Gentlemen or people with no breasts…move on. For those of you with breasts who choose not to wear bras because it’s more comfortable free falling, you move on too. For those who like to keep their boobs supported but can’t reach behind them, this is for you.
If you have trouble reaching behind your back to do up the hooks, hook your bra in front and turn it around. You do need to completely reverse your bra when hooking it in front. Make sure the inside of bra is facing out and downward when you do up the hook. You then turn it around and flip it up to put the straps on and voila, you’re perky once again. Alternatively, you may do up the hooks and put them on like a sweater or like a dress depending on your body shape and what works for you.
You may also buy a bra with hooks in front, put on a sports bra like a sweater or buy sports bras with hooks or zippers in front. Sports bras can be a pain to don without hooks or zippers because they tend to be tighter than regular bras, unless you buy a larger size to make it looser, which may or may not serve your purpose of supporting your boobs. Tight sports bras without good support around the chest may cause pain in your neck and shoulder areas because of the weight of your breast pulling down on your neck and shoulders. This depends on the design of the bra. Sports bras with narrower straps can dig into your skin or provide less support than the wider straps. Before you buy a bra in every colour, try them on for a few hours. If you find one that is comfortable for you, buy a few because not all sports bras are equal. Not all bras are equal for that matter but more on that later.
If you are small chested and really don’t need the support but don’t want your nipples showing, try nipple patches or silicone bras. Silicone bras are strapless so they don’t provide any support at all. None. You are going to hang. They are easy to don, however, as long as you can reach in front of you. They can be washed with soap and reused so no laundry is necessary. They tend to stay on fairly well depending on the brand so read the reviews before buying. I have Wings Love (see image on left) and they stay on even in the summer heat. I can wear them with summer dresses where I don’t want my bra strap showing.
If you find that wearing a bra for prolonged periods bothers your neck, shoulder, chest, etc. but you want to be able to wear them longer, change to different bras every couple of hours if possible or as often as your tolerance allows. Your difficulty with tolerating bra may be further exacerbated by your posture, lifestyle, and other triggering factors so see if there’s anything you can do differently. Maybe you can reduce sustained sitting, keep your neck supported while sitting, or lessen the load you carry in your purse, etc. All these factors combined may aggravate your symptoms. Stretching and massaging your neck, shoulders, back throughout the day may help too. Again, more on stretching later.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your friends and neighbours. We’ve burnt our bras once and we can do it again. It’s not a big deal.We can call ourselves practising feminists.