Do CUUP Bras Really Support Like They Say They Do? We Reviewed Them
Reviewing CUUP’s Bras & Undies
This review was written by one of our editors. It is not sponsored and contains the author’s personal experience. The Good Trade purchased product for this review.
After over a year of both regulations and recommendations to stay indoors, I’ve been craving any reason to get dressed up in something other than sweatpants. I stop short of wearing heels (because what am I trying to prove?), but glitter eyeliner to the office? Yes, please. A cowboy hat to the park? Sign me up.
Despite that excitement though, my bra is still the first thing I take off upon returning home. Unclasped and slipped right through the sleeve of my shirt like a magician. Off comes the undergarment and into a romper I go. The romper is a drab gray, it’s missing its belt, and the rear is getting saggy. So is it sexy? Maybe not! But it’s comfortable—and bras rarely provide that. For me, at least.
Having small but wide-set, bottom-heavy breasts, I hate both wearing bras and shopping for them. Cleavage is hard to come by. I want support but hate underwire. And bras that fit well around my ribcage are often too big in the cup, while straps that are tightened to my ideal “lift” often make the bra feel like it’s going to slip right up over my boobs and snap into my neck.
But CUUP’s colors! That mesh! CUUP’s bras looked like ones I could feel sexy in, ones that I wouldn’t mind having peek out from beneath a sheer top or button-down. They looked like ones I could easily incorporate into those dress-up days I love so much.
The company’s self-proclaimed mission is to “redefine the way women look and feel in their underwear.” Like an antidote to an antiquated industry, CUUP says it’s opted out of using the century-old sizing system that has resulted in a market of limited options and close-enough cups, and have instead determined its own measurements using “real bodies.” A quiz helps you determine exactly what that measurement is, but you have to provide your email to get your results. Hate when that happens.
Still, “modern, minimal, unlined” is CUUP’s promise, and since I also hate padding (the girls are hard to please!), that third commitment is what made all the difference to me. After being prompted by the quiz for the brand and size of my current best-fitting underwire bras (a 36B in ThirdLove and 34C in Victoria’s Secret), I was determined by CUUP to be a 36B, too.
I opted for the Plunge in a sunny, saturated yellow and the Triangle in an earthy clay. (All of CUUP’s bras are $68.) The two styles share the same deep-V silhouette, but the former is made from CUUP’s sheer “power mesh,” the latter is stretch microfiber. Turns out, the colors that caught my eye are intentional, curated through an “artistic lens,” and inspired by “art history & modern muses.”
But there’s very little information on CUUP’s site about where and how those aforementioned fabrics are sourced, only that the company has taken “the utmost care…choosing only the highest quality materials” and that the fabrics are “luxury feel and performance strength.”
Only five days after placing my order, the package arrived. It was a slim, corrugated cardboard mailer that mimicked the shape (and was barely larger than) the zippered mesh pouch inside of it. I’d hoped that the pouch was an intimates bag to use for laundry because I’ve never hand-washed a bra in my life and had no plans to start now. Thankfully, it is. But the informational care pamphlet—the only other thing included in the minimal packaging—very clearly states that these underthings should be washed by hand “to get the most life” from them. So I’ll consider it.
Once on, regardless of whether I loosened or tightened the straps, the “bra bulge” around my armpits remained—does this mean I need a wider band? A 38? But I must say I was pretty happy with the, uh, togetherness the bras helped by boobs achieve. 😉 Plus, I loved the subtle “nip-slip” that the mesh material helped execute.
Calculating my bottom size was a bit more complicated. CUUP’s sizes range from 1/XS to 6/XXL. But what does any of that mean? So I pulled out a tape measurer and determined I most closely matched the measurements of its 3/M. I chose the Bikini—a cut made from “ultra-soft modal” and touted as versatile for its ability to be worn high on the waist or low on the hips. I can confirm this is true. And no wedgies either; I did some jumping jacks to be sure.
Priced at $18 each, you can save $9 by ordering a pack of three bottoms, but I was disappointed to learn that there’s no mix-and-matching colors nor styles. So I ended up with three of the exact same leopard-print undies. Cool, can’t wait for laundry day!
Apart from the learning curve that’s required to get familiar with CUUP’s sizing, I really like that the company manages to keep their inventory simple but their inclusivity vast. There are only five bra styles to pick from, but they each come in 40 available sizes (A to H). And in an industry that has long made us (quite literally) squeeze into predetermined standard sizes, that range is nothing to scoff at.
It is worth noting, A through H is not fully inclusive, and despite customers’ continued asks on social media, CUUP has yet to expand their size range, even though they keep claiming they will. I’d also like more transparency around where the pieces are made and by whom, as CUUP only shares that it works directly with “a vertically integrated product development and manufacturing partner that has been producing bras globally for 30 years.” Just put it in layman’s terms for us, please!
I can’t say I’ve discovered a new appreciation for underwire bras, but on a day I’d actually want to wear one, it’d definitely be CUUP. The pieces are soft to the touch; the rare hues break from the industry’s neutral-colored norm; and they manage to be no-frills while still being equal parts functional and flirty.
Love the look, love the feel: the gorgeous colors and patterns, soft-to-touch fabrics, and lack of excess material make CUUP products stand out from the norm.
They make me feel sexy!
I still don’t like underwire, but if I have to wear it, it’d be CUUP.
The price of the bra ($68) originally gave me pause, but as I get older I recognize you get what you pay for, and if I care for these well, they should last me a long time.
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