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,
but really, how great are all the pastel, flower-hued lingerie collections right now?
Like this one!
Or this one!
Or this one!
Or this one!
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.
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.
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.
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.