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May 13, 2020 5 min read

Ohana chatted with Priya Downes, the co-founder and CEO of Nudea, a contemporary underwear brand. Nudea is all about making underwear without compromise on fit, comfort or style. 

They believe that knowing your breast size, and observing how it changes throughout life, is a form of empowerment. Priya breaks down how to understand size and shape and top tips about breast health. 

What inspired Nudea?  

Nudea was born out of my own frustration buying bras; I wanted bras that fit but still feel beautiful and flattering. The fitting process frustrated me too. I asked, ‘why isn’t there a more modern way to be fitted that doesn’t involve me taking time out of my busy life to pursue an uncomfortable fitting experience?’ 

Tell us about the name Nudea. 

Nu.Dea

Nu = New

Dea = Goddess 

Simply we want Women to feel like a goddess in our underwear. 

Nudea is on a mission for comfort. Tell us why comfy is stylish and sexy! 

When bras are comfortable and engineered for fit, they are more flattering and supportive with less irritation. That means more confidence and better posture for the wearer! When we aren’t held back or distracted by an ill-fitting bra, we’re empowered to concentrate on what’s important to us. 

How might breasts change throughout a woman's life? 

There is so much to say here, but in essence from the first development at puberty our hormones are constantly changing. All of this may cause fluctuations in breast size and shape:

  • Monthly cycles
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Breastfeeding
  • Surgery

Throw in ill-fitting bras, not sizing regularly, weight loss or gain and you have a dozen more reasons why your breasts could change. It may be over your life, but also could be month-to-month.

Tell us about the Nudea tape measure. How do you use it and why is it important to know your size?

The Nudea tape measure was born out of rethinking the old fashioned measuring under/over band system. We watched thousands of women measure themselves. Compared to a fitter in a store measuring the women, it was obvious that it’s impossible for the average person to replicate. Why should the ability to do a fitting be in the hands of a few?

We want to empower women to fit themselves, and do it regularly. Five prototypes later, and we have our unique tape. It is based on coloured zones and measuring one boob, which has features designed to make it easy to measure yourself at home.

Compared to standard measuring, we improved self-measurement from a 10% accuracy to 99% accuracy amongst our research group. It’s fool-proof and easy to get right.

It also shows you your ‘sister size,’ an alternative size that may work for you. The general rule is minus a band and add a cup. For some people, they may find their sister size works better than their true measured size.

One size doesn't fit all. How does Nudea tailor to personal body type?

Good fitting starts with size but we are all more that just numbers and letters. Factors such as height, skin tone and breast shape affect the best underwear for you. We aim to educate our customer by recommending the best style for them, which is not just based on their size.

One colour doesn't reflect all. How does Nudea tailor to skin types?

We launched with a lovely neutral pink and brown, which was perfectly chosen to suit a spectrum of skin tones. However who doesn’t love a Nude bra? Our aim is to reach ‘7 Shades of Nude.’ We are introducing 3 news tones in our next collection in September and then adding more over the next year. 

What are the top 5 tips for breath health?

  1. Always wear the correct size: this will avoid many issues like bad posture, poking wires and sweaty underboob.
  2. Favour comfort over aesthetics for the majority of the time. Nothing wrong with compromise here and there but a comfortable, well fitting bra for the majority of the time will safeguard your breast from chafing, itching, poking, etc.
  3. Pay attention to the tightness of the straps: they need to be just right to allow the cup to fully contain the breast, but not so tight that they pull your shoulders down causing you to slouch and your breasts to loose perkiness.
  4. Wear a sports bra when you do sports to avoid the trauma the breasts suffer at every jump, otherwise it will irreparably damage the firmness of your breast tissue.
  5. You don't need to support your breasts in bed, gravity is not as much of a problem as when you are standing up, but you may want to wear a bra to contain your breast and feel more comfortable, in which case strictly make it a non-wired bra. 

What are the top 5 common misconceptions about breasts, bras or underwear?

1. Toned skin supports the breast. FALSE

The breast is mostly supported by the Cooper’s ligament inside the breast. These do not stretch like an elastic would, and so every time they are pulled, for example, when jumping without proper support, they stretch a little bit more. They do not recover, and in time this causes droopiness of the breast. The bigger and heavier the breast, the bigger the damage. That means there is a higher need to wear proper support. But, all breast sizes are affected.

2. A D cup is huge. FALSE

This is for two reasons: firstly D is the most common cup size, and there are much bigger cup sizes than that. Don't be hung up by a number or letter.

Secondly because the size D is only relative to the band size, not all D cups are the same. For example a 30D is the same cup size as a 34B.

3. If I change size, it will make me look too big/small. FALSE

Wearing the correct size makes the most of what you've got. If your bust is small it will make it look bigger and perkier, if your bust is big it will make it look smaller and make you look slimmer. We should not look at bras off of the body. They always look weird because we are comparing it with other bras or other bodies (which we see) instead of comparing it with our body (which we don't see). Wear it and make a judgment on how it fits you.

4. There's no better feeling than taking your bra off at the end of the day. FALSE

If the feeling of taking it off is that good, it’s because you are wearing the wrong size! You should forget you are wearing one at all! The feeling of wearing the right size in a comfortable, supportive style is so much better. 

5. Knickers need to be a size bigger to be comfortable. FALSE

A well fitting knicker is comfortable, and that is not only a matter of size but also a matter of materials stretching with your movement and being comfortable on the skin as well as the style being suitable to your body shape.

Share some of your favorite research. 

A favourite point comes out of our own research. You won’t believe the number of women who have never adjusted their straps or tried their bra on different hooks. Our first recommendation to anyone putting on a bra, please adjust this will ensure you get the best support! 

Who is one of your female role models and why? 

Angela Arhendts, my old boss. She was just brilliant as CEO of Burberry and then went on to kick Silicon Valley’s ass in her role at Apple.  

One motto that inspires Nudea? 

Empowering women to embrace fitting & love bra purchasing.

To find out more about Nudea, check out their website (www.nudea.com) or follow them on IG (@nudealingerie).

Nudea has kindly provided a discount for the Ohana Community. To redeem 15%, use the code is OHANA15. 


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