away from home for the first time to work at a ski hill two provinces away. We walked through the front door and the first thing I noticed was a lacy black bra hanging from the living room fan/light. I was a little relieved to see that there was dust on it. It was a house where about 8 other guys were living. Maybe that’s your bra?

  140. As someone with historically small breasts (my high school volleyball team called me the boobless wonder) who is now 6 1/2 months pregnant, I finally get the point of a bra. At the end of my first trimester I had horrible back pain, so I went in and got a bra fitting. After buying a couple that were 3 cup sizes bigger than my old ones (that I hardly ever wore, what was the point) my back is just fine. However, I do hope that after breastfeeding they go back down to the old size. It was so much more convenient to have one less article of clothing to keep track of!

  141. To each their own, I say. I find wearing one helps avoid back pain. We’re not all built the same. Isn’t that why we knit?

  142. shoot, I thought there’d be a knitted bra pattern here.
    loving the comments though.
    i am wondering however where one buys these bras that make one look like a pre-pregancy 21 year old… i’d go there in a second.

  143. Love the rant. Got me to thinking about my mother’s saying of always wear good underwear so in case you get in an accident the doctors and nurses in the emergency room will see you have good underwaar. I am sure that this is upmost in their minds at the point that you are in ER. I go with and without and figure whatever anyone else is comfortable with they can do. I also agree with the comment of women having to “dress up” be that makeup, shaved legs, or a bra just to run to the grocery store and men just amble out looking however and no one says anything. What’s with that anyway.

  144. Oh, to have breasts that COULD go bra-less! I’ve never experienced that — at least not since the age of 13. When you’re a DD cup, a bra is pretty much NOT an optional part of the wardrobe. Without one, anything other than sitting can get pretty uncomfortable. Running is absolutely out of the question — it is totally within the realm of possibility that I could blacken one or both of my eyes should I attempt to run without adequate brassiere support!
    All that said, the thing that has always puzzled me is why it’s not okay for my nipples to make themselves known when it’s cold out. The prevailing notion of propriety seems to be that they should keep their heads down and not appear as bumps under my shirt. I have no idea what they’ve done to offend so many people, but apparently they were very, very rude to SOMEONE and are now expected to remain hidden away. An out of sight, out of mind kind of thing I suppose.

  145. Well, I personally have not yet found one that doesn’t hurt, eventually, from the rolling up around my ribcage. They are OK for about 1 wearing after purchase. So, even though I like my “look” better with, I’m MUCH happier “without.” I have taken to wearing lots of tank tops with a jacket, or over-blouse-as-jacket type thing. And a square of cloth tape over the nipples almost takes care of the high beams. 😀

  146. Seems to me that the problem isn’t so much that others believe OUR thinking and judgment to be controlled by our breasts — it’s that THEIR thinking and judgment is.

  147. I wear a bra because everyone else does….and I hate them. I have been measured numerous times, and have never, ever found a comfortable fitting bra that knows how to keep itself in place! You lift your arm and the band flies up, the straps falls down, and I’m always pulling, tugging and adjusting something. I hate discretely “dumpster diving” inside a shirt for a droopy strap that pins your arms to your sides! Men can jiggle and jog in their boxer shorts, or even salute, and no one seems to care–and no one says they should try to wear their jock straps 12 hours or more a day! Mine either comes off or gets unhooked every chance I get!

  148. Can’t you borrow one from your daughter, since it seems that she is the one most affected (and perhaps most concerned–I have 3 teen-aged daughters so I know all about the eye roll) by the outcome of your not wearing one?

  149. I like the idea of knitting a bra in some really soft merino or alpaca. But it’s knitting the underwire that’s got me stumped… : )

  150. Nice pun in the title.
    It’s all about control, both physical and social. Ancient Greek frescoes show women wearing something tied around to hold their breasts in place while exercising. A period-correct 16th century corset doesn’t restrict your body, it is there to control the dress fabric, and you can breathe deeply and do housework easily in one that is properly fitted. The first 20th century bra was invented to flatten the chest for the boyish look. Most bras don’t fit because the average shape usually doesn’t exist, it’s just an average. A perfectly engineered bra for one shape is totally wrong for all the other shapes.
    Once you find the wretched thing, make a folder on your computer in which you write down the location where it was last seen, and keep it up to date. (In case of computer trouble, how about an online record of where things are, so you could borrow someone else’s computer to find it? Does Ravelry or Library Thing have a space for that? Invent a book title, “Where The Bra Is, an exploration” or a yarn colorway “Well Schooled” or something.)
    And school meetings suck.

  151. I hate bras…
    I wear bras… i must… i am running around far too much to have 2 black eyes all the time… that would be worse to explain.
    I hate bras

  152. The plain cotton cross-back bras from American Apparel are my salvation. I only wear bras to prevent nipple-chafing and they do the trick. They’re cheap and comfortable and come in nice colors.

  153. The thing that amazes me is that a lot of women wear their bras all day and sleep in them too. I saw a breast cancer study that showes the rates for breast cancer in women who never wear a bra is like 1 in 156 women, for women who wear a bra 12 hours a day or less 1 in 154 women, for women who wear a bra 24 hours a day 1 in 20. Obviously a problem for our health!
    The cultural training is the biggest offender for bra usage. We should be okay with the natural shape of breast, and the natural appearance of hair, and the natural color of lips…we have strayed to our own peril. That being said, I shave my legs and I love lipstick- love it, but I’ll only use the natural brands.

  154. As I was reading your blog, a VS commercial came on the television for a “bra that will make you look like you are 2 cup sizes larger.” Need I say more? I say let’s have a day where ALL women go braless. This wouldn’t be as overt as, say, the bra-burning women of my youth. But, still, where does it stop? OK, I’m off of my soapbox now.

  155. In addition to rant 3 I’ve always wondered why period products are so freakin’ expensive. Do they argue that a box of tampons once a month is less expensive than 15 new pairs of pants?
    I do like bras though, there is too much movement for my liking otherwise. I will likely feel different while nursing.

  156. Depending on their size, bras are more to protect your back and keep you balanced on the front. There are cheap simple ones out there that do nothing more than support the breasts that are actually suprisingly comfortable. Admittedly those are very hard to find, but when you do, buy a lot of them, the manufacturer is bound to stop making them w/i the month.

  157. As the mother of two teenaged boys, I’m very aware of the censorship qualities of a bra. Essentially, I believe women are expected to wear a bra so as to not disturb others (men) with breasts’ fluid movement. It’s beautiful on the beach, but distracting in the boardroom.

  158. Honest to God, you only have ONE? God bless you, Stephanie. Your pedestal keeps getting higher.

  159. I think the bra thing is all a sexist conspiracy theory. Men have finally figured out that they are way, way too distracted by breasts in any state, and that the thought of them “on the loose”, as it were, is just too much for them to take & speak coherently at the same time. So they started the idea that we should reign the tata’s in just so they could get some work done.

  160. Hey, Stephanie, good luck at school! Actually, looking at the time, it’s probably over by now. I get the impression it’s not a “routine” conference.

  161. I’m a bit divided on the Bra Issue. I agree with all your rants. And perhaps if women never had worn corsets then later bras we wouldn’t be where we are today. However, I know some well endowed women who are more comfortable in a bra and actually have discomfort without one. Then I know women who remove their bra as soon as they get home from work, even before their shoes…I can’t help but think they have the wrong size bra. After open heart surgery well endowed women have to wear a very supportive sports type bra so the weight of their breasts won’t pull on the sternum. I can’t go with out a bra because I feel uncomfortable and like I’m in my pj’s.
    On the school meeting front. I had an important one for my son the other day and dressed very professionally for it. I agree it is important to look responsible and pulled together, especially when you end up crying.

  162. There must be something about teachers/teaching and bras… I used to go braless and had for many years until I started being a teaching assistant as a grad student. At the end of my first semester I got a comment from a student about my inappropriate dress habits and the only thing I could think they would be referring to was my bralessness (my clothes really aren’t exciting enough to illicit this sort of response). I gave in and started wearing a bra and though it saddens me a bit I suppose it helps now that I’m lecturing 150+ students not to have to think about their staring at ‘inappropriate breastage’. The way people make us feel unnecessarily self-conscious…

  163. I completely agree with everything you say and could happily add a few extra rants. Problem is that for those of us with very large breasts which have, as you say, seen a lot of action (medically known as pendulous) a bra is an essential for comfort. I know lots of women who delight in nothing more than whipping it off but for me being braless is a health and safety issue and only feels good when I am still. And that isn’t much. I know for some this is very hard to believe but a good bra is a liberation.

  164. I would just about anything to never have to wear a bra again. However, I have discovered that when I cook, knit, type, or do just about anything they get in the way. So, sister, go braless for all of us out here who can’t but would in a heart beat if they could. Swing on sister, swing on.

  165. I used to feel pretty disgruntled about bras, even though I really need one because of my cup size. But then I finally started wearing the right size bra and no more bra hatred! The bra sizing standards are ridiculous- I wear a band size 2 sizes smaller than what bra manufacturers say I should because that’s what I need to get comfy support.

  166. I feel more comfortable wearing a bra (outside the house), but hate the expense. I have found that the bras at Target are inexpensive and hold up (in both senses) every bit as well as much more expensive ones. They are also every bit as comfortable as the more expensive ones, and for me, look as good for less than a third what I’d pay in a department store. Oh, and panthose, some misogynistic man came up with those instruments of torture.

  167. First of all, you’ll take my bra when you pry it off my cold lifeless body. (And the underwire is an anchor point, like a bridge footing)
    But, if you’re not going to be moving around a lot, who is even going to know if you’re wearing a bra or not? I’ve seen you in person, and have even seen you walk around a bit, and your working class boobs are fine as is. It’s not like they’re pendulums of a grandfather clock.

  168. I love the engineers comment and just discovered another anomaly we are being sold on – the arch support! Who would suggest you support an arch from below but the shoe industry selling us what is “good” for our foot. This means we must now buy a new pair of running shoes every six months – handy that for them that is. Our feet are designed with an arch that bares the load from above. My husband just ran a marathon barefoot (I totally thought he was crazy before I did a little reading) he had less blisters and felt fantastic. SO now I am giving up the bra and I will let you know when I come up with a better design than what we have naturally.

  169. I’ve seen alot of women with large breasts lament the a) cost and b) lack of properly fitting bras. There are bra specialty stores. They are so worth it. If you’re a big girl, like me, Lane Bryant/Cacique make excellent 36C+ bras for reasonable prices. I wear my underwires for comfort (swear to god, really). and, hand to god, wore a properly fitted corset that may have been the most comfortable garment i have ever worn. I have scoliosis and DD breasts. it was awesome.
    besides–as someone with an interest in historical fashion–even as little as 125 years ago, there were corsets for men. because the ladies liked it. vanity is an equal opportunity discomforter.

  170. Rant# 11ty million & 4
    Underwire bras set off the metal detectors at airports. Or so I discovered while trying to board a flight from Vancouver to Toronto. Fun times. Funny that they didn’t even bat an eye at the 2 Addi turbo circs in my wip sock.

  171. Having the sock shall come in very handy if you feel the desire to tell someone who complains about your lack of undergarments to “stuff a sock in it.”

  172. I only wear one if I’m wearing a white shirt with nothing over it. I’ve had women say to me, “Well, I WISH I could do that, but once you get older you’ll HAVE to wear one!” I always laugh because I’m 40 and the “girls” are pretty much where they’ve always been. The only good use I’ve found for bras is that they’re a convenient place to keep a note to yourself to remember to do something when you get home (arrive home, bra comes off, note falls on floor, you remember to change the furnace filter or something). Actually, email has even replaced that for me, so now there’s really NO reason to wear one!!!

  173. I do not like bras in general and I do not need them. I am small at a 32B and still perky for my age as they are non-working ones, but I do not like the nipples to show changes of temperature specially at my workplace so I wear the darned things.
    They come off as soon as I get home.

  174. Some of us prefer to wear them not as a statement against feminism, but more of a statement against the back pain and/or uncontrolled flopping about of our *ahem* ample bits. I even sleep in a sports bra because it’s just uncomfortable, physically, if I don’t.
    But I agree that the whole female gender has gotten a rather short end of the proverbial stick when it comes to the augmentations we have to do daily to fit the ideal — or, in my case, the acceptable minimum. ^_^

  175. I have always been well endowed. I was a 32DD when I was a skinny little thing in high school. 20 years, 4 kids, 8 years of nursing said four kids, and 70 pounds later, I am a 38J. I don’t know about Canadians, but 95% of American women wear the wrong bra size. I go to specialty shops where women have training in mastectomy prosthetics for my bra fittings. This makes all the difference in the world. I do not sag excessively despite my size because I have always worn good support. I wear a bra for comfort when I am out and about. Ironically, I also take it off for comfort when I get ready for bed. I do need the support, and I like to relax later when I am inactive. I have to be careful or my back does act up. I will never have surgery to reduce them. God made me this way and some women pay good money to get these big girls artificially. And I don’t ever care about erect nipples anymore. People need to grow up.

  176. So I tried a small experiment (though small isn’t quite the right word) this afternoon by doing household chores sans bra. I concluded that I’m more comfortable with one, for various reasons that have already been articulated and needn’t be re-visualized. I also concluded that my current bras aren’t, ahem, pulling their weight.
    I hereby grant you permission to go braless. I also grant myself permission to go find a nice, competent saleslady (they do exist) to help me get some bras that fit properly. Anyone else need permission while I’m at it?

  177. Boy, what a flashback to about 8 years old. There weren’t any naked breasts to see in the 1950’s unless you went to the museum. I figured that all women had breasts that looked like that and I couldn’t wait. Well. What I got was more like that pre-historic venus statue without feet or neck. Her breasts are sort of L-shaped flaps laying flat on her tremendous abdomen.
    I wear a bra for the comfort issue like so many others, but every single day, as I lean into my bra, I am saying “take that you miserable wretches”.

  178. Part of the problem for me of not wearing a bra over my retired working girls is that given the number of years gravity has exerted its downward influence…..I might actually trip over them..and its bloody hard to tie your shoes when you have to shift one or the other to the side!!! 😉 Before had kids….I am of the generation that not wearing a bra was OK, and part of our equality….until said gravity became an issue!!!

  179. Personally, I have H cups, and life is much better when I have a bra on. Much more comfortable. But I see where you’re coming from.

  180. The problem with reading all this at work is that I had to keep myself from ROTFLMAO!!! You know, I’m a 34D, rarely find a comfortable bra and am not sure which I loathe more – bra shopping or bathing suit shopping. These girls need support – more than those stupid shelf bras in most bathing suits offer – and after 2 pregnancies, these girls are in much need of support.

  181. OK. The reason no stores have bras in sizes over a D cup is because … I have them all. Yup. That’s right.
    I am http://www.thatbralady.com and I carry bras in sizes 34C to 46KK. I’m not kidding. Need a 38G? No problem. I can help.
    If you live in the SF Bay Area and need a good, supportive, painfree, no underwire bra, give me a call or send me an e-mail. They’re not cheap (cashmere ain’t acrylic, you know???). They aren’t sexy, but they are excellent – and they work. (See one on the website.)
    Gorgeous sock, BTW.

  182. I am with you on most of those rants however, being a busty girl is much easier with a bra. I’m a 36DD and my sister is a (holy gosh!) 42DDD, and without a bra to wrangle those suckers things get uncomfortable back-wise and a little sweaty, um, otherwise.
    Although, without the constraints of advanced boobitude I don’t give two wits as to the presence of a bra (or lack thereof.)
    I’d be too distracted by the majesty of that wonderful sock to care about anyone’s t**s anyhow!

  183. WOW! I have become a no-make-up wearing, non-high-heels wearing, woman, and I personally love being almost “40” {39 in three months}. *sigh* I hate bras! but, working a 9 to 5, gotta keep one on!
    Even the ones at Wal-Mart are a little pricey.
    I like what DOVE is trying to do with their campaign for real beauty, but as long as the Devil Wears Prada rules…. {you get it}.

  184. It gots bras. I wear bras. I like bras so long as they fit reasonably.
    Having said that, you deserve a wholly unconstrained standing ovation for this line:
    “without a bra, I am may be challenged to have my “empire” above an empire waist”

  185. Personally I love it that my breasts are so flexible that I can wear them up, down, squashed together, either side or perhaps swung over my shoulders to keep my neck warm in winter!
    So I have no quarrel with bras, they just help me to keep my breast look (and position) varied and thus, my husband guessing where on earth my nipples have are if he chances his arm at a playful tweak. (He always misses; my breasts are as cunning as their position can be varied.)
    I don’t mind the shaving thing on the basis that if my husband didn’t shave everyday, I’d have no skin left on my face. So fair is fair. Plus, when I can hold him down – poor sod – he gets the occasional plucking so that he does not disappear behind a glorious, fluffy puff of ear and nose hair!
    (I am thinking, albeit not very seriously, of starting a collection of the plucking harvest and the lint that I collect from his tummy button. It’s got quite a short staple but given time and possibly if I blended it with some BFL, I reckon that I could spin something cosy for him out of it.)
    Silliness aside, I hope that the school meeting goes okay for you. Bra or no bra.

  186. I used to wear a 36 B but decided to go bra less several years ago. I have nursed 2 children but had large “coins” even before that. I just use band aids when I need to hide my nipples but otherwise, I have not looked back!

  187. I have always sworn to die with my bra on just as a cowboy swears to die with his boots on. Sorry…..that’s just me.

  188. I feel I need to defend the ‘pro-choice’ side of the debate on bras. I really need one – no, not because I want to grow old with perky neat ones forever, but because I’m top heavy and life would be uncomfortable without them.
    Similary, so do both my girls, who’ve literally required chiropractic help for their backs due to extreme top-heaviness, poor things. (“I don’t know where you came from” is my Mother’s frequent lament on the subject.)
    And yes, buying them and me proper bras is stupidly expensive. Think custom-made orthopedic shoes expensive. Daddy Warbuck kind of expensive. If I were to go bra-less I could easily take out an eye, and as you know – it’s all fun and games, until someone loses an eye.
    But you know – I would never not take someone seriously if their choice was to go without. Or without makeup – but that’s another rant.

  189. I’m a slender woman who walks the A-B line. A couple years ago my boyfriend took me to a ridiculously expensive lingerie shop and let me pick out some big padded jobbies that make me look busty, and I like the way I fill out tight-fitting shirts when I wear them – I look like a woman, instead of a young boy.
    That said, I call them my “boob furnaces” and they’re the first thing I whip off when I walk in the door after work and lay them face-up to dry out from all the sweat. Ugh. Why do I do this?

  190. Excellent rants, all of them. And sound reasons. I’ll not dispute them and stand by your side to defend them. But I offer you this – being, shall we say… gifted in that particular area, I find going braless uncomfortable if I’m doing anything more than sitting at home lounging. As you noted, they are particularly mobile … appendages? organs? glands? and bounce when walking (highly entertaining to my husband) and get in the way when reaching for things or bending over. If I were smaller, then I’d embrace going braless more often and in public.
    Knitting comment: I LOVE that yarn and that pattern. NICE!

  191. One word: Elita. That brand is my happy medium between comfort, coverage and style. I really don’t know what I would do without Elita.

  192. The bra industry in general charges too much for an frequently inferior product. Even with my small size, I feel more comfortable when running or even walking fast to control excessive movement; it hurts after a short while to go braless. Bras should be more comfortable and way less expensive.
    Love the rants! Good luck at the school conference!

  193. I’m almost finished with year #5 of nursing one more of my children simultaneously. I own one bra. There’s just no reason to package up ‘the girls’ when they’re constantly needed for sustenance and comfort.
    I think if I were you, I’d wear a tank top under whatever professional blouse you’re wearing. Or wear a sweater and some fabulous socks!

  194. I do not wear a bra. I have small boobs and wear an undershirt with an elastic shelf. Bra shopping is a total pain because, when you’re small chested, it’s nearly impossible to find a bra that doesnt have a lot of extra padding, underwires, etc, to make your small A cup look like a C. My Mom says it’s because the men who design bras think women should have big boobs and men should have long schlongs.

  195. Personally, for me, wearing a bra is an essential part of feeling pulled together enough to appear in public. It just goes along with washing my face and brushing my hair. When I’m hanging out at home by myself, though, it’s totally optional.
    As for the other accoutrements of modern feminity, I’m a big fan of comfort, so I don’t often wear heels and pantyhose, but when I do, I feel extra pulled together and capable. Now makeup is something I strongly dislike – I think I count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn any in the past year.

  196. Judging by the number of comments, I think this has probably already been said. But… for a 32F, they’re sort of… floppy, without some kind of garment. Uncomfortably so. And sweaty, and chafey, and generally not good. Also, if a cool breeze passes by, there’s unfortunate visible-nipple-syndrome, which is not so great when you’re trying to be a grad student. So, there are a few good reasons for bra wearing, for some people. (Also some bras are really pretty!!!)
    That said, my incredibly, staggeringly intelligent professor/supervisor/all around powerful excellent person wears no bras, and continues to be perceived as extremely intelligent. So, that rule might be flexible! 🙂

  197. I’m just another well-endowed female saying the bra isn’t really an optional thing for me.
    I’ve lost a ton of weight over the past couple years (100 pounds, I’m within 5 pounds of a “healthy” weight now) and had hoped that the girls would get smaller along with the rest of me… they are smaller than they were, but not by much.
    I’m also frustrated (along with everyone else!) that bras in the larger sizes are really hard to find.
    As for the rest of the “female” stuff… blech. I never wear makeup, I rarely shave my legs, etc… there’s no reason for me to do those things!

  198. Firstly : Posted by: Trista at November 6, 2009 3:05 PM I don’t know which study you read but one that said basically the same thing was later revealed to have asked the questions of women with breast cancer (so, after the event) and it was asked in such a way as “Do you think wearing a bra/too-tight bra/underwired bra could have caused your cancer ?”. Because people still don’t understand how cancer happens, and they blame themselves in some way, they answered ‘yes’. Obviously, women who answered that they didn’t wear bras weren’t asked the question.
    Secondly : am I the only freak who loves bras ? I LOVE lingerie and knickers, and could spend hours in a big Marks and Spencers, looking at all the bras. As a student, I’d spend my loan on underwear the first week of term, at least the equivalent of a week’s rent. This was when there was no hope of anyone seeing me in (just) my undies, but that beautiful claret satin set, the ice-cream coloured one with matching vest, the classic black lace…All gorgeous, all making feel like a million dollars and all supporting my breasts in a comfortable fashion. I envy anyone who can choose whether or not to wear a bra (it’s never been an option for me, at my size) but if I have to wear one for comfort’s sake, I’m bloody well going to enjoy the process !

  199. Yeah, I wear one mostly because I’m just physically uncomfortable without one. I used to go braless around the house all the time before I had my kid, but I’m one of those ‘lucky’ ones who didn’t lose the rack that the boob fairy brought with pregnancy. Also, I don’t like having my sweaty skin sticking to itself and wearing a bra pretty much solves all those problems.

  200. Bras are wonderful! Underwear is wonderful– especially when it fits perfectly, feels good and is pretty.
    Bras help the clothes we wear drape correctly, help define our silhouette and put our curves in the right places. Wearing the right bra can make a blouse go from ordinary to looking like Calvin Klein dressed our bodies.
    As for make-up and shaving. I think both are wonderful as well. It’s our society that has dictated fashion and beauty for women but that is not the case around the world. The Wodaabe tribe of Africa, the women are natural and earthy while the men are pretty as peacocks. The men even compete in a beauty pageant to be selected as a desirable mate.
    Personal adornment is a natural form of self-expression. Our Ravelry queues are full of pretty lace shawls, complicated stitches, fair-isle gloves and colours of all sorts. If it wasn’t important we would only ever knit boring, basic, utilitarian clothing and accessories.
    Embrace the bra 🙂 It’s a wonderful thing.

  201. I assume that you don’t have a jogging bra that you can wear to your meeting?
    I’m with you on all those rants! I think we should only need to wear bras for comfort.

  202. In answer to your last question, yes, the sock will help. If – 1. your boobs are shaped like your feet, and 2. you either have 2 socks or can fit both boobs into the same sock. I think either one would work.
    You know, I honestly don’t know how you come up with these things, but file this under “Things that’ll be different when Knitters rule the world.”
    As for me and the bra issue, I too wear them when I have to. I found that when nursing, I needed something to hold that pad on the other side for when I’d spring a leak. Spring a leak, that sounds so dainty. I could hit hubby from across the room if I aimed properly. That being said, there are a few nice knitted bra patterns on Rav if you’re interested in whipping something up real quick.

  203. You are not alone Stephanie. Since I retired 2 years ago I don’t know what time it is, what day it is, or where my bra is!
    Retirement is GREAT!

  204. I’m with you, Sister!!
    As a lady with larger assets I would like to put shoulder pain on your list of reasons bras shouldn’t be mandatory. Seriously, just from an ergonomic standpoint bras are wrong. That weight should not be suspended by your shoulders- look at any bra-wearer with large breasts and you will see the shoulders a bit lower where bra straps are normally placed. So why must my upper back be constantly engaged in a war with gravity so that strangers are more psychologically comfortable?

  205. A friend (you would know her if I named her) and I made what I consider the ultimate bra for a lingerie exhibit at Convergence on year, I think it was in Santa Fe. It is handspun silk, natural colored, woven and crocheted, anatomically correct. It is absolutely lovely, if you ask me.
    And THAT is a bra.

  206. Good for you for not wearing one of those things. I never wear one. I’m really flat-chested and they just don’t make bras for flat-chested adult women. Judging from the previous comment, they don’t make any at the other end of the scale either. How dumb. And what’s with it being okay to see a man’s nipple imprint and not a woman’s? Ridiculous.

  207. If you wear one of the running kind, you can be that crazy knitting jock mom (with a reason to be a little sweaty). Although i don’t run, that is the kind i wear most of the time.

  208. I truly admire women that can go braless. Some of us..umhum… would have breasts at our bellies if not for the bra! Not a pretty sight! Mine went south some years ago. It was a sad transition indeed!

  209. I almost never wear a bra at home. But then again, at home, I’m also unlikely to be wearing both a shirt and pants at the same time. I get distracted easily, and one of the worst times is when I’m getting dressed (even if it’s only switching from work clothes to home clothes.)
    However, I do wear a bra in public for a couple reasons: first, I teach college. I’m some poor, tender undergrad was to complain to Mommy and Daddy about bralessness, I could be out of a job. Second, I’m pretty sure my chair has a teeny bit of a crush on me (but he’d never harass me), and I don’t want to torture the poor man with jiggling jugs. Finally, I prefer the support – having my boobs flop around as I lecture would be uncomfortable (I’m pretty animated when I teach, bouncing around as I lecture).
    At home and braless, if I run up and downstairs I usually hold on to my chest so the girls don’t flop. 🙂

  210. can I just say that I have never, ever, ever been without a bra unless I’m sleeping. In all honesty it has always hurt to NOT wear one. But, then again, I wear a 38 DD. I’m sure someone else has said this but maybe not, you can have serious posture trouble if you are as big as me and don’t wear a bra. The other thing is, if you wear cheap crappy bras then you probably won’t like them. I have converted many non-believers in one trip to victoria’s secret. I know, I know, expensive. However, two bras last me 3 years if I’m good. That’s less than $16.00 per bra, per year. See what I’m saying?

  211. I’m in the big-girl camp, and while a department store can drive me to fits of rage (why are the little bras lacy and padded, but big bras look designed by the Army Corps of Engineers? Why must the big bras all be minimizers?), Lane Bryant stores are life savers. I personally think it’s funny that ladies with less up top bother with a bra. I mean, if you’ve got nothing to hold up…..

  212. I have to tell you that I covet the fact that your breasts are comfortable enough to go braless. It’s not that I am not comfortable with them myself. It’s that they are rather large and rather low which means they have a pretty significant range of motion. I learned years ago that that puts me at a much higher risk of melanoma on the skin covering my ribcage. The irritation that it creates on my very sensitive skin is a greater evil than the discomfort of a bra. All that said, I do make sure that I spend as much time as possible and comfortable braless every day.

  213. I only have one boob due to cancer this summer. I wear a bra. Going boobless is beyond me.
    But the question to bra or not to bra? is in the eyes of the owner, nobody else. Good luck at the school meeting, no matter what you wear. (pretty sock too! good segue!)

  214. P.S. Let’s not pretend that we do things to make ourselves attractive to men. The big problem with society is that we’re given one ideal and, as we all know, men and women are attracted to lots and lots of different things. The makeup, shaving, and let’s not forget high heels, thing should be something that evolves for your relationships and should please both of you. And if a man is surprised by my real breasts (as opposed to my braed (is that a word) breasts), I’m gone.

  215. “Secondly : am I the only freak who loves bras ? I LOVE lingerie and knickers, and could spend hours in a big Marks and Spencers, looking at all the bras. As a student, I’d spend my loan on underwear the first week of term, at least the equivalent of a week’s rent. This was when there was no hope of anyone seeing me in (just) my undies, but that beautiful claret satin set, the ice-cream coloured one with matching vest, the classic black lace…All gorgeous, all making feel like a million dollars and all supporting my breasts in a comfortable fashion.”
    Posted by: Ponytail at November 6, 2009 4:24 PM
    Nope 🙂 I absolutely think lingerie is some of the greatest stuff in the (fashion) world. If I had the disposable income to spend on the fancy stuff I would have my own mini-lingerie closet.

  216. How about the fact that you can’t wash any of them in the machine? Hand washing is for lovingly knitted garments not those over-priced badly made torture devices! Love all the rants – it’s nice to be reminded we are in the same boat no matter the size…free cashmere for life to the one who comes up with a well engineered bra that can be machine washed, isn’t over priced, and isn’t made in a sweat shop!

  217. Wow! An underwire jock strap! That is too funny. I really think that wide spread institution of an underwire jock strap might just put a stop this whole social control of the female breast thing… can we try it?

  218. I got all distracted around the part where you mentioned the prospect of bystanders seeing you naked, and thereby having their illusions shattered if you’d been wearing a bra. How likely is this, for how many bystanders? Does the issue come up a lot?
    I’m just dying to know.

  219. Chalk me up with the “bra comes off as soon as I get home” crowd!
    I have back and shoulder problems, so I switched to strapless. It’s better but still not great. Stupid headlights…

  220. Okay I promise this is my last comment. I live in New York and we still have a few of those old school “foundations” stores around. You know the ones where they have all the stacked drawers full of bras around the room. Well I went to one once and it was one of the funniest days of my life. Putting on the bra that they chose for me involved bending over, arranging my breasts in the cups, hooking the bra and then standing up really, really fast while I pulled up two straps (not shoulder straps–more like a pulley system) and then quickly slamming closed two clamps (yes I just said clamps). I got a head rush every time I got dressed. The worst part was that–with clothes on–my breasts looked amazing. Without a top on, I looked like a model from a 1950s fetish magazine which was not a great look for me (unless you happen to be into 1950s fetish magazine and then it was an amazing turn on). And they didn’t fold in half. The wire was more like a pipe. I had to wash them in the bathtub because there was no way they were fitting in the sink or the bathtub. I think they were made by the iron workers union. Okay–next topic–horrible bras that we’ve had to wear under horrible bridesmaids dresses. I could do pages on that one!

  221. “That weight should not be suspended by your shoulders- look at any bra-wearer with large breasts and you will see the shoulders a bit lower where bra straps are normally placed.”
    This is actually an incorrectly fit bra. The straps are more for placement than support. The support comes from the band.

  222. I have wanted to be anti-bra all of my adult life, but I have come to the realization that I am more comfortable (just plain physically more comfortable) with support in the form of a bra. BFing has actually only increased this feeling. I’ve always felt a bit politically betrayed by my boobs, actually.
    Signed, WannaBeABraBurner
    P.S. Philosophically I am completely in your corner, and I can definitely get on board with the expense rants.

  223. Call me brainwashed in the ways of men, but I was 23 or so when I was faced with an unconfined woman who probably never wore a bra, and I was scarred. I rarely wear one at home, but I will not leave the house without one. Why scare the youth?

  224. Dear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,
    I think I just fell in love with you a little more.
    Best Regards,
    Sara Doherty

  225. Love the socks! I also love my bras… being a D cup means that stairs and bra-less-ness don’t mix!

  226. Okay, I know I said I would stop but this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Have you ever had an underwire pop out of its casing and poke through your sweater. Very, very interesting conversation piece. It happened to me once at Rocky Sullivan’s in Manhattan so I went to the ladies room, pulled it out and then put it on the bar in front of me. I bet a bunch of guys that if they could tell me what it was, I would buy them a drink but if they were wrong, they had to buy me a drink. I drank free all night. Not a single one of them got it. And has anyone else noticed that there is no such thing as an underwire jock strap. I’m just saying.

  227. Dear Stephanie,
    This made me laugh out loud, and it is so true. I hope you find your bra. It’s comforting to know I am not alone in dealing with lifes clothing dilemas. Best wishes

  228. I’m not a bra person. However, several years ago I had finally found one that was inexpensive and comfortable. I wore it on a trip to a huge indoor waterpark. I was a chaparone for about 25 junior high church kids. I was not going to get wet but the other chaperones convinced me to don a t-shirt and shorts and join them. We changed in the locker room and stashed our clothes in the lockers and had a grand time making fools of ourselves. When we were done, we showered off and proceeded to get dressed. My bra was nowhere to be seen. We checked the dressing rooms, we checked the dirty towel hampers. We looked all over. I was resigned to the fact my comfortable/cheap bra was gone for good. We walked back to the eating area to join our group of pizza eating/pop drinking kids and there…there on the floor…beneath the pub table…with a leg of the pub chair in the middle of the strap “holding it in place” was my bra! Thd kids had stepped all over it, there was pizza sauce and pop spilled on it. Sigh…when the kids went in for round #14,000 of water park activities I picked up my bra, my dirty, sticky, stinky bra and tucked it in my pocket. So sad. Guess I was just meant to be bra-less. Not such a bad thing. Oh, how did the bra get to the eating area???? I really have no idea. :O )

  229. Okay, just have to share one of my favorite jokes:
    An elderly woman decides to end it all. She had heard that the most effective way of killing yourself was to get a gun and aim right between your breasts.
    The next day the headlines read: “Senior citizen shoots her kneecaps off.”

  230. I’m disturbed by the thought of seeing anything “perk”, upper or lower, in a male colleague. To avoid any attention to my modest upper fixtures, I go with to avoid headlights. And the men can put on a sweater/undershirt and wear some looser pants thank-you-very-much. Otherwise it’ll be like watching an accident on the road. You don’t want to look but still do.
    Makeup? Nope, not for work here. Though along the lines of not needing it for myself nor to impress my co-workers. Thankfully, I don’t feel I need any. The hair does get blown dry, though.

  231. Personally, I’m not especially large up top and I prefer wearing a bra when I’m out (though I often take them off at home in the evening.) I like the way I look when I’m wearing one. So I do.
    I’ve also noticed that at certain times of month, my breasts get sore, and then I’m actually much more comfortable wearing a bra.
    Also giving a lecture to undergrad guys while braless is, for me, not something I’m comfortable with.
    YMM, of course, V! 🙂 Everyone has to do what makes them comfortable. I probably look better with makeup, too, but I don’t like putting it on and therefore I never do.
    One thing I will say is that for those who do wear a bra, I suggest getting a real bra fitting if you can. Nordstrom’s is the best-known place to do that in the US. Victora’s Secret is useless in that respect, they’ll just whip a tape measure around you and shove you in the dressing room with a box of bras. You want someplace where the fitter will actually look at you WEARING THE BRA and give you advice on whether it fits (and what to look for to evaluate fit when you’re out shopping on your own.)
    I never thought my bras were uncomfortable, but I can’t stand to wear my previous favorite bra anymore. The new ones I got at the bra fitting are much more comfortable.
    I noticed a few people posting on how the weight hangs from their shoulder straps, or the straps dig in, or the band rides up. What I was told when I got fitted is that generally that means you’re wearing too large a band size (and hence, too small a cup size) which is apparently the most common bra-fitting error.
    Presumably over a certain size straps biting into shoulders is hard to do away with, but in general bras are like backpacks — the support should come from underneath. The shoulder straps are just there to keep everything positioned properly, not to provide support. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been told!

  232. Glad I’m an A cup. I like the support and modesty that bras provide, and clothing hangs better too. I am a fan of shelf bras and camisoles on the weekend or around the house. I don’t mind pantyhose either- 10x/year isn’t so bad. And shaving’s much nicer with an electric razor. But whatever floats your boat….

  233. I am pretty sure this whole rant came about – partly at least – because you couldn’t find said bra (yes, I found that little tidbit buried in the post). Rather than be annoyed at yourself, you went with the Down With The Man! My Girls Want To Be Natural And Freeeeeee and While I’m At It, Screw You, Mascara!
    I WISH I could go bra-less. I HATE bras. I swear I have a permanently numb spot across my back from the stupid strap. My girls just aren’t comfortable being tucked into my jeans, though. Last summer I finally bit the bullet and went to a real store and got measured. It turned out to be fantastic – I finally know what size I am AND the sales lady brought me everything she had so I didn’t even have to leave the dressing room! I left with 7 bras, all the same kind. Hopefully enough to last until the apocolypse.
    In conclusion, perhaps you should get a backup bra?

  234. I have only one saggy breast. I hate wearing a fake boob. I wear a bra because the empty side will hold a fake boob, and I think I look better at my age. (67) I’d rather go out and be accepted with my one breast. Just can’t do it in this society. Don’t spend too much time worrying about bra or no bra……just be happy that you have a PAIR of lovelies to either flap around, or insert into a beautiful bra. On most days, the boob gets tossed onto the table as soon as I get home. HELLO HILARY!! GO FOR IT GIRL!!! Ladies, just be glad you have TWO of ’em!! I’m happy you are alive, HILARY!

  235. I think the reason the nipples are “taboo” is because they are highly sexualized. The problem is with society, not us.
    That said, I am a bra wearer. I have a size 34F chest and after going to a speciality bra shop, have a comfortable collection. I cannot imagine going anywhere without one as it would be very uncomfortable both for the “girls” and my back. And, being the vain young lady that I am, I have to say I enjoy them looking like the young pre-pregnancy “girls” that they are.
    However, I think that as with most things in life, each to their own, and we should all be free to do what makes us comfortable and happy – even if that means rolling around in a yarn stash while maniacally giggling…

  236. I agree 100% with all your points, and if my “empire” were smaller, I’d be totally with you, but I find coralling the girls is more comfortable for me, anyways. and yes, the socks help.

  237. I haven’t worn an “over shoulder boulder holder” since 1977. and I am NOT a member of the “itty bitty titty club” either.
    I have always wondered why women have been forced to wear makeup and bras and girdles and killer high heels and shave their bodies to attract men – I don’t do any of these things! and no, I am NOT into girls – I have been married for 17 years now!
    men can look like pigs because they figure some woman will want them just as they are. perhaps it’s time women held men to some “beauty” standards…

  238. I always wear a bra because it is more comfortable and evens me out (w/o one one boob looks a lot higher than the other). Though I am not much concerned with what other people think, I personally like symmetry and a bit of support. However, anyone;s choice in bra or no-bra is definitely a personal choice. Also, the sock is gorgeous.

  239. Hey, I am just so happy I live in an era where I don’t have to wear a corset or hoop skirts:)

  240. I’m 38 and a C cup. I spent the first 35 years of my life not wearing a bra (okay, so I wasn’t a C cup for the first decade and a bit.) I hated them… they were uncomfortable and pointless.
    I went away on a trip to L.A. a couple if years back and went into a famous lingerie chain to see what all the fuss was about. On a whim, I tried on one of their bras, and got a shock. Not only was it extremely comfortable, but I liked what it did to my silhouette. Though my boobs aren’t saggy, the extra lift seemed to make my clothes fit better.
    Since that revelation, I have almost continuously worn a bra. I stocked up on bras from that store, as I still find others uncomfortable. Every now and then I wonder at myself changing opinions so radically and leave it off when I’m dressing in the morning… but I find I really do have a better figure when I wear them.
    I absolutely don’t care what anyone else does or does not do with their undergarments. It’s all a matter of comfort and personal preference.

  241. I am 22 and what is referred to as a “perfect B.” This apparently means that my girls are the poster children for B cups. On the upshot, it means I have a very easy time finding bras…
    …on the downside, they sink down too far to be in front of a camera without a bra.
    Now, normally I could find another way, but I’m either wearing a fitted chef’s jacket, or an apron. The chef’s jacket looks like it will catch on fire if I bend over. The apron flat out doesn’t fit right.
    Ah well. Bra it is then.

  242. I hate wearing bras! I am pretty small up top so I could go without one and be perfectly comfortable. Matter of fact, you talked me into it-no more bra!

  243. my 2 Cents: I don’t like the immodesty of one layer, I HATE having nipples showing, but as of this week I am going to sports bras only, having actually only 2 years ago found a bra shape/style that actually fits my body, the joke there being that is is designed as a tiny bra on really big boobs, my low, wide, average bust fits just right – but am tired of the “whole thing”

  244. Amen to all my girls who hate pantyhose!! Bras are definitely an area where you get what you pay for! As an athlete, my sports bra is one of my best friends, but I don’t want to wear the thing all the time. That being said, I just don’t feel dressed without a bra and mine are a bit too large to freeball on a regular basis.
    But as to the looking more serious/professional/good-motherly with bound boobs, the term “A loose woman” derives from a time when a woman not wearing stays (you would call it a corset) was considered as a woman who was providing easy access and was thus morally inferior (18th Century). Physical conformity was a sign of moral conformity. Still sort of is.

  245. I’m definitely with you on rant 4 – so hard to find bras that actually fit. 80% of women wear the wrong size bra – those are the bra company statistics but still the bra companies don’t MAKE the right size.
    However, I wear a bra because I feel more comfortable (mainly physically, but also mentally) with one on. Also I don’t think it’s fooling people to do that – as I wear a comfortable, supportive, well-fitting bra every day my breasts actually do stay in place when I take my bra off! I also think it’s better for my posture and my back.
    I wear plain, supportive, tshirt style bras. Wash them in a lingerie bag in the machine. No hassle, more comfort.
    I take my bra off before I lie down, as that’s when they get uncomfortable (they are definitely made for remaining upright), but sometimes wear a hidden support vest (vest with a low-support shelf bra underneath) for support at night.

  246. I’m one of those folks who takes her bra off when she gets home, much to my husband’s consternation. A few years into our marriage, he commented, “You know, if someone had told me that marriage involved living in a house littered with bras, I would have thought it was a lot more sexy than than this actually is.”

  247. I wear a bra because I don’t have breasts (no, seriously–I was about 24 when I finally accepted that they were never going to grow and that A cup I was keeping in reserve was really nothing but a pipe dream)–and if you think society has a problem with uncontrolled breasts, you really ought to see how it responds to women without them. (I miss nursing. I was almost an A-cup then. And, by the way, I nursed two babies for over a year each, and had a freezer full of extra milk, too, so despite their lack of size, they are fully-functional.)

  248. I’m thinking if it is a conference serious enough to warrant finding said bra so you look like a respectable mum, I am wishing blessings on your head and on that of the daughter in question.
    Hope it went well.

  249. I’m with you on hating a bra, but since I am a> overendowed and b> work at The Very Conservative Corporation, so I have to put one on every day and gird myself for battle.
    Thankfully for my sanity, many years ago a friend dragged me – while on a trip to NYC – into Orchard Bra & Corset on (surprise) Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. It is a crazy little place, but they will not only find a bra that corrals the girls, but one that you really won’t mind wearing. I saw then this summer for the first time in several years and was put into a different model of bra and went from feeling tormented by underwires into “bra, this is a bra?” with no more pinching or tugging and my clothes fit right again. Next time you have a speaking op in Manhattan, make time for a jaunt down there and get fitted – Just be sure to get there early if it’s a Friday and don’t plan on going there Saturday as the proprieters are Orthodox and won’t be there.
    PS Russ & Daughters with exceptional smoked fish and dried fruit is right around the corner, too.

  250. If you think it’s odd that society insists that breasts be perpetually 21, ponder the implications of Brazilian waxing for a moment. Creeeeeeepy.

  251. I would totally go bra less if it didn’t hurt so much. I have always been envious of ladies that don’t need bra’s. that being said, I do hang out in my house with just jammies on. but I have only own one pair of pantyhose(long gone)and no lipstick.

  252. Methinks you protest too much. You must actually like bras. Don’t agonize so much. Wear what ya got or don’t got and hold your head up high.

  253. Panty hoes, Love them. I stuff them full of wool, cut them off at the top of the leg and tie them shut and then do space dying ;o)
    Bra comes off when I get home.
    Happy knitting ya’ll.

  254. I’ve got big’uns. A well fitted and supportive bra is essential, but oh so hard to find. Bra shopping used to be so traumatic for me, I’d often cry. Once when I was bra shopping a sales assistant asked me if I had considered a breast reduction. They didn’t stock any bras in my size.
    But once I worked out that you can get help from a bra fitting person a good department store or lingerie shop then it did become a better experience.
    I’m currently breastfeeding and only found one style of nursing bra in my size, unfortunately either the straps or the top of the bra is visible in most of my tropical approprate clothes. I live in the Northern Territory, Australia and bra shopping options are super limited.
    My evil plan is to stock up on nursing bras when we go on holiday (via Melbourne) in January so that I have enough bras to last me another two babies.
    Anybody know of a super excellent bra shop in Melbourne? I don’t think Myer is going to cut it this time.
    And Stephanie, I SO agree with all your points and if I was about 5 cup sizes smaller I’d never wear a bra either.

  255. Stephanie,
    Great rant! At 52, gravity has forced me to decide to spend the rest of my days in an underwire. And I am small (34-36A or B.) My biggest problem is,my breasts are not the same size. It’s hard to buy a bra – one side or the other is not going to fit well. I am also very picky about the fabric – it must be knit – stretchy, t-shirt type fabric with high cotton content. Rare, indeed. sigh. But I think hiding nipples is bullshit. We’ve all got them. Course if one wanted to hide them, a knitted lace shawl should do the trick.

  256. As if trying to find myself a bra that fits my body as well as my budget is not hard enough, my Youngest, who is 25 yrs old, has fine motor control issues and can’t get hook bra’s on herself. And she has a narrow chest and a DD cup.
    Not even Lady Grace has items that she can put on herself. So, we end up using sports bra’s which causes yeast infections. Oh I could go on forever about this.
    Thanks for the rant. I’m adding it to my own about women’s pants – my inseam is a 12, waist an 8, no pockets and I don’t wear a THONGS!

  257. I wear a bra for work, and if I’m out and about, mainly cause I don’t like them swinging about the place all unfettered 🙂 (and mine are a 36B UK size, which is not huge, but not teeny. Average.) If I’m at home for the day, I don’t bother putting one on, or if I’m just popping to the shops. Under my baggy sweaters you can’t really tell anyway! As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of those things that you should do whatever works for you. I personally cannot abide make-up, and wear it only very occasionally. Same goes for high heels and tights. I like having the option, but I do not like being TOLD I SHOULD wear them. I once worked in retail and we had to wear flesh-coloured tights. Why??? Spent half my wages on the damn things 🙂
    Fortunately I have a man who appreciates both bra’ed and un-bra’ed (especially un-bra’ed *grin*), hates make-up on women and has no issue with unshaven legs. I think he’s a keeper 😀

  258. Too funny! I remember going shopping for my first bra with my mom. I was absolutely sure that it was possible to die of embarrassment at that moment. The thought of trying on this contraption and then having my mom or the sales lady come into the dressing room to check to see if it fit OK was almost too much to bear. I must have been 11 or 12 and remember trying to hide amongst the clothing racks in the department store and hearing my mom’s increasing frustrated voice as she tried to find me. I must have been the only pre-teen who avoided going to the mall with her mom to shope because I lived in mortal fear that she would want to stop in the lingerie section to look at bras.

  259. I’ve been driving my Mom nuts on the bra optional theory of living for about 30 years. I tend to wear a camisole or a sports bra if I intend to do sporting type things. However, I did learn, once up on a time, that if you happen to have the moral equivalent of horse ankle wraps – say a wide and long ace bandage – you can firmly and comfortably wrap those puppies so that they do not give you a black eye at a trot.

  260. Thank you for a really good laugh.
    Ilana asked you to ponder the Brazilian? Here in NYC guys are getting BROzilians.

  261. “people seem to think that you are smarter and more reasonable if you have controlled breasts. I have tried to explain that I don’t think with my breasts, and that whether or not they are controlled has nothing to do with whether or not I have sound judgment or good ideas”
    Wow. You’re right.
    I might even fit into that category of judgers.
    You’ve given me something to think about.
    I have ample boobage (that’s making it sound pleasant! which it isn’t always) and can’t even dream of going without — that empire would be thoroughly routed!
    So perhaps that has skewed my viewpoint.
    I do tend to only look/think twice about ampler free-chests – those are the only ones I notice I think.
    Then again, I’m not a guy!
    Hope your meeting goes well braless or not.
    Ugh – I’d rather be braless than sweaty! So I hope you don’t have to go with the sweater/scarf set up.

  262. Perhaps your bra became alarmed about the recent removal of the trusty old furnace, fretted that it would be the next piece of older equipment to be disposed of and ran away.
    I suppose it would also not help your attempt to not be the crazy mom to ask the school to send the truant officer out to search for the bra which didn’t go to school with you. 😉

  263. Check out J Jill camisoles – available with a built-in bra or without. (The “bra” is just an extra bit of fabric with elastic under it.) They come in lots of colors, in two styles–with thin straps or wider straps. Comfortable, reasonably priced, last forever, layer well under sweaters and tees.
    No, I do not work for J Jill. I just love their camis.

  264. I found a great-fitting non-poking Olga bra in a popular discount pantyhose (egg-shaped) catalog, and thankfully they’re still making it 12 years later. I’m not so big, but it is more comfortable to wear a bra than not.
    Stephanie, what does “I was an IBCLC for 10 years” mean?
    About the meeting, I’m thinking you blew them away with your intelligence and good sense, regardless of bra or not bra.

  265. Oh dear! Methinks I may be the only woman who not only loves wearing any one of her many bras, but loves shopping for them and loves playing with makeup! 🙂 I also personally like shaving, well….the end results, not the process. But don’t get me started on waxing. Whoever decided it was a good idea to spread hot wax on your legs/armpits/bikini area and then have it RIPPED OFF was totally insane.
    However, that said, I have had bad experiences with bras that didn’t fit or were poorly made so the underwires poked through and tried to enter my breasticles after less than a day of wear, scratchy cheap ‘lace’ and padding that was above and beyond whatever purpose there was for it (I suspect the manufacturer of that one viewed the female breast as a target of some kind and was trying to protect). But I do like my successful bras, they’re colourful, pretty, entice my husband and I don’t even feel them once I have them on.
    Now control top pantyhose, THAT is a torture device! I cut up all pairs that I had, I couldn’t take it anymore and have no idea what possessed me to think I needed to wear them! I do wear opaque tights (low rider thank you very much) because I find them fun (colour wise).
    Lipstick I like. Don’t really know why. I missed wearing it when I had to have the entire top front row of teeth ground down for crowns, and once the crowns went in, I went crazy buying all the red lipstick I could find that suited my skintone.
    I just like all that stuff. Just me though! 🙂

  266. Try being a 51A who still needs breast enhancers just to fill out the thing.
    It just occurred to me that the reason women are supposed to wear bras is so men don’t have to work hard to stare at them (as opposed to your face).

  267. Good luck with the meeting. Those sorts of things always caused me much anxiety.
    As far as bras, I’m old enough & large enough that I do prefer wearing one in public. My rant? How come they can’t make one that the straps don’t fall down every few minutes!?!?! And are a reasonable price?
    The sock is gorgeous and should certainly distract most anyone.

  268. After lovingly nursing my two kids for over two years each…my breasts look like a fried egg sandwich. I have to wear a bra..think I might start wearing one at night. My husband tends to roll over on to my flaps of skin. I wanted a boob job to fill them back up but why??? Im a mom I have two healthy kids and my girls did their job so I love them Saggy Baggy Boobs of mine.

  269. I nursed five kids and wore a bra 24/7 while doing that. Because I was more comfortable with one. Never did have “fried eggs”. Sorry. Still don’t at 74. Whatever makes you happy. I don’t wear things that are uncomfortable and never have.
    Ever hear Bette Middler’s song about bras?

  270. One of the reasons I’m so happily retired is that I don’t have to put on a bra everyday unless I’m going shopping or something that could be potentially embarrassing (both to me and other people) if I don’t. Haven’t been able to pass the pencil test in 40 years, and when I do wear one, it comes off right after the shoes and sometimes before. Stick to your guns and rant on.

  271. A properly fitting bra really is a wonderful thing – ref earlier comments regarding “gravity” and “lengthening” post-nursing and over time.
    Bras don’t *have* to be tight and pinchy and unrealistic in order to be supportive.

  272. I’ve been a D cup since the 5th grade, I have to wear one and have been very lucky to find a Hanes version at Target that fits me very well. I bought 10 of them and so far (knocking on wood) they are still available.
    Don’t worry, if they aren’t focusing on the problem at hand, you can alwasy redirect. Good luck!

  273. I also rarely wear a bra (love those shelf-bra-in tanks, with jeans, and a pretty sweater), and when I do, it comes off in the car on the way home. My tween hates finding my bras on the back seat or, worse, hanging from the head rest.

  274. Valid points, definitely. I have gripes of my own, especially about straps that fall down and underwires that poke into the armpits. But, two reasons that keep me in the bra-wearing group-boob sweat and back pain.

  275. As one of the overly-endowed set, I can’t say I can relate to your “problem”. I have always cursed that I got it all for my mother and sister who got nothing. What would it be like to go camping or hiking and not have to figure out hygiene around a device that keeps me from knocking myself out while hiking? What would it be like to go braless and be comfortable doing it? I can only wonder.
    Kwitcher complaining — I’m contemplating surgery to remove half the excess so I can buy a swimming suit I don’t fall out of, wear regular sized half price bras, and even go without should I chooose.

  276. I don’t wear makeup, don’t wear a bra, don’t wear pantyhose and always wear comfy clothes and shoes.
    I am a mother of three, grandmother of ten, great grandmother of one.
    To those who don’t like it I say tough! I have one of the happiest marriages and have great relationships with my kids and their kids!!
    Brassieres should be abolished!!

  277. Very well said Harlot!!! I have been nursing for the last 6 years straight, and honestly, it’s just sooooo much easier for the girls (yes, I am tandem nursing) to get to their nursies if i am not keeping them under wraps!

  278. I find that most of the anti-bra faction are people who have manigable endowments. For those of us who woke up one morning and puperty said “hey, as if I am not screwing with you enough, let’s make it so none of your clothes fit anymore”, we really need a bra. Sure, they suck. But not having that support suckes even more.

  279. Hmmm… lots of rants lately. I think you need some peace and quiet. Pat some wool. Knit something. Knit a bra.
    Having said that, I personally love good bras and I buy the ones from the specialty store that cost a fortune and last so long they wind up being less expensive than cheap bras. Did you know the Belgians make great bras? Also great beer and great chocolate. Sounds like a fine country.

  280. I concur with rants 1 through infinity. I always had one or two bras kicking around that I wore when I thought my clothes required it, but a couple years ago I realized my chest kind of ached all the time. Cue hysterical laughter from my more well-endowed friends when I told them I thought I should probably start wearing a bra. 🙂 It’s a daily thing now, but generally not at home. And certainly not for sleeping in!

  281. a. men.
    (that seems oddly appropriate.)
    i injured my sternum in a car accident once, and couldn’t wear a bra for six months. i work in a very corporate environment, and it was so liberating to be able to go to the office sans bra and it be “okay”.
    why on EARTH would anyone EVER sleep in a bra?!

  282. I was a 36GG until July. Everyone thought I was so blessed with the big boobs. I had to wear a bra. If I didn’t should I choose to sit and cross my legs at the knee they may bounce up and hit me in the head and knock me out. Now I’m a nice 36C and very, very, happy. And I love the sports bras and especially no bra. I do have some of the kind to wear under a nice blouse but I’m thinking they’ll last a very, very long time.
    My husband and I had a similar discussion about women, bras, breasts, and clothes designers. He’s on our side no matter what your breasts look like or where they are located, he agrees with me that we should not have to wear a “harness” most of our lives.
    Love the sock.

  283. I’m not amply endowed but endowed enough that the Great Downward Migration has begun. I’m of the bra-burning generation, but I will wear a bra to work because, well, when I started working that’s what one did. Old habits die hard.
    Oh yes, and I wear a bra when horseback riding. Then it’s a comfort thing.
    But I, too, find it very hard to get a bra that fits. When I do I buy a number of them (like Amy) because you never know when styles will change or you will move or the store will close, etc. And that’s served me well because the only bras out there now are padded or molded. So they not only don’t fit well, but become uncomfortably warm – even in a cold office – after a couple of hours.
    “t” said if the underwire pokes you the bra doesn’t fit. It could also be that the bra is so old that the wire has broken and you’re at work and it’s not even lunchtime yet.
    Slightly off-topic, I’m reminded of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Maya Angelou on her (Ms. Angelou’s) 70th birthday. She said, among other things, that her body was changing daily, and that her breasts seemed to be “in a race to see which one would reach [her] waist first.” This is all over the blogosphere but I was home sick and actually saw this. P–d in my pants from laughing.

  284. Torn. I envy people who don’t have to wear them. All the same, there’s probably a certain amount of hideboundness in my judgment of who “has” to wear them.
    My particular boulders move independently of me to a degree I’m not comfortable with if I don’t wear one. It tends to strike me wrong if people who are built like me don’t wear one.
    OTOH, I think it’s completely ludicrous to see breasts shoved up to form a resting place for the owner’s chin by the latest cantilevered wonder of overpriced foundationwear.
    I guess in the end, it’s really nobody’s business who isn’t wearing the actual breasts.

  285. I envy you not having to wear one. I’m pregnant and have now increased to a -G- cup. All I can say is OW.
    Just hold the socks up. With those beauts in the picture, nobody had better be looking to see if you’ve got a bra on. (For that matter, nobody should EVER be checking to see if you do.)

  286. oh what i wouldn’t give to be able to not wear a bra..
    my ladies are 34FF.
    i wouldn’t be standing up by the end of the day if i went braless, and i have chronic backpain.
    it’s hard not to call the rest of you mean, mean names.

  287. HAH. You give in, and you can’t find it?! That is rich!! I’m sure it was stolen by the gnomes. You know the ones – big breasted ones (like me) who are so very *JEALOUS* that you can walk down the street w/o a bra and not seriously injure yourself. Good luck with being sweaty braless mom!!

  288. My solution was a tank top. It doesn’t work for all tops but I have to wear a men’s dress shirt at work and the tank under it is perfect. I’m from the hippie days I hate bras and like you only wear them in extreme circumstances.

  289. For an instant bra use 3 pieces of duct tape that have been laid first onto a terry towel and pulled off fast- makes for less painful sticking when removed. Put one short piece on the outside edge of each breast and then lay a longer piece horizontally across the bottom connecting the 2 side pieces. Instant up-lift and cleavage and backless. Fashion models use this method.

  290. Do you know that I have now banned myself from drinking any kind of liquid while reading your blog? Extreme spit-take danger. Said liquid would inevitably land … well … right on the Empire. I’m lucky this time it was just plain water.
    Thank you for reinforcing the idea that NOBODY has crappy breasts. We just have breasts. Until and unless we don’t (and that’s a whole OTHER rant).
    The rest of the world can just bloody well get used to it.

  291. I laughed, I cried (I was laughing so hard), I fell off my stool. You have no idea how much the humour in your blog today was needed by me. My husband was deployed for a 7 month tour just under two weeks ago, this morning I got up to shovel 5cm of snow (while carrying a baby, and trying to prevent a toddler from rushing into the street) plus the “wonderful” plow, that just kept dumping more in my driveway. As I sit bra-less typing this before running up to nurse my baby back to sleep, I think you deserve a huge thank you. For allowing me to see the humorous side of the contraption that some nut case come up with called a nursing bra, WTF???? It is just another layer between screaming & silence! Koodoo, and I too will sign your braless petition!

  292. I appreciate your rants (and LOVE the sock 😀 ). I, personally, am quite large, so I HAVE to wear them. Or rather, I choose to, as going braless would hurt. A lot. I wear underwires for comfort (though they are anything but if the wire breaks- big-time ouch). Plus, I hate that bra manufacturers think that big-breasted women don’t want pretty colors or ribbon or lace on their bras. Well, this woman does! I have a special loathing for beige bras, they make me feel like a frumpy old woman. Thanks for letting me rant 😀

  293. I spent a few years in my youth bra-less. Fact is, I bounced too much. Now that they’ve sunk, I sweat under them too much. Too much money for something that never fits, and it has to be men that design them, then keep doing in the styles I can tolerate (no underwire, to start with). Enter Ibex wool bras… Don’t hurt. No underwire. Sweat doesn’t matter. Of course not–they’re wool!

  294. as a man who recently purchased and wore his first bra ever, let me tell you i can empathize. it hurt and sucked a lot by the end of the night and i couldn’t wait to get it off.
    the heels were fine though. go figure.
    however, while (straight?) men in Canada might not have to get gussied up and create an illusion of beauty, we (gay) American men sure do.
    still, i say go braless. i hear it’s ‘hot’.

  295. Hate-hate-hate them and don’t wear them and haven’t for 57 years, including the 4 years that I nursed my only child. Sometimes I need 2 layers, but that is far preferable……….

  296. I wear bras to run in, and to hide my nipples from students and colleagues. Sometimes they’re helpful when it’s at the end of the month and things are a bit tender.
    I look forward to winter, when I can just wear sweaters, and summer, when sundresses are acceptable. (Or shirts over camisoles.)
    I have had good luck with Patagonia’s “barely there” bras – they’re like the lightest, most comfy sports bras ever – not a lot of support, or nipple hiding, but just enough to wear under a woven shirt and avoid chafing.
    I do not understand the appeal of padded bras – they are painful.

  297. You know men don’t have it all their own way. We women have much more leeway in clothes and hair style. We can wear pants or skirts or dresses and lots of jewelry. We can have short hair or long, we can wear makeup if we want to. A man doing any of the above would not be welcome in most offices I know. Plus we have more choice in stores. Macy’s has 1 floor for men and several for women. We get to wear colors and patterns and have cool accessories. No man wants to get caught with the man purse.
    As for bras they have their advantages. Personally I feel more comfortable in one but I can go without. It’s nice to have the choice.

  298. I own 2 bras, and they’re both in crappy shape. I would much rather spend my money on yarn than on a decent bra!!

  299. I’m with you…I only where a bra when I “have to”…hate the things! I agree…men have it much easier….we just like them like they are!

  300. I can remember being 12 years old and lusting after the pink lacy bra that my mom had up in the attic. She had to take tucks in it because I just couldn’t fill it out. Years later the first thing I bought with my first real paycheck from my first real job was fancy lingerie. Those were the days when Vanity Fair made bras and panties that were stripes, and prints, and polka dots. I had a million different sets and my lingerie matched my clothes. I was color coordinated down to the skin. I looked good in clothes and in underwear. I wore makeup, pantyhose, and heels.
    Fast forward almost 40 years. Now I’m an aging hippie. My shoes are Birkenstocks, if I have to wear nylon stockings they are knee high under my skirts, and my makeup is so old it’s hard. I’ve tried going the bra fitting route at Nordstrom’s and Lane Bryant because my friends have had good experiences. The bras were extremely expensive and the wires kept poking me in the armpits. I nearly cried when I tried on a bra with FOUR hooks in the back. But the worst part is the torpedo boobs I can rest my chin on. I look like Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein.
    I have found some striped and printed pullover sports bras and that’s what I wear whenever I do wear foundations (which I consider optional). Now I have to figure out how to get my arthritic fingers to unroll them into position.

  301. Okay, regarding #5, as the mother of 9, with…I forget…something like 12 years of breast feeding under my belt (where my breasts are located now, if I were to wear one and go braless), I have to say there’s no way my experienced breasts would ever “stack up” against anything….they just sort of ….well, let’s just say they don’t stack any more!
    So, while you’re point is well-taken, I have to say your terminology is a little unrealistic! 😀

  302. I often go braless at home, and abroad–if I’m wearing a blouse with front pockets, or a denim shirt. But what bugs me the most about bras is that when you finally find one that you like, the next time you want to buy one like, it’s no longer manufactured. I should just learn how to make my own!

  303. You do not know how lucky you are, sweetheart, to be able to choose to go without. Myself, I’d rather not risk catching my nipples in my jeans zipper every time I use the bathroom. Much too painful…
    So I “choose” to wear my bra. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

  304. This summer I got on a tram in Europe. Among the passengers was this large woman, early 70’s. It was obvious she had never, ever worn a bra. Her breasts hung to her waist. No exaggeration. If you’re on the small side, it’s fine to go without. But if you are not, would one really want to look like that?

  305. To Katherine, who is trying to figure out how to roll sports bras into position….step into them. Seriously. It’s a heck of a lot easier than pulling them over your head and trying to unfold the rolled up stretchy fabric.
    As for Steph, I’m with you…my breasts have been very hardworking and will never be perky again. I often go braless at home, but when out, I do feel the need for “something” to keep the girls in line (they’re small but feisty). My favorite thing is the supportive tank tops that all the tweens and teens are wearing these days. They’re comfy and pretty cute under a v-neck.

  306. Wow. It is so nice to hear others you agree with. I am a post pregnancy (2x) 38 year old with larger breasts. I also nursed both of my children. My gals seem to always be looking at the floor with or without a bra. I hate how society as a whole has boxed women in with “rules” about how we should do this and that. I live in a rural area and there are women here that won’t even think about going to “town” with out full regalia of make up, hair done and dressed up. One friend refuses to wear tennis shoes on her “town” outings. Me? I am so more of a comfort wins person. If I am more comfortable going without a bra…guess what? I’m goin without. Good luck with what ever decision you make. I also agree with the commenter who said to take off your shoes and prop your feet up on the table. I’m sure you have awesome socks to show them!
    PS…what pattern are you using for the featured socks? I would love to try it!

  307. Just thinking that a bad bra is torture, and a good bra is heaven. And getting a heavenly bra is worth going to an upscale store where people are trained in fitting bras to all sorts of breasts. Maybe they could help you with fit and comfort for the “Have to” days.

  308. I didn’t have time to read all 335 comments, but did anyone (over 55) mention girdles? When I was in high school (36-24-36 at the time), I was chastised by my (female) classmates for not wearing one even though I was not wearing stockings; which is the only reason I ever would wear one. They said I “jiggled”. Our basketball coach/superintendent tried to discourage the wearing of girdles, he said we needed to build up or stomach muscles and wearing a girdle would cause them to get lazy; best excuse I ever had for not wearing something I didn’t want to wear. Bras, on the other hand, I need to wear, even then I was a C cup and needed the support. It’s too bad they don’t actually work very well in that regard for those of us larger than a B.

  309. Nancy,
    I have a handful of old Sears catalogues from the 70’s to the 40’s, and I’ve seen pictures of those girdles! Scary stuff, especially where they lift the panel to show the works underneath! The only thing scarier is when I go looking at old ads for Victorian corsets!
    For all our complaints about bras, we should at least be happy that none of us are ever again expected to stuff our curves into girdles or corsets (unless you’re like a dear friend of mine who willingly wears corsets as outerwear…..)

  310. Huh. I guess I’m weird–wearing a bra doesn’t bother me much. I’m small, too, so I don’t really need support, on account of there really isn’t enough breast to actually go anywhere. I have super sensitive skin, though, so that might have to do with. Even with a shirt underneath, sweaters tend to make me itchy–I cringe at the thought of feeling that on my boobs without the extra layer of bra.
    Don’t get me started on the padded ones though. Just because I’m only a B cup doesn’t mean I want a bra that could double as a flotation device. My breasts are just fine on their own, I only want a little protection from the elements. Why is that a difficult concept for bra manufacturers?

  311. AMEN, about the bra thing, and the shaving thing. It is damn near impossible to find one thats comfortable, a fact which reinforces that whole “beauty is pain” attitude. I usually just wear a snug tank top under my shirt, which gives enough support to be comfortable without giving the illusion of false perkiness.

  312. I hate bras, but I’m in the group that have a bit too much to go without. I’m uncomfortable without one — I sweat too much, and they stick to my abdomen! Yes, they really do. Yuck. At home, though, the bra does come off right away, as do the clothes. Hey, put your imagination away, I put PJs on!
    Pantyhose? Abandoned them when I left the corporate world. When I need sheer hose for a professional meeting or something, I wear thigh-highs. Keeps me from feeling like I’m being strangled around my waist. I’m heading back to the corporate world in a few years, and I have discovered the joy of pantsuits! Trouser socks are much easier to deal with than anything cutting into my tummy!
    I also usually forget to put on makeup. I could not imagine that when I was in my 20s! I love being in my late 40s!

  313. My bra rant: Why is no breast size right? Bras seem to go from maximizing to minimizing. There’s no bra that simply supports (and accepts) what you have. As for those molded bras? Something that has cleavage just lying on the bed? Creepy.

  314. You’ve actually touched upon quite the ticklish subject for me here. (Sorry- I couldn’t think of a way to make that not sound dirty, so I just went for it.) I myself am on the larger end of an A-cup, I’m in my twenties, I haven’t had kids – basically I have absolutely no reason, on a personal level at least, to wear a bra. My boobs don’t swing, they rarely hurt, heck, they barely even move. But the words of friends and the stares of strangers suggest to me that my teeny bra-less boobs are unacceptable. Why? I suppose it’s because, teeny though they are, they are shaped like boobs – they don’t look like perfectly round pillows, they do have a bit of a “point” to them, and (heaven forbid) there are nipples stuck to the ends of them. I’ll admit it, I’m baffled over this. I mean, didn’t body-modifying undergarments go out with the corset, or at least the pointy-boob bra? Don’t we generally agree that bras are intended for “support”? So what in the world is wrong with my teeny unsupported boobies?
    I could go on like this, but I won’t. This is really just a long way of saying that I totally support (metaphorically, I mean) your giant unsupported boobies (ok, I have seen pictures, I know they’re not giant, but give me a break – I’ve got an A-cup). But I also totally understand that official-type folks definitely do not support them. So… colloquial wisdom on the matter tells me that the cloth tape folks know what they’re talking about, and that duct tape totally works in an emergency. Personal experience tells me that layers help, and that a little tape over the nips goes a long way, but also itches like crazy.

  315. Gotta say, I hadn’t ever thought of bras quite that way! All excellent points. I find myself wishing I too could cast off bras for the majority of the time. Alas… For me as a young mother who has been pregnant or lactating for the better part of the last five years, the girls are so heavy! And the nipples are so tender! Plus, they seem to *ahem* perk up and look like handles to my two year old twins. So, for me, it’s bra-time nearly 24/7. One day, though this phase of life will have passed and perhaps then, I can burn my bras. Think there’s a way to burn those infernal nursing bras two or three times… snaps, latches and all? Ooooh… I can see the blaze now!

  316. I’m 24, and my mother knows more than anyone that when it comes to bra shopping, I become a grumpy little rain cloud of a thing. That said, I’m not daring enough to let the girls reign free outside of my apartment. Nonetheless, this rant put a smile on my face!

  317. Your use of the phrase “controlled breasts” reminded me of a sketch on Saturday Night Live many, many years ago.
    A buxom British comedienne named Pamela Stephenson was part of the cast for a year or two. One night, she did the editorial comment on the “Weekend Update” segment. She was sitting still at the news desk and wearing a close-fitting turtleneck sweater.
    Ms. Stephenson spoke about how ridiculous it was for men to always be staring at her breasts, and not noticing her face, intelligence, etc. She even thrust her chest at the camera while saying something along the lines of “here they are, get a good look, and get over it!”
    As she kept talking, I guess you could say her breasts became uncontrolled. Capable of independent movement of their own free will. Wandering around like toddlers in a toy store.
    The sketch ended when one of those uncontrolled breasts socked Pamela in the jaw and knocked her off her chair.

  318. School meetings. I myself got called to the principal’s office this week. I finally had enough and when I got the latest email from a teacher whinging about how he “doesn’t have time” to do his job I replied with a *very* scathing email. (EXUSE ME? You don’t have time to do your job?! IT’S YOUR FREAKING JOB!) So now I have to go visit the principal. Really. And the teacher (who is honestly, like, 12) has to have him (the principal) “sitting in” when I go to meet with him for conferences next week. Whatever. If you need a scathing email let me know.

  319. Well my dear Harlotta, here is the thing…some of us, in the words of Brett Butler, can hide an entire can of cat food under each boob and no one would be able to tell. Properly fitted I am a 44EEE. Since I enjoy seeing if my shoes match, improperly fitted, the girls will fit into a 42DD comfortably ( if underwire can be said to be comfortable ever). I am 46 and now suffer from old furniture disease – this is when your chest falls into your drawers. I take the bra off for the sake of comfort and breast health at home….with the immediate family around only. But I would not ever leave my house without one on. I am a Southern girl…I have managed to give up the need for makeup everyday, hair buffed and fluffed everyday and am occasionally caught wearing white in the hot weeks after Labor Day. But the bra is not a negotiable item. Just like clean underwear in case I am in an accident. I feel incredibly conspicuous going to the door to sign for a package without one. I shudder to think how close to my kneecaps they would be if I had breastfed my children (let it go…I know the LC in you just winced but it’s a personal choice thing and they really didn’t need months more of my seizure medication).

  320. I’d love it if bras came in more size and shape variations, because my breasts are not the shape that most bras are designed for, and I bet that’s true for a lot of other women too. I’d also like it if I could reliably get ones that fit in my own country, instead of having to order them online from England!
    But I wouldn’t go without a bra, because I am overgenerously endowed, and it would HURT before I got to work, nevermind by the end of the day.

  321. “Don’t you want to be pretty?”
    Excuse me? Since when does the absence or presence of a BRA dictate whether or not someone is pretty? I will likely be awake all night coming up with the perfect comeback to that remark. How insensitive!
    Steph, you are beautiful, braless or otherwise. And, you live in Canada–it must be 40 below by now. Just don’t take off your coat, and nobody will ever know if you’re wearing a bra or not. 🙂

  322. Strange, I have to DISAGREE with all of the larger chested women out there. Ranging from a 38C-36DD, according to the past 3 years measurings and fittings, I go braless ALL the time. I put one on to go out, but even with 2 under 3 running around, they don’t get in the way that much. Granted, I just finished nursing my second a few months ago (stopped too early I think now, with all the health issues she’s had since then) but both my girls want to see and be able to lay their heads on said boobage.
    Realized last night as I was rushing the 17 month to the ER, that I forgot my bra. Sorry, 103 fever made me forget, but I had the BEST nurses and drs at the ER, all women incidentally, and we were done and out, with bloodwork and x-rays in about 2 hours. Not bad for a late night ER visit, with no bra. 🙂
    Maybe part of mine is also from going through chemotherapy when I was 16, for leukemia, and the chemo making everything hurt so bad that I didn’t dare wear a bra, even though I lost so much weight at the time I was barely a B. I think it comes down to priorities at that point.
    It’s all the men’s fault. Really it is. I do love the idea of the underwire jock strap. Fabulous idea, truly.

  323. Amen on the bras. Sadly, I can’t get away with going braless, thanks to being a 36/38DD (Improperly fitted). My main gripe is price, mainly ’cause I don’t make much money where I work, and partly ’cause I like to wear mine to death. (Trust me on this. I have one that’s missing the underwire in one cup, and another that’s missing a hook, but still get worn.) Also, wtf is up with the formed cup on some of the bras?!? Sorry but I much prefer a soft cup, especially if I’m gonna be torturing my tatas with an underwire! Sadly, they like to try to pop out regardless, but still… A girl’s gotta have standards.

  324. I wear bras because I feel more comfortable and more attractive with my breasts held in place (and I wear underwire bras) than flopping around. They’re not naturally perky; they never were, and braless is not a good look for me.
    Try camisoles with shelf-bras, or if you don’t like those, try a regular stretchy camisole/tank top with Lycra, one size smaller. If you’d normally take a “medium” try a “small.”
    What is an IBCLC?

  325. Ahh, If I’m home on a weekend day, I can go a glorious 1/2 day without a bra, then it starts to hurt. It comes with age. I’m only about 20lbs overweight, but it gets uncomfortable! Oh for the days when I was skinny and a double A!
    P.S. Padded/gell -filled shoulder straps rock, and . . . underwires are NEVER OK!
    Thank you for your wonderful posts!

  326. I feel lucky to be petite enough to not need to wear bras. I wear tank tops instead. I do own two training bras though just in case I ever decide that I need to wear one. And I don’t mean sports bras I mean the kind for pre teens, seriously. I guess I am also lucky that the overpriced designer bras are too big or uncomfortable for me. It sure does save me money. I agree that it seems like a trick. Two bits of lace and a ribbon have no business costing so much.

  327. I with you, hate bras. I used to be a tiny thing but motherhood and age have increased them. Never wore a bra unless I had to until I reproduced then somehow got sucked into the suburban mom myth that I had to all the time. I swim for exercise every day though and sometimes forget the undies and bra and end up running errands without. Surprisingly, the world didn’t end. Now if someone would explain the nipple thing, everybody used other words above since their so socially taboo, but really what’s the big deal? Every body has them, even men so why do women have to pretend we don’t when ours actually work.

  328. While I hate paying the price of a bra, I recognise how intricate they are in piecing, and I am grateful I am not the one making them, a for that reason I can begin to realise the cost that is charged for them.
    I am the only person who found early pregancy so ‘rock-like’ in the boob department, early on I started to wear a bra to sleep, and did so for many months into breastfeeding – the discomfort was extreme.

  329. Note to those who complain about wearing bras: Be thankful you CAN wear them!! For medical reasons I cannot and I really wouldn’t wish those reasons on anyone anywhere!
    As for pantyhose, no one can convince me to wear them ever again (I wore them at my wedding 31 years ago and a couple of times since)! And now that I’m in a wheelchair, I don’t wear dresses any more so I can get by without those horrid things! Yippee for wheelchairs!! LOL

  330. Okay, I’m certain someone has covered this, so I apologize ahead of time for repeating what may have already been said.
    Bras are optional as far as I’m concerned, and if you’re lucky enough to have breasts that don’t hang all the way to your waist because they started out rather big and then saw a lot of action, then more power to ya. But some of us (me, definitely) were endowed genetically beyond the necessary requirements for feeding a child (what letters denote size beyond DD?) and have now met with the necessity of wearing something to restrain the chest-age for comfort’s sake. More succinctly put: I can’t breath or stand up properly unless I have a little assistance keeping the breasts in check.
    If yours has gone MIA at the wrong moment, I highly sympathize.

  331. Jenn – thanks for the tip on stepping into the sports bra instead of over the head. Now let’s see if it fits over the generous hips!

  332. I’m lucky to have small breasts (A/B) and enjoy being braless, but sometimes feel better in a bra to avoid the uncomfort of nipples rubbing on shirt. Still pre-child though, we’ll see how that goes.
    Also lucky to have a husband that PREFERS me braless. He actually gets disappointed when I wear one.
    It seems silly and even oxymoronic for “men” to prefer the look of covered breasts in public but free breasts behind closed doors. Isn’t naked sexy?

  333. When I was a kid I remember first thing my mom did when she got home from work was to take off her bra. Sadly, I can’t do that… My boobage is E-to-F cup size and was never young and perky, and breastfeeding for 3+ years straight hasn’t helped. If I don’t wear a bra, I feel sweaty and clammy underneath, and besides I get the feeling I’ll be forever kicking the things where they hang. *sigh*
    Now, bras I do, but pantyhose… Don’t get me started on that method of torture! Not to mention high heels. I bet the people who design those shoes are male and never need to wear their inventions.

  334. The sock and its yarn are distracting enough. I like your stance on bras, but I enjoy wearing them when I leave the house. It keeps me uncomfortable enough to remind me that I’m out in public and shouldn’t do things like fart very loudly.

  335. I loathe wearing high heels and tights (pantyhose your side of the pond),but bras are essential – I’m not big, but anno domini and gravity catch up with a girl,eventually. Meanwhile – I really love the blog – first thing that I check out on the internet each morning.

  336. Responding to a previous commenter… er, somewhere up there…
    I like underwire, too. I never tried an underwire bra until grad school because my mother informed me they were hideously uncomfortable. My housemate in grad school wore them and said she liked and… turns out they were really nice, actually. Keeps the band down around the chest where it belongs.
    Different strokes, obviously, and my mom still hates underwire even after the bra fitting (we went together). I agree that if the underwire pokes you, the bra doesn’t fit.
    Another tidbit the Nordstrom’s fitter told me: the cups are supposed to hold all and only breast tissue (which, if you’ll remember from the breast-self-exam cards, does go back fairly far into your armpit). Her suggestion was that, after putting on the bra, you reach in and fluff… pick up each breast and drop it back into the cup. That ensures the part of the breast that’s back by the armpit where you can’t see it gets into the cup where it belongs.
    If the front of the bra (between the cups) doesn’t sit flat on your chest after you’ve done this, the cups are too small.
    Or so the helpful saleswoman told me. It really was a comparatively painless way to shop for bras (though of course the bras themselves were not Target prices) because the fitter fetches the bras for you, and since she knows what brands tend to run large/small etc, it narrows down the number you have to try on.

  337. Oh, and much as I would love to blame high heels and pantyhose on men, remember men used to wear hose and heels, too. Men had a big leg thing going for some time. Look at some 18th century portraits to see how the guys are posed to show off their shapely calves. IIRC guys who felt their calves were substandard used to pad them.

  338. “What does IBCLC mean – anyone?”
    I presume Stephanie will address this question tomorrow, but in case she doesn’t, she is a certified lactation consultant (CLS). I’m not sure what the “IB” stands for. This means she’s a woman that’s “certified” by some organization to help new mothers learn “the womanly art of breastfeeding,” as La Leche League termed it 50+ years ago.

  339. I for one would count myself lucky if my rack was small enough to have these rants. Just try going braless with a 34EE. Doesn’t work. Everything feels like running. Blech. Oh, and yeah, I had a breast reduction. They grow.

  340. I like wearing bras because my back doesn’t hurt and the tender bits don’t get chafed. Also my pants fit better since that’s where my breasts would be without the bra.

  341. When I was young and reckless, I used to go without a bra. And then one day I went to my doctor, well, underprepared, and he had this great question that changed everything. He asked wether I’d like to have, some time later, my girls flapping like a cocker’s ears. I gasped, thought twice and wear a bra since then.
    And you are not so anti-bra yourself : in your post, you wrote that you feel more comfortable with a bra when you run…

  342. This whole conversation reminds me of my grandmother. She had 8 children,(Yes you read that right, she had 8 kids! We’re a big family.) and she had really large breasts, even before having children. Of course her breast grew after each child so she definitely had her share of breasts. They were huge! She hated bras and hardly ever wore one, which was very shocking for the time. She did own one or two of them, but it was a really special occasion when they saw the light of day. Most of the time she wore house dresses or a pair of slacks and a man’s shirt. What she liked to wear on a daily basis hid the fact that her breasts were down to her waist. On her, where you would normally see a woman’s breasts there wasn’t anything, but down at her waist it looked like someone had put 2 grapefruits in a long bag and hung them around her neck. Her loose clothing was really saggy boob camouflage! She was such a rebel LOL! Just before my wedding day my Gram told me that she would wear a bra to my wedding. I was very honored. She was an awesome grandma, and I loved her very much. You are in excellent company. Good luck on your meeting. If worse comes to worse you can always be like Gram and wear something really, really, loose.

  343. Sorry I didn’t have time to get past the first 100 or so comments so maybe someone has already done the history bit. Tha first bra was designed by a woman, an early 20th century New York socialite who didn’t like the way her corset looked with her dress. Another bit of bra history. When Jane Mansfield, a seriously endowed 50’s actress couldn’t wear her ultra slinky dress the studio called in structural engineers to design the appropriate levitatin and support system for her.
    I was a 32DD and have aged into a 34DD and I know how hard it can be to find the bra once you’ve been properly fitted. ( Actually FINDING the bra is no problem. I have a rawer full.) I too spent time with a bra two sizes too big in the back and two sizes too small in the cups. What a difference! As to underwires, they help keep the bra flat to the chest and the boobs from slipping out the bottom. And for those of us with small rib cages and big boobs the wires also keep everything from sliding to the side, nothing like having your breasts tucked into your armpit as they are wont with the wireless type.
    Right, on to the concept of “demi” when you’re big. Not only is there spillage but the bigger you are the greater the uneveness in size from right to left, so you not only look like you have four boobs, but they don’t even match!
    By the way, I did see a program on t.v. about bras. For a mere $3000.00 or so you can go to Madame Somebody or other in Paris and have a bra custom made. But be warned, this is not a quickie weekend trip to Paris – it needs three fittings! But you could be on the list with a number of famous movie types who were mentioned as clients!
    Oh yes! Final large boob rant – Elastic straps? Why for goodness sake? Don’t I bounce enough already?
    I always envied my best friend of 40 years who could always go braless. That said, may God bless her, she has almost always worn one out of the house for the last 20 years to keep her post-mastectomy prosthetic in place. There are worse thigs than not finding your bra.

  344. WOW did you strike a chord!
    I agree people should do what they feel comfortable with. I am also one of those people who after years of nursing, have boobs that will announce they are “ready!” to go anytime, anywhere, the slightest breeze, change in temp, and “HELLO!”. (And if you think about when else your nipples pop out, that might answer the “fallen woman” question.)
    Since I am rather private about those things, well a bra helps.
    And now as I am increasingly losing the battle to gravity, I find it’s more comfortable to wear one. I also feel neater. (Which is odd, if you could see the state my house)
    As to expense, I couldn’t agree with you more. And I could rant on and on about the cost of tampons and sanitary napkins. They have us over a barrel, and wouldn’t some sort of rebellion be fun?
    I loved the organization tips and have tried to get my kids to have “One spot” where they always put their keys” The butter dish might work for my son.

  345. No big deal if you choose to go braless, but jeez give us in the fashion trade a break I work with sizing, one text I have suggests it would take something like 196 separate sizes to cover just the standard ladies size range (factoring in small/average/large hip/bust sizes in relationship to each other) and now you want to factor in age/experience related boob location? The big rule in fittings by clothing manufacturers is that you must wear the correct foundation garments for the piece being fitted it’s the only way we can remotely get a handle on some kind of standardization. Now before everyone takes off on a personal mental rant on the topic of standard sizing and what a joke that is here’s a tip. If you find a garment that fits you well remember the manufacturer and look for their stuff again, it means that their block (the basic pattern they use to develop their styles from) matches to your body configuration.
    Always buy bras on sale I found one I liked in a sale bin @ Giant Tiger and stocked up (I figure a couple of years worth) @ $6.96 a pop. Find a bra you like? remember how it’s cut (seams) and start looking for that cut again next time (this thought works with swimwear too)
    As to being pegged by how you look. Unfortunately brains seem to be associated with financial worth and this seems to be associated with your clothing choices. The more expensive/well fitting your clothing is the smarter you must be, the more seriously you should be taken Power suits anyone?
    PS I wear the garment trade worker uniform T-shirt and jeans it is a factory job. I just clean up for special occasions.

  346. I wear a bra because I am one of the larger chested, I also hate wearing pantyhose and am lucky that I have a job that doesn’t force me to do so to fit in. To be honest I could do with out shoes and socks, unfortunately I live in Canada, and it’s bloody cold where I am in the winter. Besides, walking on city streets without shoes. No, that would be so…icky. I will never wear high heels, though. Comfort first.
    So when I read the rant and people’s responses, I say, yes, why should I worry about how it looks? Then I think of other things I do, spend money on, like my hair, clothes, yarn to knit a great item to wear. Why? Because it makes me feel good and it makes me look good. I’m slightly vain, I admit it. We all are to different degrees. Otherwise why care about any of that stuff?
    Don’t get me wrong, more power to people who can do without the bra and do, but as someone who is past 40 and the victim of gravity, I prefer to do things that make me feel good about my appearance. I just make sure I shop for comfort that looks good.

  347. Bras should be burned and burned often. I am most certainly in the classification of one who most people would insist should be in more control of her breasts and I refuse to give in except as you mention certain circumstances.
    I also think that women should be allow to go topless anywhere a man can go shirtless.

  348. Forget pretty, it’s freaking awful when you’re walking and your nips are rubbing against your shirt. Ouch, ouch, ouch!
    I’m usually able to find bras at discount stores, and there’s this cheap brand that works great and makes my size. I buy several when I find them. Mostly because I don’t want the push-up variety that makes me look like I have watermelons stapled to my chin.

  349. The only reason I wear a bra is that my boobs are painful without one. Otherwise? I’d be totally braless all the time.

  350. got used to wearing a nursing bra to bed and all time when kids were babies, for some reason i would’nt “leak” if i wore one.
    so still find myself forgetting, and not only wearng one all day but all night as well.. doesnt bother me, but i do spend the money and by the good comfy ones..
    nice sock btw and what DPN’s are those? are they glass?

  351. IBCLC= International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
    It’s a certification that requires some pretty intense training–an M.D. friend of mine wanted to do it but said she couldn’t put in the required hours to get the certification!

  352. No truer words spoken but alas I fear my empire would stretch to my hips were it not for my very expensive engineered bras I can only envy those of you who can go comfortably braless. What I’ve never figured out is why the little A cup girls even bother wasting all that money needless on bras. Now that’s just me green with envy. Just wear a beautiful sweater, scarf and socks, they’ll be so overwhelmed they won’t notice the lack of foundation garments .- martha

  353. Wonderful post, wonderful comments. I too am among the generously endowed (42DD) and feel more comfortable with a bra. But ditto on the underwires. They always poke out in front, giving the impression of three protuberances instead of two.
    When I went first shopping in the nearby Maidenform outlet, I asked the sales clerk “Do you have to have a maidenly form to shop here?” She laughed and said no, and I found some good bras in my size.

  354. I’m firmly in the tank-tops-with-shelving camp, but i’m on the small side. When I was still dancing competitively I wore bras, but that was a lot higher impact than day to day life. My main complaint is that I could never find one in my size without padding. I’m fine with myself the way I am, thank you; why does the bra industry think I have some kind of must-be-bigger complex?
    And a tip for all those who have problems getting strapless bras to stay up: Get the kind with the removable straps, put a safety pin through the loop where the strap hooks in and pin it to the inside of your clothes. We did this with dance costumes all the time, and it works great 🙂

  355. Since I was a teenager I longed for larger breasts, ones they made bras for! I couldn’t find a bra small enough for my tiny breasts. I wanted to look like I had breasts–like all the other girls. Then in the late 60’s and early 60’s the braless craze hit and I went bra-less for years. I wore Speed-o swimming suits because I couldn’t find a regular swimming suit to fit my almost non-existent breasts. After my first child was born in 1976, I looked for a size A nursing bra–none available. Now that I am about 30 pounds overweight I finally have enough boob to wear a bra!!! But alas, the boobs, small as they are, have moved south and getting a comfortable bra is impossible! I want to wear one however, so that my breasts stick out farther than my stomach!! I guess I’m still vain!

  356. sigh… i DREAM of the days when bra-less WAS an option! some of us would offend public notions of decency if strolling freely along without said support system! and my favourite personal rant??? WHY IS IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED BRAS THE MOST TO ACTUALLY FIND ONE IN THEIR SIZE IN MOST DEPARTMENT OR EVEN “SPECIALTY” STORES????aaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggggghhhh

  357. I’d just be happy with a bra where the band underneath STAYED underneath. It’s rather uncomfortable when it’s resting horizontally instead of nicely vertical.
    About the tampons & disposable pads – cloth pads. Definitely try cloth pads. I haven’t needed to take 2400mg ibuprofen daily since.

  358. have hope, ladies–at least for the next generation. i’m a student at a hippy-dippy liberal arts college where going bra-less is a popular option. i’m a dance major, so i spend most of my life in leotards or sports bras, and i just re-discovered the joys of ditching the bra when i leave the studio. i do find it a bit distracting even though i’m small-chested, but i think that’s because i’m used to strapping them down in order to dance comfortably. i also don’t remember the last time i shaved anything…

  359. Well I would certainly use some of those arguments if going without a bra didn’t hurt and if my breasts had ever looked the way they do in a bra. Not even when I was a teenager. 🙁 I never got to go through that stage.
    And I may be in the minority here, but I have been very happy with what I’ve gotten out of having a bra fitting.

  360. Bras have their place and in my case that is firmly around my chest. I do know that I’m the anomaly though with my K cups. I need the support! They are so heavy that going for long without a bra is not advisable for me.
    But you are right! Many women do not need one.
    As a breastfeeding support volunteer I think the lack of a nursing bra is a problem especially for lower income moms. They think they really need one and instead wear their old underwired, stiff, and not conducive to nursing bra.
    I’ll end this without going into my Rant 4 part B which covers my frustrations in regards to why bra manufacturers do not realize that a great majority of women do not fit into DDD and a great many women that do get the “privilege” of wearing bras in their correct size do not have them located in their arm pits or at the level of their belly button, etc…but like I said I’ll leave off before getting started on that rant.

  361. I wear a bra because I’m a 40F, and life is a LOT more comfortable with a bra on. However, I don’t wear one much when I’m home, unless my wife’s 15-year-old brother is going to be around. Because really, why give a 15-year-old boy something else to be grossed out by?

  362. I wear bras in public… so people can’t see that I have, erm, pierced nipples. Also, my husband doesn’t want people to be able to see that!
    Also I was once mistaken for a boy and it SHATTERED me, so a bit of padding reassures me.
    The bra comes off once I’m home, but goes back on for any social interaction.

  363. I wear bras in public… so people can’t see that I have, erm, pierced nipples. Also, my husband doesn’t want people to be able to see that!
    Also I was once mistaken for a boy and it SHATTERED me, so a bit of padding on my teeny boobies reassures me.
    The bra comes off once I’m home, but goes back on for any social interaction. But I support eternal bralessness, if that’s what makes a woman comfortable!

  364. do you have a pair of bathers (swimmers, trunks, what ever they’re called in the Great White North) that you can pop on to wrangle them into submission for this particular meeting?
    I personally am a bra-wearer, but I’m also at an age where all my bras are pretty in the hope that some lucky fellow might get to see them… But i also find them comfortable since I don’t particularly like my boobs resting on my belly 🙂

  365. Hey – if you are able to go without a bra and be comfortable, I think that’s great! Bras are sooo expensive! I can’t just because my DDs need a little support. And, don’t get me started with nursing bras. I finally found a pair that I like, but I have to special order and they are $40 each! I don’t understand why nursing bras in regular stores only go up to a size D…hello! Your boobs get really big when you’re nursing! I just can’t understand that. Although I even use a sleeping bra at night, otherwise I leak everywhere, so it’s just more comfortable. But, I only have one black and one nude…can’t afford anymore…lol.
    I think the plan of using a bathing suit would work well! Good luck! 🙂

  366. Dude! What a button you pushed today. What’s next, hormones and PMS? Seriously, do what makes you comfortable. The only thing boobs have to do with parenting happens during a child’s first few years and is of no consequence at this stage in your girls’ lives. You have better things to do or worry about I am sure. And if you want to check out a cool online shop specializing in every kind of bra, their purposes, and the propper fitting, go to http://www.Herroom.com . Nice diversionary sock BTW.

  367. It’s a great rant, and if you are comfy without that’s fine, but as said above no match for the fact that if I don’t wear a bra, my 30H breasts make my back and shoulders hurt, it’s really sweaty in the summer, and that is no fun at all.
    Now if you want to pick a fight about stiletto heels… I’ll hold your coat.

  368. Ha, Ha I love this post and the comments are priceless.
    I tried going braless for like 5seconds once.
    Since Junior High I was always a big girl but my sisters were not compared to my size. Also I am shaped wierd. I had me some cone shaped boobies. Until I had kids, then they became nice and rounded.
    Now 22 and post two awesome children, I am not really ashamed of my generous handfulls but I would feel naked without a bra on, equivalent to going pantless. I also try to do without at home but even though my almost C’s are not very big they hang most uncomfortably and my baby son has taken to using them as handles and it is less of a shock with a barrier between us.
    My best solution is a nice comfy thin cotton bra.

  369. I’m very pro-choice on the matter of bras, but I do prefer to wear one if it’s hot, because I really hate feeling sweaty under my boobs. I’m one of those people who takes off her bra when she gets in, though.
    My toddler would of course prefer me not to wear one at all…

  370. I hear you but I still know my life improved at least 30% after a great bra fitting at My Intimacy in Atlanta. My clothes look better, lifting the girls made me look like I lost an instant 20 pounds, the girls don’t hurt and for the first time ever, I have sexy (did I say SEXY!!!) bras in an E cup. Whoo hooo!!
    If you came to my office, I honestly wouldn’t care if you wear one or not. I went through my teens and 20’s wanting to shout – hey I’m up here!! just like you wrote. It’s annoying that people stare at chests braless or not.

  371. I am 43 and have never owned a bra. My boobs aren’t big enough for me to be uncomfortable without, and I don’t give a flying anything if people see my nipples. I am a supervisor in the, very male dominated, entertainment industry (where luckily there is no such thing as a dress code) but I have never had a comment, ever. I truly believe it has more to do with how you see yourself, and that people pick up on what YOU focus on. If you go in thinking people will think less of you for whatever reason, they will. If you go in knowing that your brain rocks (and yours clearly does), that is what they will notice. Love and peace 🙂

  372. I know I’m in the minority in this discussion (maybe the only one) but I don’t mind wearing a bra like I don’t mind wearing glasses. I started wearing both at about 10 years old and I’m more comfortable with a bra and I like being able to see without sticking my finger in my eye. Nothing to do with “pretty,” just comfort. Now if you were going to talk about makeup and such-like, I’m totally with you.

  373. Yes indeedy. I have been re-realizing this as I’ve got another one to nurse after several years “off-duty”. Thanks to your timely rant, I think I’ll quit trying to find a comfy nursing bra that doesn’t cause a breast infection and make me have to draw more attention to myself as I try to quiet my hungry baby. I think I’ll free my empire!

  374. Totally not on point. I discovered “The Mittens of Rovaniemi,” in your blog through a random Google search, and almost had heart palpitations. The mittens are absoblooming beautiful and stopped me in my tracks. I would love to find a kit or directions or something in English, but have not had much success. Can you help make my search a little less random? Thanks.

  375. I love this post. You are a totally radical feminist. I’ve been able to shun eyebrow plucking and makeup, but I can’t go out in public without a bra. That said, I detest the things. They are so uncomfortable, the straps are constantly falling down, and I occasionally wonder how much nicer my life might be without this damned harness squeezing me around the ribcage. Keep pushing your anti-bra agenda! It should be an option, not a requirement.

  376. ha! reading this braless! Social expectation is such a strange thing. Despite being perfecty happy and comfortable at most times of the month without a bra I’m about to put one on to go in to Uni. And the nipple police can be extreme- even with young tiny nipples I was questioned once in a lift at school when I was wearing a thin slinky fabric bra. The female judging can be far worse than male opinions.
    re: bra search I second the swimming togs idea

  377. I am with you 100%. I avoid wearing mine unless I have to be in public and want to be taken seriously by folks who do not know me or we are going somewhere that the people might have stereotypical notions.
    However, my braless compromise is to wear a nice vest over my turtleneck. Not a tight vest, but one that is flattering to my size yet does not conform to my breasts. A fleece or corduroy one usually works best.
    So how did it go?

  378. Try ordering the soft fabric, front closure bras from one of the old people catalogs. They are reasonably priced and rather comfortable. No jogging, but otherwise they do a tolerable job of keeping the girls at home.

  379. I agree with all of it, but I’ll tell you. Joe Fresh makes a decent cheap bra and you can get them at the grocery store.

  380. “The result of his swindle is pointedly clear… do you you buy a Titsling or do you buy a Brassiere?”

  381. Who out there remembers (and felt bowled over by the powerfulness of) Studs Terkel’s ‘Working’? I have had the same breathless emotional experience reading these comments.
    Who would have ever thought that anyone else in the WORLD would care to hear how my (then) husband was perpetually bemused and mystified to see my bra the first thing dropped inside the door when I got home from work?
    We are born little nudists; some of us never ever get over that, even if we have to accept convention over comfort just to ‘get along’ in the world. *sigh*

  382. long-time lurker here; first time commenting. I simply can’t resist this topic. I cannot convey how very much I LOATHE wearing a bra. Having become recently unemployed, I have come to dread the day I do go back to work simply because I will have to begin wearing a bra again. Wearing a bra makes me feel like I’m slowly suffocating.
    To all those who take their bras off as soon as they get home from work – why wait? I always took mine off once I hit my car.
    Maybe your child’s teacher is a proponent of bra-less-ness and will be secretly jealous when you show up sans.

  383. Okay, I’m a first time commenter too. I hate, hate, hate bras. So knowing that I’m not the only woman in the world with this relationship is awesome! I was complaining about how much I hate the fact that my old faithful black nursing bra is dying on me and I have go buy another one. I have three bras, but rotate between two of them most of the time. I let the girls hang out at home, but I tie them up when we’re in public. I’m nursing twins, so they are pretty saggy and swell during the day. I really do miss having a smaller chest where I could get away without wearing a bra.
    More power to ya girl!

  384. I wish, wish, wish, wish so much I could get away with not wearing a bra. Unfortunately the gene for MASSIVELY MONSTROUSLY HUGE chests hit me, and if I don’t wear a bra they tend to end up under my arms and get in the way half the time. I hate buying bras, I hate wearing them, I hate finding them in the morning, and I especially hate how I can’t afford to have enough to CHANGE them frequently (I just rotate between a few).

  385. BAHAHAHAHA. I was going to say “I nearly peed myself laughing through that post”, but then I realized since I’m 17 months postpartum and 24 weeks pregnant … that’s not exactly an amazing feat.
    I do find it awesome that I spent today in Mississauga in the company of many LLL women, most of whom likely share your irritation with bras.

  386. I am allergic to nylon and latex. My mother thinks this is an excuse to get out of wearing a bra….Hey Mom! Do you know what the elastic in panties are made of? hmmm, TMI?
    Bribe your Doc, this is a diagnosis worth having. No more underwear or pantyhose. It is also a great excuse to dispose of any ugly man-made fiber in your stash, and upgrade to wool, yak, silk………. HUGE upside to this allergy.
    Having said the above…I can not imagine sending my 16 year old daughter (36DDD) off to school, or church, OR ANYWHERE sans bra. Thank goodness I am a modest B-.
    Reeks of hypocrasy, but I completely fine with it.

  387. When I got married I was wore a bra to give the illusion that I actually had boobs. Six babies later I rate a B-. My two daughters: 34D and 36DD. Why do we have such a complicated relationship with our bodies??? All the envy, condecension, judging, moralizing….why?
    Testing: How many IQ points did you dock me when I said: “six babies”.

  388. I despise bras. I quit wearing them pretty early on. I joined the army after my freshman year in college as a way to afford the rest of college. This was in the mid 70s. I hadn’t been wearing a bra for a while at that time. I’m fortunate that I’m not really well-endowed in that part of my body so it was never really necessary as a support issue.
    One of the things we *had* to do in basic training was wear a bra. It was required. I despised having to do it. I actually lost it at one point when we had to fold our bras a specific way to put in our lockers. I remember marching down to the drill sergeants lounge and blowing up at my drill sergeant about having to do that RIDICULOUS thing. She was actually very understanding and talked me down. I do remember being appreciative about that. After basic I never wore a bra again, even though we were supposed to.
    If I have to do something for the sake of decorum I just wear a camisole.

  389. I was going to say something about bras, but I was completely stunned by the unbelievable beauty of the sock. Gorgeous! IMO, with a sock like that, clothes are optional.

  390. You have started something here. I only wear a bra for comfort. What I want to know is why a man can go out and buy 3 undershirts in a package for a couple of dollars and I have to pay upwards of 30 to 40 dollars for one bra. It had to be a man that invented the bra. I agree with everything you said.

  391. Great post, fascinating comments!
    I found bra shopping SUCH a hassle for such a long time! My breasts grew long into adulthood, stopping at JJ. A single bra in the proper size was $100 and NOT a pretty sight! Interestingly enough, I found a jogging bra or going without more comfortable than wearing the correctly fitted one at that time. Finding shirts to fit was a difficult process!
    I got a reduction a few years ago when I got tired of constant back & shoulder pain & went to a rather perky C. I was able to go without bras if I wanted for a while and it was lovely to be able to buy 3 or 4 of the suckers for what I’d paid for 1 before!
    These days I find I get chafed if I don’t wear one, but find underwire uncomfortable against my scars for any length of time. Trying to find a bra without it is very difficult in the small town I live in. I’d love a couple of soft cotton bits personally, as well as a couple of pretty lacier numbers for when I do want a bit of feminine “frippery” without the wire. I have NEVER seen a bra that managed to be pretty and lacy without wire, grrr!
    I find bras in “regular” stores tend to be awfully skimpy along the side band part & those in plus stores tend to assume a larger cup size is needed. I thought bra shopping would be easier after reduction, but sadly not so!
    Shelf-bra camisoles are alos hard to find around here! Talking of camisoles, why in the world is it so hard to find a nice cotton one with more-than spaghetti straps but less than a tank top?

  392. At least we don’t wear corsets anymore and try to get our waists to 13 inch circumferences.
    Baby steps, I think!

  393. Speaking of focusing on one’s chest… I was at a gathering of medieval re-enactors a few months ago, and got to chatting with a woman who does wildlife rehabilitation. She had several baby squirrels with her, and would put them in little harnesses on leashes, then stick them down her (over) dress. I’m told that the face of a gentleman as he tried not to stare at the two little lumps running rings around her breasts was quite a sight to see!

  394. I wear a bra if I have to do anything involving running or vigorous physical activity and avoid it whenever possible otherwise.
    I hate bras, but I am too seriously affected by gravity to do without them entirely, comfort-wise. Definitely the bra and shoes come off the very instant I am indoors.
    I loathe pantyhose and makeup with a much deeper and fiercer hatred than bras. At least a bra :: sometimes :: has a practical function: to avoid pain while jogging, or to make certain garments hang better on me. Pantyhose and makeup serve no function whatsoever other than to separate women from their money.

  395. I have huge boobs and going without a bra is uncomfortable and, in opinion, (not someone else’s), not attractive. I cannot wait to have a breast reduction – I’m miserable. My shoulders hurt, my posture is being compromised …… It’s my choice. Do I care if someone else does or does not wear one? Not one iota. For me it’s a necessary evil.

  396. have you concidered owning more than one bra? the more you have, the greater your chances of finding one when you need it.
    by the by, how many knitting days are left till christmas? i’ve been seeing christmas commercials for a while now, but your x-mas knitting adventures are so much more christmasy to me.

  397. I totally agree. I hate wearing bras and when I’m done going out for the day, it’s one of the first things to come off. My empire isn’t quite as high as it once used to be, too. I’m almost 50, and I nursed two babies, as well. I hate buying bras, almost as much. How they feel in the store, just isn’t how they feel when they’ve been worn and washed a few times. So, I keep buying the SAME bra, so I don’t have to think much, when I go to the store.

  398. I too have gone through most of my post-pubescent days never having the perkiness we all hoped to stop at.
    I once had a terrible strap-breaking issue and used an Ace bandage. Works like a charm.^^

  399. Hi Stephanie,
    Just catching up with your blog after a night of not much sleep and glad to see you’ve had time to knit again. Hope you are well.
    Take care,
    Jo Watson

  400. For those of you interested in the tape option: Many years ago I had to tape my kneecaps into place on a daily basis. At the pharmacy they sold my a soft non-ouch paper tape that was designed to be used under the contouring therapeutic tape. Nothing hurt when it was peeled off. That was still true even after months and months of taping. No skin irritations.
    BTW has anyone forwarded this stack of comments to VickiS (who only seem to make large size bras in molded foam cups – like I need the padding!) and other major bra manufacturers? It would give really good karma!

  401. For those of you interested in the tape option: Many years ago I had to tape my kneecaps into place on a daily basis. At the pharmacy they sold my a soft non-ouch paper tape that was designed to be used under the contouring therapeutic tape. Nothing hurt when it was peeled off. That was still true even after months and months of taping. No skin irritations.
    BTW has anyone forwarded this stack of comments to VickiS (who only seem to make large size bras in molded foam cups – like I need the padding!) and other major bra manufacturers? It would give really good karma!
    Have to laugh – this wasn’t about knitting except for the gorgeous sock – but look at the response!

  402. I am not going to villify the man who invented the bra – if indeed it was a man – as there are clearly many large-chested women whose lives would be a lot less comfortable without one.
    I love completely the way my breasts look – they are 32DD and perky and I want them to stay that way for as long as possible, which is one of the reasons I wear a bra.
    My late grandma was born in 1906 and lived to the age of 100. In all that time she never wore a bra and even though her breasts were not large nor was she a particularly active woman, her breasts ended up sitting about level with her waist. Some people might not think this a problem but personally it is not a look I would emulate.
    Also, I like to wear pretty lingerie just for the pleasure of wearing something attractive and well-designed. It may not be a necessity of life but it adds a certain gaity; in the same way that none us need to knit socks – we could purchase them for much less – but we indulge ourselves for the creative pleasure.
    Finally, I think there is a certain amount of decorum attached to wearing a bra, and this applies to men too insofar as I think it utterly vulgar for a man to go topless anywhere other than on a beach or at a swimming pool.
    I do, however, agree that most lingerie is overpriced for what it comprises and some of it is utterly pointless.

  403. Love your post! I fully agree with you! I haven’t worn a bra in months myself. In fact… I might not be able to find it now if I DID want to wear it… which I don’t. Bras are lame!

  404. Another reason some of us wear bras: surgical scrubs, and job duties that require leaning over. A running bra or shelf bra camisole removes the incentive to peek.

  405. I too object to the idea that the bra is supposed to make my breasts look a certain way. And to the fact that it is never anything resembling the correct shape for me. Especially if it’s an underwire bra. My protest? I wear sports bras constantly instead. They’re extremely comfortable, and provide much needed support. It also doesn’t matter quite as much that they’re not my shape, because they’re designed to make the breasts fit their shape (close to flat) instead.
    And Suzy, I’m sorry, but the underwire is really what makes it cantilevered. You need *something* to counter the moment for it to be a cantilever. My breasts certainly don’t do that on their own. (This, however, might be due to dropping 20% of my body weight between first and third year university).

  406. As I understand it, bras come in 4 basic styles
    communist [suppress the masses]
    civil service [make mountains out of molehills]
    salvation army [support the fallen]
    cowboy [round em up and push em out]
    all designed by men, probably!

  407. I have one sports bra that I wear for exercising only. I haven’t worn a bra in years. I don’t care if my nipples are showing, and I don’t care if someone is looking at my chest. I refuse to allow men to make me uncomforable…physically and psychologically.
    Free range boobs forever!

  408. i’m totally there with you! I hate bras. I wear one at work, so I’m not self-conscious. It goes along with shaved legs. Only when I find I’m avoiding wearing a dress to work (like in the heat of the summer) do I shave…Last time was about 8 years ago. I was part of the burn-bras movement, loosely, in high school. Ha. It was nothing, in high school, with 16 year old breasts. Sure caused a stir though. The student council suggestion box had a few notes in it about “make those 2 sisters wear bras”.

  409. LOL, you really seem to have touched a nerve.. Is this the most comments you’ve ever received for a posting?(Braless–ugh, ugly and uncomfortable.)

  410. Like the people above, I’m with you on this one… I seldom go without a bra, mostly because I’ve been self-conscious about my “large front porch” (as you’d say) since my early teenage years. But after nursing a baby–and having enough milk left over to donate to a NICU!! woohoo!–I gained a lot more respect for my breasts.
    I was just thinking the other day, while rolling my eyes at yet another Victoria’s Secret ad on the teevee, that I CAN’T WAIT for the “post-breast-feeding” bra and its ad… When are they going to show us that one? How come the bra ads and styles seem to favor women with fake boobies? Mine are very real, did a great job, and deserve some respect, thankyouverymuch.
    Thanks, Stephanie!

  411. I also hate wearing bras, but find that it’s much warmer in the winter to wear something under my shirt. Some days it’s an undershirt, some days it’s a sports bra. Since you live in a more northern and colder city than I do, an undershirt might help win your furnace wars :-).

  412. Oh my…..what perfect rant timing! I was making this exact comment to my husband this morning! I teach teenagers so it really is to my advantage to wear a bra to work…..but as much as possible, I try to get away with none! Thanks!

  413. I envy you. I’m large breasted and going without a bra is not a matter of a viewpoint about women, but rather, it’s damn uncomfortable. I’d love to have a comfortable choice.

  414. I agree with all of your rants and I went braless for years. However, once I hit my middle years, and, o.k., now I’m actually a senior, it hurts to go without a bra. Even just around the house for more than a couple of hours. And I’m not even that big! It’s totally unfair.

  415. Too funny. I recently discovered the “shelf bra” tank top. It works well for me (I would call myself moderately well endowed at 39 y.o. so things are bit catty-wampus) for casual attire for non-athletic events (such as tea with friends or housecleaning). It would probably be great for smaller women even for teacher meetings!
    Shaving, shmaving. Give it up; it’s a waste of soap and water and little buts of plastic and metal.

  416. Angela’s list should contain a fifth — her four
    communist [suppress the masses]
    civil service [make mountains out of molehills]
    salvation army [support the fallen]
    cowboy [round em up and push em out]
    and I might add
    military [divide and conquer]

  417. I’ve just started wearing underwired bras again now that I only feed my son (21 months) first thing in the morning. I’m so happy to have them back. At 34H, I realllllly need them. My husband only wears tight briefs, no boxers, because he hates to have things flapping around unsupported, as it were. I don’t really see bras as a feminist issue particularly. Now stiletto heels are another thing entirely…

  418. I’m not particularly busty, but I do prefer to wear a bra when I leave the house. Mostly because when I get chilly, one can tell that I am chilly, if you know what I mean and I’d rather not have people staring at my party hats. Because I’m not terribly busty, I don’t have to spend a fortune on bras and my favorites are made by Hanes. They are about $10 at Target or Walmart and if you hate Walmart, you can also get them directly from the Hanes website. They are a very good value and pretty comfortable too.

  419. Isn’t growning up liberating?
    When I started working in 1974 for a para-military type organization, each day at briefing we had to snap our girdle leg, lift our skirts to show that we had a slip on, then pull our shirt collar down to provide evidence of a FULL slip and a bra via two separate straps.
    Doesn’t anyone ever watch Mad Men? How did those of us who grew up at that time avoid being brain washed with regard to convention? Hats, gloves, make-up and having dinner on the table when the husband came home…..
    And with regard to the bra issue, all of our friends seem to be the **huggy** type. (Where did THAT come from??) I feel that it would be foward of me, and an insult to my husband to hug another man aunaturale. So whether I like em or not, always a bra in public.

  420. P.S.
    Did you ask the cat where he/she put your bra? I’ve gotten used to seeing my underwear strewn around the house when my kitty is upset that we’ve been gone too long!

  421. Mom always said, when I was a young ‘un, that when I got older I’d be glad I was practically flat-chested. Mom was right AGAIN!
    Hate bras, can’t stand to wear any tight clothes, and don’t have to wear bras with hardly anything noticeable anyway.
    A nice camisole or undershirt works just fine, bless my genetics!

  422. I hate bras. I can’t find one in any size that the straps will stay on my shoulders. At my LYS yesterday we talked about this very subject. One of the ladies never wears one, just ungershirts. Since winter is coming I may join her in that dress form.

  423. Once I had the baby and a year of nursing, I discovered that I was finally big enough to buy interesting bras (34AA was NOT a size favored by lingerie makers).
    So I see them as entertainment, sort of a secret underneath my clothing, and a good reason to buy something elegant, colorful, or alluring for the guy in my life to see.
    Ditto stockings, and the occasional foray into high heels (I’m real short, too). I also have my share of camisoles with shelf-bras, that are far more comfortable, but are too warm with certain outfits in summer.
    Really, it’s so hard to find any clothing that is comfortable, affordable, and still fits our need for color and pattern that brings us to the knitting world to begin with. Wash by hand to make them last longer, and you can spend a bit more on both lingerie AND yarn!

  424. OVERALLS.
    I wear them ALL the time. Buy them INSTEAD of a bra.
    I’m hoping to make them fashionable. Help me.

  425. I like bras but will admit that one of the reasons I wear them on occasions where I don’t really have to (around the house, quick trip to the local shop on Saturday morning) it that otherwise my breasts feel cold. All that padding is at least insulating.

  426. Wear one or don’t. . .who the heck cares? Kinda like undies. Some folks like ’em and others don’t give a rip.
    Personally, my boobs have ranged in size from “well endowed” (pre-pregnancy and overweight, pregnant, and nursing) to “big enough to be called a boob but small enough to not be too much of a hassle” (post nursing combined with significant weight loss). One of the problems with going from one end of the scale to the other is that although they are no longer large, they are rather, well, formless and droop significantly. I like most bras but I am particular in my choices. . .they can’t pinch, rub or irritate, I must not fall over the top of them (demi bra style), and you must not still be able to see the nips thru the bra. I like how my clothes fit better with a bra and while neither my face nor my boobs look 21 anymore, I also like that they don’t play hockey with eachother when I wear a bra.

  427. I do generally wear a bra, but am quite comfortable without one as well (can’t go without at work, though). One of my huge rants is my hatred for shopping for the things. It is a scientifically proven fact that when, after many stores and many bras tried on, I finally find a bra I like, said bra is guaranteed to be discontinued the next time I need one…and I have to go through all the torture again!
    I cannot express my agreement strongly enough on both the ‘Panty Hose issue’ and the ‘Make-up issue’. What’s wrong with the way I was made? Why do people feel the need for the female to cover her true identity in powders and paints?
    I like how I was made just fine, thank you very much!

  428. I can’t stand bras. Never have & never will. I have to wear them though or things just don’t look right on me. Plus I go to a lot of meetings and things where I have to look “professional”. It also feels better to have one on due to size and previous back injury (work related). It is one of the first things that comes off when I get home though. I love Suzy’s underwire line. I won’t get going on pantyhose though.

  429. My problem is that I have enormous breasts and it’s actually more comfortable for me to wear a bra than not. I own many. Even when wearing a bra, they do not look like a 21-year-olds breasts. I wear sports bras, I wear underwire, I remember when my breasts didn’t reach my navel. I proudly nursed my children all over Austin, Texas and never once met any sort of prejudice. I’m all about doing what’s comfortable –my guess is that you’ll be the only person thinking about your breasts –except maybe Joe.

  430. It took me years(!!!) to find a bra that is comfortable and makes my sisters feel good. I now buy in quantity.
    I’ve got a rack, and I am a petite person. It’s all about physical and emotional comfort. My 12 year old daughter wishes she had bigger boobs, but I can’t explain to her how difficult it can be to be well endowed.
    I wish I could go without, and I applaude those women who feel comfortable to do so, no matter the size!

  431. I’ve recently come to appreciate the choice to strap ’em in or not. While in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I read a news report in an English-language Arabic newspaper that women in a certain African country are being accosted by bands of masked men if they appear to be wearing a bra beneath their abaya. Wearing one is determined to be “deceptive” and the women in the report were made to publicly remove the bras and “shake their breasts”.
    I’m going to run my fingers through some wool to settle myself now.

  432. True story:
    I have always, since puberty hit me like a sack of hammers, been what is condescendingly referred to as a “big girl”. My mother and I had many a row about this (and to complete the picture, my mother is the “two band-aids and go” type of woman). So one day in high school I was wearing my bra. Wearing is the operative word here. I was not running, jumping, or performing any kind of tribal dance. I was simply walking to class and my bra SNAPPED. Forgive the caps, but that was how it felt. The seam that went diagonal across the cup shuffled off it’s mortal coil and suddenly one girl is on the North Side and one is on the South side. I did what any adolescent girl would do and freaked out, scrambling to the restroom to remove the hateful thing and shove it in my backpack.
    When I got home and related the incident to my (perky, insensitive) mother, she laughed and called me “Busty McGee”.
    I haven’t worn a bra since, if I can help it. 40-D be damned, I’ll sag and enjoy every damn minute off it. Bonus points: it honks my mother off to no end.

  433. I forgot to mention, I think, that I’m all in favor of people forgoing things like bras and makeup for their own comfort and/or enjoyment.
    I wear makeup ’cause it’s fun. I wear bright shades and natural minerals — but it wasn’t always fun for me and when it wasn’t, I just didn’t do it.
    When my nephew asked if he could play with my makeup, I was totally happy to let him at it. When my niece asks, she’ll get to play, too. And it’ll be under the exact same “condition”: Do it for fun, do it for yourself, don’t do it if you’d rather not because you’re awesome the way you are.

  434. It is my belief that bras, especially underwires do contribute to breast cancer. The tight elastic and wires constrict your lymph nodes and prevent them from clearing the toxins from your chest area. IMHO, retaining toxins cannot be good for your health. At 62, with relatively large breasts, I remain braless and I am not highly invested in what others think of me because of it.

  435. Its a beautiful sock and breasts are beautiful no matter how they are positioned on ones body! I love my boobies in or out of a bra and I flash my poor hapless husband frequently. :o)

  436. I’m braless around the home, but bra’d out of the home. it’s just how i like it. I’m flumoxed at the social expectations though, I hardly shave, hardly wear make up, just do what i want when i want. yay us!

  437. My gals are ample, and going to a serious lingerie store, getting an expert fitting, and purchasing perfect-for-me brassieres has changed my life. Clothes fit, my posture has improved, my shoulders no longer ache, and I look and feel ten pounds lighter.
    With or without is up to each individual woman, in my view, but if you are having trouble with fit and comfort, go to a store that sells nothing but brassieres and takes good care of its customers. The results are radically different from relying on a department store or catalogue.

  438. I’ve never thought about bras in this fashion before. I’ve worn them for long enough to know that I’m better with one than without. Not that the girls are large, but they are large enough to be a hassle & cause discomfort when not supported in some fashion. There have been times when I have gone to bed in a bra on purpose as the shifting weight was just too much.
    Hate pantyhose and shoes. I wear jeans and sneakers most of the time. Make-up is also lost on me.
    I envy you for being more comfortable without a bra.

  439. At a 32ii (yes double i) I can’t go without a bra. It hurts my back way too much.
    More power to those that can go without!!!
    BTW I would love a bikini top knit pattern for my size.

  440. Bra, no bra always a womans right to choose. I find if I do not wear one all day my back and shoulders are in agony by evening and I have more problems breathing.
    I was trained as a “corsetier” at the tender age of 18 and I have to say that the reason most women find them uncomfortable is cause they are not fitting correctly.
    I myself have had periods of time where I would have killed to find the right fit. (and do not get ME started on my current search for plus size woolen tights!!!)
    I am ok with frocks, pantyhose and small heels while out but once home ALL clothes and bits come off and I slip into a nice chemise or a sarong.
    If anyone says anything, look them straight in the eye and ask them why they are looking??
    Good luck
    Sydney, Australia

  441. Has anyone else noticed that many of the hip, fitted sweater patterns assume a (teen) youthful perkiness to the bust? I have found that with my long torso (extra 2″ from shoulder to waist) I usually need to add all of the length between my armpit and the bustpoint. The Sublime patterns make me feel the oldest (bust points are at or above the armhole decrease).
    By the way, I can’t get to the pattern’s bust point even though I wear a bra on a daily basis. I haven’t sagged that much (too flat-chested), but still don’t match the pattern designers’ ideals.
    I also vote for a sports bra or two if you hate the normal type. They are much better for control when active (not an issue for me, but my busty daughter swears by them), and feel somehow more like something a woman thought up to solve a practical problem than something a man thought up to make a woman look a certain way (Howard Hughes, actually). They also tend to be less expensive than the lace and underwire stuff.

  442. I do wear a bra – and makeup and even pantyhose. I think I feel more serious about my work when I do, and I hope I convey that to my students by dressing for my job. Having said that, I’d prefer no bra on other women rather than the bra straps showing; I always wonder what job THAT look is appropriate for (along with the overdone/weird eye makeup, midriff-baring shirts, shorts, and flip flops).

  443. LOOKEE!!! You too can get a motion sensor bra!! One tiny peeps outa the girls and the bra senses motion! What is does though, I don’t know. Does it squeeze the life outa them?
    Hind Motion Sensor Bra – SIZE: 38D, COLOR: White
    As low as $44.99 from Amazon Marketplace
    What WILL they think of next!

  444. I feel lucky: I have the choice. Even after three long-time brestfeeding, my brest is still perky enough to live happily without a bra… most of the time. Some days I feel more confortable with a little support, ’cause of hormonal-induced tensions. That is okay. Sometimes the look of males trying to figure out if really I am braless makes me inconfortable and I put on a bra because that is what most of the women are doing right now in the society I live in. That is not good. What is still more lamtnable is that the bras we find in the shops now are almost all padded. I believe it is not only to “improve” the shape of the breast, but maybe more to hide the tits.
    I am always shocked and unhappy when the comments on the “what not to wear” or “what not to knit” kind og blogs are about the obsene appearance of women’s tits on the photo!! Apparently a lot of people in your societies see that as shameful and unapropriate. I find this statement really deeply wrong. So I try not to mind about the judgements of the people seing me braless… sometimes I loose the battle and wear a bra only to close the mute debate.
    And now I must add your thought about being seen as brainless when going braless. Ouch! This is worse!!!!

  445. BTW – What is the sock pattern? I checked out NUTKIN which was mentioned in the previous blog. Nice as it is, it’s not the same (or quite as nice). Thank you.

  446. I actually read most of these comments…
    Steph: ratty bra?? 8-10 yrs old?? Hell, I would find those highly uncomfortable, too. In my book, FIT and SIZE matter (as most of these ladies are saying, too). 6 mths- 1 yr is the life of a bra.
    Just saw the Bravissimo site’s video on fitting, excellent and recommended. My daughter (postpartum) just got properly measured and found she isn’t a 34B or C any more, but a 36E… makes all the difference (and she is slim). Plus she got to try on different styles, shapes, fabrics, with/without underwire until she got what she liked. She took note and can now shop in many more places, big sizes are no longer a rarity, that is such a myth in this day and age.
    Myself, 40D, I would hate to go without re. comfort, rubbing, weight etc..
    What I don’t understand, alongside the promotion of the big frontage, is that I can’t find a blouse to fit. They gape over the bust, even if the shoulders are out here and the rest is baggy and kneelength (not what I’m looking for!). Any tips??!!
    BODY HAIR… how much natural is acceptable? 25 yrs ago women here in central Europe didn’t shave anything, now it is inacceptable to show underarm hair or leg hair, and bikini waxing is, I gather, fairly popular.
    Personally, I don’t do any of these things for men (or my man, who loves me at any size): I depress myself in the mirror if my hair is grey, because I look wholly grey. I would have a huge unibrow if I didn’t pluck something. Upper lip is ok though I go ahead and have it bleached when I am treating myself to a facial (which I do for sanity every 5-6 wks). Underarm and leg hair I shave because I am dark-haired and pale-skinned and it both looks ugly and gets sweaty/smelly in summer and feels nicer under my clothes (incl. tights – again, get them big enough!) all the year round. I also like that I chose an attractive pair of glasses and don’t have ratty old National Health ones stuck together with gum or duct tape and I am happy to wear some lipstick that makes my lips feel softer in heat/cold and gives me a bit of colour. Funnily enough, people look at me much friendlier when I am wearing it and smiling. And I smile a lot, whether I am wearing lipstick/gloss or not.
    So, I am a 45 yr old mother of 3 (all breastfed) in a happy relationship with my husband of 25 years. I feel I am a natural woman, but I guess in that case, with the arguments you present, you must disagree. Shame, really.
    PS knitting with big boobs is uncomfortable – the roundness at the sides gets in the way of arm movement, so another reason to be pro-bra!!

  447. re twitter and crochet I don’t think it would take too long for them to create a table cloth or bedspread judging by the ladies I used to see crocheting on the Spadina bus (now there’s a statement to date a Torontonian) They moved like lightning using crochet hooks that could be mistaken for surgical instruments

  448. All I can say is it must be nice to have breasts of such a size that not wearing a bra in public would be acceptacle. BUt having size 40DD this is never an option! and a “good bra” in my size can set you back $50!

  449. Bras do suck. As soon as I get home, I take mine off. However, I admire you for being comfortable enough to go without one! I always feel weird, probably since I’ve been wearing some kind of bra since I was about 9 (I developed early). I enjoy bras more these days because when I was 17 I had a breast reduction. I was about a DDD/E cup and also asymmetrical, so getting a bra to fit and be comfortable was NO easy task! I hated it. Now I enjoy wearing them more because they actually fit the way they are supposed to, and I wear a bra because I’d like to keep them looking like this for a long time! Or at least until I have kids. I know that’s vain, but when you’ve been a 17 year old with the breasts of a 40 year old and then got a second chance, you see things differently!

  450. I wear one because if I don’t, I get back and neck ache, and that really doesn’t help with the knitting.
    I take it as a sign that the Creator is not a woman – if she was, she would make sure that our boobs only grew as big as our spines could comfortably support.

  451. I’m fairly well-endowed I suppose – a 32F, but I am much more comfortable without a bra. At the end of the work day I can’t wait to get it off.
    I basically never wear one when I’m at home.
    I heard about a study a while back on CBC radio where they actually found that bras cause the breast-supporting ligaments to atrophy and actually CAUSE SAGGING! So bras actually cause us to be more dependent on… bras! I’m with you Stephanie… it’s a conspiracy.

  452. I hate bras. I have gignormous breasts, and bra straps are much less comfortable than just letting them hang from my chest where God put them. My 12 y.o. daughter is scandalized, though, by the very idea. I do not recall she minded having them unfettered and easily available when she was an infant, but I’m old and forget easily. A few years ago, our elderly neighbor fell and when her husband came to the door to ask for help, I ran over there as I was, fully dressed in clean sweats, but NO BRA. I still get crap about that.
    “But Mom, no one wants to see you not looking pretty!”

  453. This blog entry has 501 comments. Mine will make 502. Do you read all of them? Just testing. 🙂

  454. Ok, ENOUGH with all the ranting that’s going on with the KNITTING blogs. It’s getting really old. Rant about knitting issues all you want. That’s so much more interesting than all the too-much-personal-information that’s floating around.

  455. Isn’t it funny how much difference it can make to a sock pattern, just by making the cables alternate direction instead of all twisting the same way!
    Nutkin looks completely different that way.

  456. I’m small, A/B, used to go without at home all the time. Although I didn’t find a bra hellaciously uncomfortable or anything. Post-breastfeeding (well, and now I’m doing it again), my boobs have lost their perk, and I’ll admit it–it bothers me. So I wear a bra in the vain hope of keeping them a little perkier a little longer. In theory I completely agree with your rant; in reality … a really nice thing about having small boobs is their perk, and I had a hard time dealing with the change in their appearance. Even though I know it was for a good reason. Even though I know there are way worse things (good wishes to all the breast cancer survivors posting or mentioned here).
    I will rant, though, about nursing bras. Even the best one I’ve found has thick, ugly straps and a racer back. I’m glad it’s comfortable, but if I’m not wearing the strictest of crewnecks, the straps show (and they’re not pretty straps, either). Hate the nursing bras, especially.

  457. Excellent rants, all. For me, tho, a bra is a necessity. However, I am a special case of large (ie: Ginormous), so not applicable to everyone.

  458. As a former nursing mother, I believe I can say with some authority that one of the most under-raported effects of not wearing a bra is: Eventually having nipples that you can tuck in your jeans pockets. Pretty.

  459. Re: twitter… What is your book about and maybe we can make suggestions for a title.
    Re bras: Cute topic – so many many responses- all very entertaining. Personally if I don’t wear one I feel like a wobbly blob of jello- I have to keep “the girls” firmly confined.

  460. It could be worse. We could still be stuffed into whalebone corsets. Winter is for going braless, esp if you’re wearing a bulky sweater. How’d the meeting go?

  461. Oh, I totally hear ya sister. Bras are such a scam… I can’t stand spending money on something that will inevitably not fit well and will feel uncomfortable until it is taken off. Bulky cardigans are perfect for this sort of weather, and for covering comfortably unharnessed breasts.

  462. For larger sizes, have you looked at Junonia (www.junonia.com)? They sell mostly athletic wear for sizes 12 and up, and they have a variety of bras in sizes up to 52J. I just checked and they have camis, sports bras, and regular bras. Their stuff isn’t especially cheap, but I know their other clothing is well made and lasts really well.
    Personally, I prefer all cotton knit bras, which are cool, relatively comfortable, and take their shape from their contents rather than seams and construction. And they often can be found in prints — today I’m wearing pink candy stripes.

  463. I just wanted to comment on the comment near the top about the purpose of the underwire. They are NOT for supportting the breasts. The back/understrap in combination with the shoulder straps support the breasts. The wire is there to add shape and structure to the bra.
    Bras also do not have to be expensive. I’m large busted, and it used to be that way for the larger bras, but as America grows, so does the bra selection at places like Wal-Mart (and yes, I’m Canadian, but what happens in American Wal-Marts, happens in Canadian Zeller’s too). Now, of course, a $20 bra is not as well made as a $60 bra, but sometimes that doesn’t matter.
    What bugs me, is that I’ve had a reduction, and I’m shocked to see C and D cup bras with padding! I got rid of ‘my padding’ and now I just need a bit of support! LOL.
    (On our cruise last year, I went braless almost every day, with carefully selected tops. I called it “Free-Boobing” LOL!)

  464. A comment on TracyKM’s note; I tend to buy mine from the clearance rack, so I failed to notice that the 42C that I bought was … a PUSH-UP, complete with padding! Just exactly what I needed. Yes, I know, try it on first; actually it was quite comfortable, it just has a bit of unnecessary “show”. I was excited because it was a pretty red one; that should have raised flags, I guess.

  465. I’m a pre-pregnancy 20-year-old and my boobs don’t look like those of a pre-pregnancy 21-year-old without a bra. They’re rather more conical than most and tend to flop about without a bra. I definitely prefer one when I’m out and about– and after too long without one, even indoors, the gals tend to hurt a little.
    But I totally respect your right to go without one! In fact, I admire your courage. I am not far enough past the beauty myth that cleavage doesn’t make me feel sexy. (Hopefully you can fight through the foliage of double-negatives to understand what I’m trying to communicate.)
    The last time the bra-vs-braless debate came up in my circle of friends, I brought up the nipple issue. One of my smaller-chested and frequently-braless friend said, “It’s not as if we don’t know you have them!”

  466. I totally hear you on the rants, but let me tell you, with a DD cup, I definitely prefer a bra most of the time. My breasts get achy pretty quickly if I don’t wear one. And while breastfeeding, I like having an extra layer between the nipples and the shirt, because the nips get are uncomfortably sensitive! That being said, I think bras a total scam, given how much they cost, how quickly they fall apart, and how necessary society has made them! Most of the time, I go for plain, breathable cotton, and only rock the cleavage if I’m going out somewhere with the hubby and want to feel a little sexay – but even then, I can’t WAIT to get home and let the girls run free – well, in my little cotton sleep bra (again, still breastfeeding!)

  467. I hope the meeting went well, they took you seriously, and changed what needed changing and fixed what needed fixing, all in a constructive way.

  468. I wear one every day perhaps because I’m programmed. But without one (or with one that is ill-fitting) I feel I look slouchy and don’t like the way I look in photos. So I prefer to wear one. And I even sometimes wear one that perks them up more–because I like ’em perky. But if I felt I could go without, I would.

  469. My BIG rant is that they don’t make bras for smaller breasted woman. Not everyone has big breasts and not everyone with small breasts wants surgery!!! I have to by my bras in the Jr. department and that really stinks because they aren’t made for woman. Yuck.

  470. I think my favorite phrase was “controlled breasts.” Hahaha!
    This rant will keep me pondering for awhile…

  471. I have always known that there are women out there who feel exactly the same as I do about bras. I refuse to wear them unless I absolutely have to. I’ve been this way forever and I am now 63 years of age. My breasts still look good. Anyone selling bras who insist that you need to wear them lest you droop when you’re older are lying. You’re bound to droop a teensy bit whether or not you wear a bra.
    I could think of a hundred rants on not having to wear a bra. Thank you for having the courage.

  472. I wish I didn’t have to wear a bra, but my chesticles are on the large side and need all the help they can get. Thanks for being braless for the rest of us:)

  473. Ok, Stephanie — I think I have the answer for you. Of course, you (and others in the comments above) may have already suggested putting your bra in the same place when you are done with it — some place mundane, like the underwear drawer.
    Don’t do it. It obviously hasn’t worked yet.
    I think you should put your bra with yarn. Not just any yarn, but a yarn you can remember and go to for those moments when you need it. Maybe even store the yarn inside it? In any case, I consulted with my husband re what yarn it should be, and he suggested “Touch Me.”
    You’re welcome.

  474. I have a half-agree/half-disagree.
    I love my bras, but they’re for utility, not for ‘look at me look at me’. Now, granted, I buy the pretty ones, because I like them, but they have to do their job first, and that job is to keep the Girls where I can see ’em, and because having said Girls joggle around is painful for me and distracting for my co-workers, I don’t mind having them tucked safely, front and reasonably centered.
    Anyway, fashion can be damned, and if the Girls weren’t so big, they could probably just do what they want to do, but since that physically hurts me, they have to do what I tell ’em, so bras it is.
    As far as the not being able to find the bra problem, have you checked the bottom of the laundry basket?
    Good luck, and I’m sure you’re a good mom whether your luggage is tethered up front or not. And honestly, if the teachers there are seasoned anything like my mom, a career middle-school teacher in the inner city, they’re probably more concerned about whether your daughter’s breasts are showing inappropriately in school than whether you’re wearing wearing a bra during a showdow– I mean conference.
    That is, unless you plan to climb onto the desk, rip your shirt off and do a Xena-yell, but then, you’re probably not thinking about a bra at that point anyway.

  475. I work for a direct selling Lingerie company which aims to have well designed, as well as attractive, bras for a large range of sizes. We hold personal fitting sessions in homes.
    Underwires are curved around the breast to hold the cup flat to your chest wall, not to support the cantilever. Over 75% of women wear the wrong size bra which makes this part very uncomfortable as it then doesn’t fit the shape of your breast.
    Did you know that the cup size of a 36D is the same as a 38C for instance?
    I am happy if you choose not to wear a bra if you are not too big in the cup size, but I’m sorry that being in Australia I can’t come over and show you one of our comfortable and practical ones, which do come in a range of colours if you so desire. You don’t even have to go to a department store to get one!

  476. Honestly, I think nearly all women’s bodies are beautiful, but I really like my boobs pert and “up there.” I’m sure there is some rant 8b(2) about conflicted body image, but oh well, I just don’t worry about it. I’ve got big ladies and they hurt if they get too much free reign! I go braless when I want and reign them in when activities (like running) will needlessly stretch them out.
    That said, the things we do for children to not embarrass them! Wear a dark shirt with a heavier weave… and don’t pace.

  477. I told my partner your dilemma and he recommended not erasing anything either… I’d go early and write stuff on the board ahead of time! Or knit one… You could even felt it so it would be sturdy…

  478. I am 29yrs old, and I have been wearing sports bras for years as I can’t find ‘normal’ bras that are comfortable. However, I was maid of honour for my best friend this past summer, so I figured I should get a nicer (ie. more shapely) bra to wear with my pretty dress. I went to a lingerie shop, as I know I have a hard time finding bras that fit properly and I thought I should get a fitting. The shop attendant knew that I would probably be using this bra infrequently, but the first bra she brought me to try on was $300!! Three Hundred Dollars!!! My dress cost $200, including alterations. I went with a $180 bra instead, and I can still only wear it for an hour or so before it starts digging in at the sides. I wish I had the self confidence to leave the house without one of these torture devises! I have quite large breasts (36F, I was told), but it sounds like I’m one of the minority that is actually more comfortable braless. Sigh.

  479. Has anyone mentioned yet the incomprehensible fact that after a double mastectomy a woman is offered the opportunity, nay, strongly encouraged, to be fitted for prosthesis ( you can be any size you want now honey) so that you can buy even more expensive bras in which to be uncomfortable? I did the whole shopping thing, wore them once and now they sit, literally, collecting dust reminding me of the stupidity of the whole thing. I remain bra-less at all times now and cancer-free for 2 1/2 years. Yeah!

  480. Personally, I’m far more comfortable with one than without one, partly physically — all that bouncing and jiggling is distracting — and partly because I really don’t like people staring at my chest instead of my face. To me this doesn’t seem like a big deal and I can’t understand why it’s worth any rants at all.

  481. i just discovered your blog recently, having decided to pick up some knitting. anyhow, i wanted to say how much i loved this post! i’m a new mom with working class boobs now and i love that. and i wanted to say thanks for the time you spent as an IBCLC. i have had a trying time of it nursing, with clogs quite literally every 3 days or so – and once so bad i went to a breast specialist – and it was only through the help of IBCLCs (and a very helpful jack newman via email) that i was able to keep my sanity and keep nursing. and now, i’ll be a sane, nursing, and knitting mama! thanks for what you’ve done and what you do.

  482. My Grandma came from the era that didn’t have “replacement” boobs when someone had lost theirs to breast cancer. She was rather large on top and used an silky garment to make up for what was lost. She also included her extra money in a small wallet in that location. We used to tease her when she had to go to the “bank”. Fond Memories!

  483. While I agree with Rants 1 and 1a, I have very good reasons for wearing bras on a regular basis. I am a DDD cup in the bus, and at that size, it can sometimes be painful, depending on the activity, to not wear a bra. My back starts to hurt a lot.
    Also, I work in a hardware store, and if there were ever a place to wear a bra, that would be it. I lift boxes and climb ladders, clean shelves and floors, reach for things overhead, etc., and the bra helps- trust me.
    I also don’t need the additional staring that a lack of bra would probably bring me.

  484. haha love this rant, even though I <3 bras. essentially, I need one otherwise moving is uncomfortable as I am a bit larger chested. whenever I don’t wear one, I just end up holding my boobs going up and down stairs anyway, so I might as well wear one to free up the arms to carry things 😛 Bras are definitely way too expensive though, but I take good care of mine so they last quite a long time!

  485. because my boobs hurt my back if i dont wear one..
    other than that no idea why’d you want to wear one i didnt wear one for 20 yrs then all of a sudden i was in the military and they made me wear one and as the girls have become bigger my braless days are have come to an end. I am currently carrying around double d’s and if they are not restrained in some way i hurt.

  486. I had mine removed a few months ago…Breast Cancer. I actually love my new shape..especially since I’m now dancing with NED (No Evidence of Disease)

  487. I understand your dislike of bras. For myself, I like bras, makeup and don’t even mind panty hose. I also regularly wear slips. I work in a large law firm and just feel more put together. As a rower, I couldn’t live without sports bras. But, to buy a decent bra you need to go to a good store. A good department store with a person who actually measures you. As someone mentioned above, the one you own probably doesn’t fit. I had worn 36B for years and am now a 34C. Looks better, fits better. Frankly, one of the best bras out there is something call a Bra-alluia from Spanx. Not cheap, but very comfortable.

  488. I was shocked and appalled to discover that the breasts I wanted when I was sixteen would prove to be so inconvenient when I finally got them at 19. (Late bloomer. I still miss sleeping on my stomach, which I haven’t been able to do for 30 years.)
    I highly recommend those Fruit-Of-The-Loom 3-packs of sports-type bras. So what if they give you a sort of “uni-boob”, squashed-together look. They keep the high-beams out of view, and they prevent the disturbing flapping sounds I make when I run down the basement stairs bra-less. Heh.

  489. I made my own bras for a short while – fun! They take forever because there are so many pieces, and require a fancy-stitch machine for the bottom-edge elastic. But, I got a cotton-lycra-blue-with-bright-flowers one, and a purple-magenta “Second-skin-satin” one. Then I made one with all the pieces cut 1/8″ too big, and then all that work, and it was TOO big, so that was the end of the adventure.

  490. I long for the days when braless was an option. That was before my previously unassuming smallish-32B decided that it wanted to be 32DD, or 30E if I could be so kind. I am absolutely astounded by how many DD-E cup bras are push-up though. I am already frustrated by them being in the way, why would you assume I want them to look even more disproportionate to my otherwise boyish frame?

  491. My friends make fun of me because I apparently wear the “wrong” kinds of bras. What’s the right kind of bra? If it’s holding my girlies in place, then it’s doing it’s job, yes?
    I wish I was a man.

  492. For all those women who say bras are uncomfortable…you just have not found the right one. If you have the right one on, you should not be able to feel it at all.
    Also, I wear a bra all of the time unless I am sleeping and if I put a shirt on without a bra on, the shirt rubs on my nipples and it hurts!
    Plus, men actually LOVE looking at a women’s nipples poking under their shirt. And that just creeps me out!!

  493. I feel quite unsettled by this post, YH! I’m totally with you in the sentiment of feeling that looking ‘natural’ as a woman isn’t quite/or anywhere as acceptable as looking ‘natural’ as a man. When men have large protuberances somewhere on their bodies, which are uncomfortable without support, and they voice their concerns, then perhaps there might be a bit of mutual understanding between the sexes (although us wimmin will have a bit of a cackle at the same time). What bothers me about your post, Stephanie, is that I get the definite impression from your photos, that you are not a lady of large boobage. If you were, then you wouldn’t have written this post.

  494. Having breasts affected by gravity, time, and lots of weight (as a poster above said, the cubs grew more than was advertised) I do have to admit that the bra really is worth it. That being said, the twins need to stay out of the way when I’m busy–I go for the sports bra w/the little crossover to avoid a uniboob. Because, basically, whatever gives me better access to my knitting and/or writing is what I’m going with. And they make a crappy shelf for knitting–it’s best to strap them down and make them disappear when they’re not being used. Sort of like a hidabed, right?

  495. I absolutely agree with you and now I am going to hunt through the Internet to see whether I can find out what “IBCLC” means before I die of curiosity. Darn it!! For years I didn’t even own a handbag (I still don’t wear makeup, go to the hairdresser – having long hair helps – or wear heels, etc.) and men of all people would find fault with this. Men!! Who are famous for not carrying around handbags, let alone feeling compelled to manicure themselves into a state of perfection before leaving the house. In the end I bought a handbag because my purse and stuff were taking up valuable knitting stuff space in my knitting bag, but I refuse to do any of the other chick stuff for male people who e.g. eat green yoghurt (but what’s *wrong* with it??) and cannot smell the stink coming out of their own mouths even though small animals are keeling over in the next room. Hope the meeting went well, despite the whole bra issue.

  496. Ha, before I ever skimmed through the comments, I had a feeling there would be two camps — those who hate bras, and those who, like me, hate the discomfort, chafing, and (dare I say it?), occasional under-boob sweat that comes of not wearing a bra. It would seem, for the most part, that size matters. Glad there seems to be pretty much one camp about this: most seem to agree that every woman should do what is comfortable to them. So, if you need a bra to feel comfortable, go for it, and if not, be free! 🙂 An entertaining post, as usual!

  497. The secret to loving your bras is finding a LBS (Local Bra Shop). In my world it’s the equivalent to a great LYS (local yarn shop). I;ve been going there for years. You walk in, the look you up on the computer and proceed to bring bras that fit you. Then, if they don’t fit right, the ladies wgo back and get more for you.
    I was recently down in the US with two friends and Victoria’s Secret was a must-do stop for them. I went along thinking I might find something since it’s so popular. The prepubescent sales girl too a look at my ample 13-months-of-breast-feeding bounty and declared that the ‘largest’ size they carried was a double-d.
    So I hung out on the ‘husband’ chair in the fitting room. And, by the end of the 1.5 hours we spent there I was educating the other patrons on proper bra fitting. The sales girl was too busy sharing the details of the latest episode of gossip girl with friends.
    If you choose not to wear a bra – bra-vo.
    If you choose to wear one…get the right size and boycot the ‘wonderbras’ who’s engineering innovation stopped 50 years ago with the underwire.
    BTW After our trip to Vicky’s Secret my girlfriends confessed that they thought I’ve got the most beautiful bras they’d ever seen. And they were stuck having to choose from ‘nude’ or black while I sport sherbet coloured lacy numbers.

  498. I’ve never been well endowed, almost made it to an “A” while I was nursing. I agree about wearing bras to make clothing fit better. But I have found an extra layer of insulation important to ward off frostbite during outdoor activities in extreme cold. Therefore I now own both “summer” and “winter” bras, the winter variety are fiberfill insulated, and are cleverly marketed under the label of “padded bra.” Summer bras are worn only to a)improve the fit of clothing, or b) reduce nipple friction.

  499. You go girl!!! I’ve been a very chesty girl all my life and in middle school I declared to the world what an atrocity bras were and I was NEVER wearing a one again~ the principal sent me home for indecent exposure. HA.

  500. as Steve Martin said in “LA Story” ‘i could never be a woman, i’d just sit around and play with my breasts all day.’ you need to recognize the power they have. everyone wants them. men, women, EVERYONE. just read the comments. it’s true. be a girl. marrying a man who was single til he was 32 helps, but why not enjoy your “different-ness”? God’s pretty smart, to have designed us with a fascination for each other’s differences. preacher’s wife in pa, kd

  501. I completely understand what you are saying.
    Mine are somewhere between working-class and peasant. I am overly large and gravity has hit.
    So I need to wear what I call “Industrial strength”.
    Anything to hold me together while I am out in public. Boy, what I would give to walk out the door
    “braless”. And if your daughter rolls her eyes, it won’t be the first or last time she does that.
    Hope the school meeting went well.

  502. I couldn’t make it thru your words without laughing – all the comments afterwards hurt! We are a community of very funny women.
    At 28, I wear a bra for comfort and, like at least one other woman mentioned – to keep from constantly rubbing against my shirt. Maybe I’m hypersensitive, but cutting glass hurts, I tell you.
    That said, screw makeup and hair products and pantyhose. We can send men into orbit but we can’t make nylons that don’t run? I was lucky enough to find (and immediately marry) a man who asked me to never wear makeup – he didn’t like kissing a cosmetics counter! – and to leave my hair natural so he could run his hands thru it unhindered. He and I agree – women dress up for each other, most men would prefer us to cut the primping and just be ourselves.

  503. I’m a nurse & a 42DD. Most hospitals have dress codes that require bras – as well as non-distracting panties – so I must wear one, though finding one that is comfortable with all the physical demands of my job is not easy. First things that come off once I’m in the back door – shoes & bra. Always wear front closures so I can unhook the darn thing on the drive home. Despite the size, I am utterly blissful sans bra. I can go days without a bra, engage in all kinds of normal behavior – and for some reason mine don’t hurt. At 55, I am still just a shameless pagan hippie at heart, I guess. Never did feel comfortable constrained by clothing. Can’t stand to wear shoes, either. I am sure I am headed for becoming one of those pleasantly confused ladies in the nursing home who are always taking all their clothes off! Like me, they probably waited their whole life to be able to get away with that.

  504. I always wear a bra, because when I don’t wear one my breasts hurt. And underwired ones are the most confortable for me… so that is what I wear! (before I tried them I thought of them as torture… and then I did try one of those and… well, I need that support, I guess)
    So I guess it goes with bras as with the sort of shoes you wear to feel comfortable… We are all different and all have different needs!
    (as for shoes, barefoot is nice at home on a nice carpet, or on the lawn in summer, or on the sand if it isn’t burning!)

  505. Actually, I hate bras so much that they’re the first thing that I take off when I get inside my house. And I can take one off without removing my sweater or shirt. I hate them–I’ve never found one that fit, and I refuse to wear them in my house–so if anyone happens to “drop by”, which I also hate, they will find my 60-year-old, non-perky-and-never-were-bosoms pointing down at my feet. If that offends them–good.

  506. Actually, I hate bras so much that they’re the first thing that I take off when I get inside my house. And I can take one off without removing my sweater or shirt. I hate them–I’ve never found one that fit, and I refuse to wear them in my house–so if anyone happens to “drop by”, which I also hate, they will find my 60-year-old, non-perky-and-never-were-bosoms pointing down at my feet. If that offends them–good.

  507. Actually, I hate bras so much that they’re the first thing that I take off when I get inside my house. And I can take one off without removing my sweater or shirt. I hate them–I’ve never found one that fit, and I refuse to wear them in my house–so if anyone happens to “drop by”, which I also hate, they will find my 60-year-old, non-perky-and-never-were-bosoms pointing down at my feet. If that offends them–good.

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