Bra politics never seem to end. Some women feel that a bra is a necessary accessory that should be worn all day and all night.
On the other end of the spectrum, an equal number or more women feel that a bra is oppressive and should be abolished.
There are certainly times when you may feel free to go braless, such as when sleeping or during the pregnancy period. In this article, we shall try to be as objective as possible, supported by facts, as to when you should not wear a bra.
Is it OK to not Wear a Bra?
Here are the pros and cons of not wearing a bra.
Pros of Not Wearing a Bra
1. We never get it right with bra size
Right away, the main advantage of going braless has to be the fact that almost all women all over the world never get to wear their right size of bras. It’s either they don’t know the correct size or they don’t get the right bra size, even if they know it. This leads to a cocktail of mismatches, such as undersized bra cups but the right band fit, oversize straps but a fitting band, the right size cups but a band that’s too tight, and so on. This causes myriad troubles such as neck and back pain, overflowing breast tissue, or just utter discomfort.
2. Less sweating
When we get into the hotter months, having multiple layers of garments just increases sweating, chafing, and irritation.
3. Easier on your budget
Going braless means fewer undergarments, which means less clutter in your closet, and it’s also easier on your budget.
Cons of Not Wearing a Bra
1. Less confidence
Women with tiny breasts can get away with putting on a t-shirt over the nipples, but if you have a larger bust, you don’t have that privilege. A properly fitting bra makes you well-proportioned and curvy, helping you to feel sexier.
2. Neck and back pain
Bras support the weight of your boobs, relieving various muscle groups (neck and back muscles). This is especially important when you’re in motion and active, and it helps to prevent back pain.
3. Improper breathing
If you have a heavy bust, a supportive bra would take the weight off the chest, enabling better breathing.
When Should You Not Wear a Bra?
1. You’re free to choose to either wear a bra at night or sleep braless
Wearing a good bra at night can feel snugly and comforting. However, this is only possible if you choose a comfortable one that hugs softly into the skin.
We have specific bras that do not have underwires or hooks so they are safe for nightwear. The other common alternative is to sleep braless. Sleeping without a bra is freeing and gives your body time to rest. It also encourages proper blood circulation.
Benefits of wearing a bra while you sleep
i.) Some women just feel comfortable sleeping in bras
There is that snugly feeling that comes with wearing a bra to bed. If you feel good and comfortable wearing a bra to bed, go ahead and enjoy. However, make sure that you wear a bra that is as comfortable as opposed to a tight one. Dr. Sophie says “Don’t wear one that is too tight or you could restrict blood supply or lymphatic drainage…”
ii.) Minimizes stretching of breast tissue that can cause wrinkles in the bust area
We have bras specifically designed to reduce the stretching of breast tissue. You can wear such bras at night to keep your skin snug and prevent wrinkles in the bust area. The best thing about such bras is that they are comfortable and you can even wear them to bed.
Disadvantages of wearing a bra to bed- why should you not wear a bra to bed?
i.) A tight bra may stifle circulation
Good circulation is paramount during sleep time. Wearing a bra might interfere with circulation because the bands, seams, and underwire press the chest area disrupting proper blood supply. If you must wear a bra to bed, make sure that it’s a comfortable one like a sports bra.
ii.) Potential sleep disruption from an uncomfortable bra
After a long day at work, the first thing you want is to take off your bra. Most bras feel tight and uncomfortable so if you want to sleep deeply and continuously, you may want to sleep braless. However, we have some comfortable bras that are not too tight so they feel good on the skin.
iii.) Irritation or pain from the underwire, hook, and eye closure
Even the best-fitting bras can cause trouble when you sleep in them. During sleep, the underwire and other bra fittings may pinch into your skin depending on your sleeping position or as you toss and turn. In the long run, this might cause serious skin irritation or pain.
iv.) It may cause sweating and fungal infection
Sometimes you need to give your skin a break from tight undergarments. A bra is one of the tight clothing that sits next to your skin all the time. The least you can do is to avoid wearing a bra at night to prevent sweat and infection.
v.) Hyperpigmentation of skin around the bra line
When you wear tight clothing for a long time the skin gets irritated. In the long run, you start noticing hyperpigmentation or “bra burn” caused by the scaring. It is advisable to give your skin some time to heal by avoiding a tight bra at night.
Benefits of not wearing a bra while you sleep
i.) Better breathing
A bra covers the upper part of the body where the lungs are situated. Staying braless leads to better breathing since the lungs are free to take air in and out without the restrictions of a tight bra. Good breathing is important for better quality sleep and even good health. Bras with tight restrictions around the chest are not recommended for a healthy night’s sleep.
ii.) Better circulation of blood and body fluids
Bras with seams, bands, and underwires can constrain the circulation of blood and body fluids. If you can, it’s advisable to avoid wearing one so that blood can flow easily to all parts of the body.
iii.) Better hygiene
Wearing a bra promotes night sweating since it is another unnecessary piece of clothing. When dealing with sweat, irritation, and fungal infection it’s challenging to maintain proper body hygiene. Staying braless will help you to remain fresh for a long time without all those struggles.
2. Can you go braless after pregnancy?
During the nursing period, you need something comfortable and functional. Unfortunately, you might need to lock your sexy bra closet for some time. You have two options. Go braless, or stick to nursing bras that are meant to offer the support and comfort that you need when breastfeeding.
Pros of wearing a bra after pregnancy
i.) Prevents leaking on clothes and bed sheets
We have specific breastfeeding bras that you can wear during the lactation period. These bras have absorbent padding to soak in excessive breast milk. You can even wear these bras to bed so that you do not leak breast milk on your bedding.
ii.) Prevents back and shoulder strain as the breast weight increases
After childbirth, proper back and shoulder support cannot be underestimated. At this point, your back and shoulders need extra support because of the extra weight of the lactating breasts. A good bra with supportive shoulder and back straps can be a lifesaver.
iii.) Nursing bras enable hands-free milk pumping
Nursing bras come with convenient features. They have pockets where you can place your breast cups or bottles when pumping. You can go on with other activities in the home as you continue pumping.
Cons of wearing a bra after pregnancy
i.) Tight and underwire bras can block milk ducts
It is advisable to only measure, buy, and wear nursing bras after childbirth. Everyday bras can interfere with your milk supply because they may constrict milk ducts. Opt for nursing bras or stay braless if you can until you are done with breastfeeding.
ii.) Breast inflammation, worsening of itchy or painful nipples
Breastfeeding comes with its challenges. The last thing you want is a bra that irritates the skin around your nipples. This is not the right time to wear fancy lace bras or other fabrics that might cause skin irritation. You need a soft and soothing fabric around your nipples to prevent pain and inflammation.
iii.) Your breasts’ size keeps on changing so it’s hard to know the right bra size
Your body undergoes a lot of changes during childbirth and breastfeeding. Do not be surprised if your cup size keeps on changing due to weight, hormonal issues, and even daily milk supply. At this time, do not overspend on a specific bra size because you might be disappointed. Some women opt to go braless until this phase ends.
The question of whether or not to wear a bra is personal discretion and the only major harm comes from wearing tight-fitting or any other wrong types of bras. The dangers of a tight bra include irritation, pain, cinching, restricted breathing, sweating, yeast infection, inflammation, and even blocked milk ducts if you’re breastfeeding.
Bedtime and pregnancy are periods when you should possibly not wear a bra, but you’re free to make a choice. Fortunately, we now have bras specifically made comfortable to wear to bed or even while breastfeeding. The trick is to choose the right bra for the right occasion.