When bloggers, retailers, and industry professionals talk lingerie trends, the discussion includes multiple elements like color, print, embroidery, unique detailing, and even popular styles, and lately bralettes have been red hot from the fires of demand, leaving many manufacturers scurrying to release multiple versions in exciting colors and using a variety of fabrics ranging from silk to two-ply modal to soft lace. However, the bralette world has largely targeted the 32-38 AA-C cup crowd with the occasional style able to accommodate a D or DD. Most bralettes do not feature an underwire and either use X-Small to X-Large terminology or a band size only, e.g., 30, 32, 34, for sizing, and the designs themselves tend to rely on triangle shaped cups as well as deeper v-necklines for a lighter, comfortable appearance. For the fuller-bust and/or 38+ band customer, these limitations pose unique fit challenges, particularly in terms of coverage, support, and shape. Freya hopes to address the deficit in the market place by offering a new alternative: the Fancies Bralette!
Freya Fancies began as a panty program which allowed consumers to coordinate basic underwear in seasonal colors with multiple bras in Freya’s fashion collection, thus removing the need to purchase the exact matching bottom for any given bra. Given the success, Freya has been expanding the Fancies to include the full-bust bralette, and later this year, both a non-padded basic bra and a non-padded longline! It’s exciting to see the brand transform a panty program into a series of new core basics for their fans, and the Fancies bralette has been on my radar since releasing. As a UK 32H, I am not the target market for most bralettes, but like many full-bust customers I do want something cute, playful, and comfortable to wear at home without resorting to a full-on bra. The bralettes are also released each season in a cornucopia of colors and somehow managed to be priced the same as many smaller-bust bralettes, clocking in at the affordable $38 mark. But, would they really hold up?
As I mentioned, I was looking at the Fancies bralette more for lounge and weekends, and in fact, many classic bralettes are noted as “day bras” or “leisure bras” although some have been structured in such a way as to provide support and shaping suitable for everyday wear. Fancies bralettes could feasibly work for both purposes depending on your cup size and breast shape. In my case, I prefer underwire for everyday but switch to something wireless when I get home. My two favorite purchases for this purpose have been the Coobie Bra (don’t judge me) and the Curvy Couture Luxe Wireless, but I really wanted to experiment with bralettes.
The Fancies Bralette features less flexible 2-ply mesh across the entire center, wrapping around the back for complete smoothing, as well as stretch lace on the top and bottom for a contoured fit. Fully-adjustable straps allow you to customize the lift, and the higher center keeps tissue contained. For sizing, I consulted Sweet Nothings since she and I are about the same size, and she posted a lovely shot on Instagram of her in the size Large. I ordered that for myself and am pretty pleased.
There is an elastic strip at the bottom of the mesh before the fabric transitions to the lace which gives me the occasional trouble sliding over the largest part of my boobs, but I am afraid if I sized up to the X-Large that the bralette would get too big at the bottom and fail to keep my lower tissue inside the mesh. I fully fill up the center of the cup, but there is a little space around the band. A person in the UK 34F/36E range would fit this bralette significantly better, and I realized going into the review I was most likely outside their targeted range. However, I do receive a moderate amount of support, and the fit and fabrics feel super comfortable. The Fancies bralette and my Luxe became my go-to bras for leisure because they are both comfortable enough to slouch on my couch with my dogs and binge watch Cutthroat Kitchen while still keeping everything contained inside the cup.
I mentioned earlier how bralettes often use a triangle cup or a low plunge, and Freya wisely eschews this format for a design with more overall coverage to contain fuller center tissue. I worry that if they used a traditional bralette cup shape, they would not have accommodated nearly as many sizes and may have been plagued by spillage issues in those who did squeeze into the shape. Despite the fuller coverage, the design feels simple, clean, and . . . well, fancy. The fun solid colors pair well with the matching Fancies panties or with other lounging pieces you may have, and the look itself transcends the utilitarian efficiency of other full-bust leisure bras. The accent lace, semi-sheer mesh, and longer overall length were thoughtful decisions that I appreciate and enjoy.
Having worn the bralette quite frequently now, I know I will buy this again. I did find out one day that it’s best to only put it on when you are totally dry. I was just a wee bit damp after a shower, and the bralette rolled up into a tight knot that I had to do some kind of crazy “Thank goodness no one can see me” wiggle dance to position correctly. I also found the bralette breaks in a little bit with wear just like a normal underwire bra would. The fit became a bit more relaxed, and it was easier to pull it on over my head with time.
My one . . . I don’t want to call it complaint, so let’s just say “suggestion” would be to consider expanding higher than X-Large in sizing or to offer perhaps two sizing components like their lounge wear used to, such as Small D-FF and Small G-HH, so as to make the design more accessible to higher cups and higher bands. I realize this may require a price increase or may be better suited for Elomi instead, but I would pay a little more for the improved fit. I am asked constantly by people in 36-44 bands and G+ cups about a comfortable lounge bra that is not too expensive or “bra-like.” Basically, for something like this. It’d be lovely if there was more available to show them, and if I am wearing a Large, then I know the X-Large is not going to allow for that much more bust space.
Overall, an excellent entry into Freya’s collection!