Did Women Really Go Bra-less in the 70s

I was reading a website and they made the mention that Bonnie Franklin (who played a liberated woman on One Day At A Time, used to go braless (is that how you spell it?) on the show.

I haven’t really seen the show, it hasn’t been rerun much so it’s before my time. Did she? I also read that the actresses that played Jan and Marcia Brady used to try to get away with not wearing bras and Sherwood Schwartz would walk up and pat them on the back to make sure they had them on.

Now the early 70s were before my time and I was wondering did woman really go without bras or was it kind of a symbolic thing. You know do it to make a point then forget about it. I am not really well endowed but I need the support so I can’t imagine bigger busted women going without them for long

I have 34DD and I go without a bra all the time. I’m not wearing one today, in fact.


How are YOU doing?

Back in college when I spent a summer on campus and it was the hottest summer on record for Iowa, I went braless quite a bit (these were pre-CoolMax days-the early 80s). I was a 34A in college. How I wish I still were. <sigh>

Sure, some did but it was as much a political statement, a sign of new found freedom and rebellion, as anything else and therefore it gave up quite a bit of its sensuality. You’ve got to remember part of its inherent drama was that it was in direct contrast to a generation raised on The Sound of Music and The Donna Reed Show. All of a sudden you had Janice Joplin, Altamont and Gloria Steinham. It was great to see, you realized it was part of a much bigger thing, but to be honest when I see a woman going braless today I probably have a greater respect for her reasons, privacy and find it much more alluring than what was thrust to the forefront back in the 70s.

Yes, women really did go braless. Not every woman, of course, but a fair percentage.

Of course, in the early 70s (at least according to women I knew) bras were pretty uncomfortable. Later in the decade new designs and fabrics gradually came in that were (again, I have this only as second-hand information) more comfortable for more different types of builds.

Heck, here’s a cite (pg. 188-9)

I have always failed to see what the big deal is, unless you’re wearing a white t-shirt or it’s exceptionally cold. I mean if you have HUGE boobs, yeah I guess I could see it, but I just think bras are uncomfortable. Kind of like I take my shoes off the minute I get home, usually the bra comes off too. Sometimes it never goes on, depending on what shirt I’m wearing. Is it considered some big deal thing to not wear a bra? How is it sensual? I don’t get it.

Yep, the late '60s and early '70s was a wonderful time for a young man to have gone to a liberal arts college with many, many emancipated, unrestrained and unencumbered young women. I have led a good life (sigh).

I remember Ann Landers advocating the “pencil test:” a woman would put a #2 pencil inder her breast, and if it dropped, she had Ann Landers’ permission to go braless.

She also scolded women by conjuring up images from National Geographic magazine, of native women with flaccid dugs juddering as they pounded corn with long pestles, a condition known as “Cooper’s Droop,” caused by insufficient support. Horrors, coeds! What frat boy would ever want to pin you then?

Dude, you missed the perfect opportunity to say:
Hi, Opal!

I was an adolescent during the early 70’s and yes indeed, a lot of women did go braless. Even many who could’ve used some support.

Oh, yes. And the scenery was wonderful.

70’s women were whores in general or so I have been told. I was a small child then but I remember copping a feel or two when some of the pretty ones picked me up to cuddle me believing that I was an innocent little thing. Those were definitely the good old days. Fashion supposedly comes in cycles and I would love to see this one undergo resurrection.

It was a little before my time (born in '73, so I definitely went through the 70s without a bra) but my husband, who is 18 years older than I, recalls seeing an aging Great Actress (he believes it was the fabulous Bette Davis) on Johnny Carson pooh-poohing all the hype about the braless 70s. She pointed out that in the 30s they went braless all the time, because of the way their clothes were designed.

Proof that no matter how liberated we think we are, Bette Davis did it first. Bless her.

I spent a lot of time braless in the 70’s and not as any political statement. I was a 32A back then and really didn’t need one, bras were ugly, and I wore halter tops a lot. And there wasn’t as much air conditioning back then. I did get reprimanded for going braless at work in 1980, though…I had a tube top on under a blouse…

Graduated high school in ‘76–didn’t own a bra at the time and didn’t bother buying one any time during the next 20-odd years, either. Still don’t wear them too often. I don’t have tig ol’ biddies, though, so it’s not like I’m poking people’s eyes out every time I walk down the freezer aisle. The thing I thought was REALLY funny, though, was that during the '70’s bras were being marketed that had fake nipples built into them so you could LOOK braless but still have the tit hammock security… I mean, really, what was the point? :stuck_out_tongue:

I read Barbara Leaming’s Bio of Bette Davis, she was talking about being liberated and Bette said basically she didn’t desire it, it was thrown upon her as being a tough liberated woman becaue no other women of her day wanted it. They all wanted sexy roles, not the ones Bette got.

Asked about the casting couch Bette said “yeah it existed,” then she was asked if she went that route, she said that there was a casting couch but “no one ever asked her to get on it.” Davis also revealed she was a virgin when she married for the first time.

But back on topic, I still feel uncomfortable without the support but I guess if you’re used to it you’re used to it. Then again I see guys with pants half way down on their ass and they obviously have no support and don’t mind :slight_smile:

The 60s and 70s will always be the good old days for me for a lot of reasons; young ladies w/o bras are certainly one of them.

Damn, damn, damn… for being born to late.

I got sent home from school in 1970 by the vice-principal Bertha Blau (what an appropriate name!). She was horrified that my 34Bs were unencumbered and dragged other teachers over to me in the hall, hissing “Look at her nipples! Look at her nipplesssss!” I went home and put on the rattiest vest I could find and dared her to send me home again. I was the president of the first all-school Student Union in our town and we had just successfully gotten the dress code overturned, so I had a personal stake in this fight. I’m pretty sure I was singled out because I had dared to go before the school board and fight for the right to wear the clothing she hated.