[Freya generously provided this set for review. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Well, if you ever have the chance to ask yourself “what would Sweets’ ideal lingerie set look like?”, let me assure you the answer is emphatically NOT neon yellow.
That sounds like I’m setting you up for a snarky negative review, so let me hasten to add: this review is going to be overwhelmingly positive, but daaaaang the first time I saw this set at the trade shows several seasons ago I thought “yikes, not for me”. I enjoy yellow as a color, but I especially enjoy it as a color located far, far away from my pale skin, and neon lingerie is generally not my thing. So when I opened the parcel from Freya and found the neon yellow Pulse collection with a note that said something along the lines of “we know you’ll love this!” I sighed and began to question my personal brand.
That said, (A) I know, I know, I’m a spoiled monster, and (B) first impressions can be deceiving, because this is one of the most successful Freya styles I’ve tried in the last five years.
Pulse is a sheer three-part balconette bra with wide, fully adjustable straps. The neon yellow base is trimmed with an electric pink lightning bolt of embroidery along the top of the bra cups and over the hips of the shorts, with pink bows at the bra’s center gore and the shorts’ waistband. The continuous band fastens with three rows and three columns of hooks and eyes (at least in G+ sizes), and there are vertical pieces of boning (or stays) under the arms to provide additional support and stability. The coordinating short hugs the hips and features a seam free legline for a smooth look under clothes.
Some Freya styles, particularly the non-padded ones, can run a bit generous, but this bra is next-level generous. I have both the neon yellow and the black colorway, and I took the same size in each. I’ve been dealing with a leg injury since the Fall and have gained a bit of weight as a result, so my most common sizes right now are 32H and Large or XL for briefs. The Pulse shorts fit super well in my usual Large/14, but when it comes to the bra, I found my best fit in a size 30GG. That’s right: in my experience (can’t speak for everyone, of course), Pulse runs a band size big and 1-2 cup sizes big.
Once I got myself in the right size, I was blown away by the shape and support. I feel centered and lifted, and I get a lovely, gently rounded shape. I should have shortened the straps just a scooch more in these photos, and I did the next time I wore the bra, but once that was done I found I barely had to adjust or reposition the bra during the course of a day’s wear. The center gore tacks securely against my sternum, the underwires fully surround my breast tissue, and the mesh of the cups lies smoothly without digging in or wrinkling. This is one of my favorite seamed bra shapes (where the outer bottom panel connects directly to the strap), because I find that it really does a great job of drawing my breast tissue in from the sides of my body and providing lift.
For the most part this shape and construction is my platonic ideal of a bra: the center gore doesn’t rise too high, the cups are a nice match for my breast shape and give me a lifted, centered look that I like, and the wide band and straps lie flat and don’t dig. My only knock against this style is the side stays in the band. I’m squishiest between the top of my ribcage and my hips, and the vertical pieces of boning can really start to dig into my fluffy bits, to the point where it can be quite painful by the end of a long day. Even though the band on this bra is generous, if you know that side stays are a fit concern for you, sticking with your regular size (instead of sizing down like I did) might resolve the issue. Apart from that? This is a really great full-bust lingerie set. The shorts are comfy and stay put better than some others, the mesh is light and breathable, and once I put the set on I rarely have to fiddle with it for the rest of the day.
I have been pretty outspoken in my past coverage of Freya’s G+ styles about their shortcomings for me: I found the wires far too wide, I was disappointed that sheer styles became opaque after a certain size, and the G+ styles generally went super wonky on my body in a way that the FF and G-cup sizes I’d worn previous did not. I’m thrilled to report that Pulse is a HUGELY WELCOME improvement over some of the past styles I’ve tried in my current size range. While the neon yellow is absolutely not my color, I love the look of the set in the more recent Noir and Scarlet colorways, and I think when paired with the matching suspender belt it makes for an extremely versatile set that works well for practical, everyday wear as well as for special occasions. Introducing a new shape for their G+ customers is a long overdue move for Freya, but considering how successful this one is (as well as the full-cup Hero style, which I’m also pleased with and which fits similarly), I’m happy to celebrate without (too much more) complaining. I’m looking forward to seeing what styles will evolve from Pulse in future collections.
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BRA AND SHORT: Pulse in Zest by Freya (c/o), 28-30 D-J, 32-36 C-J, 38 D-J, XS-2XL. Past season colorways Zest and Dark Orchid are still available in limited sizes at Bare Necessities and Figleaves, while more current colorways Noir and Scarlet have more availability (and are also at Nordstrom).
PHOTOS: Michi Rezin