7 years ago by

The other day, Chris picked up some kind of weird, slightly slimy, flesh-colored thing off the floor. He held it between his fingers and showed it to me with a worried look on his face:

“What’s that?”

I admit, for two seconds, I wasn’t sure either. Then suddenly I realized what it was and put on my most chill face possible to answer: “Those? Oh, nothing, they’re my nipple covers!” I grabbed them out of his hands, and was reassured when he said: “Oh, well okay!”

Yeah, being a woman is full of weird moments like that.

And in the summer, nipples are actually kind of a whole thing, especially if you’re like me and you love to wear white. I think there are three schools of thought on this, and I believe it often depends on how much cleavage the wearer has to go around. There are:

x The girls who don’t wear a bra or nipple covers or anything at all, actually, and it doesn’t bother them if you can see the color of their areola, if their nipples are pointing out, or if a boob escapes when a breeze comes along: “Oops, sorry, that was my boob!”

A freedom (and sensuality) that I envy, of course.

x The girls who plaster over the problem with a t-shirt bra – a bra made specially to go under white t-shirts, so they’re kind of ugly, flesh-colored and padded, which not only adds volume but also prevents any untimely pointage. You end up with plastic instead of breasts, but at least you don’t have to worry.

x And finally there are those who go the middle route (me) by wearing a sheer bra (my favorite is from Wolford, it’s so good)(but again, not the bra you leave lying around in the bathroom hoping to be sexy) it looks super natural, doesn’t add a huge layer, and leaves your nipple relatively free (free the nipple!!!) – too free actually. Which explains why yes, Chris, sometimes I need a nipple cover. There you have it.

Because if I’m at a business meeting and the AC is on a little too high and I feel my nipples starting to point, it really distracts me. So I have no problem admitting to everyone I wear nipple covers (well, admitting to you guys – I haven’t exactly broached the subject in business meetings).

It brought up a lot of questions for me about being a woman and wanting to absolutely control anything that might show too much femininity, and it almost makes me want to scream when I think about all the things that have been invented to control our bodies so nothing sweats and nothing goes outside the lines, to make us look like dolls.

Whether it’s Spanx (I’ve got tons of them, just like any woman who has to wear dresses and have her photo taken from time to time) to keep our stomachs in and lift our butts, weirdly shaped bras (like those things you stick to the sides of your boobs)(I don’t have any, but sometimes I think I might like them) that make everyone think our breasts are naturally pushed together, shoes with dizzyingly tall heels (to make people think we have legs), deodorants that keep you from sweating (to make people think we’re robots) and botox (to make people think absolutely nothing upsets us EVER).

And after that, of course, there’s the next level – everything Kim Kardashian does to look photoshopped before she’s even photoshopped, like using pounds of tape to stick her breasts in place under her dresses (and then she shows it on Instagram, how can you not love her just for that, seriously!?) taking fat from her stomach to put on her butt (who came up with that fantastic idea!), using tape hidden under her hair to keep her eyebrows up, contouring her face, and I don’t even know, I don’t follow all the Kardashian news, but every time I venture into that world, I learn tons about the art of being an Instagram woman (perfect woman, perfect life, perfect friends, eternal duck face).

All those somewhat embarrassing things we do as women that we prefer not to share with the rest of the world.

It makes me mad for two minutes, and then I think of Jon Hamm.

Jon Hamm decided not to wear underwear one day and has been called “the ham” ever since. I have no idea if it bothers him or if he thinks it’s funny, so I hope he won’t be mad at me for mentioning it, since I was thinking of inviting him on my podcast. Hmmm, I’m probably shooting myself in the foot.

Or not.


And it makes me think of all men and their thing that’s pretty much impossible to hide.

Have you ever seen the half-relaxed half-worried face of a man who is about to get a massage? No? Well make sure to pay attention next time.

Men don’t talk about it as much as we do, but they too have uncontrollable things to control.

Yeah, so when I think of that, bam! (Hamm! Haha)

I stop complaining.

So can you give me my nipple covers back, babe?

I’ll let you borrow them whenever you want.

Translated by Andrea Perdue


Add yours
  • Stéphanie June, 7 2016, 9:24 / Reply

    Bonjour Garance,

    Encore un post qui m’a fait tellement rire ! On se retrouve tellement dans tes écrits…

    Et je profite de mon commentaire pour te remercier pour toutes ces jolies photos où l’on te voit avec tes Repetto blanches … Je m’explique : à force de les trouver super jolies sur toi et si simple à porter, je suis allée en essayer et alors là, mince de mince, que c’est bon de marcher avec ces petites merveilles … et donc j’ai craqué en blanc puis 15 jours plus tard en colombe … du coup, difficile de mettre autre chose tellement je suis bien dedans et tellement elles vont avec tout, tout, tout !!
    Merci Garance !

  • where can one one buy these nipple hiding devices? :P

  • Stéphanie June, 7 2016, 9:30 / Reply

    ah, j’allais oublié aussi …. ton cabas TRUSS de l’autre jour !

    Une sublime découverte encore ! En allant voir le site…. Aîe ils sont si beaux comment ne pas craquer ???!!!!
    Vite fermer ce site TRUSS avec toutes ces merveilles ou passer les voir en vrai chez Collette avec le risque réel de repartir avec ….
    Là encore Merci Garance pour tes looks sympas et inspirant !

  • therealblonde June, 7 2016, 9:31 / Reply

    I’m #teamfreethenipple – but with small breasts, it’s probably easier to get away with wearing flimsy bralets or simply no bra at all. I will never ever wear T-shirt bras, they are too ugly and much too warm in the summer! And I’m fine with my breast size, I don’t want them to look bigger. I don’t worry about my nipples – maybe I would be more conscious of them being ‘problematic’ in the US (where they are more prudish than in Europe – did you ever wear them in France, Garance?). So my nips go commando!

    PS the link doesn’t show the Gossard bra unfortunately, and I’m curious, because I also like no-fuss bras.

  • Natalie June, 7 2016, 9:58

    Hi there! Thanks for your comment. I’ve updated the link to go directly to the bra, which is actually from Wolford. You can also find it here. Hope this helps! x Natalie

  • i’ve seen plenty of bras that are not sheer but are also not “ugly, flesh-colored and padded”or result in “plastic instead of breasts” – in fact i own some. i do wish there was less of a double standard about seeing men’s vs women’s nipples in public, plus for some reason it seems like men’s clothing is less sheer/thin/cheap than women’s clothing (i know you can look for quality, thicker material but just in general, at the same price point) – why is that?

    interesting & funny point about men about to get a massage – i’ve never noticed but can definitely imagine it!

  • Agreed, Grace! I own multiple bras that don’t make my boobs look like plastic, just rather, padded. I have larger breasts that often I would rather not call attention to (even if I do not agree with the double standard). I feel most comfortable this way due to living in a relatively conservative area. Sheer bras for going out, but not (yet) in an air conditioned office. I also buy men’s clothes and get them tailored for that reason- especially men’s vintage! Fashion and gender conformity overlap often in public consciousness. I hope one day those standards don’t exist.

  • I have always thought about one weird contradiction:
    you can be on the beach in a bikini but not in underwear. Although they both give the same coverage of your body…
    It’s just that they look different. Funny, right?
    Not that I’d want to go to the beach in my underwear but still… It’s all in our head… :))

  • Et puis il y avait l’epoque “Friends” ou c’etait la fete du téton… sauf que les actrices utilisaient … des faux tétons ! ahahaha on marche vraiment sur la tête des fois dans ce monde un peu fou :)

  • I believe it’s more a question of where are you going..if it’s the office i don’t think it will be respectful to arrive with a sexy lingerie ..but more sheer bra….if it’s a business meeting i will queep the same one…but if it’s an evening out
    i wouldn’t mind being more sexy….and even i should…this is playing with our femininity..
    Yael Guetta

  • Caroline June, 7 2016, 12:01 / Reply

    Je suis bien trop française pour accepter le cache-téton et les affreux soutifs “padded” (qui soutiennent très mal la poitrine, en plus du reste). Donc, un soutien-gorge couleur chair l’été, parce que je ne peux pas m’en passer, mais joli et chic. J’envie les filles qui peuvent se la jouer totale liberté, ceci dit.

  • This is hilarious. With the Cannes Film Festival just over, there are always tons of retrospectives on how fabulous and chic the stars used to be. And I bet they didn’t tape their breasts or wear Spanx, though I think bras were pretty heavy duty back then. The pressure for perfection is getting a little insane.

  • Au contraire…the original movie stars and the original beauty queens were the source of all this madness! I worked on The Miss America Pageant at least 25 years ago – Pre-Spanx! Can you imagine?! – and it was full of the most fascinating machinations imaginable. From vaseline on their teeth to strategically placed medical tape and boning – all these beautiful girls had LOTS of outside interference.

    My mother had all sorts of girdles and she schooled us in the art of wearing “shield.” Do any of you remember them? You used to have to sew them into your sweaters?!

    All these things have been around as long as there has been fashion and the $$ to dedicate to it.

  • Well that is great!! and where can we find those nipple covers, i have never heard of them! sounds useful!!! i had the same problem so i ended up in the the category two which i don t really enjoy. Of course i can handle more than the accidental look of men on my nipples because of the AC as you have said and me begging to disappear, changing colors wishing to say that this was not planned they just decided to show up!!. So i will look for it thank you!!

  • It’s so funny the subject of visible nipples and breast shape. It has so much to do with the type of body that is in fashion. If you look at fashion history, you’ll find moments when visible nipple was in vogue (particularly the 1970s) and of course moments when women reshaped their breasts into conical shapes, rounded shapes, pushed up right under the collar bone, etc. via foundation garments. Right now a natural breast shape is fashionable, but for the most part, not the nipple. Look through lingerie catalogs — wait why doesn’t she have nipples under that sheer bra? Or go to any number of athleisure stores, and you’ll find the sports bras have light padding to prevent visible nipple.

  • Nathalie June, 7 2016, 1:52 / Reply

    The subject of visible nipples has so much to do with culture (and a big taboo in North-America) and the time we are living in (as you pointed out, we are living in a more and more perfection-obsessed society which, yet again, is much stronger in the States and Canada compared to Europe). I am French and live in North America so French lace bras are still my first choice but what’s a girl to do in a cold meeting room? Hide under notebook, cross arms in a strategic position or bring a scarf or cardigan just in case. And voilà!

  • I too must wear a jacket at work, so this problem doesnt come up. Off duty so to speak, my bra takes care of the problem.

  • Sunny Side June, 7 2016, 1:52 / Reply

    Tout ceci me semble aberrant, je ne savais même pas que çà existait. Quelle hypocrisie alors que toutes ces américaines passent leur temps à se balader presque à poil sur les tapis rouges. Ridicule ! Laissez les tétons vivre leur vie !

  • Tétons qui pointent = féminité trop prononcée. Ce qui est bête là dedans c’est qu’on oublie que les mecs aussi ont les tétons qui pointent… Pourquoi c’est hyper sexuel chez les femmes mais pas chez les hommes ? (N’empêche, bien-sûr, selon les circonstances je suis pas non plus à l’aise avec mes tétons qui pointent sous mon soutif voilé / d’autres fois j’apprécie que ca me fasse me sentir super sexy ;) )

  • Ana @Champagnegirlsabouttown June, 7 2016, 3:19 / Reply

    I would loved to be flat chested- I would abandon the bras all together. The nipple thing doesn’t bother me at all then again I work in a few hundred years old building without AC (It’s England after all) and I have to wear jacket in all business meetings so that’s sorted :)

  • I’m personally very distracted if I know my nipples are visible so I just prefer not to show the nipples haha.

  • Je trouve cette horreur envers la vue des tétons complément folle! Enfin c’est pas comme si on était à poil en c’est juste une FORME qu’on devine. Quand je vois les commentaires outragés sous les posts Instagram de certaines filles qui ont le malheur d’avoir les tétons visibles, même si il faut vraiment y regarder de très très très près, je me dis qu’il y a un truc pas sain. Enfin voilà encore une autre façon de contrôler et censurer le corps de la femme. Soyez fortes mesdames et résistez!

  • Brigitte June, 8 2016, 6:33

    Bravo, Diane! My thoughts exactly!

  • Aurelie June, 7 2016, 5:18 / Reply

    Et le cache téton en pleine canicule qui se détache, glisse et reste coincé dans la ceinture de la sublime robe dos nus que l’on avait mis pour un mariage on en parle? Mdr

  • oh la la cet article est vraiment très drôle j’adore bravo


  • Natacha June, 7 2016, 6:57 / Reply

    Pff je trouve que tu te poses bien des Problèmes pour pas grand chose …. Des seins qui pointent en pleine réunion? Et alors ! C’est la nature, ce n’est pas un drame … Ils s en remettront tes compagnons de réunion ne t’inquiète pas … Ils ont du voir pire dans leur vie. Je te trouve bien américaine sur ce coup la… Oh my gaaaaaad

  • Ce post me rappelle le scandale “nipplegate” de Janet Jackson il y a une dizaine d’annees pendant le super bowl.
    Je me souviens avoir ete stupefaite de l’amplitude de cet evenement plutot insignifiant………

  • Courtney June, 7 2016, 10:02 / Reply

    Um, you lost me at Jon Hamm. Please have him on your podcast and also ask him about the ham.


    Oh right, I prefer the t-shirt bra in all of its matronly glory.

  • Definitely a fan of the nipple cover. They’re perfect for all those sheerer, off the shoulder tops the summer mail brought in. On the other hand, I’m self conscious about them falling off … which just happened to me at the beach the other day… >.<
    Arielle from Casual ‘n Couture

  • Il y a déjà plus d’une an de cela, j’ai légèrement changé mes soutien-gorges pour des bralettes. Depuis cette décision, ma vie à changé. Tout d’abord, j’adore mes seins. JE LES ADORE!!! J’aime les voir respirer. Je les ai trop tenu dans un soutien-gorge, qui les serraient les pauvres. Je porte des bralettes au quotidien. Ils sont d’un confort absolut et sexy. Cependant, mes seins pointent mais ça ne me dérange pas trop sincèrement. Je suis assez à l’aise avec la situation mais je m’arrange pour porter un soutien-gorge édéquat lorsque vient le temps bien sûr. Je suis d’accord que nous les femmes ou simplement l’humain en général, on contrôle beaucoup trop de chose qui sont naturels chez l’Homme. C’est drôle quand même! Certe, je ne suis pas contre les déodos parce que c’est agréable pour tous. Belle article.

  • I love this post! I’ve decided not to hide my nipples because it gets really complicated to dress when you start thinking about other people, wondering what kind of look men will give you, how scandalous women will think you are… but I love white so much I went for this sheer adjustable bra:
    It’s a nice bra for the summer, even when you have a generous breast.

  • En tant que mec, je peux te dire qu’OH OUIIIIII, nous avons aussi des choses à cacher ! Et parfois, cela peut être très très compliqué. Cela confirme encore que les hommes sont des femmes comme les autres… ;)

  • As always great post!

  • shopgirl June, 8 2016, 6:22 / Reply

    I think that such a stupid thing could only be issued in puritanical America …. in Europe it has never been a problem to see or to show through a pair of nipples, …so what.

  • Effectivement, j’ai l’impression que les mecs ont aussi ce genre de problème de gêne pour dissimuler….sauf les….TOREROS! On dirait qu’ils sont fiers d’avoir ce costume ultra moulé où “tout” est à gauche ou à droite :-)

  • What an amazing thought – going totally braless! I’d be about this if I weren’t so heavy chested. It’s so sexy to let your nipples be visible if they stay in the right places. But when you’ve got a fuller chest, hard nipples are the least of your worries… it’s the wandering ones that you’re nervous about.

  • I didn’t even know these things existed. I wish I STILL didn’t know…….:)

  • Ah OK, je ne savais même pas que ça existait…
    Catégorie 1 pour moi, donc… faut dire que j’ai une petite poitrine qui me convient très bien, donc même sans soutif (genre robe au décolleté trop complexe), je n’ai pas trop d’inquiétude (et tant pis si ça tombe un peu depuis que j’ai allaité).
    Non, mais parce que, au moment clé, comment tu fais pour enlever ces trucs de façon un peu sexy???

  • Valérie June, 8 2016, 10:24 / Reply

    Cacher ses tétons. Cacher son soutien-gorge. Cacher la graisse de ses fesses. Cacher ci, cacher ça… Je me demande pourquoi et pour qui on se donne tant de mal finalement! :)

  • Estelle June, 8 2016, 4:55 / Reply

    Cache tes tétons!protège tes slips! Épile toi ! Camoufle ton gras! Resserre tes pores! Deodorise toi!
    Finalement on en revient toujours à la même chose : la femme est trop sexuelle, trop sale, trop Odorante et trop visible.

  • Daniele June, 9 2016, 1:54 / Reply

    Non mais je ne savais pas que ca existait dans la vie de tous les jours ces ” cache tétons” ç est vraiment américain ! Le monde occidental est devenu bien puritain ?!!
    On cache les seins mais on affiche une liberté sexuelle ?
    Et pourquoi pas cacher les jambes , le ventre les épaules des femmes au même titre que les bouts des seins ?
    Ca M inquiète .. Dans les années 70 on ne portait pas de soutien gorge et on enlevait le haut du bikini ..

  • Free the nipple for sure! I spent most of my life trying to make my breasts look bigger than they actually are. My bras all had padding (and more padding) and elaborate push-up architecture to create the illusion that I was a large-breasted, nippleless goddess. But then I turned 35 and discovered a local lingerie store with a wide selection of beautiful, minimalist bralets. It took me a while to get used to my “new” shape — nipples and all — but now it feels liberating. As for the nipples, I think it’s sexy. Remember that Sex and the City episode where the ladies try on nipple inserts to enhance their nipple size (the opposite of the nipple cover)? And at work, I just stick to heavier fabrics, dark materials, or a jacket. No problem.

  • I feel like I need to come to the defense of t-shirt bras! When you have size Gs, bras have actual engineering functions. Thin fabrics and materials just don’t make the cut. And forget about lace if it hits you the wrong way or if you bloat at all during the day. Without a t-shirt bra, or even with, you’re probably going to have to wear a tank top or camisole to hide your nipples (and your cleavage) at work. Ugly bras is pretty much an “it is what it is” situation for everyone I know who is larger than a D. Unfortunately, I haven’t worn a cute bra in over 10 years! You get used to the comfort and support of your ugly bras pretty quickly. Believe me.

  • I was a G when nursing and I swore I would never complain about D’s again if they’d just go back down!!! has a pretty large size selection and you can search based on size so you don’t fall in love with something that won’t ever fit. Bathing suits too.

  • Ainhoa June, 9 2016, 2:38 / Reply

    :))…j’ignorais que ça existait ..tu es entrainée si un jour tu fais le cabaret :)))) !

  • Alors les cache tétons c’est l’inverse des faux tétons que Samantha arbore dans sex&the city si je comprends bien ;-) moi j’adore quand ils pointent, je trouve ça trop sexy mais c’est vrai qu’en rendez-vous pro, faut peut-être éviter mais après tout on n’y peut rien !

  • Je suis féministe donc forcément #freethenipple . Marre d’avoir un tabou sur mes tétons. Une poitrine c’est comme celle d’un homme (ok la mienne est beaucoup plus volumineuse) avec en bonus l’option de nourrir son petit !
    Nan Mé Oh !



  • Raphie June, 10 2016, 6:02 / Reply

    N importe quoi
    Rentre en France tout de suite, tu perds ton cote sexy fancais
    Cacher les tetons…. Pffff
    Le corps ET l esprit libre
    Ou le corps cache et faux, et l esprit pareil, hypocrite et puritain beurk

  • Anonymous2 June, 10 2016, 8:32 / Reply

    This topic reminds me of a delightful conversation I heard on BBC5’s flagship movie review show. Bear with me. Simon Mayo, the host, is interviewing Angelina Jolie about a movie, let’s say, Tomb Raider. Here is the conversation as I recall it:

    Simon Mayo: Now, there was a bit of a to do about the Tomb Raider poster. You were photoshopped to.. ahem..well, how do I put this delicately? Well, I’ll just take out the word. They photoshopped out a part of your *female anatomy* and gave you a smooth breast to which you objected.

    Angelina: I will put the word back in. Yes, they photoshopped my nipples off of the poster and I asked them to undo that.

    Simon: Well, perhaps they thought it was not child friendly?

    Angelina: Nipples are the most child friendly! (laughs)

    Simon: Well, you’re right about that.

    And that is the gist. I loved how clueless Simon was about nipples, completely forgetting their biological function and aggrandizing them to the level of offense, as though AJ might faint if he uttered the word in front of her. I loved how Angelina was so kind in her incredulity, and how right she was.

  • Née aux Antilles et à l’aise avec mon corps, j’aime la liberte d’un sein, même devenu imparfait après trois maternités. Be free…

  • I’m also totally comfortable and supported by bras with some light padding. I’m a 34C. A breathable one I found for summer is Simone Perele Caressence 3D Spacer Plunge T-Shirt Bra

  • Hannah June, 16 2016, 5:40 / Reply

    I live in scandinavia, and me and my friends go braless all the time. It it lovely and very sexy. I feel like a little nipple is so much more sexy than clevage. But at work I would not go braless in a white top, because I feel like it would take to much attention.

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