[Freya generously provided this set for review. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
As I mentioned in my review of the Pulse collection earlier this year, recent seasons from Freya have changed my relationship with the brand. Wayyy back in the day, like 2008-2010, when I wore F, FF, and G cups, Freya was one of the first full-bust brands I encountered, and it rapidly became one of my favorites. I got a comfortable fit, I loved many of the sets and prints, and once I found a shape I liked, I could reorder each new season’s colorway with confidence. However, I was disappointed when I moved in G+ cup sizes, and the fit I’d loved was nowhere to be found. I eventually had to move on to other brands, admitting that Freya just wasn’t going to work for me past a certain size range. Recently, however, Freya has launched several new styles that give me that same fit and comfort I used to love when I wore smaller sizes. Pulse is one of those collections, and today I’m taking a look at Fresco, a D-K cup set based on the frame of the new-in-2015 core Hero collection.
Fresco is a four-part non-padded bra with a vertical seam for lift and a side panel for a centered shape.The lower panels of the cup are constructed of a lightweight white poly fabric printed with a sketched out black floral print washed with pastel pink and green. In GG+ cups these lower panels are lined for more stability and support. The top panel of the cup is made of a white geometric mesh with an elasticated edge to keep it from gaping. The continuous band fastens (in GG+ sizes) with three rows and columns of hooks and eyes, and the covered, printed straps are wide and fully adjustable. Small flat geometric bows made of narrow pink satin ribbon and black grosgrain ribbon trim the center gore, straps, and waist of the briefs.
The coordinating short features the stretch floral print fabric at the center panel and rear, with panels of the same white geometric mesh over the hips. The waistband and legs are hemmed, although the generous stretch of the fabric prevents the edge from digging into soft tissue. The gusset is lined with cotton for comfort and beathability.
I’ve been wearing a 32H in most UK brands lately, but the Freya reps I’ve spoken with advised that, like the Pulse collection, Fresco (and the bra it’s based on, Hero) run generously in the cup. I’m wearing a 32GG in these photos, and the fit feels perfect, with even a little bit of wiggle room. I’d confidently recommend sizing down in the cups from the size you might wear in non-Freya brands, particularly if those brands’ shapes are a little shallow. This bra features a super rounded shape with a narrow gore and lots of projection, but the non-stretch materials make it a little different from a bra like Panache’s Jasmine collection or Ewa Michalak’s stretch lace BM bras. If you’ve worn those bras before, you’ll know that the narrow underwires, super rounded/lifted shape, and flexible top cup have made them popular with many full-bust folks. Fresco offers a little more coverage and a higher center gore than those bras, and the top cup is more rigid. If you’re a die-hard stretch lace fan, this may feel a little different, but I know many folks with fuller cup sizes want more stability and structure in the top of their cup. If you feel unsupported by the delicate stretch lace of Panache’s Jasmine bra, I’d definitely recommend trying Fresco. It’s generous enough to fit full-on-top breasts comfortably while offering a secure, supportive fit.
I wear size Large/UK 14 in Freya briefs consistently, and I have never yet been disappointed. These offer plenty of coverage in the rear so that they don’t ride up or slide around, yet they feel so light and delicate. I always want a slightly higher raise to fit over my tummy, but for the most part these fit securely and comfortably.
This bra is a workhorse! When I’m looking for a bra that will give me plenty of lift and shaping, but will also feel good to wear for a long and active day, I reach for Fresco (or one of my Hero bras, which, again, are the same shape, just solid instead of printed). The wide straps don’t bite into my shoulders, and the band isn’t too firm on the soft tissue around my ribcage. I will note that the underwires are firm and fairly rigid, and they tack firmly against my sternum. If you like a softer tack, or you’re sensitive to wires under your arms, this bra might not be the best choice for you. It’s such a dramatic and drastic improvement over my previous experiences with Freya’s G+ bras, which had super-wide bendy underwires that reached back too far under my arms. Fresco’s wires are still wider at the sides than those you’d find from a Polish brand, but I don’t find them uncomfortable. Coupled with the fuller coverage style of the short, this is a great lingerie set to put on and go, and that won’t require adjusting as you move throughout your day.
Aesthetically, this set might not be my first choice–I don’t like wearing white in general, and I especially don’t wear white lingerie often, as it gets dingy and dull too quickly. Still, the design is thoughtful and the print is unique: it feels a bit more modern than some of Freya’s other, kitschier prints. From a fit and comfort point of view, though, three cheers for Freya, who have completely won me back after several years away. The new shapes they’re offering are a huge step up from past styles, especially for their G-K customers. If you’re looking for a comfortable, supportive bra to give you lots of lift and carry you through the day, I’d heartily recommend giving this one a try.
For a review of Hero, which uses the same frame as Fresco, be sure to read Erica’s excellent post at A Sophisticated Pair!
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Bra and Short: Freya Fresco (c/o). Bra ($60) available in sizes 28 D-J, 30-36 D-K, 38 D-J. Short ($28) available in sizes XS-XL. Freya is a UK brand; the cup size progression is D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K.
Photos: Michi Rezin