A while back, I asked for feedback on which products you wanted to see reviewed the most, and the Freya Marvel was an early contender. Before discovering the narrow underwires and deep cups of Cleo, Freya matching sets dominated my lingerie wardrobe; however, I found, especially after my breast shape change, that Freya was not as comfortable as Cleo over the lifespan of the bra. Like a depressing time lapse sequence, my Freya bras faded from the wardrobe to be replaced with quirky printed Cleo styles, but when I saw the Marvel, I knew I had to test it:
Sizing & Fit: Many Freya unpadded bras sport a similar fit and shape, typically called the plunge balcony or regular balcony bra. Three-section cups angle toward the center gore, and while the materials change (stretch lace top here, fabric there), the silhouette and fit remains close enough that you can tell it’s Freya.
I’m not picking on Freya for this either because many brands employ similar design tactics, but the unfortunate side effect can be that there are entire brands a woman may not be able to wear. Nevertheless, the Marvel is the first new bra in several seasons to be completely different. A center vertical seam and supportive side panel offer a rounded, lifted silhouette with excellent forward projection. In fact, the profile of the Marvel reminds me of the silhouette created by many molded cups, like the Freya Deco, and the shape is fabulous under clothes. If only it fit . . . .
In all fairness, I have not tried a Freya bra since the aforementioned shape/size change, but my standard 30H was one or two cup sizes small. I could not do a full scoop for the pictures/video for obvious reasons, but suffice it to say, in person, I have a lot of overflow. The design of the Marvel is much wider and shallower than any Freya bra I tried in the past, and the underwire on the side angles too far back on my ribs. Furthermore, the center gore is wider while the cups at the bottom and near the center are not deep enough.
As a result, my breast tissue sits above the underwire, and my close-set breasts are splayed toward the side and overflow the top of the cup. Marvel may work well for women with wider set, less full breasts who need a rounded look under clothes, but for women in the fuller-bust market, I know many would appreciate a similar style with more overall depth. On the positive side, the band was firm and supportive. Freya bands have a reputation for being too stretchy, but the Marvel felt great on the loosest set of hooks.
Materials & Design: The fabric on the cups of the Marvel not only feels soft and smooth against the skin but also has a stiffness and weight which provide the wonderful uplifted profile. Not to mention, the smoothness and discreet seaming are forgiving under clothes, and the textured fully-adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit while offering a subtle design feature. In the back, the Marvel utilizes two hook-and-eye closures, and long-time readers know I prefer at least three. It’s a small quibble as I know other women prefer a narrower back. From a design perspective, I actually like the minimalism-with-a twist vibe of the style. The lack of details adds to the versatility, but small flourishes like textured straps, bows, and a strip of cream embroidery keep the Marvel from feeling to basic. The beige color matches my skin tone, but the black variation is really gorgeous.
Overall, I think the Marvel would make a great everyday bra for women wanting an unpadded style with lift and roundness. However, busty-women beware of the shallow and wide design if you have close-set breasts.