The Power of the Well-Chosen Bra

By Sarah P. Kennedy

On a recent rainy weekend morning, my friend Janine sent me a text message: “Hey, girl, whatcha up to?”

“Nothing, just doing some laundry. You?” I replied.

“Having coffee. Seriously considering putting on a bra,” Janine said.

And there it is: the bra conundrum, a seemingly quick and innocent daily decision; but don’t be fooled – it’s important. Whether, and how, we holster the girls can set our intentions for the day and predetermines our level of confidence and enjoyment at events such as happy hour birthday parties after work, CrossFit training at the gym and tailgating at football games.

If I don’t put on a bra, I am not leaving the house. If somehow you see me in public and I am not wearing a bra, please call emergency services because I clearly have lost my mind. Conversely, if I am at home, one of my greatest pleasures is not having to tug, twist and contort myself into a bra.

If I do put on a bra, I’ve got decisions to make. Do I go “Boring Beige, Means Business” bra, or “Push ’em Up; It’s Time to Party” bra? How will my blouse, T-shirt, tank top look over it? Do I want my bra straps to show? Do I need a smooth appearance or a hint of lace? Will polka dots make me feel sassier or will a bold solid boost my self-assuredness?

Here are my basic three categories and considerations for each:

1. Work/church/gym: Yes, I lump these three together because, essentially, I am looking for my bra to behave in the same manner in all of these circumstances. I am, shall we say, a substantive woman, and that includes the twins. Just like the rest of me, they are not as young and resilient as they used to be, and need lots of support. Spaghetti straps ain’t gonna cut it. I also do not want my cups to runneth over during a planning meeting or Pilates move. I want the girls to work behind the scenes, like good stagehands at the ready, providing assistance but never, ever appearing before the audience. This does not mean my breasts cannot be frocked in hot pink, but that’s a secret that needs to stay between me and Victoria.

2. Going out with the girls: This is the time to channel my inner Susan Sarandon (think Bull Durham or White Palace – not the one in which she plays a nun). Or I might even go Beyonce if I’m really feeling the moxie. At any rate, when I get dressed for an evening out with friends, I’m sucking everything in and up with a little help from Spanx and a sexy bra with strategically placed Lycra and underwire. I want a little lace, braiding or bow on the strap – and a shapely, lower-cut front to accent my assets and let the girls move a little when Whitney comes on the sound system.

3. Tailgating: There is nothing like a good Southern tailgate party. Dressing the part of an avid fan without looking like my husband’s twin in an oversized football jersey – or like a wannabe Real Housewife – takes some planning. My upper undergarment must be both cute and supportive, so I can look good while enjoying pre-game wings at the Cockabooses in Columbia – and later while jumping up and down during the game without fear of a Janet Jackson-esque wardrobe malfunction. So I go work-party hybrid bra: a smooth design, in my team’s colors, with perhaps a little bling – too much is tacky – to appeal to my inner (and outer) cheerleader.

Choosing the right bra – or none at all – can boost my spirit as well as my bustline. But before I contemplate convertible vs. racerback, or demi vs. balconette, I’m going to have to have another cup … of coffee.

About this writer

  • Sarah P. Kennedy

    Sarah P. Kennedy

    Sarah P. Kennedy is a freelance writer and former teacher who likes writing about everyday life, and the humor and grace that can be found in it. Her blog can be found at

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2 Responses to “The Power of the Well-Chosen Bra”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    I enjoyed your story and can relate.

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