In what was one of the closest polls we have ever asked on Facebook and Instagram, the Freya Fearne review narrowly beat out the Sculptresse Candi to earn the prestigious position of first in my expansive review queue. Thank you to everyone who commented and participate in the poll! Freya and I started as lingerie besties but drifted apart as my upper tissue became fuller and my cup size bumped up above the GG range. Their super cute and fun designs often featured wide wires, higher sides which rubbed my underarms, a splayed profile, and an interesting downward pointing shape, like my boobs were checking out what color my toenail polish was today. They also were lacking in innovation, content to rest on their past victories and recycle bra frames from season to season in the form of new prints and colors. At some point, my reviews felt rehashed, as though I was revisiting the same bra over and over with the same critiques. We parted ways, but I was ever hopeful for a joyful reunion. When they released the magnificent Hero, I cautiously hoped more change was on the horizon. My faith was rewarded because Freya retooled some of their classic designs to fit better, especially in higher cup sizes, by listening to consumer and bra fitter feedback.
With my weight steadily ticking upwards this year from both dietary and hormonal issues (carbs apparently aren’t my friends), my size has been in a steady state of flux, and I find myself in a common position: between sizes. More specifically, I have fit comfortably into UK sizes 32H, 32HH, 34GG, and 34H depending on the bra. Given Freya’s history of stretchier bands and more generous cups, I opted for the 32H which fits like a dream. The band is comfortably snug on the loosest set of hooks, anchoring to my body and providing lift and support, and the cup does not have any overflow, gaping, or puckering. The general shape of the underwire and cups pairs better with my body. My center-heavy boobs have little tissue on the side ribs, and I have a connective breast tissue in the middle of my chest. I guess one could argue I literally have a uniboob. This shape presents problems with some bras because I need side support to keep the fuller tissue forward, but I don’t need an overly wide underwire on the side. Furthermore, in the center, I also need a narrower gore with projected cups to allow tissue to stay in its natural forward shape. Oh and if I could get a gore that’s not too tall so as to clip that connective boob tissue too please? ‘K, thanks! So, see, dear readers, we’re all a bit picky sometimes when it comes to bras. You are not alone.
Older Freya styles and I were fighting each other a bit too much, hence the aforementioned fit and shape issues; however, the Fearne plunge balcony bra is pretty awesome. For starters, the underwires aren’t super wide. Are they as narrow as I need? Nah, but I do not experience poking or digging (deal-breakers for me) nor do they pull the upper cup painfully into my underarm when I move (yet another deal-breaker). I am one of those people who does not require a 100% perfect fit. Otherwise, I’d never have anything but Comexim, and while I do love Comexim, I also love choice. If a wire is slightly wide for me, my only issue is whether it creates comfort issues for me. Fearne does not. In fact, the bra is a lightweight, supportive, comfortable basic style. The center gore is narrower and less splayed with deeper cups to keep breast tissue forward, and rigid side fabric promotes added support. The general shape created by the bra is rounded and lifted with a moderate coverage fit. The center gore, in particular, narrowly misses that connective boob tissue I mentioned.
Fearne is a new core collection from Freya too, which also includes a padded half-cup style, and I absolutely love Freya for working more with continuity styles. As a retailer, I carried Freya frequently when we first opened, but I was always chasing fashion from season to season because basic options were limited in many bra frames. Fashion is fun and vibrant and perks up the store, but eventually you have miscellaneous sizes you need to mark down. Then, there’s the whole “Oh this is so cute, but does it come in beige?” question. Freya’s decision to invest in core style is a breath of fresh air. Moreover, the Fearne is an affordable entry, clocking in at $58. You may have noticed bra prices increasingly steadily over the last decade. There is a complex explanation befitting a different post, but suffice it to say, the reasons reflect increased prices on fabric, rising labor costs especially as companies ensure products are made ethically, and new innovations to improve designs. Of course, it also means if you’re a fuller-busted person, a $58 pretty bra is becoming a low end price point.
From an aesthetic perspective, Freya maximizes its materials here for a basic style with enough thoughtful details to keep the design from being too plain. The sheer mesh upper cup with a dot print contrasts the subtle cream and white fern print on the two-section lower cup that also carries onto the straps. The straps themselves are half-textured in the back and half-patterned in the front but are fully-adjustable, wide, and supportive. Placed closer in the back, they pull away from the shoulder while also feeling secure. Standard powernet mesh wings are breathable and comfortable while three hook-and-eye closures in the back lend stability. One request we have fielded frequently in the shop is for bras with a decorative straps so that if they show, they don’t scream “Bra Strap!” I think Fearne’s balance of print and ruffled texture is a nice option, and in black, it’s even more subtle.
Speaking of the colors, Fearne in this lighter variation reads white more than cream which looks gorgeous on most skin tones while the bluish charcoal and black color is a a flattering but subtle alternative to a classic black bra. That said, a lot Freya’s core is essentially a white/black split, and while this is not a critique of Fearne, I’d like to see a third flesh-tone option somewhere. It doesn’t have to be that classic yellow-beige that Eveden favors (Seriously, don’t use it, Freya), but it could be something else like the mocha from the Deco Vibe or a Cappuccino color like Panache used with Chi Chi. Oooh, or maybe they could take a cue from German-brand Anita and make a range of skin tones in a core bra style!
Overall, the Fearne plunge balcony bra is a great new entry into the Freya collection, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much I enjoy it!