Give Them Liberty or Give Them Sweat: Going Bra-Less

woman in desert It’s hot in Palm Springs.

So swelteringly hot that 100-degree heat is normal for a day in May. A bonafide scorcher hits 117 or 120 degrees, which is hot enough to melt the rubber soles of shoes and to fry electronics if they’re left in the car, according to tales of longtime residents. (Bright side: you can cook an omelet on the sidewalk and not have to worry about washing any dishes.)

Going bra-less seems like a very logical solution to cooling off in the unbearable desert heat. In this kind of climate where friction is your worst enemy, a bra is cumbersome, the tight band and cups only trapping more perspiration. Taking it off lets air flow around your chest, effectively evaporating and cooling wet droplets of sweat.

Liberating the ladies is apparently a thing, now, for celebs who want to show their side boob on the red carpet, as noted by the New York Times. Take Rihanna in Grammys past, for example, or Amy Adams at this year’s Screen Actors Guild awards, both of whom wore gowns with plunging necklines sans hint of any brassiere.

But what about normal, everyday life? How much of a social taboo is it to go au naturel? The unspoken rule, it seems, is that it’s okay as long as the nips don’t show. (Unless you like the extra attention and, in that case, our wish for you is that all your days be cold and nippy.) When practical comfort outweighs the judgment of social norms, it might be worth shucking rules altogether. Wherever you are in the world, there are ways to go bra-less while still remaining discreet. Here are five ways to pull off the look with ease this summer:

Built-in bras
This is probably the most obvious option, considering that Victoria’s Secret offers a whole collection of tops with padded bra cups. Look for halter tops and tube tops or tube maxi dresses with thicker lining around the chest. They’re easy on-the-go choices for the beach or a bike ride to the park. Best part of all: You won’t have to fuss with an annoying strapless bra that keeps slipping down.

Double layers
By this, I mean dresses or spaghetti-strap tops that have an extra layer of fabric loosely flowing down over your chest. They’re usually made of lightweight material, such as silk, and are slightly ruffled. They serve as an extra guard against the elements – and the frozen section of the grocery store.

Thicker material with pockets or embellishments
Think a denim shirt: It’s not as thin as silk or jersey but, if it’s made of 100 percent cotton, is still soft to the touch yet more structured. A denim shirt with pockets, buttons, flaps and lapels will distract the eye from your chest. Plus the 90s are back, anyway.

Structured shapes
Tailored A-line dresses and peplum tops, for example, usually have extra lining in them and are sewn into patterns that can hold their own shape. Unlike gauzy tops, which hang from your shoulders, structured tops and dresses create their own mold and aren’t as tightly wrapped around your bosom.

If all else fails, and you’re just dying to wear that semi-transparent top, stick on a pair of these nude-colored bad boys. No one will ever notice the difference.

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