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Freeing the breasts in lockdown: Is this the end of the bra?

Women are hanging up their bras during lockdown. Picture: Pablo Heimplatz/Unsplash

Women are hanging up their bras during lockdown. Picture: Pablo Heimplatz/Unsplash

Published Jul 17, 2020


The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown has made many of us re-evaluate our lives. It's changed the way we do things, from our work routine to parenting to fashion. 

Oh, has it changed the face of fashion. Lounge-wear, baggy clothes and tie-dye tracksuits have replaced the power suit, makeup and now, the bra.

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Never has a clothing garment been looked upon with such disdain. We might be in lockdown but our breasts no longer are. 

Women have freed their bosoms and packed their bras away because, let’s face it, who wears a bra at home?

We know that feeling of relief when you've unclipped your bra and removed the constricting contraption enabling your breasts to hang freely and to breathe easy once more.

People have always been told that not wearing a bra is bad for your breasts; that due to the force of the gravity your breast will sag, making them unattractive and a sign of ageing. Hence the push-up bra (a rather uncomfortable bra if you haven’t worn one yet) that keeps everything firmly in place and squeezes them together to give the “desired” cleavage. 

There are women who in fact feel more comfortable wearing a bra but not necessarily the underwire firm grip ones. Picture: thizun/Pexels

But here's a simple crumb of fact for you. There is no medical reason for wearing a bra. Professor Jean-Denis Rouillan, of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in France, revealed that bras are not necessary for women’s breast health.

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According to his study, a bra is not necessary anatomically, medically, or physiologically. Instead, bras actually prevent breasts from growing or achieving their natural lift,  Life Hack reported.

In the study, 330 volunteers aged 18 to 35 had their breasts measured over 15 years. The results showed that women who did not wear a bra had a 7-millimetre lift in their nipples each year.

And, according to  Well and Good who spoke to Lucky Sekhon, MD, an OB/GYN and REI in New York City, there are in fact health benefits to NOT wearing a bra. 

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These benefits include: Improved muscle tone and breast shape, better circulation, increased comfort over time, better breast skin health. 

Having said all of that, there are women who in fact feel more comfortable wearing a bra but not necessarily the underwire firm grip ones. 

I for one need to have something against my nipples because nipple chafe is a pain but I opt for a seamless bralette or a light unpadded sports bra. 

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Co-owners of Inner Secrets Lingerie, Penny and Dimitri Parolis shared their thoughts on the lockdown no-bra movement and the effects on the lingerie industry.

“Whilst we certainly do understand that there are many women who during lockdown, have decided to throw out their wired bras and go bra-less, is this the death of the bra? – we don’t think so”

“On the flipside there are many women who feel that getting dressed for the day not only makes them more productive, but gives them a sense of purpose, bringing them the notion of feeling good and uplifting their psyches. Besides, women are still conscious about looking good, at least from the top up, especially for those Zoom meetings.”

“We believe that if one’s bra is ill fitting – why would they want to wear it all day? When one is professionally fitted and wearing the correctly sized bra, it should be so comfortable that in actual fact you forget you are wearing a bra.”

“When a woman is wearing the correctly fitted bra, not only is their bust receiving support, especially the fuller and heavier bust, but it is being held and thus allowing for a favourable, mood enhancing appearance.”

"We don’t believe there are any retail outlets not feeling the loss in sales caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown – all retail is down. Having said this, there are those women who prioritise different items and will still happily shop for that beautiful lacy, feminine bra or that practical yet exquisitely crafted T- shirt bra, because for them this brings them their own personal sense of joy, especially now in the uncertainty of today’s world.”

“From our experience, women have chosen lockdown to go through and ‘Marie Kondo’ their lingerie drawers, and whilst some won’t come in-store for a fitting, many are being assisted by our virtual fitting assistance and as a result, our online sales have tripled since lockdown.”

Bra on or braless, women can now freely choose what they want to do, instead of having little choice but to conform to the norm. 

Let the breasts hang free and enjoy the moment!

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