i’m too sexy for my bra

Ban the bra

I pulled out a pair of old jeans today.  Old meaning, once upon a time, I wore them.  They weren’t fat pants, certainly weren’t my “holy shit, they fit!” pants.  Just an in-between pair, that I remember buying intending for them to be my comfortable jeans.  They were loose enough that they didn’t push fat up when I walked or sat.  I could simply tuck a roll in, and no one would notice.  Well, says me.  What I loved about these jeans was my ability to wear a clingy white shirt with them.  I had a white shirt, worn thin and semi-opaque.  My nipples sometimes became taut beneath the shirt, and from a certain angle, they looked lavender.  And that, to me, was about as sexy as it got. 

It wasn’t about my leather pants, garter belts, or stockings.  It was about a white tee or tank, no bra, loose comfortable, faded jeans, and a navy blazer.  Sexy isn’t all about attitude.  I hear that shit a lot.  “It’s a state of mind” just ain’t gonna cut it all the time.  Yes, confidence is hot.  It just is.  But if you want to look hot without having to open your mouth, lose the bra and learn to make fierce eye contact.  I know what you’re thinking.  Whore.  But, really, it won’t kill your breast tissue to go sans bra for a night. 

I did it on an airplane.  Wore that thin white top, jeans, blazer folded and stowed away.  No makeup.  Hair in a bun.  And I felt sexy and powerful.  Sure, there were two teenage boys, who needed napkins to wipe up the pool of drool beneath them.  I wasn’t doing it for them, or even for the attention.  I did it because it made me feel sexy.  Some women take baths and listen to Sade.  They light candles around the house.  These women have cats.  Yes, I went there.  To the cat-lady place.  Sorry.  But it’s true.  Go out without undergarments.  Not a la Lindsay.  Wear jeans.  You will act differently. 

Already, I know you’re singing that “Do your ears hang low?” song, replacing “ears” with “breasts,” “boobs,” “tits,” “groceries,” or some version of your own. Please.  Who cares?!  Wear ’em.  They’re called “knockers” for a reason.  They can make you feel like a knockout… and as my sister would say, “Or you could knock out an eye with one of mine!”  Fine, then go spritz yourself with the new Marc Jacob’s Daisy Perfume… it is sexy, and simple.  The thing women get wrong about sexy: they think it’s complicated and expensive.  Hooks, zippers, padding, silicone, chicken cutlet inserts, slits, toe cleavage.  What’s sexy is what’s accessible.  I’ve said it before: It’s not about cleavage if you’re in a corset with strings that looks complicated to get at the good bits.  That’s work.  It’s about accessible and touchable. And when a guy sees you in a wife beater, he feels as though he’s being let into your world.  He’s in a zone, behind a curtain, and he likes it.

Try it.  Go out, leave the house, sans bra.  Casual, like really, you’re just that comfortable with your body.  And touch yourself a little.  I’m totally serious.  I’m saying this because I get too many emails asking if I know anyone to set them up with.  Go to some bar, order a non-pink drink, no bra, tee shirt, and kind of glide your hands over your breasts.  No, it’s not the “bend and snap,” but it works.  And for the record, the truth is, it’s really not about snagging the guy.  It’s about building your own confidence and learning to feel sexy, no makeup, undone, and alone.  It’s something every woman should know how to give herself, aside from an orgasm.  Know how to make yourself feel sexy and powerful, like you’re capable of getting anyone to conform to your wishes.  I suppose it’s different for everyone.  Those subtle things we can do to amp ourselves into a state of invincible intoxication… how do you do it?  Hair blown out?  Knee socks and a short skirt, your hair pulled into two school girl braids?   What does your inner sexy look like?



  1. I had all kinds of reactions to this post – funny, self deprecating descriptions of my stretch marks and lower hanging breasts…but then I read it again and have a different response.

    My invincible intoxication is complete when I'm warm, washed, shaved, lotioned and wrapped up in silk jammies, slippers and flannel lined red satin robe.

    I agree with everything you wrote – it's not about the painful corsets – it's about loving yourself…stretch marks, low hanging breasts and all.

  2. I'm glad to see you back to the kinds of posts that I love your writing most for. :) Braless is easy for me being 32b but having my nipples show usually makes me sort of uncomfortable. Who knows, maybe someday.

  3. I agree just a plain white T and nice fitting jeans is sexy. But going bra-less is something I am just not brave enoungh to pull off, b/c 1 I have big girls (w/ unsensitve nips) & 2 I'm pushing 40 and gravity has taken over. Sexy for me is low waisted nice fitting jeans w/ a pretty lace thong under and a short cropped T top so when sitting u only see a hint of lace and no panty lines. Only observant on lookers notice ;)

    FROM STEPHANIE: Yes, thank you. I hoped people would not take me all that literally, and would instead figure out what it is, however small, that makes them feel powerfully sexy.

  4. So funny AND appropriate. Yesterday I was sitting at my computer, and was so uncomfortable in my NEW, TIGHT, LIFTING bra, I yanked it off through my sleeves and let my girls FREE!!!

    Then, I said out loud, to no one because Mr. Manic was at work, the kiddies were all at school:

    "Eff you Bra Nazi!"

    And wow, I had my 20th reunion on Saturday–talk about bringing 'the girls' out for a night… whoa! I think at the 10th, most women are frumps or in baby-making mode and the men look hot. By 20th, most of the women have it figured out! And yes, a few of 'em went sans bra. Even some of the "once-a-slut-always-a-slut" girls went sans panties!!!

  5. You're right, it is different for everyone.. which is why I'm not a "cat lady" simply because a bath and candles does it for me. :) My girls are a bit too sensitive physically to be happy sans bra.

  6. Truthfully, nothing makes me feel more un-sexy than a bunch of lacy underwear and push-up bras. I do own these things, but I am always so uncomfortable in that kind of stuff…like I'm prentending. It occurred to me that maybe this is because lacy and frilly just aren't me. I'm very much a jeans girl. I also feel most sexy when I have on minimal make-up, natural hair do, and a comfy top with jeans. Nothing sloppy, just relaxed. I usually stumble upon these days by accident. I get up and get dressed meaning to be comfortable and then end up thinking I look better in that than I do when I put in a bunch of effort.

    I really loved this post.

  7. Great mood to this entry! I love to wear my fav. black tight tank with no bra. The girls are still 'perky' thank God! Also, in the hot weather, I wear a backless, short halter dress around the house & yard. It's comfy & sexy at the same time & my husband loves the accessability that the dress provides. Love 'the bend and snap' too funny.

  8. It's kind of funny to read your post right after fantasizing about shopping at Agent Provocateur:) I think I've never been that type of girl for some reason…and I'm mad at myself because I think it would be kind of interesting to see my beau's reaction to a sexy bomb look like that:)

  9. I was just wondering why you took down the other post that you had up much earlier. I thought it was an insightful glimpse of your happier moments with Gabe. I loved your book because of how raw and real it was. Love this post also. I just know that my inner sexy is tan year round and listens to Springsteen while wearing lip gloss and great earrings.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Didn't take it down… just moved it to where it belonged… to the beginning of this blog, when I'd originally posted it there. For some reason, it was in "draft mode." So I published it. It can be found in the archives, January 2004.

  10. I'm with Huge Fan. The more dressed up I am, the less attractive I feel. Too many balls in the air, so to speak.

    Ahem. *blows pitch pipe*

    Do your tits hang low
    Do they wobble to & fro
    Can you tie them in a knot
    Can you tie them in a bow
    Can you throw them over your shoulder
    like a Continental soldier
    Oh, do your tits hang low?

  11. After a year of breastfeeding, this just aint pretty on me. I actually think the white shirt, jeans no bra look only works if you are tall, thin and no larger than a B cup…

  12. Yeah, my breast are waayyy to big to go without a bra. When I do go out forgeting it, I feel so weird I spend most of the time touching them, but not in a sexy way. More in a "I can't believe they are this big/ fall this low" kind of way. Sexy huh? haha
    I look/feel most sexy with a great pair of jeans and a low cut flowy top. OOh and Stella by Stella McCartney. Thats a SEXY fragrance!

  13. As one of the few men that seem to be commenting lately, I feel that I am in a unique experience to comment here. I have no attraction to women in wife beaters. I certainly don't mind seeing through a woman's shirt and bedding her for the night, but I am also not sure if I would stay with her, depending on her continued habits in dressing and just her as a person, really. I will agree that confident women are hot. Hell, ya. Give me a woman in jeans and a T-shirt and spell low maintenance across your ass, but hell, if you own your corset look and have sexy high heels on, I'm not going to complain.

  14. Great post : )

    Jeans, Black boots with heel, men's shirt under a snug sweater, loose curly hair, glasses = My Inner Sex Kitten. Really, I think it's all about the glasses. My inner sex kitten looks a lot like Tina Fey. My inner sex kitten is neurotic, but that's a big part of what makes her sexy.

  15. "what does your inner sexy look like?" – why does that sound exactly like a SATC line?

  16. I love going without a bra, and I leave it off more times than not. I feel my most comfortable and sexy in broken in jeans, an American Apparel deep V t-shirt, and no bra. The only thing I don't like about it is running into other moms at the grocery store when I'm not wearing one…

  17. Stephanie, you are so funny! That candle lighting, Sade playing, soaking in the bath person is me. Not so surprising is that I have 2 cats…and a wonderful man, but I have always felt most attractive in a comfortable faded pair of jeans and a black sweater, minimal makeup. I loved this post.

  18. sometimes, if i want to feel sexy in a bar – i don't take a purse. or a clutch. i've found that when i just take myself out in an outfit like tattered jeans, brown heels a low back halter and a blazer. it looks relaxed, then as the night goes on – my back is bare, i don't have a purse or something to fidget with, and i really enjoy myself.

    this is a great post. because there's nothing wrong with no bra. or no makeup. eventually, a good whoever will like you more without either of the two, anyways.

  19. I'm so glad for your post today…I did a modified version of this, this a.m. I wore a GAP pink, thin "vintage tee" fabric t-shirt with a PEARL necklace and pearl earrings. Jeans with the bottom's cut off, washed and frayed & flip flops. To drop my son off at Mother's Day Out. I felt great. I wasn't in work out clothes and a sports bra like most of the moms. I looked HOT!
    Thanks for the reminder for us to celebrate our feminity.

  20. Today I felt so sexy when I was wearing a brand new see-through bra – just took it out of its package. I felt even sexier wearing this bra than being naked…

  21. So right before I read this post, I had just gotten out of the shower and gotten dressed in what I feel sexy in: a pair of jeans that fit my body nicely but still baggy somewhat and comfy, a black sports bra with thin spaghetti straps (instead of fat ugly ones) and a wife beater. It was such a coincidence to read this right after deciding to wear this especially because im not going anywhere all that special; just my ceramics studio and then work (where unfortunately my sexy wife beater will be covered up by my work shirt). Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it.

  22. Ohh I needed this today. I've been in a fashion-rut, absolutely hating everything in my closet. I have cute clothes, but somehow in the morning when I'm getting ready I can't seem to put on anything but jeans and a tee-shirt. Anyway, besides the point…

    I agree with the no bra thing. But, I feel sexiest when I'm uber clean, shaved, and lotioned, wearing low-waisted jeans (I agree with the lace thong/ Hanky Pankies specifically), a deep (emphasis on the word deep) V-neck shirt of any kind, and lipgloss… and possibly my glasses if I feel like being more artsy/smart looking.

    As for staying in with my boyfriend- its an Anthropologie nightie with nothing underneath. HOT.

    Again, LOVED this post.

  23. I am larger on the bottom than on top (like 90% of the female population) and have always been self-conscious about it. Lately, though, I'm more open to wearing straight skirts that slightly cup under in back, which used to be a big no-no for me. One advantage is that if I'm open to that fit, then I don't have to have the waist taken in… and it has FINALLY become apparent to me that many men like a nice round bottom on a woman.

  24. Damn, Stephanie, just the post I needed.. thanks, and will do (soon)…. inner goddess notified and ready to do her thing, honey…. (-;

  25. Sounds like you looked exactly like someone who'd make me think, "If I were, I would." I agree, the white t-shirt and no bra is a very sexy look. Unfortunately, even with my pregnantly always on headlights, my ever expanding 42D-longs just aren't "going out material" sans support. But, at home, with my hubby – absolutely!

  26. I can definitely go braless, being a small B-cup, but it tends to make me self-conscious unless I'm wearing a dark color. Totally overt nippage is not my thing. I feel sexiest after I've gotten a little sun, put on some bronzer and lip gloss, slicked my just washed hair back into a knot on top of my head, and have on jeans that are just slightly loose b/c I've been working out and eating well. Flip flops and a fresh pedicure complete the feeling…

  27. great post, but one thing. And really, i'm not trying to be snarky, just curious–doesn't this title tread on part of the same ground that you diddn't like when Manic Mom used the term Bra Nazi–"Do you think using the genius of Larry David/Jerry Seinfeld and just changing "Soup" to "Bra" is the most clever you can be?" Like I said, just wondering…

  28. I'm surprised no one's mentioned it yet, but for me it's a silky camisole under a sweater. If no one sees it it still makes me smile to have that secret all day long.

  29. My inner sexy has finally decided to come out. I gave up contacts, decided to grow out my hair, and don't freak out when I realize my Clinique lipstick is at home, not in my purse running errands. It took losing 50 pounds to release my inner sexy, but I'm loving it. It's nice being able to wear your friends jeans that she had to cast aside because SHE is too big for it now. Pair the jeans with a cami (sans bra!) and a men's oversize dress shirt? Confidence and sexiness here I come…

  30. It IS all about what's accessible! Why do those lace-up, tie-up little things even exist? I honestly don't know how hubby would feel about me going to Lowe's in a tank top and no bra, seeing as my nips get hard at the drop of a hat.

  31. I have E/ F cup boobs and love going braless. I don't do it often, but sometimes I go grocery shopping in a fitted white top and bra less. People can't help but look and it makes me feel very sexy.

    I travel overseas for work, and ofte do a sexy look – a look I would never wear at home for fear I ran into someone I know. Braless, sheer top or short skirt. I feel fantastic when I do it.

  32. Yeah, my nipples are always at attention, to the point where my boyfriend has nicknamed me 'Perpetual', so the braless thing is tough. I definitely have to agree with the whole 'washed, shaved and lotioned' part, though. There's just something about that feeling, no matter what you're wearing it's like there's this naked you just waiting to shine.

  33. For me, nothing beats a breezy, gauzy, white strapless dress over a bikini, tanned legs, a bit of sun of my nose and cheeks, a smidge of bronze lip gloss, and my hair wild and highlighted from a day of sea and sun . . .

  34. Re: Bianca's comment. Since I'm slightly obsessed with you and have gone back and read the archives (esp. the beginning) when I need some inspiration I can say almost certainly that the post about the two pink lines wasn't there. At all. Never seen it till today. It is a great insight, but now I'm like damn what other great pieces is she keeping from us?? ;-)
    I'm with the commenter before who was still looking for between the sheets. Please reconsider and give us the dirtiest of the dirty.

  35. That outfit you describe, white tee, jeans, navy blazer makes me think of Julia Roberts in the last scene of "Pretty Woman", though I don't know if that was the look you had in mind.

  36. I've always been more to show off the legs – will even admit to the heels and formal shorts trend. But trust me I rocked it! Sometimes it's good to remember that sexy can be simple.

  37. I can't really do the whole braless thing if I want to do sexy– because my girls are a little too big for that but going without panties gives me that same feeling! (Not that I'm going around showing the world my 'Britney') Also wearing my FMB (F me boots) gives me an extra bit of confidence!!!

    Thanks Stephine for reminding us that we need to do sexy for ourselves NOT for a man!!

  38. Hi Stephanie,
    read "Straight Up and Dirty" last summer and found it very helping (much better than a self-help book)
    Around a week ago I decided to open my own blog (Shoes, Chocolate & Cuckoo Clocks)love writing.. it's addicting (I linked yours as I enjoy reading what's going on "after the book")

    Anyway.. I do the "sans bra thing" a lot in summer, but as I have kinda "fat nipples".. they show a trifle too much for italian men's standards..(I live in Milan)
    They don't seem to be able to tear off their eyes from my breast area, they look like dogs with a ball.. it's hilarious.. but, it's true.. it does feel sexy!

  39. Went to lunch with new man knowing full well that I was not wearing any panties under my black pants… SO MUCH FUN.. Thanks for inspiring me…

  40. Thanks for this, SK. It's certainly nothing I can pull off on my own, but I heartily endorse it. Nothing is sexier than a woman with genuine confidence; of course, the genuine boobs don't hurt either!

    If there's a guy equivalent… and I just don't think there is, I'm happy to oblige.

  41. I feel sexy when I don't wear underwear under a dress. With our summer heat in Austin it not only feels sexy it feels cool. I love the look on my boyfriend's face when he comes up to me and puts his hands on my hips to only realize I'm sans the underwear.

  42. Thanks for reminding me what sexy feels like. Right now I'm post-breakup, with hairy legs, a weird rash on my face, unkempt nails (fingers *and* toes), wearing baggy loungewear, and day-old hair back in a headband. NOT sexy. But comfy. And I'll let my inner sexy out again soon, yes I will. Thanks for the inspiration.

  43. I feel sexiest having finished a run, sweaty, hair pulled back, in my t-shirt, shorts, and running shoes.

  44. It's funny, to me it's just the opposite, it's the bra that does it for me. I have very small boobs, I believe the US size is 32 A. I'm short too, so I always felt I looked like a 14-year old. I've put on some weight the last years and noticed they'd gotten a bit bigger. So about a year ago I scraped my courage together and went bra-shopping (which always made me cry before) and found several brands that suit me. A few days later, I cought a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and was stunned to see that I actually had (some) cleavage. I'm still pleasantly surprised when I wear a low V-neck or dress, and I do feel sexy.

  45. Your blog is interesting. Got to know your blog from the book. I was attracted with this post. I believe that every girl has her own attraction. Feeling georgeous without a bra.. ;)

  46. So do you think that Britney is exerting her inner sexy when she flashes her vajayjay to the world every other day? ;)

  47. My inner sexy goes out of the shower, still steaming, smelling fresh and soapy, with damp hair pulled up and wearing nothing but a towel.

    My outer sexy goes out of the house with a V shaped neckling and a sexy, slightly showing bra or an exposed shoulder, and with the $1 million smile.

  48. I LOVE this. Going through a separation and this is just what I needed to feel sexy with MYSELF again. No man needed. No makeup needed. (well maybe some mascara) I’m gonna be feelin myself! both literally and feeling good about myself way!

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