I am aged 33 and for most of my adult life I have not worn a bra. I didn’t really see the point as my breasts are quite small and bras were just something else I had to worry about in the morning, something else that cost money and were not as comfortable as not wearing a bra. I also liked the picture I had painted of being a braless woman – I was a bit of a hippy and a bit of a feminist. It was a label I liked the sound of.
The first bra I remember buying was during pregnancy. I was given a voucher for a maternity bra and thought why not? But the one I bought was pretty hideous and I never wore it. I then needed some bras once I was breast-feeding which were for no other reason than to hold in some pads as I leaked so much milk, it was a necessity.
There was very little care in this, and although I did try to buy nice ones, it was mostly about function.
After breast-feeding my breasts shrank and I stopped wearing bras again – there seemed to be no need. Then a few years ago I started having regular sessions with a Universal Medicine practitioner and as a result was becoming more aware of my body and myself. I was beginning to realize I had always been disconnected from my body, and with this growing awareness not wearing a bra started to feel quite exposing of my breasts, so I started wearing a few crop tops to give myself a little more modesty.
Then about 2 years ago something changed and I wanted a bra. I began appreciating myself more as a woman and this was reflecting in many ways, including my bras (or lack of!). I had tried to wear one previously with underwire but it was so incredibly uncomfortable that I couldn’t bear it, especially when I was used to being bra-less all the time. A friend recommended one that was comfortable – it was a wireless bra that actually gave support. I remember being in the shop and having to leave to think about it as it was $35 and that was a lot for me to spend on a bra. I did eventually buy it and it was a point in my life, a marker, where I realized that…
I was worth spending money on
… even for bras that I had shunned my entire life. I then ended up buying 3 of this same style.
A couple of months ago I suddenly no longer wanted to wear these bras. They just didn’t feel amazing anymore when I put them on. My self worth as a woman was developing and I began to realise that I am a sexy woman and that this is not something I need to hold back. The bras now felt very basic and I wanted something more. I began toying with the idea of buying some nice bras. The cost was a little off-putting but the feeling wouldn’t go away.
Recently another friend had bought herself a selection of expensive French bras. She shared with me her experience, her commitment to herself and how she feels about her bras now. I was sold. I committed to the finance of it and I committed to a date to go to the recommended shop about 2 hours drive away.
This day came about last week and now I have 4 incredibly luxurious French bras lovingly placed in my underwear drawer (I’m not wearing one as I’m in my pajamas writing this but I now wear a bra daily!).
For the first time in my life I had a bra fitted. With this came the discovery of my bra size. I had just made up my bra size previously. 12B sounded good and “normal”. I took the 12 as I used to be a size 12, and B wasn’t too big or too small. With help from the gorgeous shop assistant, I have discovered I’m actually a size 10C. My breasts struggle to fill the C cup but the B cup digs into my sides too much and causes the discomfort.
Having a dedicated and loving woman help me with my bra was such a beautiful experience. I have a fond memory of her being in the changing room with me, I’m not clothed in much and she is behind me adjusting the bra – quite an intimate moment with a stranger, but one that brings a smile on the inside and out when I remember.
I left the shop with my bag of bras, and some knickers too, feeling so incredibly gorgeous as a woman. There is so much joy now, even before I put a bra on for the day, simply by opening my bra drawer and seeing my beautiful collection.
And the feeling of wearing these beautiful bras…that’s amazing.
It’s not wearing the bras that make me feel sexy, the bras are more an honouring of how sexy I feel on the inside. They are also an honouring of me as a woman.
Our breasts represent such a big part of who we are as women, yet I had never allowed myself to feel that. By being bra-less for so many years (and I mean “being” and not “going” as it was more than simply not putting a bra on), I now realize I had shut off from that part of me. To now have this awareness, to be taking care of my breasts and feeling the joy and celebration of myself as a woman when wearing a bra is a totally new place for me and one that I am enjoying discovering.
By Nikki McKee, Northern NSW, Australia