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How This DTC Brand Helps Women Find Their Best-Fitting Bra

A deluge of direct-to-consumer brands has descended upon the retail marketplace, and personalization appears to be their super power. Now there’s a new name to know beyond ThirdLove, Lively and Harper Wilde.

For newly launched lingerie startup Nudea (meaning “new goddess”), the key to a woman’s heart is a perfectly fitted bra. The size-inclusive brand, which boasts bras in 27 sizes, is tackling an issue that the majority of women face: not knowing their true size, or how their bra should fit.

The off-the-shelf options of yesteryear haven’t been cutting it, the brand said, and there’s a lot more to finding the perfect fit than simply measuring band and cup size. Through machine learning and an update to the good, old-fashioned physical measuring tape, Nudea believes it’s found the sweet spot.

Upon visiting the site, shoppers are asked to enter Nudea’s online fitting room, where they’re queried about breast size and shape, their current day-to-day bra, and the issues they’re experiencing with fit. From there, Nudea recommends both products and a wearer’s “sister size”—a secondary size option that the brand believes could provide an optimal fit.

“As customers, we have it ingrained in our brains that 80 percent of us are wearing the wrong size bra,” Priya Downes, CEO and co-founder of Nudea, explained. “Whilst we found that to be true through our own studies, any bra expert will tell you that fit is more important than size.”

For that reason, Downes recommends that all first-time visitors take advantage of the brand’s fitting room—even if they think they know their size. “Not only does it help get your size recommendations, but the intelligent algorithms also help power personalized product recommendations that best suit your breast and body shape,” she said.

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The company spent hours working with an in-house bra fitting expert who has measured thousands of women. Downes said that Nudea has tried to bring “the best of her brain” to its algorithms.

Alternately, the brand offers its own proprietary measuring tape, “for those who prefer to size-up the old-fashioned way.” Colored zones on the tape tell a wearer her bra size as she measures, eliminating the need for complicated conversions.

While the tape was primarily designed to support the company’s fit experts at physical events like fit parties and pop-up fitting rooms, Downes and partner Sophie Morgenthaler loved the idea of empowering women to measure themselves at home. Shoppers can order the tape for free on Nudea.com.

“It’s a great way to spread the message about our brand, and ultimately, the general importance of getting fitted regularly,” Downes said, adding that she hopes shoppers will pass along the tape to friends and family.

Nudea’s unique offerings don’t stop at its fit system, though. Morgenthaler, the brand’s co-founder and creative director, has aimed to marry high-performance fabrics with lightweight hardware and bonding techniques for a smooth, comfortable finish that’s virtually invisible under clothing.

“As part of Nudea’s on-going process of research and development to source the best quality and performance materials, the next production run will see raw materials and componentry across two lines switched to recycled sources—including recycled underwires and foam inserts,” Morgenthaler said.

The brand sources its bras and underwear from third-party audited factories in Sri Lanka, which employ mostly women across cutting and sewing. Nudea chose to base its factory operations in the country, the second largest manufacturing region for intimates, because of its reputation for clean manufacturing. According to the brand, its factories prioritize water waste management and the use of recycled raw materials.

“We are lucky to be able to take advantage of this and bring these manufacturing techniques into our everyday processes—incrementally adopting the best of industry norms as we scale,” Downes said.

The company launched its website on Monday with four bra styles including bralettes and full-coverage t-shirt bras, ranging from 42-47 pounds ($51.68-$57.83).