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Is The End Of The Bra Nigh?

The most unused household item during quarantine 2020? Sarah Macken examines how the bra has gone from boom to bust during self-isolation, and why going wire-free is not without its repercussions.

There are many things we'll forever associate with lockdown behaviour.

We baked bread, we drank cupboard cocktails and formed a heavily codependent relationship with loungewear. 

We freed ourselves from the constraints of everyday life with sunset- salutations, formed new routines around virtual pub quizzes; forging a path to the ‘new normal’ one Instagram Live at a time. On a less cerebral note, we also decided there was never a better time to ditch our bras, too.

Being fairly big of chest, I never need much persuasion to seek out the comfort of going wireless. But in this case, I found I’m not alone.

On Instagram, the hashtag #nobraclub has – pardon the pun – racked up nearly 200,000 mentions while Insta-friendly memes shouted about ‘three more weeks of no bra!’ when lockdown restrictions were extended in mid-April.

Why are we so anti the brassiere now? Is it solely a comfort issue? Perhaps it’s pure
novelty? Or is it fulfilling a sense of rebellion in these highly-regimented times? 

Lingerie Buyer at Brown Thomas Rachelle Hanley reckons the boob rebellion is a long time in the making. “It’s a trend that’s been coming through for a number of seasons now. Each season the amount of non-wired or bralette styles is on the rise. Right now, every part of your outfit is
designated for comfort, and your underwear is no exception to that." 

Comfort may be king, but it’s not all plain sailing, however.

PSA: shunning a wire for a prolonged period of time could, according to some studies, lead to damage in the Cooper’s ligaments of the breast; the connective tissue that helps the breast maintain its structural integrity. “It is widely thought that once this tissue is damaged, it’s near on
impossible to repair,” confirms Hanley.

In other words, you can wave goodbye to perky boobs.

Like any good thing, too much bra downtime is not without its repercussions. However, if innovation continues, hopefully, we won’t have to compromise on comfort or support for
much longer.

As Hanley says: “When we can find the balance between beautiful things that are both supportive and comfortable, that will be the real win.”

For the article in full, pick up the June edition of Irish Tatler on shelves now. 

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