Throughout quarantine, some of us saw no need to wear a bra since we were spending so much time inside, but now that we’re transitioning back to a sense of “normalcy,” wearing a bra is (unfortunately) a necessity sometimes. And if that time inside has taught us anything, it’s to buy products with intention. So if we have to wear a bra it should be comfortable, look cute and make us feel like our best selves, right?
Enter Cuup, the direct-to-consumer lingerie brand, with a recent launch into swimwear, that took over our social feeds — so much so that we decided to test out its products ourselves.
The minimalist styles, modern colorways and realistic models sporting the brand were what caught our eye first, which makes sense, considering the brand was created to “redefine the way bras look and feel,” according to Cuup. This is reflected by the simplistic, clean design that’s equal parts sexy and supportive no matter what bra size you wear, offering cup sizes from A to H and band sizes from 30 to 38.
The brand offers five bra styles: The Balconette, The Demi, The Plunge, The Scoop and The Triangle — each of which is available in an assortment of seven traditional and three seasonal shades. The Balconette, Demi and Plunge are designed in a stunning sheer, mesh fabric that’s become sort of synonymous with the brand, while The Scoop and Triangle are made from a stretch microfiber that’s meant to be buttery soft and lightweight.
In terms of underwear, Cuup offers four bottom styles: The Highwaist, The Bikini, The Thong and The Tap. Sizes range from XS to XXL, in your pick of seven traditional and four seasonal colors. Regardless of fit, each style is meant to be super soft, stretchy and comfortable to carry you through the day ahead.
Before we ordered our preferred bras and undies, we had a virtual fitting with Cuup’s director of fit, Tania Garcia, who helped us start our journey. All we needed was a tape measure or piece of string and 20 minutes to get fitted. You can schedule your own fitting or take the online fit quiz as an additional resource too.
To provide a truly thoughtful review of the collection, we invited several women on our team to give the pieces a go. I, personally, hadn’t been fit for a bra in at least seven years — most likely on a spontaneous trip to Victoria’s Secret. At the time, I was a 32DD; however, after remeasuring myself through Tania’s guidance, I realized that I’m now a 34C. Our social strategist, Stephanie Griffin, is typically a 32B and was measured as such for Cuup as well.
Hayley Saltzman, our head of social, is typically a 34B, but having tried Cuup before in that size, she knew that this was a bit tight. The team suggested she try a 36B instead. Rachel Lubitz, our lifestyle editor, was fit as a 32E, but upon testing that, she realized that she’s absolutely her usual size: 32H. Hayley Kinne, a member of our business development team, was fit as a 34C but netted out with a 34D after trying the bras out for the first time. As for our programming editor Delaney Strunk, she was fit as a 38G, which was a bit small since she’s typically a 40 band. Cuup doesn’t offer that band size at the moment, so she opted for a 38H bra.
Fit is of course the No. 1 priority when it comes to intimates, so nailing down our correct bra size was vital. “My experience with Cuup started off a bit rocky, given how my measurements showed a 32E when I’m in reality a 32H, my normal size. I think this just has to do with the shape of my breasts, so it’s not a knock on the brand,” says Lubitz. Luckily, the exchange process was super simple to get a new size after we tried it on initially. Cuup offers free returns on all domestic orders of unworn and undamaged bras within 30 days of receiving, so if the bra doesn’t suit you you can get your hands on a different size. Lubitz says that “once [she] got her normal size set, the bras were an absolute dream.” We also found that the fit maintained even after a few washes.
Overall, we absolutely loved how comfortable and stylish the pieces were. “I usually hate underwire bras and tend to stick to bralettes because they’re more comfortable, but The Demi is one of the most comfortable underwire bras I’ve ever tried,” says Strunk. “I had no issues with the wire leaving red marks on my body and I honestly forgot I even had it on after a couple of hours.”
We are equally as obsessed with the breathable materials the bras are made out of, somehow perfectly merging comfort and style. I love having versatile pieces in my wardrobe (yes, even lingerie) that I can use to spice up any outfit. I recently wore my leopard print Balconette as a sort of crop top under a cropped button-down top, which I can’t say I’d feel confident enough to do with bras by other brands.
As far as underwear, Strunk says that “the fabric is unbelievably soft and the seams are thin enough you can easily wear them under tighter clothing without worrying about panty lines.” The no-show factor is an obvious plus because who wants to deal with harsh underwear lines?
“This was some of the most comfortable underwear I have ever worn, even the thong!” says Saltzman. “I would buy it in every color if I could. The styles are both beautiful and functional. I’d definitely spend my own money on these.”
We found that the underwear was good for everything from period days when we need extra protection to not making us hate ourselves when it came time to wear a thong. We also loved wearing matching bras and panties on days we wanted to feel more put together.
It should come as no surprise that our biggest concern with Cuup was related to sizing, since that can really make or break your experience with intimates. Cuup is really transparent about how the bras should fit, as well as how the fit might change over time. The brand states that “the band on your Cuup bra will be relatively tight to start but won’t leave any marks behind either. Give your bra about 30 minutes of wear and you’ll feel the band conform to your body for good.” Some of us did share that the band felt a bit tight but found that it definitely takes longer than 30 minutes of wear to loosen up. Strunk compares it to breaking in shoes. “Once they’re broken in, they’re great. But the first couple of wears are a bit frustrating.”
She also shares that her size wasn’t perfect, explaining that she would’ve opted for a 40 band size if Cuup offered that. “I still found the band to be a bit too tight even though the bra was so soft. Also I had some issues with my boobs popping out of the Scoop bra, again because the sizing was incorrect.” It’s also worth noting that Saltzman found that her bras, The Triangle and The Scoop, gave her breasts what she describes as a “cone-like shape” that she didn’t love, likely because the bras are unlined.
Kinne shared a similar experience after ultimately being unable to find her optimal size. Although she loved the look of the bras at first sight and could feel that the fabric was high quality, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed that the sizing was still off. “Had I received a third size, it would have been far outside what I measure at for all other bras I own and wear, which makes it less appealing to me since it was difficult to find what should have fit me.”
Beyond size, the price point can definitely be a negative point for the brand. The bras currently go for $68, while the underwear goes for $18, which can be a lot for some customers. We were fortunate to receive samples from the brand to test, but some of us don’t know if it would be a regular purchase for us. “I could see myself having a couple of these bras and undies on hand as more of a splurge that’s fun to wear sometimes, whether just for overall comfort or when I’m feeling a bit more risqué,” says Kinne.
Cuup The Balconette ($68; shopcuup.com)
Cuup The Balconette
“Easily one of the comfiest bras I’ve ever owned, this feels like second skin,” says Lubitz. When we think of Cuup, we envision The Balconette — an elegant yet modern take on what it means to wear a bra. It’s made with a mesh fabric, in a variety of colors, that’s just a little bit sexy. The low-cut fit makes it great to work as part of your outfit, or wear with lower-cut shirts.
Cuup The Demi ($68; shopcuup.com)
Cuup The Demi
The Demi uses what Cuup calls a 3D spacer fabric for nipple control without extra padding. The silhouette is reminiscent of a classic T-shirt bra, but more breathable and modern. It’s the bra that’s now Strunk’s favorite.
We tested the Insta-famous Cuup bras — they’re worth the splurge
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