Adding 24 new sizes in one style last year wasn’t enough for digitally native intimates brand ThirdLove, which just expanded its size range in five style options.
The brand on Wednesday began offering 78 bra sizes with bands ranging from 30 inches to 48 inches, and cups beginning with AA through I. The five styles include its Classic T-Shirt, Cotton T-Shirt, Everyday Lace T-Shirt, Lace Back T-Shirt and Lace Balconette.
The new size range coincides with a new advertising campaign featuring 78 real women from various backgrounds and ages showing the breadth of the size offerings. The latest campaign is the brand’s update of its “To Each Her Own” movement that began in September to showcase real women wearing the brand’s bras.
In an interview with Sourcing Journal, Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-chief executive officer, said the company selected the styles most popular among its consumer base for the extended size range. Most traditional competitors offer just 25 to 26 size options, although start-ups in the sector tend to be focused on inclusivity in their offerings.
“Going forward, any style that we are launching, we will make sure it can [include] the range from AA to K,” Zak said. “There are certain times when we may not be able to initially offer the whole size range. We have over 70 sizes per style, with five new styles in February, three additional styles in March and another handful, about two or three in the fall-holiday season. By the end of the year, we will have a total of 10 to 12 new styles.”
Because there’s no underwire foam cup manufacturing in the U.S., the bras are produced in China. Currently, Zak said, it appears the bra category is not part of any potential increase in tariffs set for March 1—should those increases actually take effect.
That would be a big help for the company, which is keeping prices for all of its bras, regardless of size, at $68.
According to Zak, the company uses real women at its home office to test the bras instead of fit models, with samples overnighted to its San Francisco office. More important is how the design team is able to use the same fabrication for the larger size bra offerings.
“Most brands do change the fabrics or material input. We have done that. There is a functional design difference for some styles. For the wing of a T-Shirt bra, we use two layers of microfiber. Once we get over the G cup, we add a triple layer of microfiber. That gives the same wing feeling of the product just by using the three layers,” Zak said.
Thinking through the design for larger sizes also means using a larger frame for the bra and larger cups, the most expensive element of the bra. While the input costs are more, the company has decided to keep price tag the same as for is smaller size range. “There is no tax on being a different size,” Zak said.
The company sources its material mostly in China and Asia, with some of its specialty laces from other countries. As it scales production on the larger size options, it can offset some of the costs by leveraging materials and other production elements across its supply chain.
The company also offers underwear using a comfort stretch fabrication from extra small through large, and recently added 1X through 3X.