Shopping for Bras Doesn’t Have to Be a Nightmare

The topic of bras is complicated. How are they supposed to fit? What fabrics are best? How do they look under all types of fabrics and colors? We turned to Sarah Ribble, the Assistant Bra Designer for Aerie, to gain insights on bras and also hear about how she stepped out in confidence to model for a recent Aerie underwear campaign! Read on to hear about her journey to becoming a bra designer and be encouraged by her experience in front of the camera to appreciate your body in a new and vulnerable way.

Tell us about your journey to becoming the Assistant Bra Designer for Aerie.

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2015 with a BFA in fashion design. Shortly after graduation I picked up and moved to NYC! I’ve been at Aerie for a little over two years. In my time with the company I’ve designed bralettes, sports bras, and bodysuits, but now my main focus is bras. I design the seasonal fashion styles for all four of our core bra collections: Real Happy, Real Power, Real Me, and Real Sunnie.

You were a model in the last Aerie campaign, tell us about your experience on set—did you feel nervous, insecure, confident—or maybe a mix of emotions?

In the design office, we talk a lot about body positivity and how to make our customers feel empowered, but I experience self-doubt and insecurity as much as the next person. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous going into the photoshoot. I don’t make a habit of dancing around in my underwear in front of cameramen! But I had such an amazing time and everyone on set was so encouraging and uplifting. By the time we actually starting shooting everyone was feeling crazy confident! I hope that by participating in this campaign I’ll inspire others to love and appreciate their bodies as much as I’ve come to love and appreciate my own.

Why do you feel like there is such negativity around shopping for bras for women? How is Aerie changing that through bra design, marketing and the shopping experience?

Shopping for bras can be intimidating. It also requires a lot of vulnerability on the part of the shopper. If you haven’t had a bra fitting in a while you have to let someone measure you and get up in your personal space in a very public setting. There are also a ton of different size/fit/fabric options to choose from. Aerie is changing the bra game in so many ways, but I think the most important thing we do is strive to create a comfortable, welcoming environment for bra shoppers. Aerie stores are full of our amazing unretouched campaign images that feature real women of all shapes and sizes. Our store associates go through body-positivity training and work to make sure that every customer has a positive fitting room experience. We’ve also organized our bras into push up and lightly lined sections to make it easier to find the fit and styles you love!

Let’s talk fabrics. I’ve worn bras before that are so uncomfortable, but Aerie products are SO soft, breathable and flex with your body—what fibers make this possible?

#AerieREAL is all about comfort! There’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable bra. We’ve all experienced a too-tight band, a pokey underwire, or a strap that digs in. At Aerie, we design bras that our customers will love to wear! We focus on finding the softest materials to provide all day comfort. Everything from our cotton fabric to our seasonal fashion lace has to be super cozy.

Do you have any insider tips on bra fitting?

Bra sizes can vary widely from brand to brand. My best advice is to get fitted in stores regularly and remember that the size the store associate tells you to try is just a starting point. You may have to try several different sizes to find the one that’s perfect for you, but your comfort is the ultimate goal. Buy the bra that feels right to you regardless of the size on the label! At Aerie, we’ve developed a revolutionary new measuring tape for our bra fittings. The first measurement shows your band size and the second measurement shows your bra size and your sister sizes. No more math involved! You can even purchase the measuring tape on our website if you’d prefer to measure yourself at home.

Can you share your design team’s vision for the invention of the Aerie Real Me Pushup Bra?

The idea behind our Real Me bra collection was that the bras should feel “painted on” – almost like a second skin. These bras are made from a super lightweight, supportive fabric. The Real Me Push Up bra is our latest addition to this collection! It’s our first full coverage push up bra and has a low level of push. It’s the perfect t-shirt bra if you want a little extra lift!

What’s next for bra design? Any predictions on what women are wanting most in fit, fabric and aesthetic?

I think as people become more and more comfortable in their own skin they also want to be more and more comfortable in their bras. Wireless bras are really trending right now because they offer the perfect mix of support, coverage, and comfort. One of our biggest ongoing projects at Aerie is offering as many sizes as possible. As the body positivity and #AerieREAL movements continue to grow it’s important that we’re able to offer the perfect fitting bra for as many people as possible.

This post is brought to you by Darling partner, Aerie. We’re proud to partner with brands that strive to create better, more realistic media for women. All thoughts and opinions remain Darling’s own.

Un-retouched Images provided by Aerie

This post is brought to you by the Darling Team! To learn more about who we are, please visit our Meet Our Team page.

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