If you’re anything like me, your Instagram feed is clogged with intimate ads from what feels like a new company each day that is trying to claim a piece of the 11 billion dollar intimate industry pie (according to Transparency Market Research).
For years, it was really just Victoria’s Secret and department stores. Now, there’s Adore me, Lively, ThirdLove, True & Co., and HarperWilde just to name a few.
These are mostly online-based companies which means you can’t actually try the undergarments on…which leaves me wondering: Can these companies lure in new buyers with only claims like, “the most comfortable bra you’ll ever own” and “a better fitting bra- no measuring required”?
Curious, I decided to see for myself. I purchased comparable bras from two of the biggest new online intimate retailers: ThirdLove and Lively.
Here’s my official review.
ThirdLove (yes, technically it’s all one word)
I chose ThirdLove because they were the brand that I kept seeing the most often. I can’t even imagine how much money they have spent on everything from ads to free bras for Instagram influencers. So, I decided to drink the Kool-aid and see if the products really lived up to the hype.
The claim: “Insanely comfortable bras, designed to fit perfectly”. They cater to all different sizes and shapes.
What I bought: I took the fit quiz and was recommended the 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra. I was looking for a classic t-shirt bra, so they pretty much nailed that.
Shipping: I paid $4.99 for shipping. I received a shipping confirmation the same day I ordered and received the package a few days later.
Pros: This is probably the only bra that’s actually really fit- thanks to the half sizing. In most B cups, there’s just a little bit of room. This little pocket of air isn’t visible with most bras, but you can feel it if you push down on the cup of the bra. Now granted, no one is actually poking my bra and would know or care, but it’s worth noting. The ThirdLove bra is the first bra I’ve worn that’s literally flush with my skin. Another huge plus is that this bra comes in 9 different skin tone colors as opposed to Lively’s 3 (two of which I will argue could actually be skin tones).
Cons: This bra wasn’t cheap. I think it’s reasonably priced for a well-fitting everyday bra, but it still seems expensive when compared to companies like Lively.
Meh: The straps aren’t flat, so I have to be careful about wearing tight-fitting clothing or the little ridges will show through. I’ve never had a problem with straps falling down, so I can’t really say ThirdLove is any better or worse than other bra brands. I’m also not sure I would call it the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn. It is comfortable for an underwire bra, but I’m not exactly forgetting its presence.
Total Cost: The bra was $68. After the $4.99 shipping, the total was $72.
ThirdLove was the obvious first choice of brand to compare (because of all the advertising dollars they spend) but the second choice was harder. There were several other companies I could have chosen like True&Co. or Adore Me. In the end, I chose Lively because True&Co’s staple bra is so fugly I can’t even and Lively was more popular than Adore Me (thus probably more helpful to you).
Shipping: Unlike ThirdLove, shipping was free, but the order also took about a week to arrive. It was the perfect Catch 22 for a millennial addicted to Amazon Prime and free two-day shipping: should I pay more and have it ship sooner or pay nothing and have it ship later?
Pros: I didn’t think that ThirdLove was priced badly until I realized that I could buy two Lively bras for less than one ThirdLove bra. Also- I’m the type of person that likes pretty underwear, even if I’m the only one that’s going to see it. With that said, I really appreciated the subtle pretty details on the Lively bras. I also liked that it was everything I needed and nothing more (but wasn’t totally hideous).
Cons: You remember that little gap I mentioned in the ThirdLove review? It totally exists with the Lively bras because I went up to a B instead of going down to an A. If I decide to buy another bra, I may see what the difference is between an A and B cup fit. This gap doesn’t bother me (note: the top of the bra isn’t gaping- hence why you can’t see it unless you touch it) but I am listing it as a con. Also- Lively offers fewer skin tone colors than ThirdLove. The bra I bought only came in almond (aka general pale white person), grey (hopefully no one’s skin tone), and jet black (few people are actually solid black).
Total Cost: Two bras came at a discount of $27.50 apiece. Because I didn’t pay to ship, my total was a flat $55 for both bras. Looking back now, I also think I had a $10 off coupon as the price is usually 2 bras for $60.
The Final Result?
I would recommend ThirdLove if you have a hard-to-fit size or are looking for any skin color past average white girl and Lively if you need a great bra at a good price. Overall, I think Lively wins (for me!) because it offers a greater selection of bras, is reasonably priced, and is equally comfortable to its competitors. These factors, for me, outweigh a little longer shipping time and a slight gap in the cup fit. I’m glad I bought both brands, however, and I get good use out of all the bras I purchased!
Then there’s the honorable mention that I didn’t even expect: the second Lively bra I bought. It was the All Day Deep V No Underwire situation and you want to talk about comfortable…oh mah geees. Now that is a bra I could wear every day. It has just the right amount of structure, support, and lack of wire that is the perfect mix between comfort and professionalism.
Have you tried ThirdLove or Lively? Share your opinions below!
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