I only wear soft cup and wireless bras. Since my breast reduction, I have had very few padded and underwired bras. They weren’t comfortable and wearing them made me anxious. I bought a really nice one at my first fitting after my reduction, but wore it only a handful of times until the cups got too big when my breasts settled. I bought one other after that and I wore it maybe two times.
Why I Don’t Wear Padded Bras
The reason I never wore these bras had little to do with physical comfort (I bought a wireless padded bra and it didn’t make a difference in my emotional comfort). While physical comfort was important, it came down to being comfortable emotionally and mentally with the appearance of my breasts.
I spent so long trying to make my breasts look smaller and to detract attention from them. After my reduction, I couldn’t make myself comfortable with my breasts looking “big.” If I put on a padded bra in the morning, I instantly felt like I had never had a reduction. I would see myself in the mirror and all the self hate, disgust, and anxiety came flooding back.
It took me a while to realize that while padded bras didn’t make my breasts didn’t look as “huge” as they had before, but they looked “big” and that was enough to instantly send me back to all the body image issues I had moved past.
I wear soft cups because they don’t add anything to the size of my breasts and often make them look smaller. I wear wireless bras because they are physically comfortable.
As I talk about my How I Became More Comfortable and Confident Wearing What I Want To Wear post, confidence is about comfort on all fronts. When I start to feel anxious about what I’m wearing, I ask myself: am I physically, mentally, and emotionally comfortable? If the answer is “no” to any of these, I go through my checklist. I have a check list of all the parts of my body that are where most of my body related anxiety lies. They are, in this order: boobs, abdomen, thighs.
Often, it stops at boobs very rarely does my discomfort get to my thighs.
My follow up questions are: Is there too much happening in my breast area? Does my bra feel too tight?
Often my fix is to change my bra or remove it, or change my top.
I haven’t had this issue in a while because I have curated my wardrobe to accommodate my insecurities to keep me comfortable and confident. It did take me a while though to discover what I like and what feels good.
Curate a Comfortable Wardrobe
To curate a comfortable wardrobe, you need to establish criteria to evaluate your clothing with, and then apply it to every item of clothing in your wardrobe (undergarments, shoes, and accessories included).
This is the criteria I use:
- does it fit me?
- does it make me feel good?
- can I wear it with more than three other items in my closet?
- am I limited to specific undergarments and accessories if I wear this item (bras, belts, etc)?
- can I wear this for more than four hours at a time?
- have I worn this recently?
I also use this criteria when shopping. This criteria keeps me from filling my closet with items I won’t or don’t wear. I am more selective and critical of my clothing and this keeps my wardrobe small and wearable. I don’t get up in the morning and say “I have nothing to wear!” I do wake up and think that there is nothing in my closet I want to wear, but this is about not wanting to leave the house, not my clothes. Curating a comfortable wardrobe takes time. It took me about three years to figure out what makes me comfortable and to actively curate my wardrobe.
I do not purchase or keep items that are uncomfortable, limiting, or don’t make me feel good. This is why I no longer purchase padded or underwire bras. Heck, my soft bras come with removable pads, which don’t even leave the store with me.
How do you make sure your clothes make you feel good?