No Bra Day: Women Are Ditching Their Bras After Months Of Lockdown
If you spent all of lockdown padding around at home without a bra, you'll know how weird it feels to put one on again after six months - have they always been so uncomfortable?
The answer is, of course, yes - and it could explain why, after months of putting our comfort first (we're still not quite used to wearing jeans again) women are increasingly ditching their bras for good.
It began innocently enough, letting 'the girls' hang loose on the odd trip out to the supermarket, or while walking the dog. But fast forward six months, and those fiddly undergarments are starting to feel like a thing of the past.
The trend has been swift and seismic; according to global research brand Mintel, 80 per cent of shoppers now put comfort first when it comes to buying underwear post lockdown.
Over the last 12 months, non-wired and sports bras have emerged as the most popular choice, while underwired bras (aka the most uncomfortable kind) are down by a massive 37 per cent from last year.
eBay has witnessed a rise in bra alternatives, too. "The bralette, crop top and vest each saw searches spike 167 per cent, 149 per cent and 163 per cent respectively in lockdown," a spokesperson told Tyla ahead of National No Bra Day on 13th October.
As Hannah, 26, tells us: "One thing I've learnt in lockdown is that comfort is key. It's 2020... thinking about it, why did I ever let society tell me that I had to confine by boobs in place or it was inappropriate, and hide my nipples in case god forbid an outline showed? Does anybody really care?
"Now that we're working from home, I'm permanently wearing a jumper and leggings, and sometimes not even changing from my pyjamas, which means the bra is staying firmly off.
"I can't think of anything less appealing than strapping my breasts in place when I don't have to. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever go back."
Of course, for many women, wearing a bra is the more comfortable option. Some even choose to sleep in theirs, and that's fair enough - it all comes down to personal choice. But for years, women who wouldn't choose to wear a bra have felt that they must as part of a social norm.
"When I first went out without a bra after lockdown, it was actually an accident. I spent about an hour in the supermarket in just a thin jumper and I didn't realise. It didn't seem abnormal to me because I had spent so long not wearing one inside," says Jess, 27.
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"I always thought going out without a bra would be the most mortifying experience, but it wasn't. Now I rarely wear one. I might start again when I go back into the office but outside of the hours 9-5 you couldn't pay me to put it back on."
If the hellscape that is 2020 has taught us anything, it's to start putting our health and wellbeing first. As one woman wrote on Twitter: "I'm never wearing a bra again after lockdown, life's too short."
Another tweeted: "Coming out this lockdown and never wearing a bra again I can promise you that."
"I shall not end lockdown by re-locking down my tiddies and that's that," pledged another.
It's worth noting that the health implications of wearing or bra - or not wearing a bra - remain the subject of debate.
Some experts argue that not wearing a bra can lead to our breasts sagging, while others believe the opposite. There isn't a great deal of research to support either, but it is generally accepted that it depends on a bunch of different factors, including the size of your breasts, weight and genetics.
One study from 2013, by French professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, suggested that wearing a bra would be more harmful to the breast tissue over time. In the study of 300 women aged 18 to 35, those who ditched their bras were found to have developed more muscle tissue, as opposed to less. Rouillon also argued that the support of wearing a bra could actually encourage sagging.
To set the record straight, we asked Hannah Williams, Osteopath and Owner of Burton Joyce Osteopathy for her opinion.
She said: "The implications of wearing or not wearing a bra very much depends on bust size. A bigger bust would mean more of a gravitational pull and added weight to the front of the body. The additional pull forwards can irritate the mid-back and muscles of the back that try to hold us upright.
"Additionally the weight of the breast left unsupported could potentially lead to increased sagging, but there aren't any huge effects for those with smaller boobs as they weigh less.
"It also depends on what you're doing. For example, running would lead to a higher impact and this repetitive activity stresses the elastic tissues in the breast, so ideally you'd want to be supported in this type of activity regardless of the breast size.
"However, if you're just relaxing day to day then there shouldn't be too many issues with not wearing a bra and it can be much more comfy."
The only thing we miss about wearing a bra? *That* feeling when you finally take it off.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock