Jun 132012

Mary Phelps Jacob revolutionized the undergarment world in 1913 when she combined two silk handkerchiefs and some string to create the first “modern” brassiere. Since then, countless designers, manufacturers, and retailers have claimed to revolutionize Ms. Jacob’s invention. From synthetic fabrics and underwires to retail hanging racks and personal fittings, the bra experience is still evolving and is still a long way from perfect. Today, a handful of new tech-savvy lingerie startups aim to take your bra experience one step closer to perfection.

Wacoal Official Site! Free Ship Over $70

I reviewed Adore Me when they first opened, but here’s the (updated) short version: Click on the picture of your favorite of three bras. Click on your favorite style of three celebrities. Click on your preferred style of bottoms. Pick your sizes and you get a new “personalized” showroom of $39.95 lingerie each month. The fine print: You will be charged monthly, unless you proactively log in and choose to skip the month. Also, Adore Me is not a designer or manufacturer; they rename products from Affinitas, Jezebel and other brands so you may not necessarily know what to expect as far as product quality.

Probably just as important as size, is shape.

True & Co gets a little more intimate when selecting your intimates. They don’t care which Gossip Girl character with whom you think you most identify. They only want to know about your boobs, which — when you think about it — is all that should matter when bra shopping. The first thing they want to know about is shape. Are they round? Are they wide-set? Now, pay close attention to the second question: “What is the size of your best fitting bra?”. This question is very precisely worded. They’re not asking what your favorite bra is. They don’t care if you like the green one with sparkles. They want to know if it fits. Narrow it down further by brand and size, answer ten simple, straight-forward questions and they take you to a bra showroom. You pick three bras and they pick two bras. They’ll send you all five and you keep and pay $45 each for only the ones you want. By the way, based on my completely random man-answers (manswers?), they suggested that I may be wearing the wrong size!

Not to be confused with the crayon maker

Finally, we come to Brayola. Not a store, but a database of over 300 brands including 32AABra favorites like Honeydew and Aerie. Brayola wants to know what’s in your top drawer. Tell them you have a DKNY: Signature Lace in 32B and a Bestform Invisibra Touch of Lace in 28AA and they will scour their database to try and find you the perfect bra – or pretty damn close. What I found most fascinating about this site is that they don’t sell you anything directly. Instead, they link you to BareNecessities or H&M or Victoria’s Secret or whoever.

Thanks to e-commerce, the tedious and sometimes embarrassing process of bra shopping has gotten easier. And with product reviews on sites like Amazon on HerRoom, women have the opportunity to research a little before buying. These newest lingerie e-tailers, though, aim to make it even simpler by just giving you what you want.

Tell us what some of your favorite sites are and what online lingerie shopping experiences have you had. Has the web made bra shopping easier for you? Have you discovered new brands or styles?

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