01/27/2012 07:09 pm ET

Bras: To Wear Or Not To Wear?

They lift us up. They bring us down. They were famously (but not really) burnt in protest -- and have often fanned the flames of controversy since. They can be humble or require insurance.

According to Redbook, the average woman owns 9 bras. But what about women who don't wear them?

Our friends over at The Hairpin have raised an oft-debated question: When (if ever) can you go without a bra? A reader asked if it was "just an under-30" thing, citing the birth of two children and subsequent changes in breast shape as a reason for sticking to supporting undergarments. But is there really an age or size requirement for leaving your bra at home?

We were reminded of HuffPost Deputy Blog Editor Hallie Seegal's "brassiere epiphany" this Summer: She could go without and no one noticed (at least not until she told the whole Internet about it!

Sure, my boobs had a bit more point to them than before, but that's how they're made to look, right? Other than that, nothing terrible happened. No chafing, no slips, no perverted stares directed downwards. In fact, when I confided in my friends that I was bra-free, they admitted they couldn't tell. I suddenly thought, what if I could be this free all the time?... Since then, it's just been me and my small boobs, hanging out together. And I'm happy.

While going braless isn't for everyone, The Hairpin's Jane Marie suggests a few legitimate reasons to let it all hang out: "to create a certain silhouette, because straps would ruin the look, because you're trying to get laid, etc."

If you ever go braless, why? What do you like about living, er, unbound? Tweet @HuffPostWomen with hashtag #brafree, and we'll feature our favorite responses in a slideshow on the site!