Let's admit it. We women hate and love the bra. We hate it when it stabs us, when it makes our dresses fit strangely, when it doesn't stay in place, when it's visible. But we love because it gives us cleavage when we need it, because it can hide the puppies' noses for when we're not up to sharing, and because they come in so many colors and prints, they give us another avenue to express ourselves in.
But one thing I think most women agree on is that going braless is definitely NOT optional for normal day-to-day functioning. Regardless of whether you're wearing an 18-hour comfort, a pricey lacy thing from a boutique, a sports bra, or a plain cotton bra, you're probably wearing one right now.
I know it sounds ridiculous to most women, but after working 9+ months in a retail boutique, I'm going to tell you something shocking.
At least 30% of women I see walk in are braless.
Yup, braless. And I don't mean young girls who are just developing. Nor do I mean a 20-something who thinks they're so smoking that they don't need one. I mean, all of them, regardless of age, race, or body type, at least 30% of the women I see are braless.
Now I will admit, I see less of them in autumn and winter, since (thankfully) the Motor City is just way too cold for them to be without jackets. But as soon as they start shopping around and building up the body heat, they shed their coats and personally, I swear it's a test of my professionalism each day. You have no idea how hard to is to look a woman in the eyes and make sure that there is no expression of 'Oh-my-Gawd, it's the braless lady. Please put those away' on your face as you talk to her. And I swear, I've never hated maxi dresses as much as I do now.
That being said, though, I've terrifyingly enough become accustomed to it. It doesn't bother me anymore.
In the beginning, I'll admit, I was horrified. And I mean, like 'Evian Graham staring agape as Skye kissed Mary Katherine at the end of the talent show' horrified. I remember the most memorable/scarring incident was when I had a women walk in wearing a billowing blue maxi dress, no bra of course; and the kicker, she had a tattoo on her boob, just off to the side of her sternum. It was this huge blue-green dragonfly. I mean, REALLY!? How do you not stare!? Not only is she happily walking around in a flimsy half-cotton half-polyester chemise, she has a tattoo the size of a man's hand on her boob!
That being said, after my first trimester of working there, I got used to it. Even though it drove me crazy that these women would spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on purses and make-up and yet they couldn't care to buy a good bra! (As you can tell, it still drives me crazy.)
Maybe it's our generation and the over-hype of Victoria's Secret, but there is not way in hell I'd walk out of the house without a bra. I mean, I don't remove my bra until it's time to sleep. Maybe it's because we've been taught by many, many fashion 'gurus' that unless the dress can't be worn with it, the girls always need to be supported. (Yes, Phillip Bloch, I do remember you ranting about that on FashionPolice.)
I honestly don't know what it is that drives some of us to wear a bra and some of us to skip it, but I do believe that our generation as whole, the 'Millennials' as we're referred to, are most often that not, going to be wearing a bra. I just think because of the media exposure (All those VS commercials) we're more apt to see them as a necessary part of life. It's no longer a chore either to have them. Nowadays, women enjoy comparing prints, textures, fits, patterns. It's become an indispensable part of a woman's wardrobe.
So at the end, I'll admit, going braless isn't the end of the world. But for our generation, I think the bra is a symbol of both femininity and also independence which isn't about to go away soon.
Sorry men for ruining any fantasies or hopes!