Freckles in April: ThirdLove, True & Co, Lively & Naja: An Unsponsored Bra Review

Friday, June 2, 2017

ThirdLove, True & Co, Lively & Naja: An Unsponsored Bra Review

UPDATED 4/28/2018. Edits to my Naja and True & Co sections marked in bold and italic text.

None of this is sponsored. I paid for everything with my own money and these companies don't know who I am. This is an honest, unpaid review of ThirdLove, Lively, Naja and True & Co. However, there are affiliate links in this post. Which means if you click and end up buying something I get a small perk- usually a few bucks toward a new bra. Which I wouldn't hate.

If you're a girl with boobs then odds are good your FB ads are like 75% bra ads lately. There are quite a few newish underwear companies trying to make their mark, including ThirdLove, Lively, True & Co. and Naja.

After the Caboose was born I went to Nordstrom and had a bra fitting. The lady blew my mind and I came out with like $150 in new bras in a size I most definitely did not realize I was.


Then I joined the gym. And my body burned my boobs for fuel right off the bat (my belly is the LAST place it's going for energy stores, of course) so those pretty bras I bought? Don't remotely fit anymore.

I found some bralettes at Target that I liked. They're great, I've worn them almost exclusively for over a year. They're quite comfortable and keep what little I've got in place and I can't really complain. Except for the part where they look and fit like training bras and sometimes I want a grown-up bra that is a bit more flattering.

What I've been wearing

The bummer about finding bras when you've got not-a-lot-up-top is that they tend to make you look...weird. Pointy or all smooshed or some other configuration that just isn't flattering. Bra shopping is usually rather demoralizing for me.

So I decided to go on the hunt for a new bra via online routes (better my bedroom mirror with natural light than the unflattering yellow lights and dirty carpet of a dressing room, right?). I gave all four brands that have been taking over my FB feed a try and, obviously, documented my experience here for you lovelies.


K, immediate thing I LOVE about ThirdLove- their "Try Before Buying" program. Basically, you just pay for shipping. If you don't return it after 30 days then they charge your credit card for the full amount. Considering how much I shelled out for the other bras, this was a bit of a relief.

I took the boob quiz and it recommended I try the 24/7 T-shirt bra so that's what I ordered (and I tried to find equivalents in the other brands for comparison sake). The bra retails for $68, though I just paid the $2.99 shipping to try it out first.

Blurry armpit spillage

Unfortunately, I'm not sure ThirdLove is suited to my shape, though I'm also not totally confident I got the right size. The downside of ThirdLove is that they make recommendations based on the fit of whatever bra you're currently wearing. Except...I wear bralettes that go off of a generic small/med/large situation. There's no band size or cup size for me to work with. Even their "bra size chart" asks you to use your current bra. I ended up ordering based on a guess from my previous bra and apparently it wasn't quite right.

T-shirt Test: Meh. Doesn't do my boobs any favors, really.

I retook their boob quiz a few different times and changed my answers and it kept recommending the same bra (or the padded version of the same bra). It's possible another size would have fit me perfectly but it's also possible that Third Love just isn't right for me. But, with their $2.99 try-on, you really don't have much to lose by giving them a shot!


I ordered two bras from Lively- the t-shirt bra (so I could compare to the ThirdLove bra) and the Deep V No-Wire. There's a discount if you buy multiple bras and the discount deepens the more you buy so my two $35 bras ended up being $27.50 apiece. Even without the discount, though, Lively is by far the cheapest of the 4 brands.

I'd also argue that they've got the prettiest packaging. Millenial pink with foil inlays and a pretty card when you open the box. Presentation matters to me- if you're spending $50 on something then receiving it should be a pleasant experience and Lively nailed it.

The Deep V No-Wire was a definite no, which made me sad because I love the look of it. But it pulled weird after I put it on and created an odd indentation.


The t-shirt bra was fine. A perfectly serviceable bra but it wasn't THE ONE, even though I did think the back was really pretty.

I will admit that I spent some time after trying on those two bras going through their website again and bookmarking a few other bras I'd like to try. The price is right and I like their branding- I'd like to see if there's anything else they've got that I might LOVE.

T-shirt Test: Not terrible but not amazing either. Just...fine.


Naja should win an award just for being the prettiest. I've actually taken screenshots of their ads in the past because their stuff was so pretty and I wanted to remember the brand when I was in the market for a bra.

I mean, honestly.
However they get immediate points off for a few things: when you click their "size chart" it doesn't bring up a BRA size chart. Which is...not useful. Also, when you give them your email address you get a 10% off code. My code did not work.

I got the Isabel Sparrow Bra because A. it was pretty and B. it was in their "t-shirt bra" category. I paid the full price of $65 (side eye at my non-working 10% off code).

Fortunately, despite a sort of wild guess at my size, the bra fit quite well. It was also SO PRETTY. The band is made of several layers of stretchy mesh (think pantyhose type material) so it conformed really nicely to my back instead of cutting into my back fat, which is what bras often do.

T-shirt Test: I mean, other than the obviously problematic "black bra under a white tee" thing, it works! I'm not smooshed or shaped weird. It makes me look like I have SOME boobs without any padding. It's a good bra.

EDIT 4/28/2018: After seeing this post they offered to send me their Adriana bralette in orchid. I LOVE it. It's beautiful and comfortable and I went back and bought it in nude as well so I could wear it under more things. They've also improved their website and expanded their offerings. I'm a Naja fan.

True & Co.

True & Co's True Body bra ($49) looks like a more grown-up version of the bralettes I've already been wearing so I placed an order. I took their quiz and it didn't recommend their t-shirt bra. I debated and ended up getting one they did recommend- the Alice Easy Fit Pullover ($48). I didn't want to order the t-shirt bra and then hate it because, hello, they told me not to get it in the first place. Didn't seem fair to the brand, I guess? Anyway, the Alice bra was good (I love the mesh detail on the straps) but ultimately it was essentially a fancy sports bra and I have plenty of those.

In retrospect, I should have gotten the Gramercy Balconette, which they also recommended, because it would have been a better analog for the other bras I tried. Oh well.

EDIT 4/28/2018: I tried the Gramercy Balconette and didn't love it. on to my next edit.

As I pulled on the True Body bra I thought, "Yeah I won't keep this, it's almost exactly like my nude brale- HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE MOST COMFORTABLE BRA I'VE EVER WORN." I immediately sent a deeply unflattering half-naked mirror selfie to a couple friends who I'd discussed this bra with before- we'd seen the ad and were like, "maybe? maybe too uni-boobish?"and I told them they needed to try it after all. There's no underwire, which I generally prefer, but it doesn't squish my boobs into oblivion. The way its constructed is so smooooth. It basically disappeared beneath my clothes. This is pretty much the perfect bra to wear under close-fitting tops.

T-shirt Test: Basically invisible. Good shape. My fav bra of the bunch.

One downside:

The shape makes it non-tank-top-friendly. And I wear a lot of tank-tops in the warmer months. I would have kept it (and possibly ordered a couple other colors!) if not for this one detail.

EDIT 4/28/2018: I ordered this racer back bra and quite like it for under my tanks. I also recently ordered the True Everyday Lifting Seamless Wirefree Triangle (phew, what a name) and it is my absolute favorite bra now. It is seriously the best of all bra worlds for me- no wire, clips in the back so it doesn't have to be pulled over my head, a little shaping and lift, SO comfortable. I love love love it. I'm dying to get my hands on the convertible strap version (currently sold out in my size, blah). I've also gotten a few pairs of undies from them that I've really liked. 

My latest order came with a card with a code for $15 off- WELCOME15. I'd imagine you could also use it, if you're so inclined.

After a lot of internal debate I sent them ALL back. However, both Lively and True & Co. were close enough that I'm going to order a couple other bras from each brand and see if I can land on something I really love.

The search continues!

Edited to add info about returns:

ThirdLove: Just had to hop on their website, answer a few brief questions about my return and they emailed me a return label. I slapped it on the original box. Easy!

True & Co: Not only did they include a return shipping label but they ALSO included an envelope to send my returns back in. Seriously, this company is so good.

Lively: They included a shipping label with the original shipment which I just put on the original box. They also want you to do a step on the website where you mark what you're keeping and what you're returning but it was glitchy for me and I ended up having to contact customer service.

Naja: Website has NO return info aside from stating that there's a 15 day (!) return window. I did some googling and found a LOT of reviews saying that Naja is super sketchy and their customer service is nonexistent. I ended up just printing a label through PayPal and sending it back to the address it originally came from. Crossing fingers. I'll update this to let you know if that works.
EDIT 6/15/2017: my return to Naja processed just fine AND I got an email from their customer service thanking me for my post and letting me know they've fixed the size chart issue and are not sure what happened with my 10% off code but they double checked it and it seemed to be working fine. They're working to make returns easier and to make sure customer support is more regular. So, good things from Naja! I actually think I might order from them again but more with a "this is lingerie" mindset rather than "this is an everyday bra" attitude. They also offered to send me one of their gorgeous bralettes- obviously I will report back.


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  1. so glad you're doing this!!! i've been wondering about some of the bras i've seen advertised since my current bras are far from wonderful. thanks for the reviews!

  2. ah! love this - I've tried several of these and had similar issues but haven't tried the uniboobish one -- now I'm intrigued!!

  3. Love this post. I've been so curious about these companies, and it's nice to hear how a real person feels about them.

  4. I am at the opposite end of the boob-size spectrum, but with similar issues finding bras that fit and work. Sigh. It's a continual process. Boobs are tricky, no matter the size.


  5. Great work thanks so much, I've been SO curious about these brands. I'm also on the smaller boob side so it's always a concern I have. The pictures seems to fit an average boob size... but what about me? Unsure.

  6. Thanks for this. I have tried Third Love and also just ordered a few from Lively (haven't received them yet). I stumbled upon your post in search of more reviews. For the True & Co bra, did you find the band rolled or bunched since it's longer? Also,while not a web-only brand, my friends have been raving about a few of the new bras from Spanx, including a t-shirt bra with a T back for your tanks!

    1. I didn't notice any rolling! I also didn't wear it for a full day though, so I can't say for sure it wouldn't have done that. But it seems to be a fairly popular bra so I'd guess that isn't usually a problem.

      In my post I mentioned bras I got from Nordstrom- they were Spanx! I LOVED them. I wish they still fit haha. I'll check out that t-shirt bra, that sounds perfect for me.

  7. Thank you for this post! Very thorough, honest and helpful. Planning to try out a few of the companies.

  8. target exhilaration bras are what fit me best too! i have a set that is wireless that I love, but then it has built in push-up cushion, which I'm indifferent about. I've been thinking about trying all these new-comers but didn't have the mental huzzpah. I'd love to know when you unearth the holy grail - your body type, from your photos at least, seems to resemble mine.

    1. When I find the holy grail one I'll for sure post about it!! I've tried a few other brands since writing this and still nothing. Bah.

  9. I ordered two True & Co. Bras - and for the first two months I was completely in love with them. The absolutely most comfortable bra ever. But then both of them started falling apart. They are not sewn, but glued together, and the glue just stopped working. I always washed them on the gentle cycle, and never dried them in the dryer (although the instructions on the bra says they can be). These bras ended up being a huge disappointment.

  10. So glad I found this post. Any further updates? I have been putting off bra shopping because I have never been fully satisfied with my bra selections. I am minimally blessed in the boob dept and count on bras to help me out a little. Please let us know if you come across any true winners.

    1. Sadly, no updates!! If I find something AMAZING I will for sure report back!

  11. Thank you for this post! I tried both ThirdLove and True Body Bra and the True Body one is my most favorite one so far. As you said, it’s so comfortable!! I wish they were a tad cheaper :).

    1. It really was SO comfortable. It looks like they've come out with a couple different versions of it- I need to check them out!

  12. DO NOT TAKE THE THIRDLOVE QUIZ UNLESS YOU LIKE HAVING YOUR BRA SIZE PLASTERED ACROSS YOUR INCOMING EMAIL SUBJECT LINE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE. Yes, this just happened to me and these amateurs DO NOT CARE. I was actually going to buy, but the messages started coming at me before I had a chance to place an order. To her credit, the weekend rep did her best, but no one backed her up. BTW, my size is ample. But private.

    1. Ahhhh that's so annoying!! I haven't noticed it but I think those emails go to my "Promotions" folder, which I rarely check.

      They should really fix that, though.

  13. as someone who LOVES lively's deep v no wire bras, i honestly think that the no wire youre wearing is either defective, or the wrong cup size for you, judging by the odd way it's fitting. i struggle beyond belief to find bras, im a pretty average size, but they are shaped in a way that makes most bra styles cut in or gap funny, and these are a literal dream. i encourage you to maybe try again or chat with them about that and see what they say

    1. Good suggestion!! It totally could have been a fit issue.

  14. something is not right about that lively no wire. either defective or the wrong cup size. i encourage you to try again or chat them. it is my favorite bra, and that image is very odd to me.

  15. Hi- I really appreciate you taking the time to do this! just a heads up your referral link for True and Co is expired. Would love to have you get some credit for my order :)

    1. Gah thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize they expire!

  16. thanks for taking the time to post this! Would love to get you some credits when i order from True and Co but you link seems to have expired

  17. Ridiculously helpful as I’m currently between true Co & third love! Thanks for this great review.

  18. I happened onto your blog and appreciated your comments! I'm bra shopping online and what you wrote has been helpful. Thanks!

  19. Nice collection! Thank you for sharing this post and I am obsessed with Third Love. I usually wear those kinds of lingerie which fits my body. So I prefer the perfect size and good quality of bras that suit my body perfectly. I also have experience of Cosabella brand from that I have bought a soft bra that is very nice and fashionable.

  20. Awesome information, very helpful. I keep getting adds for this brand "knix" have you heard of them? Wondering if they're worth trying

    1. I've been curious about Knix as well! Their adds started showing up for me riiight after I did this post (of course) but I think I'd like to give them a try. I'll report back.

  21. Thanks for a thorough review. I've heard of just half of these brands. I found your review as I was looking for opinions on ThirdLove (their classic T-shirt bra didn't work on me either), but glad to know about these other brands.


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