Big or small. Heavy or light. Round, drooping, perky with tiny nipples, or saucer-sized, there’s something incredibly liberating about freeing your breasts from the confines of a restrictive bra. Whether you love a great push-up or despise underwire with a heated passion, everyone with boobs can agree that the best feeling is coming home and releasing your chest from their entrapment. But instead of waiting for that relief all day long, why not look into some other options when it comes to supporting, hiding or empowering the boobies?
In fact, below you will find 15 favorite bra alternatives to try by the weekend. You may not be able to just #FreeTheNipple at the office or feel as though you can’t try out anything other than a force to keep those large, ahem “melons”, in place, but there are ways to support the bosom and hideaway the flashing headlights. Learn what you can do depending on the occasion, fashion choices, or size and shape of each breast. Find your own comfort and allow your chest to breathe a little!
The first alternative to a traditional bra is the most obvious, just let those puppies fly free! If you’re comfortable enough with partaking in #NoBraDay, then go for it. Sometimes it’s nice to feel at ease without restriction, and we think you’ll be surprised at how empowered you will feel once you step outside in your favorite cotton t-shirt, sans bra. Of course, there are some “rules” that go along with braless days – for example, don’t wear silk without the expectation of getting some stares.
Pasties’ number one job is to keep your nipples from greeting every passerby on the street. But they’re a bit different than just a traditional nipple cover, because pasties come in a variety of fun colors, shapes, and designs. They can even become a sexy part of your nighttime bedroom routine. And you may want to find silicone pasties that look better under thinner fabrics.
13 Bikini Tops
If you find your bathing suits more comfortable than your bras, why not use the bikini tops hiding in your closet as outfit pieces? They’ll become a fashion statement as they peek out from underneath your blouses, but they’ll also give you the support you’re looking for, especially for those with larger breasts who need more than a piece of tape. You may even find suit tops that can double as crop tops and staple pieces to your wardrobe.
12 Gel Inserts
Nix the bra and dawn a top or dress that can hold a pair of gel inserts for you. If you want the extra enhancement and coverage without the tug of a bra strap, then some chicken cutlets will definitely be the trick you need for nights of comfort. Cosmopolitan even made a list of the best of the best, depending on exactly what you need and are looking for.
11 Lifting Tape
Although this type of booby tape won’t work for larger breasts, if you want a bit of a lift then you may want to check this out and realize that it won’t make you feel sweaty and annoyed all day like most bras do. And remember there are a lot of different tapes in the undergarment section, but this particular type is especially made for when you want or need to go braless but are searching for that same lift and support.
You may not be able to pronounce this wardrobe piece yet, but we’re certain you’ve seen it before. Similar to the suit top above that can provide both fashion accents and support, a bandeau is a banded system that covers the chest! You can find them in cotton, lace, varying colors and sizes quite easily too. They’re perfect on their own with high-waisted bottoms or underneath blouses that have a peek-a-boo appeal as well.
For tops or dresses that can’t handle a traditional bra, or you’d like to make some of your clothes friendlier to your breasts’ freedom, go for some sew-in-cups. We see this option a lot with formal-wear, but you’d be surprised at how many other pieces of your clothing can be filled with this type of coverage and allow you to nix the underwire and annoying clasps. Plunging necklines or tops without backs are the perfect candidates for these.
It seems there are nearly endless possibilities when it comes to undergarment options, and here’s another one. Backless bras give support and coverage, but work when your dress or top is backless too. And similar to the sew-in choice, you get the freedom of not having to deal with bra straps or annoying clasps. Sometimes they’re also known as “adhesive” bras, because they’ll stick right onto your chest – and we can all hope they stay on without an issue.
Corsets can be a lifesaver too. For those that aren’t necessarily looking to find relief, these lace-up pieces can cinch your waist, smooth your look, and give you a bit of push-up action to boot. Every woman should own at least one beautiful corset, if not for anything than for a boost of self-confidence. No one even needs to know you have it on for you to feel a bit sexier.
6 Blouse Tape
When you don’t want to tape your nipples, tape your blouse in place instead! This will ensure that nip slips stay away, and your top won’t reveal any more cleavage than you’re aiming for. In fact, it’s a good idea to wear both pasties or nipple stickers with blouse tape too. Together they’ll work to keep everything where it should be, but give you some much needed comfort and freedom as well.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll find a bodysuit that fits like a glove and provide so much versatile throughout your closet. Not only will it act as shapewear, smoothing out all of your edges, but there’s no need to wear a bra with one of these! And, if you find one with a bit of style or staple qualities, you can use it as a top along with a pair of palazzo pants or pretty skirts.
4 Sports Bra
Here’s another obvious alternative, but it’s one that truly works! Sports bras are just far more comfortable than traditional bras, and you can find them in a variety of fabrics that suit your needs. From cotton to spandex, these too are pieces that can double up as tops depending on the occasion. But remember that like the traditional bra, sports bras need to be fitted correctly too.
In some stores you’ll be able to find camisoles with built-in bras, which are perfect for layering, used as blouses, or just wearing as is. And the beauty is that you don’t have to squish a bra underneath all of the fuss. You can also find a variety of styles, from all lace to all colors, and printed pieces too, the options here are seemingly endless.
2 Silicone Covers
Nipple stickers are basically pasties, but without all of the fuss. They come in flesh tones so they won’t “stick out” like a sore thumb – which is the point of covering up the nipple to begin with – and can be worn underneath any type of clothing. It too gives you the freedom to go bra-less but without the fear of showing off too much under thinner fabrics.
Bralettes are similar to bras but they’ve forewent the padding, clasps, and straps that cut into your shoulders. They also give you versatility with styling. Showing off the lacy strap with an off-the-shoulder top, or have it peeking behind the buttons of a blouse can be chic and stylish without forgoing the support or coverage you need.