I’m 27 and I Love My Training Bra

by Megan K. Collins

As a 27-year-old, fully functioning member of society, one of my ultimate guilty pleasures in life is allowing my mother to spoil me rotten whenever I’m home. Each time I visit my parents in Wisconsin, she asks, “Do you need anything from Target?”

Do I? Do I? Of course I do! Who couldn’t use anything — literally any thing in the store — from Target?

And so, over the holidays, the two of us set off for the superstore with a list of things to buy in my greedy little hand. At the top, an item I’d been searching for to no avail — a decent-looking wire-free bra.

As an A-cup of the small letter “a” variety, I’d recently sworn off the padded, push-up, wired bras forced upon me by well-meaning Victoria’s Secret salespeople. I’d decided the time spent tugging at underwire and readjusting boobs gone astray simply wasn’t worth the nominal cleavage these bras afforded. I’ve got what I’ve got, and I’m OK with it.

If cleanliness is next to godliness, though, bralessness is next to lawlessness. Society (or at least, my workplace) requires the use of foundational garments when venturing outside the home, so going commando on top is not an option. I’d been making do with a rotation of shelf bra tank tops, but v-neck shirts always betrayed my secret. It’s hard to feel like a grown woman when this millennium’s answer to the dickie is peeking out from your sweater.

Unfortunately, Target’s intimates department left us empty-handed, if well-supported. After searching every rack, my mother hesitated for a moment before suggesting, “Maybe we check the girls’ section?”

I wasn’t offended, just surprised that I hadn’t thought of it sooner. OK, I was a little offended. But a good idea is a good idea.

Among the Hannah Montana T-shirts and glitter scrunchies, I found exactly what I was looking for. A simple, lovely bra for growing girls. Or in my case, no-longer-growing girls. It plunged at the right place, had adjustable straps and snapped in the back just like a big girl bra. I sized myself as a large (taking more pride in that fact than I should admit) and settled on two styles, for a grand total of $7.99. The first, a basic white, the other, orange and pink polka dots, for when I’m feeling a little frisky.

For the first time in my life, I’m filling out my bra, and it feels really good. Apparently it just took shopping in the kids’ department to make me feel like a real woman.

I wonder how many other less-endowed ladies out there have gone through the same struggle. Finding a bra that fits — and on top of that, one you actually want to wear — shouldn’t be so hard. What I’ve learned is that the first step is feeling confident in your small-chestedness. The second is to be able to say, from one grown woman to another — yes, it’s totally cool to wear a training bra.

Tell me:

  • Are you over thirteen and still wear a training bra?
  • Do you have any recommendations for comfortable but still pretty wire-free brands that are actually meant for grown-ups?
  • Am I the only one who can’t wear an underwire bra for more than two hours without wanting to pull it off through my sleeve, Flashdance-style?

Yesterday: Bra Shopping for Busty Women in Denial

Megan K. Collins is a writer living in Brooklyn. She includes the K. in her name to distinguish her from the approximately 1,347,921 other Megan Collinses out there trying to steal her thunder. She won’t tell you what it stands for.