ThirdLove Starts Up a Bravolution

ThirdLove balconet bra

ThirdLove balconet bra

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I’m a big follower of the fashion and tech start-up industry. So when ThirdLove, a San Francisco-based lingerie start-up, contacted me about writing a sponsored post, I had to say yes. They have been ones to watch on the e-commerce scene. It was barely two years ago that ThirdLove was nabbing a cool $5.6 million in seed money.

It’s not a social shopping experience, so it’s actually the perfect category to bring online.

Along with Brayola and True&Co, ThirdLove co-founders Dave Spector and Heidi Zak were early disrupters in the lingerie category. Moving bra sales combined with personal fitting services online makes sense. Zak explained to TechCrunch, in an article published at the time of their funding, “It’s not a social shopping experience, so it’s actually the perfect category to bring online.”

The Fit is the Feature

Before ordering from ThirdLove, I recommend downloading their sizing app to guarantee the right fit. This innovative mobile app walks you through how to take two photos of yourself wearing a bra and fitted tank top. The app uses an algorithm to identify your size based on the photos and matches you to the perfect size. It should be no surprise how ThirdLove married fashion and science – their app development lead is also a senior scientist at NASA. (The app is available on iPhone only, but an Android version is in the making.)

As other women can attest, sometimes “your girls” aren’t a true cup size – enter ThirdLove’s signature half cup sizes. And no matter your size, they’ve got you covered from the AAA to DDDD. ThirdLove also provides a Breast Shape Dictionary to help you define the shape of your breasts. For example, one being bigger than the other means “They’re Sisters, Not Twins.” Get it?! Their style chart will point you in the right direction based on shape as well.

According to Zak, women change bra sizes an average of six times in their lifetime.

While the shape of our breasts might stay the same over our lifetime, our bra size does not. According to Zak, women change bra sizes an average of six times in their lifetime. This rings true when you consider puberty, pregnancy, menopause and lifetime weight fluctuations. It also means we should be measuring ourselves with each bra purchase.

Photo by ThirdLove

Photo by ThirdLove

Let’s Talk About the Pretty

ThirdLove lingerie offers European-inspired lingerie in a small but solid selection of colours and styles. I chose the balconet bra in stormy lilac. It’s so pretty! Made with nylon, rayon and Spandex, the seams and fabric are both soft and comfortable. Their selection of panties, while a bit more basic in design, is quite broad.

Whatever interest they stand to lose on their selection, they’ll more than make up for in price and service. A perfect-fitting bra will only run you $45 to $70, while panties range $11 to $35 and – don’t forget – it’s a perfect fit with no changing room.

That’s something to love.

Can Celebrity Mugs Mask Poor Quality?

I confess, I don’t care about celebrity style. Outside of the major red carpet moments, I generally don’t care what a celebrity is wearing. But I do believe in tastemakers. I listen to restaurant recommendations from my friends who frequently dine out for work and pleasure, for example. Same goes for that girl in yoga with the great nails. Where does she get that killer mani? I need to know.

But tell me what jean shorts Kristen Stewart wore last week? YAWN. So when the celebrity styled BeachMint invited me to test drive a few of their lines now available in Canada, I agreed to set aside my lack of enthusiasm over the celebrity quotient and just think about the fashion.

The BeachMint properties are free to sign up. Each month the sites offer an item based on your personal style. You can choose to buy that month or skip it. According to the site, subscribers pay $30 for pieces that the company says would normally retail for a multiple of that price. 

Anyone who knows me knows my love of accessories. (I live by the line from Steel Magnolias, “the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”) BeachMint’s first vertical, JewelMint, features curated jewelry from celebrity duo actress Kate Bosworth and her stylist Cher Coulter. My ring, below, was actually five separate rings, or stackables, that could be combined in whatever combination of color I was feeling that day. Unfortunately the woven metal came with harsh edges around the beads and after continually catching it on my clothes – and worse, my skin – I tossed it. 

Jewelmint’s stackable rings didn’t last long

Next up was ShoeMint by celebrity Rachel Bilson, Nicole Chavez, and Steve Madden. The two-toned sandals were cute, but I couldn’t ignore the visible wear on the (brand new!) straps where they had been buckled prior to meeting me. Their cuteness was quickly downgraded to a cheap, “made in China” vibe. I was torn. Truthfully you can’t see the damage if I’m wearing them. And while they may be from China, they are still cute. And since I have no other cute brown sandals…well, now you see how fashion decisions are often made.

My Shoemint shoes

Finally I checked out my StyleMint t-shirt, endorsed by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. Definitely cute, definitely comfy — frankly it’s hard to go wrong with a t-shirt. And they don’t. But how many t-shirts with budget-friendly prices does a girl need? Wisely, StyleMint now goes beyond basic tees to offer some ready-to-wear items, cashmere options and even sunglasses. It has inspired another celebrity-backed t-shirt start up. The LA-based, from a couple of whiz-bang tech entrepreneurs and Jennifer Lopez launched earlier this month. 

Still not sold on the celebrity factor, I do see the appeal of having an item curated for you each month for your taking – or not. Since announcing they ship to Canada, BeachMint has added HomeMint and IntiMint to keep your home style feeling fresh. Let’s hope their quality lives up to the names on the business.

Mary Kate & Ashley. Or Ashley & Mary Kate. Who knows?