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Bra-Free Fashion Tips

"How can I ever go without a bra and still look OK?"

 

One of the hardest parts of making a decision about eliminating the bra for better breast health is doing it and still being able to dress appropriately for work or for social events. We offer here images of readers' choices that work for them. But it does require some serious thought about what you want to emphasize and what you want to minimize. We list some things to keep in mind as you build your new wardrobe. And that is literally what you are doing, but don't despair quite yet... you should be able to utilize some of what you have now, but just use it in a different way. Eliminate a few items that will not work for you any more and make a few select purchases and you are on your way to a new life. Who doesn't like to have a new wardrobe and a new 'you'?

Fitted blouses, shirts, and dresses are designed with darts in the front so that breasts almost have to be lifted to abnormal heights to 'fit' the darts.  When you are not wearing a bra, and your breasts are larger than a B-cup, your breasts will likely sag lower than they would if you were wearing the bra. So you would probably do well if you avoid anything that has darts in the front. Set your items with darts in them to one side of your closet.

Without a bra, your breasts will move more easily, which is the very reason for not wearing the bra in the first place. Movement is what allows them breasts to circulate their lymphatic fluids, so we have to accept their movement, or dress to prevent the movement from being obvious. Even with bras, breasts move some, but one purpose of a bra is to provide 'support', which also means 'restriction of movement'. So to gain the health benefits of not wearing the bra, the breasts must be allowed to move.

Movement is less obvious if we:

  1. Avoid smooth material such as silk, rayon, or satin finished materials, or solid colors, unless we cover the breast areas with another garment.

  2. Wear a Bolero or an open over-blouse, over-shirt, over-sweater or vest to cover the breast movement

    or nipple protrusion. 

  3. Wear an un-darted shirt, blouse or top with breast pockets, a button-down front, flounces. ruffles, and/or a random pattern or floral print. The random pattern, front buttons, flounces and ruffles cause the wandering eye to concentrate on the pattern and hides the nipples, and the pockets offer thicker material to hide nipple protrusion. Take care with patterns that are horizontal stripes or lines, as they can magnify any differences in height of your nipples, and most are not exactly the same on both sides.

  4. Wear a camisole under any garment that is thin to hide darker colored areolae, nipple protrusion, and some breast movement.

  5. If you have an attractive chest, consider wide and deeply-scooped or plunging necklines attract the wandering eye from breast movement, but remember item number one above.

  6. If the shirt or blouse is square-cut at the hem, try it tucked in or out at the waist to be sure it does not pull tight against your breasts to make them stand out and show movement or nipple protrusion.

  7. Add jewelry such as a chain necklace with a large bauble that will hang low enough to draw the wandering eye from the breasts or nipples.

  8. Select a dress with an Empire waist that is lower on the waist and not tucked too tight up under your breasts, with a blousy front that is loose enough to not pull tightly on your breasts.

  9. Select a dress with a 'halter-style' crossover bodice that is not so tight to pull against your breasts.

If your breasts drop considerably when you remove your bra, take a look at yourself when you are dressed, and see if you have an extra large distance between your chin and your bustline. If you are trying to not give clues that you are bra-free, that can be a dead give-away. So if you do, consider the following:

  1. Since the eye will center on your facial skin and your bustline, the distance between them will be obvious. And since you cannot lift your bustline without a bra, lower your 'facial skin' by allowing more skin in your neck and chest area to be exposed. That will make that distance between them closer and look less obvious that you have no bra.

  2. Add a necklace that has larger beads, or hang a large bauble on a chain necklace that hangs just above your bustline.

  3. Or you might wear a lower neckline blouse or pretty camisole, covered with an over-shirt, buttoned just up to your bustline, and add a necklace that rests below your camisole neckline,  almost to your over-shirt, and on your blouse or camisole. If you cause the wandering eye to find things to fill the space between your face and your bustline, your breasts will not look to be as low as they are.

If your breasts are a B-cup or smaller, you will very likely be able to wear anything that you wore when you wore a bra, unless your breasts suffer from serious ptosis (sagging), or your nipples are large and dominant, and you object to their showing through your blouse or dress. Remember that even when wearing a bra, women's nipples can often protrude. If you are concerned, you might follow the suggestions above that help to cover your nipples.

Avoid trying to hide the fact that you have breasts. You are a woman and you have breasts, and by trying to hide them, it makes it obvious that you are bra-free. Remember that you can be proud that you are a woman. Be proud of your figure and your beauty, and don't relive your junior high years where you wore that bulky sweater that hid the fact that you were the first of your friends to develop bumps on your chest.

Try to remember that you are not doing anything wrong or sinful because you are actively working to improve your breast health and reduce your risk for breast cancer. Our society tends to expect you to wear a bra, but you and I know that they are problematic, so we just have to take the step and buck the societal trend that started only a century ago of making our breasts static. You are in your rights to dress for your health, as you are not doing anyone wrong by your actions. Others that understand your reason for going bra-free will join you and you will be responsible for improving breast health and possibly saving women's' lives.

If you would like to share ideas that you have used, please consider sending them to Ken at BreastCare@comcast.net