Review: Morning Meadow by Freya

I realized the other day that I don’t own a single beige or light-colored bra that fits. Not a one. I don’t wear white or a lot of pale colors, so I don’t need a ton of bras that are close to my skin tone. Pastel bras are out for similar reasons (I’m already plenty pale, so I don’t love the way lighter colors look on me), plus all of my darker clothes can make pale lingerie look dingy, gray, and tired very quickly. I was patting myself on the back about my practical approach to my pretties, and then, well, Spring happened.

I feel like Meryl Streep is going to come after me,

florals for spring

but really, how great are all the pastel, flower-hued lingerie collections right now?

Like this one!

Claudette "Dessous" in Pink Lemonage.  Sizes 28-38 A-G (UK).  Image via Faire Frou Frou

Claudette “Dessous” in Pink lemonade. Sizes 28-38 A-G (UK). Image via Faire Frou Frou

Or this one!

"Dotty For You" silk chiffon teddy by Mimi Holliday.

“Dotty For You” silk chiffon teddy by Mimi Holliday, S-L.

Or this one!

"Maddie Floral" by Cleo (exclusive to Bravissimo).  Sizes 28 E-H, 30 DD-H, 32-38 D-H (UK).  Image via Bravissimo.

“Maddie Floral” by Cleo (exclusive to Bravissimo). Sizes 28 E-H, 30 DD-H, 32-38 D-H (UK). Image via Bravissimo.

Or this one!

"Valentina" by Elomi. Sizes 34 GG-HH, 36-42 D-HH, 44 D-G, 46 D-DD.  Image via Nordstrom

“Valentina” by Elomi. Sizes 34 GG-HH, 36-42 D-HH, 44 D-G, 46 D-DD. Image via Nordstrom

Answer: so great. So, so pretty. And that’s how I impulse-purchased (sigh, again. Some of my favorite bras were . . . unexpected purchases) the “Morning Meadow” set by Freya.

"Morning Meadow" in Lime by Freya.  Sizes 28-30 D-H (UK), 32-38 B-H (UK).

“Morning Meadow” in Lime by Freya. Sizes 28-30 D-H (UK), 32-38 B-H (UK).  Pictured with matching short, sizes XS-XL.

I’ve mentioned it before, but when a wore a size that was smaller than a UK G-cup, Freya just WORKED for me. My first favorite bras were by Freya, my best fit was from Freya, and the brand really introduced me to the world of fun colors and prints for lingerie. However, as my cup size increased, I’ve had a correspondingly difficult time getting a good fit. I mentioned some of my fit issues in my review of the Freya Active Sports Top, and Fredericka Zappe really helped me understand my personal fit challenges during the Eveden Fit Event at CurveNY. As my cup size increased, my body’s shape began to disagree with Freya’s, and I found myself wanting closer-spaced wires and a cup with more depth and projection.

I decided to gamble on “Morning Meadow” because the shape was slightly different from the shapes I’d tried previously. “Gem,” which I’d tried on at home with no success, is a balcony (balconette) bra, whereas “Morning Meadow” is described as a plunge balcony, which means the center gore doesn’t rise as high as it does on a true balcony. Since my major issue with “Gem” was a too-high center gore that wouldn’t tack, I decided to see if I’d have more luck with this shape. The color, the sheer white top cup, and the embroidery were a new look for me, so I was interested to give them a try.

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I tend to steer clear of heavy embroidery, so I was surprised by how much I liked the look of the set.  The details really shine in person: lime green and white pinstripes, tiny blue dots of flowers, and a sheer white upper cup with contrasting striped floral embroidery.  The brief is trimmed with hints of matching blue lace, and the fabric feels silky and soft (I learned at Curve that the way fabric feels to the touch is called “the handle”.  Fun facts!).

I’ve been finding a good fit in a pretty consistent size across the board in all of the UK brands I wear (Bravissimo, Panache, and Eveden) lately, so I opted for the same size here.  I find Freya knickers to run slightly bigger than some other brands, so I ordered a size smaller than what I wear in Panache or Curvy Kate.  My size closes with three columns of two rows of hooks-and-eyes (I really prefer the look and feel of three rows of hooks), and the straps are fully adjustable.  The band fits true-to-size, nice and firm on the loosest hook, and the stretch feels uniform, without digging in or loosening dramatically throughout the day.

"Morning Meadow" plunge balcony bra.  Image via Figleaves.

“Morning Meadow” plunge balcony bra. Image via Figleaves.

Freya’s unlined balconettes are somewhat notorious for giving a shape that is often described as “retro” or “pointed”, depending on your breast shape.  It’s definitely not as rounded as Cleo’s unlined balconettes, but I don’t mind it.  It feels a little more natural, and I find that after a few wears and washes the shape seems to soften and conform to my boobs, rounding out the “pointiness” a bit.  The bottom part of the cup features a vertical seam to provide lift, with a curving, across-the-breast seam running directly to the strap for added support.

So, how did it fit?  Well . . . I’m sorry to say that, as with the other Freya bras I’ve tried lately, it’s just not perfect.  It’s not terrible!  The cup volume overall is right, the band feels great (although I do want the depth an additional hook and eye would provide), and all of my breast tissue is inside the wires with no digging or overspill.  Beyond that though, there are a few fit issues:

  • The straps feel quite wide and high to me.  Freddy explained to us at Curve that lots of American women have a body type that features a “short upper torso.” It’s not necessarily related to short-waistedness (although I have that, too, woo!), but it means that the bust is quite high on the chest, and therefore balconette straps can sometimes pull too high and wide, cutting into the armpits.
  • The wires are a little too wide.  As with the Freya Active Performance Sports Top, I seem to have a bit of extra space in the bottom sides of the cup, extending further under my arms than is totally necessary.  The bottom part of the cup is also a little shallow, which pushes my breast tissue up and away from the wires, sliding the bra down my ribcage a bit.
  • The cup is too shallow near the center gore.  This is maybe the number one difference between my fit with Cleo and my fit with Freya.  My Cleo balconette bras curve sharply out from the center gore, which is great for close-set breasts with a lot of roundness and projection.  With Freya, the cups actually push against my breast tissue, fighting my natural shape and preventing the center gore from tacking firmly.  In some cases that would be an indication that the cup is too small, but considering the extra room I have in other parts of the cup, sizing up probably wouldn’t solve the problem.

I know I’ve made it sound like this bra was a straight-up bad fit for me.  While it’s not a perfect fit, it IS close, and furthermore it’s comfortable and freaking ADORABLE.  If we’re looking at the three kinds of fit, I’ve achieved Aesthetic Fit and Comfort Fit, so I’m allowing myself to compromise a little on Technical Fit, but just a little. The center gore NEARLY tacks (in fact, it does tack but just not quite as firmly as I’d like), the wires are NEARLY the right shape, and while the straps definitely feel wider than I’m used to, there’s no discomfort.  If I was fitting someone else with a shape similar to mine I’d definitely point out these fit issues, but if she loved it and felt good in it there’s nothing that would keep me from recommending it to her (if the band rode up or she had quadraboob happening or a center gore that didn’t tack by an inch or something, then we’d talk).  Green is really having a moment in the lingerie world right now, and the pretty bright lime feels fresh, pretty, and fun.

Dear Freya: please offer a different shape or a slightly adjusted pattern for your G+ customers, and I will be a happy camper.

Morning Meadow plunge balcony bra is available in sizes 38-30 D-H, 32-38 B-H (UK sizes).  Matching brief, short, and thong available in sizes XS-XL.  Morning Meadow is available at Figleaves, Nordstrom, and Bare Necessities, among others.

13 Comments on Review: Morning Meadow by Freya

  1. Erica of A Sophisticated Pair
    April 24, 2013 at 11:50 am (6 years ago)

    First off, I have to say I was sooooo hoping when Pantone announced “Emerald” as THE color for the year that we would see some green lingerie. Green’s my favorite color, and I was sad at how little selection there is out there. When I saw the Morning Meadow, I was super excited because that shade of green is so fun and energizing. I find the Plunge Balcony styles are more forgiving than Freya’s regular balcony bras, but I do wish they’d change up shapes more for the G+ crowd. Like you, I’m finding Cleo can be a great alternative for days I don’t want as much coverage and would rather have a bit more projection and roundness.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      April 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm (6 years ago)

      I’ve seen a lot of green from independent and luxury designers, but apart from Morning Meadow and Totally Tartan, not much for the full-bust crowd. I know Freya is expanding the padded half-cup shape, and I feel petulant for asking, but I’d really like a different unlined style for G+. Maybe next year?

      Reply
    • Jennifer
      April 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm (6 years ago)

      I’m SO with you there – emerald green is my favorite color of all time and there has been disappointingly little use of it in lingerie. Bravissimo have done two recently – the black/green Boudoir Beau and the emerald/violet Madamoiselle, both of which I snagged because who knows when there will be more green bras, but I’m still waiting for the “perfect one”.

      Reply
      • sophisticatedpair
        April 24, 2013 at 1:36 pm (6 years ago)

        Lingerie does seem to be all about the pinks, purples, and blues—all of which are beautiful colors. But still, it’s nice to shake things up and interject something else into the mix. 🙂

        Reply
  2. Jennifer
    April 24, 2013 at 11:56 am (6 years ago)

    Oh man, I am SO glad to hear I’m not the only one having that issue with Freyas – I bought the Gem and the Lacey on sale a while back, and I literally could not get the center gore to tack at ALL on either one, even though I exchanged the 38Hs I normally wear (in Panache/Bravissimo/etc) for 38HHs, which still didn’t tack and were kind of roomy, and then for a 38J in the Lacey which left me absolutely swimming in the cups but still didn’t fit properly in the central gore (only by a few mm, but I like it to be nice and firm). I honestly thought I was imagining it or wearing the wrong size or something, because no one else had ever mentioned having a similar problem. As a result, I’ve basically decided not to buy any more wired stuff from Freya, which is a shame, because I think it’s really cute stuff and would love if I could wear it.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      April 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm (6 years ago)

      Oh, you’re definitely not alone! It was very interesting to me because I changed sizes quickly over a fairly short period of time, so it was really apparent to me how the fit changed once I passed I G-cup. I really hope they consider offering a different pattern in G+ sizes in the future, because I usually fall in love with at least one of their sets per season. Have you tried Cleo by Panache or any of Bravissimo’s balconettes? I’ve had much better luck there, fit-wise!

      Reply
      • Jennifer
        April 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm (6 years ago)

        It’s better for my bank account, I guess? But I love Panache (the Tango II was my first properly-fitting bra), Curvy Kate, and Bravissimo, and just recently started trying a few Cleos and Masquerades, which I also love, so it’s not like I’m suffering any real shortage of bras. (Au contraire, my wardrobe is overflowing!) I was just surprised (and a little grumpy) to find that Freya was this Big Name in full-bust lingerie and I couldn’t get anything to fit.

        Reply
  3. WideCurves
    April 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm (6 years ago)

    I tried the Totally Tartan demi cup…the gore just would not tack. It simply was not up to the challenge? It definitely needed a bit more “umph”, or strength to it.

    I think my gore issues come from my wideness… I honestly don’t think there’s a bra made that’s wide enough (without wrapping around my back – which is another issue). Larger cups are not a solution, as you observed.

    I also suffer from half filled cups on the bottom. Again, I think it’s the wideness and central/lower fullness in a too shallow cup. Wires aren’t wide enough at the gore if they’re wide enough on the sides. Grrr….

    Reply
    • Sweets
      April 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm (6 years ago)

      I sympathize with your fit quest. It can be really discouraging to keep trying and trying and trying again to find the right shape. Have you tried one of Bravissimo’s half cups? I’m venturing a guess, because I only tried one and it was a while ago, but I feel like I remember width + depth there. I’d be interested to know what you think of the style!

      Reply
      • WideCurves
        April 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm (6 years ago)

        No, I haven’t tried Bravissimo yet. I’ll put it on the ever growing list.

        I did make an interesting discovery the other day. I think I like smaller bands because the cups are (generally) closer together in the front for my close-set build. But if things get too tight, an extender gives length without widening the cup position. A cheat, but an ok one for now.

        Reply
  4. Miss Underpinnings (@MsUnderpinnings)
    April 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm (6 years ago)

    Damn you Sweets, I was trying to ignore all the pastel loveliness and you’ve reminded me of all my favorites (Hello, hello Claudette!). I wish the Morning Meadow had worked out for you, it’s a lovely bra. I hate that G+ and sub G bras, from the same brand and even the same line, can have such wildly different fits. It boggles my mind that the first fit you had with Freya couldn’t be replicated throughout the size range. I’m on board with the Freya plea too, I’d love to see the company work on their soft styles. They’re my favorites and they’ve been left behind in the wake of the Deco madness.

    Thanks for the review!

    Reply
    • Sweets
      April 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm (6 years ago)

      I’m with you– I know women love Deco, I know it’s useful, I know women feel gorgeous in it, but I didn’t like it. At all. It’s just not for me, and I do feel like some of the other Freya styles are afterthoughts, especially non-padded. I don’t need Freya to cater to me specifically, but it’s always nice to hear that I’m not the only one who wants a little more.

      Reply
  5. J. Hopely
    April 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh man. I always have the problem of bras being too wide – the cup and strap nearly always cut into my armpits, much as you described. Although, I wouldn’t say my boobs are particularly high set, either – while I am short-waisted, I feel like the upper part of my torso is pretty proportionate. However, I hypothesize that the problem is the how my chest cavity is shaped depth-versus-width-wise. I think my ribcage is narrower as seen from the front, but deeper as seen from the side. I think if you were to take a cross-section from above, I would have a more circular (or at least squarish) shaped chest than flattened oval (or rectangle) like other women. So even though I may have the same underbust circumference as someone else, there is effectively less frontal area to work with and thus bras are more likely to collide with my arms. At least, that’s the theory I’m working with! That said, taking in the center gore doesn’t work because I also have fairly wide-set boobs. I’ve taken to moving the straps in and, if the bra allows it, shortening the sides of the cups so they don’t cut into my armpits. It’s certainly less than ideal, but I’ve yet to find a good brand for my short of shape.

    As far as emerald though, I loooooove the color, particularly Chantelle’s version of it this season, but I know their size range is still pretty limited.

    Reply

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