When’s the last time you bought a bra? Bra shopping ranks right up there with bathing suit shopping in terms of potentially unpleasant experiences. But ThirdLove, the woman-led brand dedicated to inclusivity, is working to change that. In honor of their latest launch — their bras are now available in 70 sizes — we talked with three women about all things bras, breasts and bodies. Here’s what they had to say…
“It’s really hard to find a cute bra — that doesn’t feel industrial — that can support my boobs,” says Traci. “It’s humiliating to go into fancy bra stores, like when you want to get something special for Valentine’s Day, and the salespeople are like, ‘we don’t have anything close to your size.’ Or worse, they have to go down to the basement and look through all the stock to see if they have anything.”
Traci wears the 24/7 Perfect Coverage bra, which is now available in 24 new sizes — in bands up to 48 and cups up to H. It also comes in a variety of colors, including five nude shades, to complement an array of skin tones. “This bra fits well and is really soft,” says Traci. “I also like that the cups aren’t overly padded. You get support without feeling like you’re wearing a weapon of mass construction.”
“When I first started developing, I was in real denial about it. I would wear these big sweatshirts to cover up, and eventually my mom was like, ‘come on,'” Traci remembers. “She took me bra shopping in a department store, where the saleswoman pulled up my arms and measured me in front of everyone. I think they make an effort to be impersonal to keep it professional, but they get all up in your business. The world could use some kindler, gentler boob measurers.”
To that end, ThirdLove’s online shopping experience uses FitFinder, which uses proprietary algorithms to help every woman find her perfect fit in under 60 seconds. Did you know the average woman’s bra size will change six times over the course of her life? (When’s the last time you checked?)
Lauren, on the other hand, asked for a bra in fourth grade. “I definitely didn’t need one, but my mom let me get one of those mini sports bras from The Limited Too, which was all the rage,” she laughs. “To me, it seemed like a whole new aspect of fashion to explore, and a rite of passage to put it on every day.”
Here, she wears the 24/7 Classic Contour Plunge bra. “When it comes to bras, I’ve come to embrace a less-is-more mentality, with a small rotation of quality pieces. This bra is really comfortable. I like the removable inserts and the mesh overlay. It also looks smooth under clothes, which is important.”
“I’m a first-year med student. When you see so many bodies — especially when they’re so natural and vulnerable — you learn that there is a lot of variety and that no one is perfect. You learn to appreciate your body and your health.”
“During the day, I work in finance, and on the weekends, I love to skateboard,” says Nadine. “I appreciate a bra that I can wear all day, whether it’s under a full business suit or with a T-shirt.”
“A good bra makes you feel ready to face the day,” she says. “When the fit is right, you feel more confident. Some mornings when I put on a bra and look in the mirror, I’m like, ‘Okay, the girls are working today. I can do this.’”
Nadine wears the 24/7 Classic Strapless bra, with removable straps, and the super soft pima cotton robe. “I had sworn off strapless bras forever because they’re so uncomfortable. But this one fits so well, and I actually forgot I had it on!”
With this launch, ThirdLove is leading the industry in inclusive size options. “Our mission is to empower all women to feel comfortable and confident every day, in every outfit,” says ThirdLove’s co-founder and co-CEO, Heidi Zak. “Our ultimate goal is to offer a bra for every body.” And we’re so grateful for that.
What have your bra shopping experiences been like? Have you tried ThirdLove?
(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. Thanks to our friends Traci Todd, Lauren Palette and Nadine Santa Brigida for modeling. This post is sponsored by ThirdLove, a company whose mission and products we love. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Cup of Jo running.)