Bra shopping has never been an easy task in India. Before we had online shopping and the big retail giants selling lingerie, we had to go to these smaller shops, where there would definitely be a man behind the counter. It was quite an embarrassing experience, although our mothers and aunts never seemed bothered by it. They were probably used to it, saying ‘Bhaiya, Size 36B mein dikha do’ (‘Show us some bras in the size 36B’).

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If you’re a fan of Aditi Mittal, you’d know what we’re talking about. She did a very accurate summation of what it’s like to shop for bras in India.

However, to get a more holistic look at what bra shopping looks like now, we spoke to a few women in Bangalore and Pune who gave us their experiences about wearing bras and also whether India will ever be ready to go braless.

Anamica Jain, from Bangalore, tells us that her shopping experience hasn’t been too bad, “The options have increased quite a bit. The problem is that the variety that they are offering is not the kind most women are looking at. Oh, and the sizes – the ones you like are not available in your size and the ones you don’t want, there are plenty” Murphy’s law, eh?

This has happened to the best of us. Especially women who need smaller sizes or very large sizes. Somehow, bras seem to cater only to ‘normal’ sizes. Your breasts need to be just the right size. Very small or very big breasts aren’t acknowledged.

Aswira Siraj, a resident of Bangalore comments, “Bra shopping is fine in India, as long as you fall into the norm. If you are bigger than normal or disproportionate, it can get very uncomfortable.”

Now, you also have the choice of buying lingerie online. Of course, it might take you a couple of tries, but once you know your size, you can lock down on certain styles online and keep ordering those. However, there is no standard size in India – different brands have different sizes and this makes it quite difficult to shop online for something that needs to be quite the right size. Reshma Upadhyay, from Pune tells us, “Today a woman can walk into a lingerie store alone and actually shop for whatever style or colour or patterned bra she likes. Previously it wasn’t so. Of course, there’s always the option of ordering online, but then again trying it out in the store and then buying is always more convenient.”

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Doesn’t matter how convenient bra shopping gets – for most women, wearing a bra is inconvenient. It is definitely ingrained into women in India that we HAVE to wear bras when we go out of the house, but many women around the world are choosing to go braless. When we asked women in India whether India will go braless soon, they all had one reaction and that was, “No. It would just give men more of an opportunity to look. As if we’re not stared at enough!”

Pic credits: Best Health Magazine Canada

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