Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo
by Nicholas de Monchaux
>How the twenty-one-layer Apollo spacesuit, made by Playtex, was a triumph of intimacy over engineering.
It has an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how Playtex succeeded where other contractors failed, how they were almost cut out of the deal anyway, and ended up being awarded the contract as a subcontractor to another company that was able to provide the necessary government-compliant documentation.
The reason Playtex built the space suits because they were the ones who came up with the idea of a cloth spacesuit.
Building a space suit is tricky because you are pressurized over the environment; if you just sewed a simple air-proof garment it would inflate and it would be difficult to bend your arms and legs to move around in space. Most companies bidding on building a spacesuit were proposing designs similar to deep sea suits, which are rigid metal and plastic with complicated joints to allow it to bend and move while maintaining a constant volume.
Playtex was able to design a constant-volume air-tight suit out of layers and layers (like 17) of different types of fabric; this was directly related to their core competencies.
The tech is far less important.
She first tried a naive tech-focused approach and realized that she didn't understand the problem well enough and making adjustments to the tech was slowing her learning down too much.
She made a great decision to optimize for learning speed and temporarily build a more traditional custom-fit bra business. She has learned a lot about the problem space and what makes a good solution.
Now she's using technology as a tool to enhance and optimize the process that already arrives at a good solution.
We do the same thing when we write code:
1. understand the problem
2. write a correct solution
3. optimize the solution
IMHO, it's the ONLY thing that matters - and like you, I too learned it the hard way. Optimizing for non-existent (or non-critical) problems is a very common mistake.
I suspect pretty much any woman in North America, regardless of ability to afford it, would see that as a totally rational price point.
And as someone who _can_ afford it, I'm seriously weighing a trip to NYC to be fitted.
Because that would be one of the best examples of the risk of wealth imbalance in our country that I've yet seen.
Many women have hard to fit bras. My wife probably spends 2-3 hours per bra in acquisition time as inventory of odd sizes are tight and size fit varies dramatically. The cost would need to come down for her, but there’s definitely a market need.
An upper middle class DINK/DIWK living in the burbs buys fancy stuff.
I'm not even a woman myself, and I've known several median (and substantially below) income females to buy much more expensive bras at Lane Bryant and other places, and to express willingness to pay substantially more than that if they could find better fit.
Location on the income distribution may not be the key factor here; if the quality is there and they can scale this into an operation that is local across the country, even at the $350 price point, there's a decent size market.
Yes, and the claim wasn't that any woman could afford a $350 bra but that they would see the price point as rational independent of whether they could afford it.
> 60k cars are for the wealthiest of the wealthy.
No, $200k+ cars are for the wealhiest of the wealthy. $60k cars are more targeting the modestly wealthy rather than the wealthiest of the wealthy.
But leaving aside where on the bell curve of society a $60k car driver fits, I don't think rationality comes into play here. People have price points for various products, and even though $350 is a miniscule fraction of that $60k, if you're used to paying (say) $40, it can be hard to overcome that hurdle.
The example I used to make, back when computers were expensive, was that people didn't think twice about dropping $2k on a new desktop computer every 3 years, but expected the same $400 TV to last 20 years. There must be a term for this that I don't know, but there's some psychological bias in terms of what people spend money on based on perceived value, perceived use, and perceived market cost, and very little of it seems to have to do with what they can technically 'afford'.
But then I go to the grocery store and the $20 bottle of wine seems expensive.
I notice things like this every day.
I’ll tell you from my perspective, I wear a size 14 shoe that is wide but not wide enough for a wide size. My dress shoes cost about $500, which is completely out of character for me.
When I find a sneaker/hiking boot that fits well, I’ll buy as many as I can find.
From what I (a man) understand, most women are wearing the wrong size.
For discussions of price in this thread, I consider a good bra a worthwhile luxury and will pay up to $100. For most of the bras I bought using the reddit guidance, I paid about $67 on sale. I will not pay more than $100 at this point; that just doesn't fit my priorities. Double my salary and I'd consider it.
(I am rather shocked you get so little usage out of your running shoes though, are those race shoes or training shoes?)
You realize federal minimum wage is $7.25 (and this is the minimum wage for many states) right? And that the median HOUSEHOLD income in the country is 59k, right?
She bought two eventually. I think it was $70 a piece or so.
I'm not sure I agree with your second paragraph though. Could also just be an example of the risks with stupidity and ignorance.
* “Bergner’s and Macy’s already can get a good fit. They have 15 cup sizes most people don’t know about”
* “I’d pay $150 for a custom fit if my size weren’t fluctuating”
* “If I have to travel, I can already get a really good bra in Paris, NY or London that look better”
* “Seems like it could be successful if enough women who don’t know their options hear about it”
These are aggregates of the most commonly expressed opinions. It seems like price might be a valid concern of women as well as men. I am sure that with enough press, this founder can succeed, but I don’t think I’d necessarily be biased if I thought it wasn’t competitive or disruptive enough. The qualities and connections of the founding team matter more than anything when the problem is that existing solutions aren’t popular enough to meet demand.
My father-in-law went to Italy and had some custom shoes made. It cost him a bit over $3,000 USD (air fare included). However, he could order a new pair of shoes (in any color of the available leathers) for $250 and they fit wonderfully every time. For his feet (size 13 and one slightly narrower than the other) it was an extravagance that really removed a lot of pain and agitation from his life. He was the first person I had met who had a need like this that was so far from the "standard" offerings that shoe shopping was a scourge.
That rationale seems a bit simplistic to me. I suspect that for many women in North America, the choice of spending $350 on a bra, or $100 on a bra + paying some bill on time, is a no-brainer.
you know how many people are poor, right?
In a country where 62% of Americans don't even have $1000 in savings, and 21% of Americans don't even have bank accounts?
$350 is a super niche price for a bra.
It's not crazy. I regularly spend 80$+ for bras I don't like, and if I found one which worked with my wardrobe and truly fit comfortably, 350$ would not be a luxury purchase.
edit: The point was that many of the people in the thread don't seem to understand the magnitude and pervasiveness of the problem. What people are prepared to do and pay to alleviate it is another matter entirely, but accordingly it is probably not well estimated if the issue is not well recognized.
"Men just don't get it. Practically any woman would think that $350 is totally reasonable for the perfect bra, and if you disagree it's because you're a man and you just won't listen to us!"
And my point was that, while I am a man, I do know some women, and your  assertion that all women would be happy to pay $350 for a bra is ridiculous. So ridiculous, in fact, that it strikes me as a lot more out-of-touch with womens' views on a reasonable price for a bra than my views as a man on the subject. And to back this up, I asked a real-life-flesh-and-blood-woman, who literally responded with: "Oh fuck no! That's ridiculous!" Others in this thread reported similar things.
1. I recognize that you didn't make this specific claim, but your response to DelaneyM indicated that you agree that the men expressing skepticism is just further proof that they won't listen to you. But you seem to automatically assume that we aren't listening to other women. Perhaps a little humility is in order about how representative your views are to your entire gender.
I'm 30 and I would estimate that I've spent a few thousand dollars in my lifetime on bras that I've only worn once or twice because they just don't fit or wear correctly or they're so uncomfortable that they could be classified as an instrument of torture.
Women are willing to spend $100+/bra at Victoria's Secret and the quality isn't even particularly good (though it's miles better than Target). Victoria's Secret's main value to the customer is consistency. The product is consistently good, not great, but the sizes across all their products are far more consistent than any other store that sells bras. A good fit is the most important component to a comfortable bra. Victoria's Secret demonstrates that women are willing to pay a premium to be able to confidently buy a bra that will probably fit and won't be terribly uncomfortable.
Bratheory is offering women the ability to confidently buy a bra that will definitely fit and won't be uncomfortable. Is $350 a premium? Certainly. But not that much of a premium considering the value proposition for their customers.
Not quite ANY woman.
Whether it is easy to get a bra that fits depends on the shape of the breasts. Women who have "teardrop breasts" can pick a random bra of roughly the right size and likely be happy. My wife does, and it wasn't until she was reading a site about bra fitting that she understood why she never has the problems that she hears other women complain about.
Given her luck, she has always just picked up cheap bras. Since that's going to work just fine, why pay a premium?
[2015 pricing] https://www.bustle.com/articles/110110-how-much-should-bras-...
[2018 pricing] https://www.businessinsider.com/best-bra
Women do not buy bras at VS for a list price. They buy them on sale. 3 for $100. That's the price and that's the problem that VS has.
Source: filings of LBrands, firings of the CEO, LBrands missing the train of bralettes.
Also, Victoria's Secret doesn't do 3/$100 bra sales.
This, at most, is a Telsa 3, priced pretending that it plays in a Ferrari leagues. Musk may say so and so may Tesla fan boys, but even Musk is not pricing Tesla 3 at at $150K. If it is priced at $80, it would work for long enough for them to outsource manufacturing to China, India and Vietnam, which means that the $10 knock offs would be everywhere in 5 months [VS knock offs are in every Chinatown/Koreatown of every US city sold for 1/10th of VS prices. Half of them are probably made at the same factories that make VS originals].
VS certainly does 3 for a hundred if not more during the semi annual sales. The winter one is about to start now.
If they have a better multidimensional fit model that actually provides better value, and they can get word of mouth on that to get people in the door, they can get away with less boutique treatment the same way that Tesla can get away with less fit and finish than other similarly priced luxury cars.
Just because they are in the same price range in the same broad descriptive category doesn't mean they are selling the same thing.
A lot of women, especially those who are hard to fit, get by with just 1-3 everyday bras that they wear to death because it’s just so frustrating (or impossible) to find more bras that only hurt a little instead of being absolute torture devices.
They may have additional bras for special purposes (such as strapless) or that they can’t really wear to work (lounge bras and bralettes and sports bras and flimsy sexy things that you wear for a few minutes on the way to the bedroom).
But they wear those few primary bras every single day until they wear out.
If you spend all day every day being poked in sensitive tissue by the end of a metal stick, being able to add just one or two perfectly fitting and painless bras to your closet could be game changing.
Other women have no difficulty finding bras that are painless - but their breasts are shaped so differently from manufacturers’ assumptions that finding one that’s both painless and flattering at the same time is basically impossible.
Again, even replacing one quad-boob-creating bra with one that’s flattering but can be worn comfortably all day is a win, even if you’re not going to replace your whole collection.
Do you look at a new bespoke shirt or jacket offering and expect nobody to buy any because replacing their entire wardrobe would be prohibitive?
Companies benefit when you spend. So start consuming!
Companies benefit when you invest, too, not just when you spend.
These things seem to be fairly new. Not available afaik 4 years ago when my we needed one. I've heard good reviews of the style, but don't know anything about specific brands.
I suspect you are completely out of touch with pretty much any woman in North America, besides for the <1% of women who can afford a trip to NYC for a bra fitting expedition.
In fact, as I understand it, most women aren't even taking the time to inform themselves about what a good fitting bra feels like(which is free), let alone getting ready to plunk down hundreds of dollars for one.
I'm a bit skeptical of your assertion that anyone regardless of income would see this as a rational price point, when economic theories seem to indicate that our restrictions determine our preferences.
A $350 for an esthetily pleasing comfortable sturdy bra is a no brainier purchase when it's such a QoL improvement, you wear it everyday, and the alternative is a string of cheap bras that won't be that much cheaper in the long run and fit/feel worse.
Just because cheap bras come in lots of sizes doesn't mean one of them will actually work for you.
Yes. You absolutely hit the nail on the head. I would _happily_ pay this much for a very comfortable bra, and it's reasonable given the quality of bras in the $100-200 range (I've owned several, although I got them at 50-75% off). That said I'll probably never be able to afford a $350 bra again in my life.
If a brand is refusing to sell $350 bra at 50% off, then it is a $350 bra. Otherwise $350 is MSRP aka the wishing price. If they do 50% off sales then it is a $175 bra. $175 makes it a premium product but not a boutique level premium. Maybe there's a market for $175 bras -- VS tried it in 2005-2007 in some markets but they did not quite sell it was dropped in 2008.
Hermes does not do sales, which is why a a Kelly 22 is $7,200 while LV Speedy is $800 and not $1,400 (Hermes does not do sales and LV does), so Hermes talks about number of units of a kind they ship while LV talks about average revenue per unit of a kind shipped.
P.S. VCs are very bad at funding apparel manufacturers. They pick the ones that they think should work which tend not to be the ones that actually work.
This is decidedly the former. For top-heavy women, especially the majority who are a bit asymmetric, a perfectly fitting bra is an impossible dream.
I do not know why I would pay for the privilege of being constricted but hurting less!
There is a lot of research on how bras are useless, and some people even wonder if by limiting lymphatic drainage bras may help promoting cancer.
I wear a sport bra when I am in a gym, and a regular off the shelf bra if I am going in a social encounter where I fear my "freedom" would be used again me to judge my character.
But that's about it. Our moms didn't burn their bras in the 50s so we could have the privilege to spent $350 on them in the future.
Even for those of us with moderate-sized breasts, the jiggling can be anywhere from distracting to moderately uncomfortable when, say, walking briskly.
And that's putting aside all the social pressures, shaping and body image issues, etc.
But I can only talk about my experience. It would be certainly different with larger breasts.
Still, I believe bras should not be pushed as the default option - mostly because we don't see similar things pushed on overweight men ('manboobs' or 'moobs').
Because moobs are just balls of fat. Actual breasts contain glandular tissue which moves differently and has more heft.
While men with ordinary moobs don't need bras, men with gynecomastia (actual breast tissue growth) really should be wearing them. I'm more interested in destigmatizing the notion of gynecomastic men wearing bras than I am in discouraging women from having support.
Also, here's something I can actually give insight into specifically because I'm transgender. Before I transitioned, I was obese (and I still am), and I had noticeable moobs. I never felt like I needed a bra back then, as there was no pain or discomfort from moving around. After being on HRT for a while, I developed significant breasts, and now it's extremely uncomfortable and a fair amount painful for me to go without support. Moobs are not boobs.
Thanks for the interesting first hand perspective.
See Seinfeld S6E17 "The Doorman"
Well, because of gendered body stereotypes, lift and present isn't something anyone (approximately) wants with moobs, and anything that resembles a bra produces mockery, anyway.
But male-targeted control garments functionally equivalent to a combination sports bra and tummy girdle do exist for overweight men (the market for men who need moob control without tummy control is small enough that there doesn't seem to be anything targeted to them.)
And I do like being constricted. Wearing a well-fitting bra feels like being hugged all the time, and it feels great.
> Our moms didn't burn their bras in the 50s so we could have the privilege to spent $350 on them in the future.
A) Bra-burning was a myth. It never happened.
B) Second-wave feminism has been considered harmful for quite some time now. It's incredibly toxic due to being inextricably linked with racism, transphobia, femmephobia, kinkshaming, and sex-negativity. The vast majority of feminists have moved on to third-wave feminism, which doesn't have these problems.
For people like me who had to look it up:
The dramatic, symbolic use of a trash can to dispose of feminine objects caught the media's attention. Protest organizer Hanisch said about the Freedom Trash Can afterward, "We had intended to burn it, but the police department, since we were on the boardwalk, wouldn't let us do the burning." A story by Lindsy Van Gelder in the New York Post carried a headline "Bra Burners and Miss America." Her story drew an analogy between the feminist protest and Vietnam War protesters who burned their draft cards. A local news story in the Atlantic City Press erroneously reported that "the bras, girdles, falsies, curlers, and copies of popular women's magazines burned in the 'Freedom Trash Can'". Individuals who were present said that no one burned a bra nor did anyone take off her bra.
The parallel between protesters burning their draft cards and women burning their bras were encouraged by organizers including Robin Morgan. The phrase became headline material and was quickly associated with women who chose to go braless. Feminism and "bra-burning" then became linked in popular culture. The analogous term "jockstrap-burning" has since been coined as a reference to masculism.
The idea of simple linear series of waves of feminism is as at least as harmful to understanding as any version of feminism has been to, well, anything.
(But, if you must adhere to it, everyone that matters has moved on to fourth-wave feminism these days.)
That was also true of second- (and even first-)wave feminism, too.
> There's definitely a broader spectrum of opinions and that alone seems like a good development to me
Third- (and even fourth-)wave feminism may have some different and new ideas and means of presenting them, but much of the core diversity of approaches on feminism has really been around since the so-called “first-wave” in the split between what might (oversimplifying a multiaxis variation into a dichotomy based on some correlations among the axes) be seen as conservative/Christian/bourgeois/virtue-oriented feminism on one side and revolutionary/materialist/proletarian/egalitarian feminism on the other.
For breast shape development. Not for support.
Could you link to such a study? This is getting downvoted without explanation.
I guess paying this amount would be a function of a) how much pain/inconvenience current bras give you and b) how long they last.
And it's not much different in price than a fancy pair of shoes....
Maybe people on HN are just not aware what something approaching this good costs, and unwilling (let's say for ideological reasons) to consider why it costs as much as it does. I doubt many VCs would be too stupid to Google a bit about what women say about bra fit (or, heck, listen to a woman who isn't a stranger), and how much they currently pay for good fit; If I had a nickel for every time a woman complained about bra fit around me, I'd have at least thirty cents.
I think an interesting next step would be some sort of home scanning kit (or just an app, though this would have a hard time with dark skin, crappy lighting, or a combination of both), not sure how hard it would be to go from a static scan of breast geometry to a fit (since they don't exactly stay that way when they're tied up!).
TL;DR, I think these folks just don't know how pricing works.
You can wear it 2-3 years and then the elastics start to wear out. (Wash the thing by hand, and it'll be dry the next day. As any woman can tell you, we do that less often than we should though.)
Compare it to glasses, or maybe shoes - people easily put down that much, even though they could buy cheaper.
And ofc if you’re often wearing non-“everyday” outfits.. you’re probably spending quite a bit on clothing anyways, and can probably afford 2-3 at the $350 price range
Once you get to more "lingerie" type brands the price increases fast.
There's also the reality that a lot of women fall out of traditional sizes for any number of reasons and in that case, the options are more limited and expensive.
I'll never quite understand why, despite the fact that women's bodies vary more, women's clothing is tolerates any variation way less than men's.
I'm a 44C. Most stores don't carry that. On extremely rare occasion, if I check every single bra that's at my local Walmart, I might find one, and that's only after checking every week for a month.
The last time a bra broke, I decided enough was enough, ditched mainstream stores, and went to Torrid. I was able to buy a few bras in my size, and they've lasted longer than the crap I used to buy from Walmart, but they weren't cheap. I don't remember exactly how much they cost, but it was painful. You pay for rarity.
Custom code > SaaS
Custom furniture > Ikea
Custom windows > Andersen
Custom pants > Macy's
P.S. Downvoting this proves the point - price is too high and even a claim of custom perfect fit does not bring HN demographic ( which is loaded compared to general population ) so say "Oh, but that's totally good price"
The HN demographic may be loaded compared to the general public, but it's also young, single, and male compared to the general public. Quite arguably, not the best suited to intuitively judge this product, and it's not like there is sufficient data presented to analytically judge it.
No, the only point it proves is that people correctly feel your dismissive response is impolite.
"Lesson #2: Be prepared to learn all the reasons why no one has solved your problem."
So often no progress gets made because there are five reasons people haven't made progress but everybody is making excuses about why they only need to solve three of them and wondering why their "minimal" product isn't viable.
I find myself re-learning or having to remind myself of this every so often. It's easy as a "person of a problem-solving nature" to want my solution to be problem-free. But what that usually ends up meaning is my solution never gets completed. Tackle the low-hanging fruit, then if there's enough demand/reason to continue development, do the rest.
We often doubt that if we have something crappy, that we will get any interest or traction so the MVP gets delayed. As the OP says in the article, if they couldn't have any benefits over a custom bra maker, what were they selling exactly?
Graphene fed spiders spin bionic silk
How many of us spend years perfecting products instead of launching an MVP and learning as we go? How many of us build automation before seeking domain expertise when we really should do it the other way around?
The goal should be to totally smash current custom fit prices, e.g. to ~$50 level, e.g. using a self-serve fitting station at Macy's. Many such stations can be monitored by one person, similar to how self-serve check out stations are monitored in grocery stores.
The above is for mass market. OP's manual approach can still be used as a high-end service for those who can afford it, e.g. pret-a-porter vs. tailor.
3D fitting would be really interesting, but not straightforward. It's hard to do the nonlinear transformation that would be necessary, partly because density of breast tissue varies a lot and so not all transformation functions would actually be possible. The "bloat" factor outlined in the article would also have an effect -- hormones, salt consumption, water consumption all affect that. 3D modeling might be most useful for placement of underwires, etc.
I wonder if a machine could be made that inflates/deflates a proxy of a bra until the woman (wearer? Am I assuming gender?) is comfortable. Take the readings of a comfortable fit and construct a bra that provides that support. Basically, you don't care about the shape of the breast, you care about the shape of that individual's comfortable breast and the pressure needed to get it into that state.
I read that there was a similar scenario in the design of airplane cockpits, such that there were enough different dimensions of human variation that it was hopeless to design for the "average pilot": even assuming that each dimension had 80% of pilots within the acceptable range, it was basically guaranteed to be unacceptable for the vast majority of pilots. I read that the solution was to make all the relevant aspects of the cockpit adjustable; and that this was deemed expensive and dismissed at first, but it became obviously necessary and they sucked it up and did it.
A simple, cheap, and effective process for custom-made bras seems ideal if they have it, but if that is difficult, then I wonder: could it work to make as many dimensions as possible adjustable, and then suffer only mild combinatorial explosion on the remainder?
 https://medium.com/@hazelynut/why-i-have-a-problem-with-bras... , linked from the article.
It is not a question of designing the perfect bra given a set of measurements. It’s more “can we make it perfectly?” And “are the measurements accurate?”
as any seamstress or seamster would tell you, it takes a life time to sew perfectly. It’s a CNC mill where you need to tension the materials and threads just perfectly while you move the x/y table.
And if you’ve ever had a suit measured, you know the person taking measurements needs to be in sync with the manufacturer, otherwise it’s a waste of time.
And for what it’s worth, my partner would not pay $350 for a perfect bra (and I mean perfect!).
1) Freedom of motion? I wear a sports bra that flattens out my boobs for many reasons. First is prevention of pain while running, etc. -- that vaunted 'freedom of motion' is highly undesirable as the actual runner, thanks. Second, the flattening effect is honestly pretty helpful for cleans, snatches, and other movement that involve keeping a weight close to the body. My boobs significantly affect bar path and sports bras lessen that effect.
2) Heat dissipation. Dude, it's winter! I want to keep my boobs warm! Cold breasts are truly uncomfortable.
3) Ever been a breastfeeding mom? This is not something that's been brought up in this HN discussion, but remember that people who are breastfeeding are often pretty leaky and have sensitive nipples. Bras allow milk shields to be held in place or are by themselves sufficient to contain small leaks, depending on the type. No one wants to have a meeting with a lady leaking through her shirt, least of all the lady in question.
4) Clothing fit. Clothing is generally mass-produced for a certain set of silhouettes in the US. If you have larger breasts and want to wear mass-produced clothing, wearing a bra will improve the set of options that fit well.
1) sports bra != bra. They're different tools. Many women have brought those up for running, so the point is done and proven. I have no counter point to it.
2) I'm from Florida. But that's really interesting. Tools for body heat retention is an interesting topic. Do you have any other tips for this use case?
3) No. But that's another interesting use case. But wouldn't a nipple only device be simpler and more effective? I just found a tool called LilyPadz which seems to suggest that possibility.
4) You're basically saying that this use case is as a workaround/hack, not a permanent fix. The article is about custom clothing anyway. Maybe an Alvin Toffleresque prediction about mass produced, custom clothing would fit here.
1. Women everywhere are spending tons of money on uncomfortable garments to cover their nipples, because they don't realize nipple covers exist
2. Bras serve a much bigger purpose than covering nipples (hint - what's a jock strap used for? imagine needing that all day, not just when you're running...)
This doesn't work. Jockstraps were designed for protection a century and a half ago with mostly flawed logic. Today they're mostly used to hold protective cups and not for support.
You'll find the vast majority of men that have played sports in school or pursue an athletic sport as an adult have never owned or worn a jock strap. A properly restrictive sports bra would be the female equivalent and will make a world of difference.
I can run flat out and don't care one bit about my genitals flopping around, my 'moobs' however flop around considerably and in a jarring fashion which actually causes pain and they are considerably smaller than many women's breasts. Watch a woman running with an adequate sports bra, you'll see minimal movement of 2 pieces of tissue wearing considerably more than any man's genitals.
Those Amazon reviews are probably fake.
As currently phrased, it sounds like you're perhaps suggesting men stay out of the conversation entirely.
A bad one will:
- cause you constant pain,
- cut blood circulation,
- keep you from being able to run,
- exacerbate back injuries,
- cause skin injuries,
- get colonized by bacterias and possibly fungus,
- create smells,
- cause allergic reactions,
A bra isn't only a device meant to look good.
You often pay $60-$90 for a one that seems well made only for it to fall apart after 3 months of wearing.
Paying $350 for one that would fit perfectly and last a long time is not far fetched at all.
That being said, a quick googling gives all kind of pries.
https://secretsfromyoursister.com/ <- $80-$200
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1976927179/anesi-bra-th... <- 80$ but kickstarter
https://foreveryourslingerie.ca/product/?cName=BRAS&pName=Pr... <- 144$
https://foreveryourslingerie.ca/product/?cName=BRAS&pName=Em... <- 209$
In my eyes, the pricing is similar to comparing a regular hair dryer ($17) to the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer ($399).
Or perhaps a cheap pair of boots ($49) that lasts one winter to an expensive pair ($250+) that lasts a few years.
The only price point that may have space is where VS Apex was for a better fit.
Paying lots of money for good garments is certainly a thing. But still there is a limit. So, I wish this business luck.
But, man, at that price there's a tall bar to meet. We'll pay for quality, but if it's not up to snuff, it goes back the next day.
But... for something that often costs $80; is generally available only in sizes that comfortably fit a small proportion of the population; and where improper fit means pain all day... worth it if you can afford it.
I for one have been watching this closely, and will probably buy if/when the price hits $150-ish.
Apparel is a different world from consumer electronics in terms of pricing.
Hopefully they can bring costs down eventually through some means. A bra that's 90% perfect at about a third of that cost would be something I would consider.
It will be interesting if Women chime in here to express if all that custom fitting (and the technology involved) would be worth the money of that custom fitted bra.
If they don't last a long time, or if the bra size changes too often, then it is ridiculous, though.
More I think about it, more I'm surprised at just how much mass production lowers costs. Even after being aware of the Toaster Project.
Who’s “nude”? When is the industry going to update this term? If a female person of color outsider won’t, I guess it’s not important to anyone
To respond to your point below, all major manufacturers now make a range of "nude" colors. The range of colors may be stunted, on both ends, but if you've shopped recently you know that a range is easily available.
It probably would not be extremely difficult to come up with a way to automatically generate a custom dye mixture that exactly matches a given skin color, out of just blacks, browns, and reds.
Reminds me of a scene from some sitcom I can't remember, where a guy is trying to be inclusive, so he says "We employ people of every race here- black, yellow, brown, and normal."
Can't tell if this is real or not. I'm fairly confident that the thermal expansion of the measuring tape is not going to make even a tenth of a millimeter difference in precision: does it have to do with the temperature of the skin?
> Temperature of the measuring tape at time of measuring
Are you sure?
If the measuring tape is made of steel, it expands by a factor of 13e-6 for every degree C that it heats up. If you measure first with a 0 degree C tape measure, and then with a 100 degree C tape measure (both of which are absurd and will be extremely uncomfortable), then the second measurement will differ from the first by a factor of 13e-4. A measurement of 100mm will become 100.0013mm. Can you even cut the fabric precisely enough for that to matter?
EDIT: But see replies below: it's more likely that the temperature of the tape causes changes in the shape of the skin.
EDIT2: Also just realised I initially missed out the second factor of 100, so it becomes 100.13mm instead of 100.0013mm, which is almost close enough to matter, but only in the extreme scenario of 100 degrees C change in temperature.
ABS heats up by a factor of 100e-6 per degree C. The largest number I spotted was paraffin with 106e-6 to 480e-6 per degree C.
If the tape measure is made of the most-expanding type of paraffin, which is itself the most-expanding material listed, then the 100mm measurement becomes 100.05mm when heated by 100 degrees C. I really don't think a difference of 50 micrometres matters, or is even achievable, in the manufacture of a bra.
EDIT: (But I see the other points now - it's not the thermal expansion of the tape, but the body's reaction to the temperature).
When we touch cold things to our skin, we naturally tense up. If your intercostals, diaphragm, and core are tense when you're being fitted for something that is snug against your chest, then when you get it out of the box it will be too tight.
So like, when you're talking about or to someone on a topic where you're not even sure about the basics like, "what kind of tape measure do they use?" I would urge you strongly to go into "information gathering" mode, rather than "correct perceived incorrectness" mode.
The better bet is that the tape they're using is made of plastic, which is going to deform much more.
I believe that's all the author wanted to say
You can buy custom-made corsets for cheaper than this (yes they can be far more expensive but most of that is exotic material cost). You can buy custom made lifting boots/shoes for this that have a considerably higher material cost.
I work in international freight currently, I know extremely well what imported textiles cost including bras, even if these are hand-made in the US per customer there's an awful lot of profit there unless they are made out of unobtanium.
This is a prime example of 'pink tax' in my opinion and/or inefficient manufacturing processes (again, even if hand made) and/or unreasonable salaries.