Personally, one of the best feelings, after I get in from a long day at work, is unbuttoning my bra clasps and the feeling of my breasts spilling freely from my bra. Ahhh, feels like freedom. However, versions of bras began as early as during ancient Greece, hasn’t really been altered or improved since the 1900’s.
That is, until Evelyn and Bobbie. Evelyn and Bobbie is a lingerie line that is making what they dub, “the world’s most revolutionary bra.” The bra boasts no underwire and no straps needed (no matter what size your breasts are, really!). The bra comes in five different shades ranging from light to dark, to fit an array of women and their type of nude. It also has a beautiful navy with lace overlay that just costs $10.00 more.
Hello Beautiful spoke exclusively with Bree McKeen, founder of Evelyn and Bobbie regarding how she’s created the “everyday bustier” bra that is as much function as it is the comfort.
HB: As a large breasted (D+) woman myself, strapless bras can be a nightmare to stay up (and forget about comfort). Can these bras support the weight of larger breasts, truly sans straps?
With EB straps are optional. We are finding that many of our customers prefer to wear the straps for a feeling of security, but even with straps it’s incredible to feel the difference of how the EB Core™ (which replaces the underwire) distributes the weight away from your shoulders and around your core. It works because it’s designed three-dimensionally. It works a lot like the way your rib cage supports your lungs.
HB: You said that you scanned hundreds of body types for the creation of these bras. How wide did the representation span?
Yes, we scanned hundreds of different women, and we continue to scan women. These women had a diverse range of weight, muscle tone, build, height, age, and breast shape. It’s amazing to stand back at a set of 30+ scans of women who all wear a “34B” and see how different our bodies truly are?
HB: Let me be more direct, did you include plus-size women? What is the largest and heaviest woman you used for your scan?
We included plus size women in our product testing to ensure we had various different shapes and sizes. As a start-up, and with our unique incremental sizing system, we had to make some tough choices around the range of our offerings. We have an incredible amount of demand for the larger sizes, so we are working on adding larger sizes as quickly as we can.
HB: You created the Evelyn and Bobbie bustier bra in five “nude” colors. There are brands like Nubian Skin, that come in 16 colors. Do you plan to expand your color range?
As for our Complexion Palette™, we are not aiming to match every single skin tone perfectly. We are aiming to have a set of tones that compliment the widest range of skin tones. It’s also important that the Complexion Palette™ EB’s disappear under sheer clothing. So far, we have been able to accomplish that for our customers. A big percentage of customers are doubling down on the digital lace — it’s really popular. So you can expect more prints and carefully curated colors in the future.
HB: Can you talk a bit more about how you went from idea to conception to full-fledged business?
My a-ha moment was when I was working in Finance in SF. As a young woman in a male-dominated environment, I was really aware of how I carried myself and was working on having strong, tall posture. Naturally curvy, I often found myself slouching by the end of the day. I was standing in my physiologist’s office when I realized my bra really hurt when I stood up straight. He explained that, like a pebble in your shoe, pain like that can create a “neuromuscular feedback loop” that will actually cause slouching throughout the day. I realized I needed a bra that felt great when I stood up with correct posture. It was the search for that product, and my inability to find it, that led to the founding of Evelyn & Bobbie. What I found was that bra companies were focused more on sparkles and bows than they were a product that does the job. Bra companies are marketing companies, not product companies. I often compare it to an NBA basketball star stepping on the court in 1930’s Chuck Taylor’s. It’s ridiculous, right? I think women deserve beautiful products that do the job. There are incredible manufacturing capabilities, groundbreaking 3D design tools, and rapidly growing materials science that makes better products possible. 85 years of the underwire is enough.
HB: Your current bras are either $188.00 or $198.00 placing them in price points like La Perla and Agent Provocateur, can you explain what the consumer is paying for? Why they should shop with you?
We set out to make the highest quality bra. Women in our target demographic are already spending $180+ on a day at the spa or $200 on a pair of jeans. Most women have 10-15 bras in their drawer and they only wear two: the ones that you can get through the day in. I don’t believe that women need another cheaply made underwire bra. We need innovative products that perform. The women I know are out in the world impacting their communities, building businesses, raising amazing children — changing the world. We don’t need bows and sparkles, we need pain-free, soft, flexible, uplifting support.
HB: What’s next for E&B?
This is just the beginning! We launched with a wide range of sizes and some amazing knickers (our underwear), but the real secret sauce is in our data & algorithm back end. The data we get from our consumers feeds directly back into the design of the product and into our fit. We are already getting feedback about which sizes we need to expand into next, which will begin later this year. And, we have a whole product innovation roadmap. Our mission is to be the world’s most innovative intimates company, and we are well on our way!
I’m excited that a woman is innovating the bra game and looking to give us more comfort and form. I do wish that McKeen had been more transparent regarding the sample size range for women. Our bodies are so intricate and different that you can’t exclude outliers. In an interview in 2017 with Fast Company, McKeen stated, ““The bra is structured, so you can place it on a table and it will sit up, but you can also squish it and roll it and it bounces right back to its form.” I understand that they are a startup and began with $400K backing from crowdfunding; however, with claims as such, you have to account for the rolls and folds that come with the natural contouring of diverse body sizes. I did receive one of the bras and while it wasn’t the right fit, I will be sure to do a TRIED IT review when I get my correct size.
Beauties, you can check out the Evelyn and Bobbie bras, here. Have you tried one? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section!
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