Yeah, the clothes at Fashion Week were pretty and all, but let's talk about what the models weren't wearing this year: bras. From Marc Jacobs to Derek Lam, countless top designers sent their models down the catwalk with free and unfettered breasts.

In theory, this sounds like a totally embraceable trend -- what girl hasn't dreamed of wearing halters, tube tops and backless blouses, and never looking back (or forward)? In reality, however, going braless -- whether you're packing mosquito bites or a pair of double-Ds -- is easier said than done.

Who hasn't left her Vicky S boulder-holder at home, only to feel a sudden breeze work its Viagra-like powers over her nipples? And while having your nips in salute mode may be considered flirtatious in some corners, I prefer to leave my headlights off, thank you very much.

With that in mind, and with a closet full of bra-prohibitive tops on standby, I embarked on a survey of breast-containing techniques to determine how best to keep my 34B boobs and their buttons under wraps.

Click here to find out how Erin's experiment went.

First comes the control test: going commando. I may be a bra-burning hippie around the house, but out in the real world? Gulp. I throw on a black silk Only Hearts cami and head to my local convenience store to stock up on the essentials (read: Red Bull). My initial uneasiness starts to fade as I wander the aisles ... that is, until I clutch my purchases to my chest and feel the frosty shock of a straight-out-of-the-cooler Red Bull on my boob. Yeeeeeeeeow!

The only thing worse than this icy clamp is having to put the cans down on the counter and expose my at-attention nipples to the cashier. He looks at me, then keeps his eyes averted for the rest of the transaction. I sulk out with arms protectively crossed over my chest, where they remain for the rest of the day.

Low Beams

I'm admittedly dubious when I unwrap the Low Beams to find a pair of asterisk-shaped nipple-sticker shields (brought to us by Her Look, the fine folks behind Cleavage Cupcakes and Commandos). But when I peel off the backing strip and gently affix them to my breasts, I'm pleasantly surprised. The nude semi-sheer material blends right in with my skin tone (although women with darker complexions won't have that luxury), and I can't see any telltale outlines beneath my low-cut dress.

They feel lightweight and barely there, but the "ouch-less" center provides a nice, cushiony protective barrier over the nipple. I even put them to the Red Bull test, and my girls stay at half-mast. I'm sold. Just be careful when you're taking them off, as the sticker forms a strong grip on the skin and can be a little tricky to pull off.


What girl hasn't resorted to Band-Aids or pieces of tape to hide those nipples in a pinch? I tape the poor woman's Low Beams onto each breast, giving me a distinct censored-by-the-FCC look.

Since the outline of the bandages shows through half the tops in my closet, I settle for a chocolate-brown halter that drapes in the front. The coverage is adequate but not great, and I yearn for the support of a bra. Another issue is that, like many gals (right?), my breasts aren't perfectly symmetrical, and the Band-Aids' resemblance to those elevating bars that Mario and Luigi must leap onto only emphasizes this fact.

When I finally, slooooooowly take the suckers off at night, I'm relieved that the pain is minimal. On the down side, I now have a black sticky residue on my boobs. Wonderful.

Erin Donnelly regularly writes about fashion for Lemondrop

Tell us: Do you ever leave the house without a bra? Any tips on the best way to contain your breasts?