When It's OK To Go Braless... And When It's Not

14/12/2015 7:19 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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young woman putting off pink bra

Taking your bra off at the end of the day is one of life’s small thrills, but does going braless mean you’re giving way to gravity? Or is reverting back to how cavewomen rolled every once in awhile really all that bad?

Breasts are a complicated body part, probably one of the most needy, in fact. Surely there is no other feature that fluctuates so much at a particular time of the month or provides women with instant confidence or frustration.

And whether you’re content with the ones your gene pool gave you or are still coming to terms with missing out on this year’s teeny bralette trend, there are a few rules you should live by when it comes to losing the bra completely.

Firstly, as you’d already be aware, exercising without a bra is a big fat no-no. But even exercising with the wrong-sized bra can cause damage and as a result, premature breast sag.

“Most women don’t realise that exercise of any kind without proper support can lead to irreversible damage of the Cooper’s ligaments, which causes breast tissue sag,” Adele Kershaw, head designer for Berlei Bras told The Huffington Post Australia.

Unfortunately, this goes for when you’re at circuit class as well as hitting up the d-floor.

According to Kershaw, an unsupported B cup can bounce up to eight centimetres during exercise and a DD cup can bounce up to 19 centimetres (WHOA, right?).

“Repetitive and high impact activities make the breasts bounce, stretching the breast skin and ligaments and when they are unsupported, can contribute to premature breast sag as they lose their natural elasticity,” Kershaw said.

Many women with larger breasts feel more comfortable wearing a bra to bed, however Kershaw only recommends doing so if the bra is a good fit and advises to avoid underwires.

Emma Hobson, education manager from The International Dermal Institute said if you must wear a bra to bed it’s important to ensure it is not too tight.

“If the bra were too tight, there could be a slight chance of partially interrupting the lymph flow to the lymph nodules that sit under the armpit and also in the upper torso,” Hobson told HuffPost Australia.

“Or if your skin is sensitive and you are a restless sleeper you could find the bra could irritate the skin with continued wearing,” Hobson said.

When it comes to ensuring support day-to-day, Kershaw explains the importance of getting the right fit.

“The breast tissue should fill the cup without bulging over, the centre wire should also lie flat against the chest wall and the bra should remain anchored and not shift when raising the arms,” Kershaw said.

“If fitted with the incorrect size, breasts will not be the only thing that will suffer, the shoulders, neck and back can be severely impacted if a bra is not supportive,” Kershaw said.

All in all, going braless is recommended when you’re going to bed. But it’s also fine when you plan on doing little physical activity for instance, Netflix, reading or coffee in bed. Once there’s some movement involved, best to slip into a bra.

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