Product Review: Freya Hero

Back in the day, Freya was my way-too-cool-for-me bestie with her crazy prints, bright colors, and confidence to throw Russian dolls on a bra like it was as natural as flowers or polka dots, but then a cup size bump and breast shape change sent on us divergent paths.  I never lost hope that we would reconnect, which is why I have continued to experiment with new Freya styles like the discontinued Marvel and the Fantasie retread Rapture.  In the shop, we phased out Freya non-padded bras a couple years ago because the demand for t-shirt bras and basic colors eclipsed the need for a fashion-oriented brand; however, recently, customers in the 30-36 DD-FF cup range have begged for core colors and styles from my former pal.  As a result, I asked my sales rep for suggestions, and her choice was the new Hero—the first original, uniquely Freya frame in some time.  Naturally, I snagged one for myself.

Sizing & Fit:  Given my size is more of a 31HH due to weight gain, I ordered the 30HH initially, but the cup size had too much wrinkling and gaping.  As a result, I sized down to the 30H which fits perfectly.  Although it is a bit snug on the loosest set of hooks, I am between band sizes at the moment and believe it runs true-to-size compared to other Freya bras.  The H cup was also an improvement with no gaping or overflow, and my breast tissue completely fills out the cup.  Having tried this on a few customers in the store, I think the cups can be slightly generous, and if you find you are between sizes, I recommend going with the smaller cup.

A lowly bra boutique owner hears the dastardly Bra Myths being espoused . . .
A lowly bra boutique owner hears the dastardly Bra Myths being espoused . . .

 

This is a job for a Hero!
This is a job for a Hero!

Because Eveden brands love to recycle frames among the various lines, I was skeptical at first that Hero was not a retooled bra from another collection; however, my skepticism was not warranted as Hero is certainly a new entry for the powerhouse company.  The center is narrower at the gore and deeper in the cup than a standard Freya non-padded bra, and the overall profile shape is more rounded and forward too.  In fact, I see parallels to competing style Cleo Marcie in how the forward projection, lift, and depth come together—albeit to a more moderate extent with Hero, and anyone wanting a middle-ground between the front and center fit of Cleo or Polish bras and the wider, east-west style of other brands may find something to like here.  However, the underwires on this bra are crazy wide.

A quick wardrobe change was in order.
A quick wardrobe change was in order because . . .

In the bra world, a spectrum exists relating underwire width to cup depth.  On one end, styles feature wider wires and shallower cups like the Tutti Rouge Liliana, and on the other, styles sport ultra-narrow wires with exceptionally deep cups, such as those found in Polish brand Comexim.  In between, the modern shopper can find styles verging on one extreme as well as ones which tend to be more medium in depth and width.  Hero manages to be both wide and deep, which is a bit of a rare bird.  I’m not saying the combination doesn’t exist, but it’s certainly less commonplace, especially in the fuller-bust market.  I almost feel an Elomi influence here with the shape of the wires, but the cup depth is less shallow.

Hero_6

But needs her special chest armor to go into battle!
. . . She needs her special chest armor to go into battle!

On me, the Hero extends about 2″ beyond where my tissue ends, so much so that the side panel is not actually resting on much breast tissue.  This was a problem for me with Rapture too, and when a side panel cannot pull in tissue, you lose the advantage of having one in the first place.  Since most of my breast tissue is naturally forward anyway, it does not create a problem here but the width is not ideal.  Usually, when a bra expands this far back onto my ribs, I have a lot of problems with comfort, not so much from the underwire itself but rather from the cup pulling hard into my arms.  Hero sidesteps this problem and is one of the most comfortable bras I have tried even lately when stacked up with my beloved Polish bras.  The side are very low which I think alleviates the potential for rubbing or chaffing you would get from a bra that is too wide for you, and like other Freya wires, they are softer for less digging problems.

She's ready to go to work now!
She’s ready to go to work now!

The four-section cup design sports moderate coverage which I like, and the rounded, forward projection looks lovely under tops albeit not as front and center as a Polish bra (but really, is anything?).  Hero is one of those bras which make you question the need for a perfect fit.  Despite being a professional bra fitter, I am of the “Comfort First” school graduates in the sense that there are sometimes these less than ideal fit quibbles which do not impact how you feel about the fit and comfort of the bra.  With Hero, I love the way it feels and looks, especially because I have some tops which are not Polish bra friendly, but the width is something I would point out quickly in the fitting room with a client.  I’m toying with keeping it to see how I like the feel long term even with the width issues.  Since shooting the video, I did try the bra for about 30 minutes around the house, and while comfort stayed high, the underwire occasionally dug into the right side when I would twist backwards while leaning (not like I do that often, of course).  It was not a total deal breaker, but it has given me food for thought on whether I will keep it.

She fights to ensure the right information is available to all bra wearers!
She fights to ensure the right information is available to all bra wearers!

With this in mind, if you are wide rooted but close to average set in the front, Hero may be the bra for you.  The side panel would actually be able to direct breast tissue forward, but there would also be more depth toward the center.  Even if you are more on the medium rooted or close set side, there still may be potential.  Earlier I mentioned the Elomi connection, and I think Hero would be a nice transition bra for former Elomi customers needing that wire width in smaller bands.  We’ve seen this in the shop where customers now need 32 or 30 bands but still favor the classic Elomi shape from bras like Caitlyn.

Hero_4

Materials & Design:  While Eveden is our best-selling company for the store, their products in recent collections have occasionally had a price/quality disconnect in my opinion, and I am now keen to examine the materials, stitching, and construction with far more scrutiny than the past.  From what I can tell, the quality for Hero is back where I expect to see Freya, and I think the $60 price point is more accessible than recent forays into the higher price spectrum.  Firm wings anchor well to the body, and the thicker, restricted stretch, and fully-adjustable straps are a thoughtful design decision for a fuller-cup bra.  Freya created a lovely basic, non-padded option for the fuller-bust customer with Hero, and the thin seaming and lack of textured details on the cup mean the bra will be more discreet under clothes.

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

My Multiple Lingerie Personalities Disorder (MLPD) has been in full flare up for a few months now, and while I am craving some luxury-oriented pieces like Lady Grey from Anna Pardal as well as quirkier ones like a lime green bra, I still have a taste for minimalist, possibly slightly sporty styles.  Hero satisfies the craving with its simple black color and small scale, uniform geometric print on the cup.  Silver accents on the straps, bows, and side panels add interest in an understated way for a lovely black bra with a twist!

What's that? It looks like someone on the horizon needs the help of a Hero!
What’s that? It looks like someone on the horizon needs the help of a Hero!

Product Review: Freya Hero
Erica

Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.


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38 thoughts on “Product Review: Freya Hero

  • December 10, 2015 at 12:47 pm
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    You are one of my bra heroes! Thanks for the comments on the gore- my breasts are splayed enough that it doesn’t look like a match for me (I get empty space in the center of some bras). But I’m so glad Freya has an all-new frame that has such a good size range!

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 10, 2015 at 4:23 pm
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      <3 Thanks Lee! It does have a narrower frame at the center although I've made some converts out of Elomi Caitlyn lovers already. I know you tried that one in the past, so it may make for a good review at least on your blog. :)

      Reply
  • December 10, 2015 at 3:43 pm
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    What a great review! I love the second pic of you answering the “call to action!” I’m fairly new to the properly-fitting bra community, and your consistently analytical, data-driven, and FUNNY writing is the most valuable resource I’ve found yet. Thanks so much for sharing, and for taking the time and effort to maintain such a helpful blog on top of everything else you do!

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 10, 2015 at 4:24 pm
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      Thanks, Jen! 🙂 I try to write in a way that gives the information I’d want without making people cry from boredom. A little reassurance I’m doing that definitely helps! 😀

      Reply
  • December 10, 2015 at 9:17 pm
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    I’ve been wanting to try this bra because of the 3-part cups and side panels. Too bad about the underwires being wide and defeating the purpose of the side panels for a lot of us. 🙁 But I still want to try it!

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm
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      I’d still say it’s worth trying, Darlene. The bra is comfy outside of that very rare stabby incident, and the shape is pretty good too. I’d have like to seem them angle inward just a bit more to really find a middle ground.

      Reply
  • December 11, 2015 at 2:40 am
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    Hi Erica! Love this post! Am definitely going to give Hero a try as I’m living in moulded bras at the moment and need a change! Thanks for inspiring me once again!

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm
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      Since you like wider underwires, Alex, it’s definitely worth looking into! Plus, they are lower than your Panache bras which may feel a bit more comfortable. 🙂 Glad you like the review and let me know how it fares if you try it!

      Reply
  • December 11, 2015 at 3:26 am
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    Haha this is great Erica! All of your bra reviews make me want to try the bras out anyway, but this one especially. I want a comfortable black bra! Too bad I won’t pay for shipping to Australia

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm
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      Thank you! 🙂 I can’t believe shipping overseas. Every time I do a quote for some place not in the US or Canada, it’s a minimum of $10 for a small package. I understand why it is so hard for people without a boutique in those countries to find anything. Have you tried Large Cup Lingerie? They offer free International shipping from time to time (I think).

      Reply
  • December 11, 2015 at 5:20 am
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    Wow this bra sounds promising. I only wish it came in my size. I’ll keep it in mind for if I ever fit into a 38 band again, but I’m currently a 40-42 most of the time. In the meantime, I recently got my hands on a Sculptress Flirtini and was pleasantly surprised how well it works. It’s not perfect, I wish the wires were slightly shorter and didn’t curve inward so much, but it’s a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff I’ve been suffering through wearing lately. In regards to other “plus size” bra lines, I had to give up on Elomi because they are just built too wide overall and I hate their back bands. I end up with a headache every time I wear an Elomi bra, doesn’t matter what size or style it is. Sorry for the somewhat off-topic rant…oops! Haha Anyway, thank you for the great review! 🙂

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 11, 2015 at 4:05 pm
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      Thanks, Emily! OT rants are totally acceptable here. 🙂 Flirtini has really impressed me. We tried it this fall in the shop and have been very happy. Have you tried Chi Chi? That’s a great one from that line. Elomi is definitely a wider/shallower design sometimes. Our guest poster Holly really likes Elila bras. Have you tried those? I don’t have personal experience with them yet, but I’d love to get more feedback.

      Reply
      • December 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm
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        I have tried the Chi Chi. I had issues with the wires being very squeaky. I also felt jiggly and less secure/supported because of the stretchy lace, as you mentioned sometimes happens to people with full on bottom breasts. If I had to settle it would work ok, but the fit and fabrics of the Flirtini simply work better for me. From an aesthetic point of view I also prefer the fishnet Flirtini over any of the other Sculptress options currently available. I know that some people like them but I’m absolutely not a fan of animal prints or many of the other print/pattern combos Sculptress has been putting out recently. That fact coupled with the less-than-stellar promotional shots(although the recent ones are better) caused me to feel like the brand looked dowdy and out of touch, which is the key reason I didn’t bother trying the brand sooner.

        I have not tried anything from Elila but I mean to look into them in the future.

        Reply
        • Erica
          December 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm
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          Sculptresse has a bit of an identity crisis in my opinion with their target market and prints. The animal prints are so hit-or-miss here, and yet they are relying almost exclusively on them. It’s ridiculous! I’d like to see them elevate the look to match the price tag. They almost seem like they are trying to hard to be a Cleo *and* a Superbra to plus-size customers, but they are using Superbra frames and prices with more of a Cleo print. Oh how I could go on. I won’t. But I could. 😀

          Reply
          • January 8, 2016 at 5:52 pm
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            I thought I would update on my experience with the Sculptress Flirtini…
            A couple of days after the above convo, one of the underwires ended up popping out. I had only worn it maybe 6 times(hand washed and rested in between). I kind of saw it coming because I have had this happen before, but I guess I was hoping for a miracle. Honestly I feel that the material Panache uses for the wire casing is too loosely woven, making it easy for the wire to wiggle itself through the weave. That, coupled with the fact that the wire itself was slightly shorter than the casing, might have caused it to move around too much and possibly added extra wear and tear. I also wouldn’t doubt that the extra flesh on the sides of the body that is so common on plus sized bodies like mine is part of what’s causing extra strain to certain stress points on a bra. Seems like something that should be accounted for a bit more when designing things for different body types instead of just sizing it up from an existing model. I don’t know, I could be totally off base here. At any rate, I just wish the ends of casings(where the ends of the wires are) could be reinforced slightly or a different material used to avoid this issue, at least in larger sized bras like this one. It’s just so frustrating that I paid so much for a bra that I only ended up getting the equivalent of one week’s wear out of.

          • Erica
            January 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm
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            Hi Emily! I am really sorry to hear that. Have you contacted Panache directly about the issue? They are raising prices this spring on a lot of their products, and if there existing defects, they really should be made aware of that problem, particularly because you’re right that Flirtini is a pricier piece. You may also want to contact the retailer you bought the bra from because they may be able to get a return authorization directly from Panache. Wearing a bra six times should not allow the underwire to pop out like that (although washing machines can do it in one, which is why we are militant about hand washing here), and both companies should be aware of the issue.

  • December 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm
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    Oh, this review was so funny and quirky…LOVED IT! We need to see the bright side of life! <3

    As for the bra, it's very tempting, especially in the new color way, and it looks great on you…but after my failure with Freya Deco and considering my love for Comexim, I think I'll pass! 🙁

    kiss kiss
    Nádia
    My Fashion Insider

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 17, 2015 at 4:29 pm
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      Thanks, Nadia! Comexim is certainly my favorite and is such a hard brand to beat for me, but Hero was much better than expected. I think it has some potential, especially for those who need that extra width on the side but also appreciate lowness. I’m excited to read/hear more feedback on the shape in the future!

      Reply
  • December 16, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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    Intriguing! The only Freyas that have every worked for me are Jolie & Pollyanna (the only full-on-top friendly styles I’ve found, since I am sized out of the gorgeous 1/2 cups), so this new shape looks promising. I am a bit hesitant about the top edge, though. It appears as if it might cut back in rather sharply. Is there any stretch or give to the upper panel? Does it seem as it it might accommodate moderate upper fullness? Or is it Freya’s usual bottom-full friendly shape?

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm
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      Hi Alicia! There’s no real give to the top cup, but I do think the shape is not quite as closed off as other styles. It may not work for all full-on-top breasts, but I do think it’s an improvement for the brand. I fall firmly into the balanced camp, so I do have upper breast tissue which can be mashed and shaped in an unflattering way by Freya’s styles. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I stopped buying their products. Hero does an admirable job of not falling into the familiar Freya traps though, and the shape is rounded. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad experiment for you!

      Reply
  • December 17, 2015 at 1:52 am
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    Promising… and it goes up to a K cup! Did you notice any difference in the construction of the H and HH cup? Although I have little tissue to the sides, it is still there and I don’t mind wide wires, with or without side panels. My main beef with Freya and Fantasie has always been the HUGE center gores. So, this one might be worth a try…

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm
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      Hi Astrid! I don’t see anything different between the H and HH cup outside of more cup depth on the HH. Of course, as you well know, that doesn’t mean when they get to the K cup that it will hold up well. It does seem to have more potential than any of the other styles I have tried lately for fuller-cups which is good. Like you, the wider wires do not bother me so much so long as they don’t cause discomfort (which these don’t), and I do like the lightweight feel and overall shape. If you try it, I’d love to read your post on it!

      Reply
  • December 23, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    Hi Erica,
    If possible, please post the bratabase measurements of the freya hero which you own.
    Thanks,
    Sowmya.

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm
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      Hi Sowmya! I’d be happy to give some measurements (keeping in mind I am still not an expert at taking them):

      Unstretched Band: 24.5″
      Stretched Band: 31.25″
      Gore Height: 3.5″
      Gore Width Top: 1″
      Gore Width Bottom: 2.75″
      Underwire Width (from tip to tip directly across): 6″
      Horizontal Cup Depth: 13″
      Vertical Cup Depth: 9″

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • December 24, 2015 at 11:51 am
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    Hi Erica, As you know, my go to bra for the past few years has been my Freya Decos. This was great until my last little growth spurt , which is actually quite common with gynecomastia (a man wit feminine breasts) . What’s not so common is the fact that I’m in a 36H/HH in most of my bras now. After seeing and reading your review, I think that “I Need a Hero ” in my bra drawer. I think that you a a bra hero to most of your loyal following like myself and many others. You have always been accepting of the fact that bras aren’t necessarily just for.women anymore which is nice to have someone of.your stature to acknowledge that.

    I was told that I can’t have a mastectomy until my growth spurts become less frequent. So until I can have surgery (IF….I have surgery) I’m going to need a few new bras. Thanks to you Erica, the Hero will definitely be one of them. Thanks Again!

    Corey

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm
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      Hi Corey! You are not the only man with gynecomastia who has written to me after reading the review! I think the wire shaping in particular would be good for male customers, and the non-padded cup may also be more discreet under tops. If you get a chance to try the style, please let me know how it works for you! Just keep in mind that it did run a bit generous in the cup, so I would go with your smaller size!

      Reply
      • March 27, 2016 at 11:49 am
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        Sorry Erica,

        Just getting back to you now about the Hero. You were right. I had to go down a cup size. I know that it’s only a size. However it’s nice to know that I can still fit in a G cup. I realize that finding a bra that fits is like hitting a moving target. Meaning that our breasts are constantly changing size and shape with weight gain or loss, hormone changes, and age. I’ve learned (mostly from your posts and reviews ) that it’s ok to seek out the perfect fitting bra…even if you happen to be a man.

        Reply
        • Erica
          April 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm
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          Hi Corey! We’re finding in the store that Hero definitely runs a cup size generous compared to other Freya models. It’s really not a bad shape from them, and I’m glad to see they started experimenting more. In particular, we find that people who like the Elomi shape but are sizing out of it love Hero. The fabric is really lightweight too which is a bonus. I’m glad I could help you on your bra journey! Everyone who wants to wear bras deserves to find something which fits well and makes them feel happy. 🙂

          Reply
  • January 3, 2016 at 7:18 pm
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    Hi Erica Thanks for your thorough review – I love classic Freya plunge non padded bra – they are comfortable and usually bring my boobs forward give me nice cleavage and although they generally give me a pointy look I don’t mind. I was disappointed in last year’s offerings (prints etc) but am excited about this spring’s lineup. My only issue is that I have gained weight and am getting older (49) so my breast tissue is getting softer and I am starting to have tissue overflow on the sides above the bra band under the arms. I have tried Fantasie bras but I hate high gore bras. Am I going to have this problem indefinitely now? Is there a Freya style which you would recommend or another brand which would not give me this problem? Thanks so much! ps I don’t think the Hero would work for me due to its wide wires. I have a very narrow ribcage (usually size 32F (band size is actually 31)).

    Reply
    • Erica
      January 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm
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      Hi Natalie! I’m glad you enjoyed the review. 🙂 When I read through your comment, my first thought was whether you may need a cup size up now. If you’ve had any weight gain, it’s possible the tissue overflow on the sides actually needs to be scooped into a larger cup. I’d consider trying a 32FF first in Freya to see how that fits. The Freya Plunge balconies do tend to have better side coverage. Cleo by Panache has pretty narrow underwires too, and we’ve been really impressed so far with the Natori Plus Support pieces (available up to a US H/UK FF cup). The Pure Allure gives great coverage on the side with a nice underwire shape. Finally, you may also want to look into Polish company Comexim. They have narrow wires but can also do alterations like raise the fabric near the arm to ensure all of the tissue is contained.

      Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 9:56 pm
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    Hi Erica,
    I think this must be 1841- freya hero side support plunge and not 1842- freya hero side support balconette. It is confusing, as freya seems to use the the same picture for both the patterns, there is absolutely no visible difference at all. I am unable to find an image of 1842 balconete anywhere, however can we assume the difference must only be in the gore height and wing height under the arms?
    I request you to Please shed some light when you find time.
    I like the hero which u are wearing, but want some more height under the arms, I hope 1842 can satisfy that.

    Thanks,
    Sowmya.

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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      Hi Sowmya! This is actually the 1842 bra. Freya (and sister line Fantasie) often does a split model number with their bras to indicate where the pattern changes drastically. The AA1841 is strictly for 28-38D-G cups while the AA1842 is for GG+ cups only. Essentially, the D-G style (1841) is more of the plunge with side support because the cups are smaller, and the balcony (1842) has more coverage and some other shape changes. That’s why you don’t see any separate pictures of the two styles. This is pretty common for them and something to consider. I’m not sure I agree with it 100% because if they can make the plunge in a 38G, why not in the 36GG or 34H, etc. which are all sister-sizes. I hope this helps clarify the styles!

      Reply
      • February 13, 2016 at 12:47 am
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        Hi Erica,
        Thank you for clarifying, it is enlightening and answers all my questions. Another request from me: please provide the wing height of your freya hero, when you are free.

        There is not even a single measurement posted on bratabase. Hence the measurements provided by you are very helpfull.

        Thanks,
        Sowmya.

        Reply
        • Erica
          February 25, 2016 at 1:08 pm
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          Hi Sowmya! Sadly, I no longer have the Hero bra to measure! 🙁 If I had to guess, I’d have said it was around 3.5″ or so. Should I get one in back in stock, I will definitely update here though!

          Reply
          • February 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm
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            Thank you, Erica!

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