Why I Gave Up Wearing a Bra, And Why You Should Too: The Many Benefits of Bralettes - That Cheap Bitch

Why I Gave Up Wearing a Bra, And Why You Should Too: The Many Benefits of Bralettes

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

by Sophie Jacqueline

Two years ago, myself and my D cups stopped wearing bras…sort of. I stopped wearing traditional bras and began exclusively wearing bralettes. Although definition varies, most sources agree that a bralette is an underwire-free bra. I started my bralette journey after I read an article about a study a French doctor did on 130 French women. For 15 years, these women of assorted ages didn’t wear bras. The study found that every year without a bra, women experienced a few mm lift, a noticeable increase in firmness, and less back pain.

But let’s be honest, not wearing a bra had never been on my big-chested radar. I was already tired of being sized and resized every time I went bra shopping, and that summer, it seemed like every other article was reminding me that most women wear the wrong bra size. But I didn’t want to give up bras full-stop.

From articles and studies I read (Sources: FranceInfoHuffPoDailyMail), it seemed that the metal or plastic parts in my bras (underwires and hooks) were doing the most damage as far as comfort. So, I swore them off.

I bought 2 different bralettes and decided to try two weeks without bras. Which turned into a month.


Lace bralettes: Burgundy: Free People, Navy: Cosabella, Grey: Aerie, White: Victoria’s Secret.

Three more orders of bralettes, and I never looked back. Why was it so much better, you ask? For me, it was stuff like how the straps stayed up (I have very sloped shoulders and I was constantly pulling my bra-straps back up before bralettes), and how the acne and irritations on my bra-line went away.

And at the end of an 18 hour day, my bralette never hurts. You know that feeling when you get home and you take off your bra? How it feels like you can finally breathe? And sometimes you have someone scratch your back because the skin there feels so itchy and constricted? You can feel the indentations in your skin?

With a bralette, you will never have that feeling again. Sure, you give up the euphoria you experience in the removal, but you also give up the all-day discomfort you’ve grown used to.

FOR THE TL;DR crowd, let me break down why you should try a bralette:

1. They’re more comfortable. Thanks to a closer, less structured fit, you won’t feel as constricted.

2. They’re practical. You don’t have to wash them separately or worry they’ll snag on clothes.

3. They’re less of a hassle. You don’t need separate bags to wash them in or worry that the dryer will warp the shape. Storing them isn’t a nightmare or an enormous waste of space.

4. They’re less likely to harm you. An underwire will never poke through the fabric and start jabbing you in the middle of History class or at a rock concert.

5. They’re economical. Nice bralettes, on the whole, are a lot cheaper than even the cheapest bras. My most expensive bra? $220. My most expensive bralette? $50.

6. You can still get support. I get asked this the most. Think about your sports bra, the bra you wear when you need the most support. Does it have underwire or hooks in the back? No. It’s about true fit, not squeezing or half-filling out some one-size-fits-all-bra.

7. They won’t make you feel like shit about your boobs. Whether your big chested or small or if you are transitioning, bralettes are a far less stressful, far less numerically-based way to support your breasts. 

Join the movement and invite your friends. Find inspiration at thebraletteblog.

  • Nice! I think I’ll give them a shot. The pain of wearing these horrible underwire boobholsters is just getting to be way too much sometimes. I feel like I’m constantly clawing at myself trying to ease the discomfort. I’ve been fitted so many times.. never found a bra that fit and was comfortable. Sounds like these are my answer! 😀

  • Angela Taylor Steier

    My girls are too close together for a bralette. My sports bra DOES have wire to prevent uniboob. The wires aren’t as uncomfortable as the sweating and chafing that occurs without it.

    • Amy Gardner

      A lot of bralettes have support too. I promise there are options!

  • Paula Wesson

    I would also say that bralettes and shelf bras are easier to clean. My cup bras should be hand washed and air dried, but I throw my shelf bras in the washing machine and drier.

  • Melissa W

    Yes! I’ve been wearing cami’s with built in shelf bras or bralettes almost exclusively for the past 1 1/2 years or so. I can’t get enough of them. Soooo much more comfortable than a regular bra. I’m a 36DD and still feel supported enough with them.

  • Alex

    I’m a very recent convert to bralettes. I prefer how padded underwire makes my boobs look as they’re small for my body size and don’t have a lot of shape to them, but as I get older the less I care about my boob shape and the more I care about being in pain all day. I have a very weird bra size. I’m a big girl with “small” boobs, in quotes because they are not small at all just not as big as stores like Torrid expect them to be. No bra ever has comfortably fit me. They dig in, get all bunched up in my back rolls, leave marks and make my shirts look unflattering. The first time I put a bralette on I was in heaven. They stay put, they’re super comfy even to sleep in if you have company and don’t want to go braless, they’re super cute, they’re a lot more breathable and cooler especially the lace ones, no visible cup lines through shirts, and look awesome with those shirts you have that show too much of your other ugly bras. I don’t think I’ll ever buy another regular bra again.