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The Pros And Cons Of Wearing A Bra, a.k.a The Fabric Prison For Your Chest

We weigh the pros and cons and — spoiler alert! — there are more cons.

Bras, you guys: a thing we all have to wear. At least sometimes, but especially to work.

And some bras are great. Sitting here, currently wearing one (with a shirt overtop because I’m a grown-up and this isn’t anarchy), I don’t have any real issues. I’ve never lived a BraFree™ life, and as a woman whose nickname could also be Busty Sinclair, I don’t intend to.

But that doesn’t mean I’m about to start spewing rhetoric about how bras are our friends. Bras are fine — they have a job and they do that job, but too often are we stuck at the end of the day, wondering where our lives went wrong.

Bras are frenemies, personified. They are temperamental and biased and helpful and inconvenient. And because you and I know this all too well, I have prepared your pros and cons here, because I am a professional, who has some thoughts about bras.

I mean, they do. What do you want from me here? Provided you’re wearing a bra that actually fits, they’re keeping your rack supported which is the only job a bra has. Unless you’re wearing a push-up bra, and in that case your bra has two jobs: support and uplift. Like a really positive friend.

No, but for real. If you wear a bra every day, you’re also the recipient of a free set of whatever-marks-a-bra-will-leave-on-your-body, so congratulations, bless us everyone. Maybe they’re permanent scars from cheap, terrible underwire. Maybe they’re indentations because no matter what, your straps seek to wreak havoc on your shoulders. In this way, a bra is like a surprise grab bag (from hell), where you’re never quite sure what the outcome will be. And god forbid you fall asleep in it.

And I am saying this as a person who goes to bed so tired that she has been known to pass out wearing her clothes from the day (while also referring to herself in third person). When you sleep in a bra, you will for sure wake up, convinced it is 1897 and you are now in a corset. You will wake up believing you are a medieval knight, decked out in armour. You will say, "I can’t believe I unwound a wire hanger and then wore it around my body all night.” But then you will laugh at the absurdity of that, because doing so would be so much comfier.

They do! Some tops look terrible with a bra!

And I say this as someone who spent 26 years living that 36B life, only to get measured like a grown-ass woman one summer day and discover she was 34D. Can you believe that? I couldn’t. Especially since it was probably the first time since grade 10 that I got to wear a bra that fit like an actual bra. And I haven’t read "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" for years and years, but I am 100 per cent sure that’s what dude in the book meant when he said in that moment he swore they were infinite.

But that being said, let me tell you how terrible it is to wear a bra that doesn’t fit: very terrible. It is terrible because everything feels wrong, and it is terrible because you feel like someone who just can’t get your shit together without knowing why. At one point, I wore a secondhand bra from one of my friends (see: I was so poor I didn’t turn the heat on in my apartment in January) and it was even smaller than the already too-small bra I was wearing, and I wanted to pass gently away. Every shirt looked bad, I felt bad, I’m certain I fell asleep in it more times than I can count, and I kept it for years. Years.

And do you know why I kept it for years? Because bras cost more than an actual full-priced car and you have to replace them all the time. (Especially if, like me, you choose not to wash them separately and just stick them in with your jeans and hope for the best.) (See also: I am so lazy, can you handle it?)

Isn’t that special? They do. Some really do. Wow.

Yeah, that’s right: I’ve resigned myself, at 30, to talk about bras like I’m Agnes Skinner from "The Simpsons." But it’s true — there are no less than 400 000 types of bras, and all but the kind I buy religiously scare me. I just want a bra that literally keeps everything...in. I don’t care about anything else. I literally just want to buy a normal bra. Lace makes most shirts look weird. Push-ups call for a particular shirt. No padding is useless. I just want a regular T-shirt bra that lets me live my life. But no — to get there, you must try on every other kind before realizing they didn’t run out of T-shirt bras, they’ve just been moved to another section.

So look, this doesn’t have to be a con, but bra places, please: just put the ones I want on their own special table and give me about five colours to choose from and then let me go quietly into that dark night. Let me live. Let me have some support. And above all, maybe develop a bra that is so comfortable that should someone fall asleep wearing one, they won’t wake up the next day wondering where it all went wrong.

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