For those of us who know our bra sizes better than our social security numbers, Freya is nothing new, but for many women, particularly in North America, who are just getting to know their full-bust sizes, Freya’s is the first friendly face they’ll meet. While Freya may not be for everyone, I want to share the brand with you because 1) it’s widely available in North America now, 2) it’s moderately priced (generally), and 3) Freya really paved the way for many of the beautiful, varied full-bust companies on the market today.
Lots of Styles
Being an internationally recognized leader in the full-bust market, Freya has the resources to offer many, many different styles over the course of a year. On average, around 20+ new styles hit the market every season, including swim, lounge, lingerie, and athletic wear.
Freya offers lots of different shapes, too: padded half-cup, seamed balconette, molded plunge (the enormously popular Deco bra), soft cup, nursing, sports, and strapless bras as well as bikinis, tankinis, and full-length swimsuits, so there’s a chance that even if one shape isn’t your cup of tea, Freya may offer another shape that works for you. Last year they introduced a longline style which returns this year in multiple prints. Some bras are padded, some are sheer, some are opaque, some are frilly, some are basic, so you have a great chance of finding underwear to suit your needs and tastes. Freya will be launching some pretty shapewear next spring, and Freya and sister brands Elomi, Huit, Fauve, Fantasie, and Goddess offer beautiful, colorful options for a range of shapes, sizes, styles, and budgets.
Lots of Sizes (sometimes)
Freya was one of the first labels to offer K-cups and 28-backs, and they should be applauded. Competitive labels have expanded their size ranges in order to keep up, which means more options for everyone. However, sometimes there are weirdly arbitrary sizing black holes. Some bras start at C-cups, others at D, 28 bands frequently aren’t available in the full cup-size spectrum, the athletic and sleepwear ranges don’t go to K cups, and some other styles arbitrarily stop at G or GG instead of extending up to the full GG-K range (particularly in larger band sizes– boo). Many women are waiting for Freya to adapt the Deco bra for larger cup sizes, and I am baffled as to why the longline bras can’t go higher than a G. If it’s because the longline bras feature the padded half-cup shape, then make it an unlined balconette longline bra! Hell, I’d prefer it unlined. A longline version of the Arabella range would knock my socks off.
Holy crap, you guys, I am a design genius! Freya, get on that: I will buy the hell out of it. A longline bra with its six hooks feels like such a blessing to so many full-busted women, since, as we know, support comes from the band. I know that the design, construction, and, well, architecture of larger cup sizes is more challenging and more time-consuming, but women who wear these sizes often want supportive sleepwear and sports bras most of all, and there’s currently a huge hole in the market.
Lots of Accessories
I’ve made my feelings on matching sets known before: I love them, I crave them, I feel so pretty in them. Freya usually offers at least two, if not more, coordinating knickers (and occasionally suspenders) for each of their bras and coordinating bottoms for each of their bikinis and tankinis. As an avowed thong-hater, I love this, because I can build lingerie ensembles of my choosing, with pieces that I know flatter me and feel the most comfortable.
Lots of Color
While my first Freya bra was a fairly basic black (“Pollyanna”, I know I keep harping on it but RIP I miss you), the first thing that made me notice the brand was color. Again, the full-bust landscape has changed dramatically in the last five years, and brands like Cleo, Miss Mandalay, Parfait, Claudette, Curveturiere, and others feature bright, bold, on-trend colors and a sophisticated design approach, but when I first started figuring out how to fit my breasts, my only point of reference was your average US department store, where my options were beige, black, and white, if they carried my size at all. Freya bras, on the other hand, came in reds and pinks and greens and blues and deep purples, and they were trimmed with lace and contrasting bows and ruffles. The designs were interesting, the colors popped, and the whole feel overall was so much more youthful, sexy, and fun than the beige minimizer bras I’d turned to for years.
Lots of Print
Polka dots. Bows. Flowers. Tattoos. Flamingos. Russian dolls. Feathers. Stripes. Freya really stands out in the full-bust market for its sometimes completely bonkers prints (I mostly mean that as a compliment). While it’s really lovely to have elegant, luxurious lingerie in your drawer, sometimes it’s also nice to inject a little fun into the mix. I will always love polka dots, and I LOVED the Nieve print (which sort of kills me, because I found the fit in both the balconette and the longline bras to be pretty strange (more later)). There’s a nice playfulness to some of the prints, and a charming sensuality to others.
Does Freya have it all? Well . . . they have a lot! I think branching into shapewear for Spring 2013 was a really smart decision, given that shapewear’s surging popularity shows no signs of stopping. I hope Freya listen to feedback and continue to expand their size ranges, as there are currently lots of ladies falling into the gaps. There are sometimes baffling fit inconsistencies that make shopping online a real pain. In the last year or two it seems like Freya’s bands have gotten much, much stretchier, and sometimes the cups have too. I have the balconette version of the Nieve in what is, for me, a pretty average size, and I’ve worn it a few times, but it has stretched so quickly I’m already wearing it on the tightest hooks, and the cups are bizarrely unsupportive and droopy. I almost feel like I should have gone down 1 band size and up 2 cup sizes, a fit adjustment that is impossible to anticipate and which most likely means an online shopper will have to pay shipping and returns. The “Faye” style is very popular as a basic bra, but I have yet to find the right fit on me. I find the band somehow loose and tight all at once, the cups are shallow, and the fabric feels flimsy to me. However, these complaints might be specific to my body type, and maybe to a women with firmer tissue or differently shaped breasts, Freya’s recent design changes are a breath of fresh air. Freya’s wires tend to run narrower than Panache’s, which are notoriously wide, so Freya bras in general might suit some women better than others. Finally, many of Freya’s unlined bras give a kind of retro pointy shape, which can be either really appealing or a huge turn-off, depending on your preferences. I’m not a fan of the shape for me personally, but I have found that the silhouette tends to soften to a more natural look after a few wearings, almost like I have to break it in first.
While I don’t think Freya will ever be everything to any one specific customer, I do think Freya has a little something to offer a wide range of women, no matter her age, shape, or style.
Have you tried Freya? Do you have a favorite style? I’ve mostly featured past styles, but if you want a sneak peek of Spring/Summer 2013 (and the chance to preorder anything that catches your eye), check out A Sophisticated Pair’s preview of some of the beautiful styles to come!