Jun. 12, 2018
“You don’t carry my size.” As the founder of a bra company, there are few things more painful than hearing a customer say those words. I founded ThirdLove five years ago, and from day one my goal has been to create bras that that help women feel confident and comfortable. The knowledge that any woman has been left out makes me feel like I’ve failed.
That’s why ThirdLove is launching 24 new bra sizes this week. We’ve been working on this initiative for over a year, and we have more than 1.3 million women on the waitlist for these bras.
The extent of our waitlist shouldn’t come as a surprise: At least 67% of American women wear a size 14 or higher, and the average American woman is a 34E (34DD). Our more inclusive sizes enable more women to find their perfect fit. And when you consider that a woman’s bra size can change six times in her life, having more sizes available helps women enjoy the same bras they know and love as their bodies change throughout their lives.
In launching our new sizes, we’ve also made a decision to not call them plus size. In fact, we aren’t calling them anything except “sizes”—just like any other size. There’s a lot of debate around the term “plus size” with interesting points on both sides. Some feel it’s an unnecessary or stigmatizing label; others think it’s a helpful classification and that the stigma is societal rather than inherent in the words themselves.
We thought long and hard about our new sizes and what—if anything—to call them. To come to an answer, as with many of the decisions we make at ThirdLove, we asked our customers what they wanted. The resounding answer was that they did not want the plus size label. Our customers want to consider their bra size as just their bra size, not something different or separate.
Our decision to opt out of the term “plus size” isn’t an effort to place a value judgment about the label; rather, it’s to enable women to choose how they want to define themselves. We believe your size is your size. It’s up to you how you want to represent that to the world.
You’ll find our new sizes in the same place as all the other sizes—no separate section or different shopping experience. Each of our new size bras were designed using real women’s bodies instead of the fit models who are the industry standard. And while our new sizes cost 45% more to produce, they’ll be the same price as the 24/7™ Perfect Coverage Bra in any other size. The aesthetic, look and feel of these new bras are exactly the same as ThirdLove’s other offerings.
I’ve always seen ThirdLove’s role as one that serves women. And for us to truly do that, we need to give women choices. I started the company because I couldn’t find a bra that fit me properly, and I was tired of having bad options. We invented half cup sizes, and with this latest addition, we now carry 70 bra sizes in total, far beyond the industry average of 30 sizes.
Whatever her shape or size, I want every woman to see herself reflected on ThirdLove’s website, and feel welcomed by our offerings. Our new sizes are just the beginning, but my goal will always be to ask any woman what she thinks of ThirdLove and hear “You carry my size!”