Case Study

Finding a Bra that fits:

The problem with traditional
bra shopping in america

At a Glance

FIT:MATCH interviewed over 50 women in the United States ages 18-60+ to gain insights on the bra fitting process and the issues it poses.

of women are wearing the wrong size bra

of women shop for bras with comfort over price in mind

over 40% of women spend on average 1-4 hours finding the correct bra size

59% of women spend at least $50 when bra shopping


We set out to discover the pain points of traditional bra shopping and bra fitting processes in hopes to better understand how technology can help consumers and brands. Knowing bras are one of the most hard-to-fit categories to solve, we asked participants to provide specific details on their bra shopping behaviors. What we found was problematic.

Traditional Methods

The current bra shopping process for customers consists of:

  • Visiting local stores in person or spending time online
  • Trying on bras with the help of a sales associate or at home when order arrives
  • Testing the fit based on personal preference and associate/brand expertise (who use various methods to recommend size and fit)
  • Purchase and/or return based on satisfaction.

Current Pain points

Through our analysis, we found a myriad of issues that arise from this process.

Problem 1: Time

Nearly 40% of participants stated they have not been fitted for a bra in 3+ years. Though women's bodies are constantly changing, from weight fluctuation, pregnancy, aging and other life events, they are not getting re-fitted for bras. See Figure 1.

Problem 2: Fit Method

Majority of participants shop in person with a store associate, using a traditional bra fitting method featuring a tape measure. Some prefer to take online bra fit surveys or shop in person on their own. See Figure 2.

Problem 3: Brand Inconsistency

Shoppers who participated in our survey purchased mainly from the following brands who all differ in size and fit. See Figure 3.

Problem 4 Priorities:

100% of participants said they value Fit as top factor when considering purchasing a bra. See Figure 4.

FIGURE 1: Time from Last Bra Fitting

FIGURE 2: Current Bra Fitting Method

FIGURE 3: Preferred Bra Brands

FIGURE 4: Purchase Priorities


The traditional bra fitting experience raises a number of issues that customers are forced to deal with.

The biggest issues include:

  • Fit
  • Comfort
  • Time
  • Money

The current process is antiquated. It's frustrating for consumers and detrimental to the brands' retail economics.

What is wrong with the bra shopping experience?

It's frustrating when a size isn’t “universal” in every brand.

It's a literal nightmare #freethenipple

I wish I didn’t have to go into a store every time I wanted to buy a new bra, I know my sizing changes sometimes and being able to find my perfect size online would be very helpful.

Sometimes I think it is uncomfortable if an employee is fitting you in public- it would be worth finding a technique where the consumer can figure out their accurate size on their own.

The Future

Through our analysis, we found a myriad of issues that arise from this process.

Nearly 60% of shoppers said that match technology based on body shape would help them most.

94.5% of shoppers said that if accessible to them, they would try technology to match them with their best-fitting bra.

61.8% of shoppers said they'd try the technology both in store and at home.

Fit Risk

It turns out that 46% of shoppers are less than satisfied in their current bra.

On a scale of 1-5, how comfortable are you in
your current bra size?

Shopping frustration

The majority of shoppers agreed that not knowing their actual size is the biggest pain point of bra shopping.

What is the most frustrating part of shopping for a bra?

Frequent Returns

Not only is making a bra return quite common for the shopper, but the brands absorb large amounts of financial loss.

How often do you return bras that you order online?