Let Them Free! What To Wear When You’re Not Feeling That Bra

Why do womxn have to wear bras on an almost regular basis? Is it scientifically proven to be good for you (science says no), like brushing your teeth? Or is it, as we approach a feminist era, a gender conforming activity pushed regularly onto us by a heteronormative matriarchy that has co-opted patriarchy into its everyday existence?

As soon as we hit puberty, girls are bought training bras which actually prevent breasts from achieving their natural lift. As soon as we hit adulthood, the R300 plus price tag on a basic bra has us thinking we won’t have food by the end of the month. So why bother wearing those restrictive elastic wire pads in the firsts place?


The “backless brassiere” was designed in 1914 by 19 year-old Mary Phelps Jacobs who was tired of wearing the even more restrictive whalebone corset.

The bra was also used as a political symbol back in the 1968 Miss America pageant. Snopes uncovered there was no bra-burning though.

We’ve now moved into an age where the even freer boob jail has got to go. But obviously the mindset will take much longer to remove than the bra itself when you get home. Luckily there are ways to go braless on days you don’t feel like slinging one on.

Sew bra-cups into your tops and/or dresses

Firstly, if you’ve got the time, skill, and energy to do this, sewing bra-cups into your tops is something you can do. While technically it’s not going bra-less, this will help if you don’t have the confidence to do full titty swing.

Go for dark colours

Darker colours hide things well so a dark t-shirt is less likely to reveal (god forbid) that you aren’t wearing a bra.

Wear layers

Here’s one reason to look forward to winter coming – layers and sweaters. A tight thermal vest, sweater, and a coat – this one’s pretty self explanatory. But before we get into the period of extreme layering, a cardigan, sweater, or jacket do good job of keeping your confidence up when your breasts are down (I couldn’t help myself).

Wear dresses or tops with structure and/or detail on top

Doing this will disguise the fact that you aren’t strapped in. Look for details like ruffles, lace, and seams below the bust.

Wear detailed camisoles

The strappy tops, which are perfect underneath a cardigan, jacket, or just by themselves, are a good type of top to wear if you want to go braless. If you have a smaller bust, you can get away with camisoles in light fabrics. For those with bigger busts, go for more structured solid material. Most times you’ll find tank tops that come with inner support already. But those tend to look basic if you’re more fashion-forward.

Wear cotton t-shirts

Go for it. The silhouette may look more different to what you and the rest of society are used to but do it. Thicker cotton fabrics not only do a better job of disguising the nipples (still don’t get why they are such a problem). They also let your skin breathe.

Wear a fitted strapless tops

Going braless with a tight strapless top is amazing because you don’t have to worry about restless strapless bra syndrome. Slide one on with high-waisted wide-leg pants or flared skirt, and you’re good to go.

Use nipple adhesive for smaller busts and silicone nipple covers for larger busts

The advantage of having small breasts is that they tend to be perkier and therefore don’t require much support. The nipple adhesives come in different sizes and stick onto your breasts like plasters. The silicone covers – or pasties – are there for you when you feel you can’t go full commando. They come in two varieties: adhesive and non-adhesive. These not only provide a bit of support but lift as well.

Use double-sided body tape

This tape is used to keep clothes on your body in place. So if you’re going braless and are worried the deep-cut camisole won’t behave, along with providing some added lift if place strategically, this is the heroine you’ll need.

Featured image via Unsplash