Every day, we see women walking around with obvious bra issues. From straps digging into skin, spillage on the sides, and even nipple exposure from too small cups, bra problems seem endless. What’s even worse is that 53% of women have never, ever been fit for a bra. They’ve never even gone through the process—any process—to see what size they are. Many women just take advice from their mom, sister, aunt, or friends, and just buy what they want to buy.
The reason behind the laissez-faire bra mentality with women could come from several sources. But one of the most mentioned annoyances with finding the best bra is the actual process of getting fitted itself. Jockey is now changing the name of the bra game with its new fitting invention.
After giving the fitting demo a try, I can safely say that the bra-fitting process was quick, easy and efficient. But what does this mean for women and our continuous struggle to find the right bra? Sybil Cassara, expert and director of bra marketing for Jockey, took time out to speak on the eight-year development of the “new age bra.”
EBONY: Why do you think so many women skip the bra-fitting experience?
Sybil Cassara: We honestly aren’t sure why that is. It’s weird, because you would never buy shoes that way. Everybody has been fit for shoes. So the idea to not get fit for a bra is kind of interesting to me.
EBONY: That’s a very interesting comparison. We would never willingly just walk around in shoes that are too small.
SC: Right. Throughout your life, you are trying on shoes for different stages of life, and you change and adjust and continue to check your shoe size. But no one does that with bras. So that’s why we’re very excited about this new process.
EBONY: I worked at a lingerie store before. I used to try to do the bra fittings with our customers and I feel like I never got it right. But this was pretty easy.
SC: And that’s what we found. It’s actually not a hard process once you separate the volume of the breast tissue and the measurement of the under bust. Measure your under bust measurement, measure the volume of your breast tissue, and you’re good to go. Put that combination together and that’s the bra for you.
EBONY: Did Jockey actually feel a need for a new bra fitting method? Were there a lot of women complaining about the lack of bra support?
SC: We did. Jockey is a company that really prides itself on bringing innovation and newness and answers to the human need for comfort. As a company, we looked at what we were doing. We know we have a stronghold in men’s underwear, women’s underwear and undergarments. But we felt like we weren’t addressing bras, which is a huge issue for women out there. We really tried to figure out how to address this for women. We took the time—eight years with lots of money, lots of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears to really bring something new to the market.
EBONY: Eight years in the making, that’s really intense.
SC: It was well worth the effort. And I think it’s about time. I don’t really think a lot of women understand how having the right bra size effects how they look in their clothes. When we went through the whole process, we talked to consumers, we did tons of interviews, lots of research, and we said, “What do you need?” And they responded: “We need a basic bra that we can put on that helps us looked shaped in our clothes.” That’s what we delivered.
EBONY: What about the future of this bra? I know they’re basic in color and structure, but are you thinking about different colors and styles?
SC: When we launched it, we really kept it to the five styles that women continually asked for and continually want in their closet. So it’s really about the five silhouettes we have out there. And the colors are limited so that we are really able to offer the best bra and best styles. It’s funny, we asked a ton of women when we did our interviews, “What colors do you want?” They all just want to buy black, white or nude. We will look at expanding different styles, eventually.
EBONY: Why do you think that women walked around for so long with the wrong bra size, sometimes knowingly?
SC: I think there’s a wide range of reasons. I believe it’s a lot of just not knowing and not understanding how different stages of their life might make them need a different size or a different shape. We took 800 women and we scanned them. We said, “Okay, let’s put all you women together.” And we found 10 cups that will comfortably fit 80% of women out there. I think it’s just giving them that awareness, the ability, the ease-to-use option. And it’s risk-free and simple, whether you’re online or in our stores. We’re giving her the education on how to do it. We’ve done the research, we’ve done the work. Now here’s the education on how to get your best bra.
EBONY: Can they get this only at the Jockey store or online as well?
SC: Right now we’re nationwide in the US. At the end of the year, we will have 103 premium outlet locations. Right now we have 99. There’s a lot of education online: how-to videos and customer service. We’ve really covered it to where she’s able to get the bra quickly and easily.
EBONY: After you did your testing, did you feel like once they saw how good they looked in the new bra, they felt more confident?
SC: First, you might be aware but it’s worth reiterating: Jockey is an independently owned company by a woman, so the bras were designed by women for women. We asked women what they wanted. We wanted to make sure what she wanted, what she was looking for and what she needed in a bra. We went to women all around the country and brought them into the store. They tried the bras on, and they were thrilled with the results. Once they tried on the new bras, they were standing taller and more confident.
EBONY: The smallest things that we don’t even think about can really change how you feel about yourself.
SC: You know, we say it all the time at Jockey: “What’s underneath counts.” We don’t want you to even think about your bra or underwear when you’re moving around. We want you to just go about your day. We don’t want it to be a hassle. Women deal with so much between life, family, friends and careers. We don’t want you to have to worry about your underwear. We want to provide an easy-to-use product that you feel great in and you can go about your day.