Bra or Nah?
Are You Open to Bras In The Time of Covid?
by Shammara Lawrence
The coronavirus pandemic transformed our lives and has inspired many of us to reconsider all the things we once considered normal — from the way we work to our lifestyle choices. As millions continue to work from home to stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19, a lot of attention is being paid to our wardrobes. More and more people are replacing their formal workwear for the office and opting for comfortable outfits for Zooms meetings and lounging on the couch during your downtime. But don’t take our word for it: Adobe Analytics actually discovered that in the month of April, online pajama sales have increased by 143%.
Considering this global pandemic has brought about a lot of changes in our lives, including the undergarments we’re wearing (or not) — it begs the question: what will the future of bras and the intimate industry look like? Will people be open to bras post-covid? While we can’t predict the future (though that would be nice), we’ve noticed an uptick in women skipping out on wearing a bra while at home, and who can blame them? It feels pretty good letting your chest breathe — and what better place to do so than in the comfort in your home.
Still, while there’s been a lot of chatter online about the freedoms of going braless during self-isolation, that hasn’t been the case for everyone. In fact, we asked three Alika supporters with bigger busts if they haven’t been wearing bras during quarantine, and found the appeal of bralessness may not be as universal as it seems.
The Rising Trend of Going Braless
Over the past three months, countless women have shared on social how happy they’ve felt going braless in self-isolation. Recently on Twitter, acclaimed writer, Roxane Gay, jokingly talked about she’s gotten used to not wearing a bra in self-isolation, writing, “Just put on a bra for the first time in who knows and my boobs said, B**ch what?”
Some women, however, feel quite differently about ditching their bras. “Part of me is envious of these people that can do that. I’d be very uncomfortable if I did that. But it doesn’t surprise me that there are people that are jumping on that bandwagon. A lot of people are to be a bit more relaxed in what they’re wearing day to day since a lot of people are remote, or aren’t working. I understand why people want to be a little bit more comfortable. I feel similarly, but it’s just not, for me, a possibility at all. That would be a pretty uncomfortable day,” Kate Siepert tells me.
Siepert’s stance is understandable. While the idea of living in pajamas and loose t-shirts is an amazing proposition, it’s not exactly comfortable when you have a larger bust. For starters, when you have big breasts, doing any physical labor without a bra, even walking around in short spurts can be pretty uncomfortable, as the larger your breasts are the heavier they weigh.
This is why Marshay Clarke has continued to wear bras through the coronavirus pandemic. “The support just helps my form. It makes me feel like there’s not as much weighing me down,” she explains. Stephanie Morrison also feels the same. She hasn’t given up on bras either, and instead has found pleasure in wearing comfort bras. “For me, I’ve been just kind of as close as being in pajamas as you possibly can be while working from home,” she tells me over the phone while discussing our changing relationships to bras in the era of COVID-19.
Super Comfortable Bras Are All The Rage
While some are embracing the bra-free life, others, like Morrison, have sought out comfy, athletic bras, which makes sense considering comfy clothing is all the rage at the moment — and probably will continue to be for the foreseeable future. “I tend to go for the most comfortable bras. Clothes wise, I’m very casual since I’m working from home, so that reflects in the kinds of bras that I am wearing. They tend to be the more athletic, and super comfy bras. You know, the ones I’d wear around the house on weekends,” Siepert shares.
When you’re working from home, balancing your work responsibilities and surviving a global pandemic, feeling comfortable in your clothes is key. And sports bras, bralettes and the like offer more flexibility and breathing room, opposed to a padded bra. They’re also a great option when you don’t need the extra support or lift since you’re wearing loose-fitting clothes all day.
Bras of the Future
Even before COVID-19, many consumers with big busts have had a bad relationship with the industry. Bra shopping when you’re bigger than a D cup can feel like a minefield or downright exhausting. Your options are usually limited both in style, price and fit compared to those with smaller chests. “I’ve never been able to find a good bra, they’ve either looked crazy, like under my clothes, they just wear out quickly, or I can’t find the right size,” Clarke tells me about her experience of bra shopping over the years.
In a time where bras are largely deemed necessary, it’s no wonder legions of women during this time aren’t wearing one or are relying on sports bras and bralettes where, comparatively, it’s less of a headache to find your size. Considering this, it’s even more important that women of all sizes, especially those with big bra sizes have a wide range of options available to them to accommodate their ever-changing needs.
“It’d be great if there were more companies like Alika who focus on women of a larger size because I think it’s currently a market that just gets overlooked,” Sieperts points out. “A lot more need to go into construction and working with people of larger sizes to create bras that are both comfortable and work in a different way than someone who’s an A cup or a B cup,” she adds.
Whether you’re team no bra or need some support in a way of a sports bra or traditional bra, you deserve to have options that work for you. There’s beauty in having choices — it’s about time everyone, of all sizes, had that luxury.
Shammara is a New York-based multimedia beauty and fashion writer who’s passionate about amplifying unrepresented voices in her work. Her words have been published in renowned publications like Teen Vogue, Allure, MTV News, InStyle, and more.