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The first question on Google if you look up the history of bras is “who invented the bra and why?” Herminie Cadolle in the 19th century if you’re curious, but the why remains unanswered. I ask myself why regularly, and I’m sure other women do as well. If you don’t, you’ve probably accepted the torture device as a way of life. Bras can be painful, the underwire digging into your skin leaving you unable to breathe properly. In 2020, as a result of the pandemic, wireless bra sales were up 40% according to UK-based retailer Figleaves. Personally, I choose to forego bras altogether — a perk of social isolation.
This is why when okko, a bodywear line that’s worn to be forgotten, grazed my inbox, I was hesitant to try it out. There have been more than a few “comfy bra” disappointments in my life — bralettes that only work for the itty bitty committee, and ill-fitting wireless options that offer no support. Be that as it may, I crossed my fingers and ordered the signature bra and signature briefs.
So What’s The Deal?
For a long time, men dominated the lingerie space which frustrated okko founder Phoebe Kunitomi. She launched okko during her MBA at Wharton after years of undergarments that didn’t work for her. “My top drawer had so much clutter before okko. It was filled with pieces that were too uncomfortable to wear, or were too expensive,” says Kunitomi. Reducing clutter is very central to Kunitomi, the daughter of Korean and Japanese immigrants whose childhood was grounded in minimalism. “What my parents taught me was to have a conscious mentality about what I buy, lessons like choosing quality over quantity and learning how to live with less. Through intentionally straightforward and minimal bodywear, our mission is to empower women to declutter in more ways than one — starting with the top drawer,” she adds.
The brand is proudly anti-fast fashion and only offers versatile pieces women will want to wear over and over again. Their product offerings are limited as they don’t want to bombard their customers with poor quality options that will clutter their closets. The team takes their time getting input from real women on what they care about, from things as broad as comfort or as specific as to where on the body the seam should hit. “It took us a year to find exactly the right one for our bra and underwear. We wanted a fabric that you wear to forget. Because when it comes to undergarments, forgotten doesn't carry a negative connotation; you actually don't want your underwear rolling, digging, or showing,” emphasizes Kunitomi.
The Nitty Gritty
The signature bra retails at $42 (or you can score 2 bras for $69). It comes in 5 neutral shades and sizes run from XS (30 C - 34 A) to XXL (38 DD - 42 C). They are hookless, wireless, have adjustable straps, and the cups can be removed. The signature briefs/thongs retail at $14 but you can mix & match with these deals: 3 for $37, 5 for $54, or 14 for $129. Both pairs of underwear come in 5 neutral shades and are raw-edged, seamless, and waistband free. Sizes range from S (0-4) to XXL (18-20) and each pair is strong yet silky thanks to a blend of nylon and elastane. Standard US shipping is only $1 and they provide free 30-day exchanges/returns on all bras.
My First Impression
The buttery fabric (73% nylon/27% elastane blend) is high-quality and soft to the touch — no 5 for $27 funny business. The neutral fabric tones are a minimalist’s dream, yet the underwear has a black inner lining, a detail only a female-founded company would have thought to add.
I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful packaging. You can immediately tell a lot of thought went into making sure customers have an enjoyable unboxing experience. Even the safety pins are a delicate masterpiece that I want to stockpile. The buttery fabric (73% nylon/27% elastane blend) is high-quality and soft to the touch — no 5 for $27 funny business. The neutral fabric tones are a minimalist’s dream, yet the underwear has a black inner lining, a detail only a female-founded company would have thought to add. I quickly threw them both on and didn’t feel any pain (the bar is low). The underwear doesn’t bunch up, chafe, or pill the way some no-shows do, and you can’t see a single panty line underneath leggings. You also couldn’t see the bra poking out underneath my clothing, and overall I just looked better. It provided the comfort of the sports bra without the dreaded look of a uniboob.
So Are They Comfortable, Comfortable?
My first impression of the bra was that it was comfortable but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t be irritated later on. I decided to conduct my own comfort litmus test… a carb-filled dinner out in tight clothing. Personally, I prefer to eat my carbs at home in sweatpants, but in the name of research, I put makeup on for the first time this year and headed to dinner in my okko set. The question at stake: “Will I still be comfortable in my okko bra after my food baby grows into her final trimester or will I want to run home to take it off pronto?”
I had completely forgotten I was wearing anything. The bra held up to the okko promise — bodywear that’s meant to be forgotten. I wasn’t uncomfortable at all and nothing slouched, drooped, or dug into my skin. Now that’s a real win in my book.
Three hearty dishes later, and I had completely forgotten I was wearing anything. The bra held up to the okko promise — bodywear that’s meant to be forgotten. I wasn’t uncomfortable at all and nothing slouched, drooped, or dug into my skin. Now that’s a real win in my book.
OKKO = "Our Kind Of Knock Out"
In a quarantine world, nothing matters more than comfort. Long gone are the days of itchy lacy intimates designed by men and marketed by size zero models. In this new era, products designed by women for women are finally getting the recognition they deserve. I’m so fiercely loyal to my new okko bra and briefs that everything else is now rendered useless to me. Guess it’s time for another trip to Goodwill.
5 More Reasons To Love Okko
- The team is still in its start-up phase and there’s nothing better than supporting small businesses.
- The brand categorizes themselves as a body wear company which means that we will see a lot of new drops in the future. Anything that goes under your clothing is on their radar.
- They spent a year finding exactly the right fabric for their bras and underwear. One that is meant to be forgotten — no rolling, showing, or digging here folks.
- The items are affordable and they offer discounts when you buy in bulk.
- Okko is proudly anti-fast fashion which means that they refuse to drop “trendy” pieces that people feel compelled to buy only to forget about a few months later.