Ask the doctor: Is there a reason to wear a bra?

Q: There are a lot of carefree styles during the summer that look better without bras like halter tops, strapless dresses, beach cover-ups and camisoles. Would I be harming myself by not having the support of a bra?


A:  Surprisingly, a 15-year study from France found that sporting a bra does not actually prevent sagging or back pain relief.  Surprisingly, researchers found that breasts get saggier when using a bra.

bra 300x190 Ask the doctor: Is there a reason to wear a bra? Photo

Photograph by Barbara Hales

Measurements support the theory that nipples point upward more and suspending muscles around the breasts strengthen without help. However, when a woman has been wearing a bra in the past, the muscles have already weakened.  Also to keep in mind is that the study was only in the 18-35 year old bracket when females are still perky.

A study in Japan confirmed these findings. 

If you still want to go braless but lack the confidence to do so, get a camisole that has a built-in bra, which will give more control without the feeling of restriction.

Should you be a little lacking in the size that you would like to portray, many shaper camisoles have little pads where you need them. If you are more well endowed, a halter-top that ties behind the neck can help lift your shape.


Have a question? Submit it to Dr. Barbara Hales at