Aging, Menopause

Toss our Bras Now?


Just looking at these packages is like stepping into the This Is Your Bra-Life Time Machine.

Do you remember getting your first bra?

The fabric.

Figuring out how to adjust the straps.

Hooking it.

Were you the sort who spun her bra around and hooked it in the front?

Or were you so skilled that you could hook it the way you’d watched your mother do?

Training bras are so enmeshed in our world, there’s even a wiki site devoted to them.  Check it out here!

But guess what?

A new study in France reports that we didn’t need those training bras after all.

Or any bras!

According to the Huffington Post article, Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon measured the breasts of 300 women between the ages of 18 and 35.

(You wonder what his wife, if he has one, thinks of this project.  If I were Madame Rouillon, I wouldn’t be tres pleased.)


The Professor found that women who go braless actually have more muscle tone than women who wear brassieres, and their nipples sit higher.

Do tell, Professor.

Why so?

The study concluded:  “When bras are worn, the restrictive material prevents such tissue from growing, which may actually accelerate sagging.”

So all that restriction and support has been bad for the boobs.

Poor girls, as Oprah likes to call them.

Who knew?

So ready to give your bra the heave ho?


We can’t.

The article warns that it’s too late for older women to reap these braless benefits.

Our muscle tone is shot.

So sadly, this blog post has no menopausal takeaway, but I hope you enjoyed thinking about your first training bra!


Giveaway Winners!  Congrats to Cyn, who won My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places and to Jennifer, who won Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction and My Own.

25 thoughts on “Toss our Bras Now?”

  1. Back when I was smaller I sure did enjoy going bra-less at times. Nowadays, it’s not really comfortable to do so. So, I’m afraid I’ll have to keep my bra!


  2. Training bras. I always wondered what I was “training” them to do. Ha!

    Yes, I have heard this theory. I’m not convinced. Bras used to be considered a luxury item in many rural farming and mining homes. The Mama of the family would wear a chemise (no support) so her kids could have shoes. And from the pictures I’ve seen, these women did NOT have perky breasts. They might have had great muscle tone because of all the hard work, but those muscles were not enough to keep their breasts above the waistline.

    Sounds like Professor R. was able to conduct some interesting research and needed to present some results for his efforts… especially for Mrs. R.

    I do remember my first ‘training bra.’ It was a flat stretchy number. The next bra had a ‘cup,’ sort of. Am I remembering right? Was there an AA cup and an AAA cup? 😀

    I’ve long ago gone beyond the AAA cup and am thankful for every layer of super-support I can get. So, no. I don’t leave the house without my bra anymore. But there was a time when I enjoyed the freedom. Delightfully free feeling. Ah, memories. But, that’s what skinny-dipping is for. To recapture those memories of lighter, firmer days. Okay, TMI, but hey, you asked! 😉

    BTW… I’m a ‘fasten in front and spin around’ gal. Oh, and I have mastered the ‘unhook, grab the straps through sleeves, pull down and pull arms out, then grab the bra front and remove’ move from Flashdance.” I call it the 6 o’clock move. I’m home. Wine is poured. I’m done.

    Thanks, Barbara. This was fun!


  3. You are too much, Barbara. No topic goes unnoticed on this blog! SO yes, I do remember getting measured for my first bra with my mother in the dressing room with me. Wasn’t whey all did? And yes, I remember going braless in my “hippie” years but I agree with GInger, not so sure that this professor dude has it right. Too many sagging braless women out there! Thanks for the smile tonight!


  4. I think sports bras have taken the place of training bras. The designs are much better now than when we were young. Too late for me to forgo the bra– don’t really feel comfortable without it!


  5. Ahh. The training bra! How exciting it was to embark upon womanhood 🙂 I agree with the other ladies here, I respect that Doctor but it just stands to reason that breast contain more fat than muscle to begin with. Support is needed. But if someone offered me a breast reduction, I was seriously consider it, and I’m not one to have a high tolerance for pain. Being big breasted is a hassle. I’m competing with all the others same size women for a bra (which seems in high demand) Decent bras are anywhere from $30 to $60 a piece. I have to buy tops a size larger than my frame just to fit ‘the girls” and size 16 – 18 is hard to find. Wouldn’t it be great, as women enter menopause, we just automatically started shrinking to pre – children size? lol…


      1. Speaking of “Bra fitting”. I recently tip toed into a chic little lingerie boutique in my old neighborhood. Somehow I managed to only “window shop” for twenty years, putting lingerie gradification on indefinite delay, but not this day. Well, it was just a charming place, the ladies soooo nice, and appear to be well versed in fitting ladies. First I learned, I am a size larger than what I’ve been wearing. Kleck! In the end of the fitting, there was really only one bra that was comfy enough for me and it was like $70. double what I usually pay, a Wacoal. O.k. so now after wearing it for 6 mos. yes, it’s still all in one piece, but honestly the Bali is actually softer. I’m totally willing to identify a better quality garmet when I see one, but I’m just not sure it was worth double the cost of a Bali. But nice thing being 52, that extra $40 I spent, is going to support that Boutique, and in this economy, it truly does make a difference.


  6. My mother sent me to JC Penney with her credit card to get my first bra. I was skinny and flat and she sent me to Jr. High wearing an undershirt. My first day in gym class, when I was changing into those horrible gym clothes, I was horribly embarrassed when all the girls were wearing a bra and I had an undershirt on. I went home that day and told my Mom I wasn’t going back to school without a bra. So off to Penneys I went where the nice ladies there, who knew me and my Mom, fitted me for my first bra–28 AA! Like I said, I was skinny. I no more needed a bra than my younger brother, but it sure helped my self-esteem. I was in high school during the 60’s so didn’t go without a bra as did the hippies. And of course I wear one everyday now–unless I stay in my PJ’s all day.

    I’m not sure that professor knew what he was talking about. Look at all those pictures of the women in Africa, etc who have gone topless forever. They hang way down to their waists. I think he just had some fun under the guise of performing a scientific study!


  7. Gosh that first teenform bra picture takes me back! It’s very similar to the first training bra my mum presented to me on my 12th birthday. It was a real surprise as I hadn’t asked for one and mum hadn’t said anything previously about me needing one. I was always a tomboy and although I suppose my chest had started to show some signs of development, I still thought that it wasn’t really noticeable enough to need ‘controlling’. At mum’s request I did try it on, I couldn’t fasten it myself, so mum did it and straightaway it felt like an iron band around my chest! I also hated the way that it made my boobs more noticeable under my shirts.

    Up to then I either hadn’t worn anything under my shirts or had just worn a vest, so this contraption with it’s tight elastic metal fasteners and adjustable straps was just so alien!

    For several months I refused to wear the bra, but eventually my growing boobs became more jiggly and noticeable (especially when I was running) so eventually mum insisted I wore one outside the house.

    I suppose girls today have a smother transition, with half-vests, crop-tops and pull on ‘sports bras’ as stepping stones between a vest and a full blown bra.

    Fast forward a few decades and nowadays, other than a sports bra when I’m exercising I’ve given up wearing bras. I’m only a B cup and would always take my bra off and just put on a singlet or similar when I got home from work. Eventually I experimented with Sloggi tops and similar and found that they gave me enough coverage and support to be comfortable at work.


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