Can An Online Quiz Deliver The Perfect Bra? These Instagram-Famous Companies Think So

By Anna Orso
The Philadelphia Inquirer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Cora Harrington runs an intimate-apparel blog. She says start-up lingerie companies are emerging at a time when they can market to a generation of consumers used to online shopping, buyers who might not bat an eye at being fitted via online quiz.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Once Instagram and Facebook determine you’re a woman who might wear a bra from time to time, it’s all over for your timeline.

While men on social media are routinely treated to ads for sleek suits and financial products, many women see a whole lot of breasts.

The common ad experience is something like: bras, yoga pants, bras, swimsuits, bras.

Scroll through your feed, and you’ll find a new company promising to solve undergarment-related problems you likely didn’t know you had.

Knixwear advertises its 8-in-1 (!) “evolution bra.” LIVELY (all-caps, for some reason) says there’s “finally” a bralette for me! And there’s Stickee Bra, the company that claims, however dubiously, that bras with underwires might cause cancer.

Some of these companies have detailed fit guides on their websites, while others, like ThirdLove and True&Co., offer the perfect-fitting bra for an average of $45 to $70 after customers take a quiz and give up their breast-related data.

Traditionalists say this process could never deliver on these promises because it’s lacking face-to-face interaction with a trained professional. But these online companies swear by virtual bra fittings, a process that millions of women have embraced, and that some say could eat into sales at brick-and-mortar stores.

“We’re a pretty substantial player,” said ThirdLove cofounder Heidi Zak, “known as the brand to take down Victoria’s Secret.”

Meanwhile, the lingerie giant’s in-store sales are slipping, and some analysts say confidence in its market domination is decreasing.

Some blame the rise of e-commerce and the fall of shopping malls. Others say Victoria’s Secret has failed to adapt to changing attitudes about size inclusivity and body image, giving up ground to Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie offshoot that doesn’t digitally alter its ads.

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