Women and bras are like PB & J. They’re familiar. They’re made to fit our taste. We have our favorite.
The idea of a bra is supposed to provide us with comfort and its intention was to support the breast by way of the shoulders. From its very conception, big busted women have more weight on their shoulders while small-breasted women have their own bra fitting issues with underwire.
Personally, I was a late bloomer in the bra department. In middle school, I remember having bra conversations with my friends. While I still didn’t need to wear one, many of my friends were dealing with the bra-snapping embarrassment in the lunchroom line. When my mom finally bought me a bra, I needed as much padding as possible.
As I matured, I still found issues with bras as a small-breasted woman. Until I decided to ditch the traditional bra, I was definitely the woman who walked through the door at the end of the day while simultaneously stripping my bra out of the sleeve of the my top.
A few years ago I found myself in a life transition. During a search for a new professional venture, I landed in the clothing business with a company called Ruby Ribbon. While I work with women to update their wardrobes, a lot of conversations these days involve breast comfort, breast surgery, breast fluctuation, breast recovery. I never imagined my job would revolve around boobs this much.
Over the years, I’ve learned that bras play a big role in body transitions. The bottom line is traditional bras don’t have it all. Here are five reasons to ditch your bra this fall and increase your breast self-care.
Gravity: Keeping our back in alignment is key to good health and often times doesn’t happen because of the weight of the breasts. Bras lack back support. The bigger the breast the more risk of injury a woman encounters. Gravity can’t be ignored.
Added Pressure: The straps of the bra dig into shoulders, which creates added pressure on the upper trapezoid muscles and adds to everyday stress headaches, neck pain and
shoulder aches. Not to mention, the longer we go with bras the deeper the permanent indentations and marks become on the shoulders over years.
Heat Rash and Boob Sweat: The underwire band fabric collects perspiration all day long and creates skin irritation. Without enough separation between the breasts and the cups, perspiration and yeast can grow and become an issue for women. Boob Sweat, despite the fact it happens to us all, can impact our self-confidence out in public.
Lymphatic System Circulation: Women are either for or against using underwire. The underwire became wildly popular in the late 50’s. As most of us know, it pinches and pokes and sits under the armpit and can actually rip the bra material and ruin them. And it’s unfortunately positioned right where some of the lymph nodes are located. One of the main functions of the lymph system is to provide a return route for the blood from the heart. The other main function is to defend the immune system. Blocking or adding pressure on this area discourages proper circulation.
Lacks Support for Heavy Tissue: Large-breasted women have it rough when it comes to bras. Many mainstream stores don’t offer bras that fit, leaving them with having to get custom fittings. Large-breasted women can also have stretch marks when wearing a bra that does not provide enough support and lift which leaves them with heavier structured bras. They also face back issues, underwire pinching and shoulder tension.
As women, our breasts mean a lot to us. They are an important part of our self-image. Most of my personal fittings with clients start with a conversation involving her bra. Regardless of her cup size or body type, my solution for her is always an undergarment Cami. It’s up to us to take care of our breasts. While breast care is more discussed in the fall with breast cancer awareness month, my hope is that you consider ditching a traditional bra all year long. Your boobs will thank you for that change.