The decline of bras in recent years is evident, influenced by movements such as ‘Free the Nipple’ in 2012 and the shift to remote working during the pandemic.
Although bras are designed to support and enhance the breasts, discomfort, especially with underwire or a poor fit, is a common problem.
It’s no surprise, then, that several celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Florence Pugh and Gillian Anderson, are embracing the braless movement and prioritizing comfort over social norms.
In fact, the Crown actress, 54, declared: “I don’t care if my breasts reach my belly button.” “I’m not wearing a bra, it’s fucking uncomfortable.”
However, London-based general and advanced aesthetic physician Dr Chandni Rajani told FEMAIL that it is essential to weigh short-term relief against potential long-term effects on breast health.
Gillian Anderson attends the Fashion Awards 2023 presented by Pandora at the Royal Albert Hall on December 4, 2023
Dr. Rajani, who specializes in women’s health and wellness, explained that the effects of going braless can vary greatly, but can help those who find traditional bras uncomfortable.
‘The effects of not wearing a bra vary from person to person, depending on factors such as breast size, fabric elasticity and individual comfort.
‘Not wearing a bra may increase comfort for some people, as bras can sometimes cause discomfort, irritation or pressure on the shoulders and ribcage.
“In addition, not wearing a bra can promote better circulation and ventilation, which reduces the risk of skin-related problems.”
However, Dr. Rajani highlights that the potential impact of not wearing a bra on the shape and sagging of the breasts is a common concern.
‘While there is limited scientific evidence linking bra wearing to breast sagging, some argue that the natural support bras provide may help maintain breast firmness over time.
‘Going braless can cause increased movement of the breasts, which could lead to stretching of supporting ligaments and tissues.
“However, others argue that the muscles under the breasts can be strengthened with less dependence on the bra.”
Florence Pugh is seen arriving at the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 22/23 fashion show on July 8, 2022 in Rome, Italy
The GP concluded by saying that there is no definitive right or wrong and that ultimately the decision is a personal one.
‘Ultimately, the decision to wear a bra or not depends on personal comfort, lifestyle and individual preferences.
“It is essential to find a balance that promotes both physical and emotional well-being.”
In 2012, the issue became political when it was revealed that Facebook and Instagram were censoring female nipples, but not male nipples.
Several celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, piled on with their own topless photos, braless marches were held and Never Fully Dressed sold a ‘t-shirt with boobs’, worn by Kendall Jenner, and raised £50,000 for the health charity mental Mind.
However, it was lockdown that encouraged us to adopt a bra-less lifestyle, as working from home introduced a Casual aesthetic that extended to our underwear.
A 2021 YouGov survey found that a third of UK women stopped wearing bras during the lockdown months, while researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the University of St Mary’s reported a 70 per cent drop in use. of bras during lockdown, and a quarter of women said they had no intention of returning.
In October 2020, lingerie retailer Bravissimo reported a 30 percent decline in revenue, while in the United States bra sales fell 9 percent that same year.
Meanwhile, on TikTok, the #NoBra hashtag has racked up 399.4 million views and #NoBraClub has 102 million and counting.
The braless movement has regularly resurfaced since the 1960s.
Kim Kardashian promoted her £64 ‘nipple bra’, with built-in foam nipples, on Instagram
SKIMS’ £64 Ultimate Bra, launched in October 2023, was available in six skin tones.
In July 2022, Florence Pugh responded to cruel trolls who criticized her for going braless in a see-through Valentino dress, questioning how her ‘nipples’ could have ‘offended’ people, especially men.
She wrote in a passionate Instagram post: “What has been interesting to see and witness is how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for all to see.”
‘Many of you aggressively wanted to let me know how disappointed you were by my ‘small breasts’, or how I should be ashamed for being ‘so flat chested.’
‘I have lived in my body for a long time. I am fully aware of the size of my breasts and I am not afraid of it.’
The Don’t Worry Darling star began her post by telling her fans that she knew the dress would cause a reaction, but that she was “excited” to wear it.
Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian embraced the trend by launching a £64 ‘nipple bra’ last October, which included built-in foam nipples, and it sold out instantly.
‘I’m introducing a new bra with a built-in nipple. So no matter how hot it is, you will always look cold. Some days are difficult. But these nipples are harder. And unlike icebergs, these aren’t going anywhere,” he explained on Instagram.
Available in six skin tones, the Ultimate Bra is made from soft microfiber fabric, with first-of-its-kind conical foam pads for “sexy, natural-looking lift and support.”
The push-up bra also includes smoothing wings and a hidden, padded underwire to ensure a comfortable fit.
Therefore, the SKIMS Ultimate Bra is designed to provide the feel and look of not wearing a bra while maintaining support and lift.