DIY Bra Face Mask

Step-by-step video here

Of the many unexpected impacts of quarantine and WFH life, one of them has been ditching the bra. An informal (read: Instagram) survey of our users revealed that 73% have been letting the ladies hang loose, and this seems to be a broader trend.

If you’re looking for something to do with those unused bras, we’ve got the ultimate quarantine craft project for you All you’ll need are a pair of scissors, a needle & thread (or two safety pins), and a bra. Behold:

Your 3-step guide to making your very own bra face mask

  1. Grab your bra. Check that the cup is big enough to cover both your nose and your mouth.
  2. Make three cuts:
    • Once along the inside of the cup, where the bra meets the center gore
    • Once along the outside of the cup, where the bra meets the band
    • Once where the strap meets the band. If you’re using a convertible-strap bra, you won’t need to make this last cup.
  3. At this point, you should be left with just your bra cup and a dangling strap. Now, sew (or pin) the loose end of the strap to the opposite apex of the cup. This will wrap around your head, resting above your ears.

And voila! In ten minutes, you’ve just made your very own bra face mask. You can use the other side to make a second mask, or use the extra strap to reinforce your own mask.

Please remember that this is not a medical-grade mask, just something to get you through social distancing responsibly.

Let us know how it goes in the comments!

For more bra how-to videos, subscribe to Missfits’ Youtube Channel.

How Do You Make a Bra Fit Recommendation?

Here’s a riddle: There are hundreds of thousands of bras in the world, and billions of breasts. How do you create a system wherein the bras can find their way to the breasts they were made to fit?

At Missfits, that’s exactly what we ponder day-to-day. And what we’ve found is that we need a lot more information than is currently out there–about bras and breasts–in order to solve this puzzle.

A Universal Bra Sizing System

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, bra sizes can be highly unstandardized, and generally fail to capture a great deal of complexity. As anyone with breasts knows, two bras of the same size are not guaranteed to fit the same way.

So, our first step has been to create a universal standard to measure and assess the fit of any bra. Each bra that enters our database is profiled according to twenty different measurements and attributes. Some examples include the wire shape, material, and cup width. These attributes provide the basis of a universal fit profiling system, which tells us in detail what makes one bra similar to, or different from, another.

Personalized Recommendations

Using this information, we generate a personalized bra recommendations. To do that, we rely on two primary pieces of information from you.

The first is your reference bra, or your “most comfortable everyday bra” (one of the questions in our Fit Quiz). When we ask for the brand, model, and size of this bra, we’re determining the measurements and features of the bra you like to wear.

If this bra fits you perfectly, we search in our database for bras with a similar profile, with the assumption that these bras will fit you similarly. If this bra doesn’t fit well, we adjust our search parameters to identify bras with more suitable measurements for you.

Here’s an example: your reference bra fits everywhere except for the center panel, which doesn’t rest flat on your chest. Usually, this is a symptom of cups that are too shallow. So, we’ll look for bras that have a deeper cup (and are similar everywhere else) compared to your reference bra. The result of these searches appear in your Fit Profile recommendations.

The second key piece of information we use to generate recommendations is your breast shape profile. Our Fit Quiz asks for the area of your breast roots, tissue distribution, and tissue density (based on age, hormones, and activity level).

We use this information to find others with similar breast profiles to you. Knowing which bras have fit them well, and the features of those bras, help us to predict with greater precision how a given bra will fit you.

The Takeaway: Data Quality & Quantity

And there you have it, our methodology for recommending bras!

Besides giving you a peek into the geeky aspect of our work, there’s a deeper message at play here: the richness of our recommendation depends on the quality and quantity of data that we get.

This can help explain why we ask so many questions on our quiz. The more information we have, the more confident we’ll be in the bras we find for you. If at any point the questions are confusing, please don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification.

Secondly, The more women who create Fit Profiles, the more accurate and more plentiful your recommendations will be. Not only will we have more bras to recommend for everyone, we’ll also be able to draw new correlations between breast shape and bra fit. So if you’d like to a little self-care for your breasts, tell a friend about Missfits today!

What is the Fit Quiz all about?

THE STORY

Missfits, the idea, has been in the making for almost two years now. In 2017 I was an aspiring lingerie designer, hoping to create bras that women loved to wear. Ironically, the moment I shared my dream with other women, the response I got was remarkably consistent: “I hate my bra.” There was no good reason for me to believe that producing more bras would resolve this issue, which led me to investigate further: Why was it that the first thing we put on nearly every morning, was so often a source of pain and discomfort? Why was it, given that lingerie sizes are so unstandardized, are they the only tool we have to search for bras? Was there a way to bring efficiency to this process?

Over the past several months, together with an amazing team of designers and engineers we’ve intensively studied what’s broken about bra shopping today, and brainstormed how we might reimagine the experience. Thus was born Version 1.0 of the Fit Profile, which you now have if you’ve completed the Fit Quiz . The Fit Profile is your personal key to identify the brands, models, and sizes of bras in the market that were made to fit you. It’s like a personal bra shopper, but you can update it any time to reflect the changes in your body.



THE MISSION

We’re working hard to populate your Fit Profile with real products so you know where to find the kinds of bras that we’re recommending you. That’s coming next month. But beyond bra shopping, there’s a deeper mission underlying the movement that we’re creating around the Missfits Fit Quiz and the #knowyourboobs campaign.

At the basis of this mission is empowerment through education, personalization, and confidence that comes with wearing clothes that actually support you. This can go in a lot of possible directions, but with a critical mass of women creating Fit Profiles, the following become possible:



WHAT’S NEXT

  1. We can tell brands what’s missing. There are big gaps in the market between the bra shapes and sizes that brands offer, and what women actually need throughout the different stages of our lives. The more women who have created Fit Profiles, the more clearly we can identify these needs, and the more justification we have for brands to create products that meet our needs, exactly as we are.
  2. We can deliver education and knowledge. By assigning correct vocabulary to describe and understand our breasts, we can speak about our bodies with greater confidence. Besides being a means of discovery to the bras that will fit, it’s also a tool for understanding your own body better.
  3. We can stop normalizing discomfort. Bra fit is as much as an art as it is a science, and we’d be lying if we said that we knew everything there is to know about it. But one thing is for sure: the more women who have completed the Fit Quiz, the more we know about which bras are fitting which breasts, and the better we’re able to draw new correlations between breast shape and bra fit.

So for those of you who’ve created a Fit Profile already, thank you for putting your trust in us–you’re already part of the solution. If you haven’t done so already, give us a shot and let us know what you think!

Americans pay more for bras than Europeans

Survey says: Americans pay more for bras than Europeans

In the early days of Missfits, we spoke with lots of women about what they love, hate, and don’t understand about their bras. Women from twenty-four countries told us what they thought. On our blog we share insights we’ve gained about bras and bra shopping through our market surveys, with the hope that you’ll find some of the results as interesting as we did.

“I want to buy bras the way French girls do.”

Such were the words of my sister during our first trip to Paris, as we gleefully marched through the doors of a lingerie boutique in Montmartre.

See, European lingerie holds a certain je-ne-sais-quoi for many Americans, who popularized the infamous t-shirt bra. So, when we looked at the regional bra spending patterns of our survey participants, some of the results surprised us. Today, we lay to rest the question: where do women pay the most for their bras?

*Note: The countries selected for comparison were the only ones where we received enough responses for the results to be statistically interesting.

1. American women spend nearly 30% more than Europeans on their everyday bras.

North American women reported €32 as the median spends on their “everyday” bra, while European respondents reported a significantly lower €25. This may be due to the relative heterogeneity of European lingerie market compared with that of the US, which is dominated by fewer brands with higher price-setting power.

2. Amongst European respondents, French women spend the most on their everyday bra. British women spend the least.

Within the European market, regional variation in bra spending is pronounced. In terms of purchasing “everyday” bras, French women reported the highest spending at €30 per bra, followed by women in Italy and the UK, who spend €25 and €22.6, respectively.

3. “Pricey” bras also cost more in the US, but not by much.

Variation in market supply can partially explain regional differences in how much women spend on an average bra, but these differences are less apparent when we compare the highest price that women have paid for a bra. When asked about the most they have ever spent on a single bra, Americans still edge out Europeans, reporting a median spend of €52, while Europeans spend €45, a difference of about 15%.

Taking into account both the highest and average bra spend figures, it seems that the market for higher-end bras is more homogenous across regions, while for low or mid-market bras, there is a significant difference in how much women are spending.

So there you have it, folks! If you’re looking for affordable everyday bras, the UK is probably your best bet. And while European lingerie has a reputation of being elegant, it doesn’t need to come with a huge price tag.

Any other markets you’d like us to tell you about? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a bra?

Why does my bra ride up in the back?

 

When correctly fitted, a bra band should rest squarely beneath your shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. So why are so many of us walking around with bra bands that look like they’re made to sprout wings, rather than support our breasts?

Problem: Your bra band is too large.

A bra band provides 80% of the support for your breasts. It needs to fit tightly around your chest in order to serve this function. When the band is too large, its support function is compromised. Your breasts, unsupported from the bottom, push down on the front edge of the cups and cause the back of the bra to rise. Many women try to compensate by shortening the straps to lift the breasts; however, this only exacerbates the problem, causing the bra band to rise higher, while the breasts are no better supported. The end result is that your breasts are in a lower position than they should be, while your band is in a higher position.

Solution: Reduce your band size, increase your cup size.

A tighter band offers more bottom-up support to your breasts, which is how a bra should work. By wearing one, you’ll avoid the problem of your breasts putting too much downward pressure on the front of the cup (which causes the band to rise), and meanwhile prevent the band from sliding around your torso.

Remember that when you go down a band size you should also go up a cup size, in order to make sure that the cups are the right volume for your breasts. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!

Got a problem with your bra? Write us at hello@missfits.co and we'll get back to you with our fit advice.

How many bra sizes are there?

Answer: it depends.

Bra sizes are confusing. If you’re not convinced, try finding another piece of clothing where a standard sizing chart looks like this:

A bra size usually has two components: a number and a letter. (These conventions may vary around the world, but the basic logic of how to derive this size is the same.) The number and the letter reflect, respectively, two pieces of information about the bra: the length of the band and the volume of the cup.

To find your bra size, bra fitters generally measure once around your underbust (the circumference of your torso where your breasts meet your chest), and once around your bust (your torso including the widest part of your breasts). The difference between these two measurements to tells you your cup size, like so:

Cup sizing methodology. Image courtesy of HerCampus.com.

This sizing methodology has many imperfections, which we’ll get to later in this series. But even assuming that bra fit was simply a matter of finding your size, the fact is that the range of possible sizes is very large. Below you can see a (partial) list of bra sizes, which totals more than 200 combinations between band and cup.

Available bra sizes, according to UK sizing. Image courtesy of Ample Bosom.

Why so many sizes? Well, to be clear: the size range isn’t always this varied for all brands and countries. Italian brands for instance, generally offer six band sizes from which to choose (0-5), while UK brands offer up to seventeen (26-58).

This discrepancy in sizing array is meaningful if we analogize with shoes: imagine trying to buy shoes from a brand that only offered you S, M, and L options. The greater the range of sizes available to you in a brand or store, the more precisely you can find something that is both functional and comfortable. A bra has weight-bearing, shape-forming, and supportive functions. Therefore, a small variation in measurements from one woman to another can make a big difference in comfort and utility.

The problem is that it’s virtually impossible for a lingerie brand to produce and stock so many different sizes. Most household lingerie brands limit their production to a limited range of sizes that are statistically common, while excluding huge swathes of the female population.

If you happen to fall outside this range (and clearly a lot of us do), you’ve likely been ‘dealt with’ in one of two ways: 1) Being told that your size is not available, or 2) being incorrectly fitted into one of the available sizes. Both of these experiences are frustrating and unsatisfying. If there is any truth to the statistic that 80% of women wear the wrong bra size, brands are partially responsible.

All of this is to say: if you have trouble finding a bra in-store, first try shopping with a multi-brand retailer, ideally online, where the selection of sizes is larger and therefore more customizable than you would find with a single brand. Some good places to start: FigLeaves and HerRoom.

Finally, there’s a lot more that goes into bra fit that the size can’t tell us. By knowing the width, position, density, and shape of your own breasts, you’ll be much better equipped to look for the features in a bra that best correspond to your unique morphology and preferences. If that sounds intimidating, fear not. We’re here to break down all of that for you, so check back soon for more tips.