Interview: BraBar founder Wendy Herman talks educating young women on bra shopping

When Wendy Herman founded BraBar, her goal was to help educate young women on how to properly fit themselves for a bra - a resource not often readily accessible. Recognizing the importance of girls finding the right size Herman, a veteran intimates designer, decided to fill the gap in the market when it comes to teen girls purchasing intimate wear for the first time.

Following its recent launch, BraBar products, which includes bralette offered in a wide range of sizes, are now available through Amazon and BraBar’s online shop. Catering expressly to developing young women, the pieces have been crafted to fit both petite and fuller busted girls. The company also offers EZ-Fit, a tool for customers to measure themselves at home in order to learn what size they should purchase.

FashionUnited had the chance to discuss the inspiration behind the brand with Herman and discuss how her work is calling attention to a largely neglected portion of the intimates industry.

Would you say that you that your brand is helping to educate young women about bra shopping in ways that were not readily accessible to them previously?

BraBar’s mission is to educate the girls of Generation Z on fit and the importance of wearing the right size bra because Comfort is the foundation of confidence. We’ve heard the statistic that eight out of ten women are wearing the wrong bra size. Miseducation starts in our teens, and we hope to break the cycle. We believe that every girl should know how to find her bra size. Our EZ-fit method teaches young women to find the correct band measurement: essential to a proper fit. Women today do not know how to measure themselves, and that is why they are wearing the wrong size bras.

We are teaching girls what the band size means, and encouraging them to shop by band size FIRST. Her bra band should feel snug like a hug to support the weight of the bust. We instruct girls in how to measure and hope that she feels empowered to get it right. We want to instill that knowing your band size is crucial to a good fit.

Genetically full busted girls need a level of service not otherwise available. Bra options aimed at teens often offer little in the way of support. Today many teens are wearing bands that are too big and cups that are too small. That is what is readily available, and they remain unaware.

Many products available are designed for women and do not fit teens properly. Bras designed for women do not have a teen aesthetic. Highschool, & College-age girls do not have women's bodies; teenage bodies can be narrower around in circumference with breasts set closer together. Small bands with larger cup sizes are not readily available in terms of style or fit for teens.

Girls can also develop fuller breasts and increase cup sizes while maintaining the same band size/torso measurement. Knowing your band size is essential to a good fit, and we are teaching young women to find the correct band measurement. We are servicing bands 28, 30, 32, 34, and also catering to the petite circumference of some full-busted high school and college-aged teens. The cup on the BraBar bralette will grow with her as she grows.

What do the numbers and letters mean?

The numbers - like 28, 30, 32, 34, represent the band size – that's the part of the bra that goes around your torso. When you measure your torso as 30 inches around; that means the band size is 30 inches. Letters such as A,B,C,D represent the number of inches of bust projection.

What does it mean to be part of the commendable movement that’s taking place in fashion right now in which brands are now catering to a wide range of bodies?

I want to help girls grow up feeling good in their bodies & knowing what they are capable of. This is about the bigger picture: showing her how to take control and care of her body, and changing the conversation. It’s not only about her physical self; it’s about the essence of who she and how she feels about herself at this critical time in her life. There is a very direct impact that physical development has on self-confidence. Feeling comfortable in her skin, with herself, her body and her mind.

A girl in Seventh grade will walk straight into Victoria’s Secret Pink and pick up a 32AA when her torso is 28 inches around; and then in school, she raises her hands in class, and the bra band rides right up over her breasts. It gets exponentially worse from there as at this very critical point in their development; they’re bombarded with this overly sexualized messaging.

We see the girls start to hunch over, and stop making eye contact. They stop playing sports, & they compare their bodies and their bra sizes to their sisters, cousins, and friends. There is a very strong connection between intimate apparel & how girls and women feel about themselves. I felt like I had a rare lens on this issue.

Our goal is to give girls the tools in their tool-boxes to be their best selves. We want girls to grow up impressing the world with what they have to offer.

I understand the creation of the brand was inspired by your personal experiences… how do you hope young women will be able to feel more confident in their bodies as they mature with the help of the brand?

I have a teenage daughter (17), and I spent my career in intimates. I see the challenges personally and professionally. BraBar was born of a desire to educate teenage girls about fit and the importance of wearing the right size bra; because comfort really is the foundation of confidence.

I noticed a hole in the market for teens needing bralettes with support; inspired by teenage girls wearing structured bras underneath trendy unsupportive bralettes. Many bralettes in the market aren’t supportive enough especially for full busts.

Wearing BraBar is as if a Bralette and a Sportsbra had a baby.BraBar HUG bralettes were specifically designed for petite and full busted teens who need smaller bands, larger cups sizes or more support. I had my daughter and her A-D cup friend’s wear-test the prototypes at sleepaway camp before we launched. BRABAR bralettes are easy to wear and supportive for the larger cup sizes C, D, DD, DDD.

Photos courtesy of BraBar