We all know what training bras are right? They are the little, flimsy bralettes worn by little girls who haven't quite developed a bust yet. It's considered a rite of passage for a girl to don the garment when her mother feels she's going from "little girl" to "young lady." She doesn't need a bra, but wears it anyway.
It's pretty simple. Young girls don't need to wear bras, but they want to. It might make them feel more mature and grown up. Or maybe they just feel cute having a ruffled or striped bralette in their favorite colors under their shirts. There's really no reason to do it, but they do it anyway.
Popularized in the 1950s, training bras were recommended by medical professionals who claimed the loose bralettes provided support for budding breasts. This was later disproven; considering there is so little breast tissue, support is unnecessary. Nevertheless, training bras continued to be produced and passed along from mother to pre-teen daughter even today.
So, the question remains: why? Why wear little bras if you don't need to? It can smooth out the chest under a shirt, and conceal and protect the nipples, but that's about it. As it turns out, the reason has a lot more to do with confidence and comfort than it does with practicality.
Chances are these girls are not picking out their bras by themselves. They go out with their mothers, aunts or older sisters in an estrogen-fueled gaggle. These women, familiar with the world of bra shopping, invite their little lady to a seat at the table. These girls grow up, become used to buying and wearing bras, and that's that.
Fast forward to adulthood and diagnoses. Many bras of various sizes and a double mastectomy later, and it's right back to square one. Walking up and down aisles, full of uncertainty. As a pre-teen, you weren't alone bra shopping. You turned to your mother or other important women in your life. So, who is it you turn to as an adult? Hopefully, some of the same women who were there for you as a child, but with a few new faces. Your Sisters in Scars—a community of women who know the doubts and concerns you face because they faced the same ones themselves.
Again, you don't need one, so why wear one? It's the same reason: you want to. You like the feeling of the fabric or having something pretty under your tops. Sometimes just the knowledge that it's there is enough to make your feel more like YOU.
Whatever the reason, you want to wear a bra, and that's reason enough. On top of that, you deserve ones that suit you, just as any other woman. Your bra should be gentle over your scars and smooth out your chest under whatever you're wearing. Not to mention, it can be beautiful and sexy for you and anyone else who gets the pleasure of seeing it on you. You deserve to be comfortable, you deserve to feel beautiful and you deserve the feeling of taking your bra off after a long day.
TIPS FOR BUYING POST-MASTECTOMY BRAS
If you're looking for bras after having a single or double mastectomy, it can be hard to know what's going to work for your new body. You might be tempted by the pretty bralettes that are so on trend at the moment or the traditional bras you used to wear, but are too uncomfortable for your body after surgery. By shopping at AnaOno for post-mastectomy bras, you'll get a better selection of bras suited to your unique needs. Here are a few of our favorites:
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Dana Donofree is joined by Dr. Brannon Claytor to answer your questions about the ASPS news that some surgeries are being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Claytor is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Main Line Heath and owner of his private practice, Claytor/Noone Plastic Surgery.