(Filed Under wholesale Activewear News). A sports bra that fits better? The new Sportee from Shapeez bases its claim for superiority on its new “Active Shaping Design” that, according to the company’s David Berner, “consists 4 key qualities: 1) Shapeez own unique fitting system that founder Staci Berner created when she launched her bra and shape wear company, 2) real under-wire bra, 3) all way stretch fabric moves with you while providing superior support, and 4) full coverage tank style breathable mesh back.”
This year, coming up with a better way to fit a bra has been getting a huge amount of publicity, with one major brand introducing its a completely new sizing system, several prominent web retailers introducing new measuring systems, and virtually everyone else explaining how their team has a better way getting consumers into bras that fit.
“Shapeez was founded as a small online company, and we realized immediately that we could not survive if we could not keep our returns at a minimum,” emphasized David Berner. “And we did not understand how the established companies out there were doing sizing, because it resulted in too many bras that did not fit. It did not make sense. So in 2005, we invented our own sizing system.”
Instead of traditional band and cup sizes, the Shapeez “Unbelievabra” system relies on two somewhat different measurements, “Body Size” and “Cross Cup” measurements. The results are unique “Shapeez sizes” like “XS-D” or “Small-AA” or “1X-DD” rather than traditional sizes like 34B or 40D. In all, there are 42 unique sizes, for body measurements ranging from 30” to 46” inches.
“Most bra companies after C graduate in one inch increments” in their sizing, continued Berner. “Shapeez does it in 1/2 inch increments for a much better fit. That’s another key differentiator. That’s why we have so many SKU’s.”
Using its new sizing system, Shapeez enjoyed “a surprisingly low number of returns” from the start, said Berner. “Because our system simply works better.”
Soon after its start as an online, direct to consumer provider, Shapeez began receiving order requests from retailers. That business has expanded dramatically in the past eight years. Today wholesale is by far the largest component of the business, and the firm supplies hundreds of intimate apparel and full service retailers in the U.S. and abroad.
“With a sports bra, the need for a correctly fitting bra is amplified, because the wearer is constantly moving,” explained Staci Berner, discussing the new Sportee sports bra. “That’s why our sizing system — along with the full back and bra support that is incorporated into all of our bras — enables us to provide a better sports bra.”
The Shapeez measuring system for all its bras begins with the “Upper Chest” measurement. The description on the company website explains, “Measure around your upper chest (under your armpits and above your breasts) going around your body. Make sure that the tape is not twisted, and keep the tape measure as level as possible going around your back. This measurement is your Body Size and is the first measurement you will enter when ordering. If you find that you are somewhere between two sizes, then you should choose the smaller size.”
The second measurement that is incorporated into the Shapeez system is the “Cross Cup.” The company advises customers to “Wear your best fitting, unpadded under-wire bra. Measure one breast, beginning at the breast bone, and starting from the outer edge of the under wire, across the fullest part of the breast (across the nipple area), to the outer edge of the under wire on the other side near the underarm. This measurement is your Cup Size. Note: If you measure in a minimizer, add one inch to the measurement, and if one breast in larger than the other, use the larger size.”
Shapeez maintains that its unique sizing system is necessary “Because the Unbelievabra has no bands or closures, the old fashioned way of bra measuring may not give you your precise Unbelievabra size. With the measuring guidelines above, you will be sure you are ordering the size that will fit you best in the body and the bra cup. Don’t be surprised if you measure larger or smaller than you thought you were. We want you in the correct size so you look and feel your best in your Unbelievabra.”
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