Lily Allen has become the latest lady to join to no-bra brigade. She's now lined up amongst the likes of Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley... and, of course, their lingerie-less leader, Lena Dunham. And unsurprisingly, Lily's decision to sport a super spot of side-boob at the City Rocks charity concert on Tuesday has sparked a bit of a boobie-banter - to bra, or not to bra?
A scientist concluded last year after he studied breasts for more than 15 years (yes, "he") that actually boobs are less likely to sag when women don't wear a bra. But if you go braless, what can you expect? To assist you, we've compiled the complete stages of saying ta-ta to that bra...
1. The Fear
When you've been surgically attached by the clasp to your underwired wonder since your 13-year-old self begged your mum to take you to Matalan and get your first one, free-range boobs are scary. Will you have nips below your knees by lunch? What if someone notices? Sweet Jesus, WHAT IF IT'S COLD?
2. The Cold.
You plucked up the courage to leave the lady harness at home, but suddenly (thanks God) that balmy Spring afternoon that was just perfect t-shirt weather turned sour. And breezy. You learn first hand where the phrase 'it's getting a bit nippy' came from. Three people ask if you're 'smuggling peanuts' and your arms look weird because you're folding them too high.
3. The Stairs.
Especially for those with ample bosom, a first encounter with stairs is akin to accidentally clicking on a picture of Miley Cyrus with no eyebrows and realising, with dread and regret, that there's no going back. Three steps in and they're off: both, somehow in slow motion, independently fighting for freedom through the flimsy constriction of your blouse, nipples ahoy and surrounding muscles holding on for dear life. You have two seconds to make the call as to whether you fervently create a make-shift soutien-gorge with your hands, hoping that no-one sees you in the cupping position which suddenly feels far too sexual for the office corridor, or let them fight it out.
4. The Curious Comfort
You'd never noticed before just how soft that top was. And you can breathe a little deeper without feeling like the pups you've packed in your soutien-gorge might burst out of their sartorial slammer. You're standing taller because - hey! - your shoulders don't feel like they're being pushed down by five-inch straps and there's no industrial strength wire sinking into your ribs. When people notice, you're becoming less inclined to care.
5. The Wondrous Wardrobe
No longer are you confined to tops that cover ugly straps, or avoiding the backless, strapless section in Topshop. Now, you own that section. You can try out different style, rock a side-boob AND spend more money on them because YOU'RE NOT SPENDING ALL YOUR MONEY ON BRAS THAT DON'T FIT. You're now a smug shopper, quietly sniggering at the exasperated faces in the lingerie section who've just found out their cup size went up (again) and now they have to start all over again.
You're more comfortable AND confident than you've ever been, you've got a handful of spare cash and oodles of time neither of which have been wasted on your glorious rack and you invented the phrase 'NO BRA DON'T CAR(E)', probably. Now that the stairs and the looks and the weather has been dealt with and mastered, you have realised whole-hearted and with pride that feminist power and comfort are not mutually exclusive. You know that everyone has a choice - even bigger breasted ladies - to burn the boulder holders if they learn to love how their boobies look without the push-up, push-in, bra-constrictor that we hoist ourselves into everyday. And, despite wearing one because you particularly like it, or it adds to an outfit (or just to realise once again that it was a mistake), every now and again, you'll never look back.