“Marvel” is one of the first new shapes Freya has introduced in quite a while. Freya’s current lineup features the Deco range (molded cups), a half-cup padded bra and longline bra, and a plunge balcony/balcony bra that goes up to a K-cup. There are some variations on this formula (some are sheer, some are lace, some have lower or higher wires, etc.), but in general once you find a shape you like in Freya you can be sure to see it in a few different colors or patterns each season. So the introduction of Marvel as a new continuity style was a pretty exciting development, and made me hopeful that Freya might be on their way to a new (better) G+ shape (as the balcony bras and sports bra do not work for me at all past a G-cup). I recently found Marvel in my size at a deep discount on Amazon and decided to take it out for a spin. In general I don’t get along with half-cup bras, despite being fairly full-on-top, but I’d heard that this shape, with non-padded cups (yay!) and a side panel, might work really well for me.
Marvel is a non-padded padded bra with two vertical seams for shape and uplift (one seam is connected to a side panel, for an upfront and centered look). The beige colorway features simple white mesh trim along the top of the cup, a bow at the center gore, and fully adjustable ribbed straps, while both the black continuity and this Spring’s white “Glacier” colorways feature contrasting, bubbly dots (in purple and seafoam green, respectively). The bra closes with three columns of two rows of hooks and eyes.
I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way, this bra is a bust (no pun intended) on me. It’s not a bad bra, by any means, but as soon as I pulled it out of the bag I sensed the imminent disaster. The main reason? The underwire is one of the bendiest underwires I’ve seen in my size range in quite some time. It’s thin, super-flexible, and angles sharply backwards under the arms, rather than swooping up vertically. I haven’t had luck with underwires like this in the past, and my fears proved well founded.
In better news, I found the bra “true to size”, so those of you who find some Freya bands too stretchy may be happy with the fit of Marvel. I fastened mine comfortably on the loosest set of hooks, I had enough length in the straps (yay!), and the bra does indeed give a very round shape, with none of the retro pointiness of some of Freya’s other styles (which I don’t mind, but I know some others prefer a super-round shape).
That being said, the shape of this bra is all wrong for me. Though there’s plenty of room in the cup, the center gore doesn’t tack, the wires are wider than I need them at the sides, and the bottom of the cups are too shallow for me. I keep wanting to yank the underwires forward to get a narrower, more projected shape, which is sort of the same feeling I get in Elomi bras. I can sense that the longer I wear this bra, the more the band will continue to pull the wires backwards, causing the cups to flatten even more. The cup volume is probably fine, but it’s too spread out: I have empty space in the bottom and sides of the cups, and I don’t feel very secure or supported.
While I like parts of the bra (the fabric feels silky and smooth, I love that it’s not padded, and the straps are long enough), overall Marvel is a bit of a letdown. Well, it is for me, but my boobs are not everyone’s boobs. I suspect someone with a wider breast root and shallower profile might love Marvel (I can in fact think of several friends who might really like it), but I’m returning mine. I’m sad the new shape didn’t work out for me, because I feel like I’m about ready to stop trying Freya bras altogether.
When I wore a G-cup or smaller Freya was hands-down my favorite brand. They were the first bras I ever wore that made me feel lifted, stable, and supported, plus they came in fantastic prints or colors. Part of the reason I’ve switched loyalties over to Freya’s competitors for G+ bras is the variety of shapes those brands offer, as well as stronger, sturdier underwires. While I don’t get along with some Panache classics like Tango and Andorra, I have quite a few other styles in my size range to choose from three Panache brands (Cleo, Panache, and Masquerade) like Jasmine, Colette, Marcie, and Lily. Bravissimo’s balconettes work beautifully for me, and though it’s taken a while, I think I’ve finally found my first really great fit in Curvy Kate (review to come!). These brands are winning me over not because I’ve found one shape that works well, but because I’ve found several. I’m more likely to recommend these brands to clients, because I know that my G+ clients in particular will have more choices. If Freya wants to focus their energies on B-G cup sizes I wouldn’t blame them: they do very, very well in that size range, and moreover stores will always buy that size range. But after another season of limited G+ fashion styles, no new developments for an H+ Active customer, and an upcoming season filled with more of the same, I’m about ready to give up. Freya, darling, we had a good thing while it lasted. Be good to my B-G sisters.
Marvel is available in Black, Beige, and Glacier in sizes 28-38 D-H (UK), with matching brief, short, and thong in sizes XS-XL. You can find Marvel at Figleaves, Freshpair, Bravissimo, Brastop, Large Cup Lingerie, and others.
For more Marvel reviews, check out Miss Underpinnings, Bras I Hate & Love, Petite & Plentiful, Faustine’s Foundations and Fussy Busty. I’m interested to see that some women who wear band sizes on the smaller end of the spectrum found the cups both narrow and projected; maybe Freya needs to revamp the proportions of their larger sizes?