Thursday, 6 October 2011

Why I Hate Freya

Hate is a strong word, but my frustration with Freya, and my aloneness in this feeling, is probably the biggest reason why I felt a need to have my own lingerie blog even though there are a lot of really great ones out there already. I just get tired of hearing Freya described as a conquering hero and the ultimate champion of big boobs, when a lot of their designs and choices cause me to resent them. Here’s why.

1.    Freya doesn’t design their bras to look good on big boobs. I know this isn’t a popular viewpoint, but I really believe that Freya missed the boat ages ago on how to design for big boobs. Their bras look great on F cups and thereabouts, but as the cup sizes climb, the proportions of the bra expand clownishly. The wires come up higher and higher between the breasts. The upper lace section gets bigger and bigger, throwing off the aesthetic proportions of the bra if it’s a different color or texture than the rest of the bra. This all translates to bras that look frumpier and frumpier on bigger-boobed customers. I’m not okay with that. Customers who don’t have many bra options will see a photo of a cute, skinny model with F-cups and order the bra, and then be disappointed with the huge difference in how it looks on them. Living in the US and usually not being able to try anything on, and with shipping being so expensive, these unlucky customers will come to terms with the way their bra looks and carry on, feeling a little less cute. Freya never sells their bras using pictures of models with REALLY big boobs because the bras wouldn’t sell then—they’d look unfashionable.
Freya Estelle on little boobs

Freya Estelle on big boobs...hmmm

2.    Freya doesn’t listen to their customers. With Panache asking fans on Facebook whether a 26 band might be a good addition, and Curvy Kate and Bravissimo producing every single bra in a huge size range, Freya has gotten totally left behind in terms of sizing. Their cute designs tend to stop at a G cup, and they stated on Facebook that they believe molded cups won’t support boobs above that size. Um, molded cups could easily provide way more support than flimsy fabric. Get it together.

Size range for Trudie bra on Bravissimo--gosh, notice what's selling out fastest!

3.     Freya doesn’t understand how to design straps. This complaint may be out of date, since I haven’t bought any Freya bras in about two years, and things may have changed since then. But when I did wear Freya bras all the time, they always had one of two kinds of straps. The first was cute and narrow, but made of a shiny material that slid off my shoulders constantly. The second and more common were these really thick, utilitarian straps that just looked absurd with sleeveless tops. Not only that, they were adorned with a criss-cross pattern of tiny rope which was heinous and always began to fall apart long before the bra wore out, so there were always little strings poking off my shoulders.

4.    Freya produces the same exact bra over and over with different names.
Go check out some of their past products. You’ll begin to realize that the Celia is the Estelle is the Nancy is the Latisha—same shape, same lace, just different patterns. The Clarissa is the same as the Lucy and the Antoinette. The Deco bra comes in solid colors as well as patterns but each pattern is named something different: Lydia, Frida, Carly, Crystal. Calling the same bra shape a million different names doesn’t mean you’re really giving your customers options on fit, it just means you’re misleading them. (I’m also bored of Freya’s repetitive designs and twee patterns, but that’s definitely just a matter of personal taste.)

Freya Nancy (left) and Latisha--these came out as separate models in the same season!

I would also like to note, on the other hand, that the Deco is one of the best bras in production, despite Freya's refusal to offer it in anything approaching a diverse size range. I'll write more about it later.


  1. Ooooh, so much to talk about here!

    First of all, I completely agree about point (1). Freya don't ever show photos of larger breasted women in their bras for the exact reasons you've stated. However the comparison pic (I assume of you) looks great, despite the bra clearly being too small for you in the cup.

    (2) I hear you! More sizes, both in cups and bands, are desperately needed. But first of all they need to regulate their current range sizewise. I recently bought a Freya Deco to try (blog review to follow soon) in 36GG - I am normally a 36HH/J - and it was waaaaaaay too big. Here is another thing I need to go to a lingerie shop and try on to find my correct size in this style. Furthermore, I used to be Freya Millie's no. 1 fan. I thought it was the best bra in the world. Until I bought more on Figleaves several months ago and found the fit had changed completely. Most odd.

    (3) Straps...arrrrrrgh!!

    (4) 100% with you. They usually market these bras like they are completely new designs, whereas in fact they are just made with different fabric. Wooooo (not).

    I look forward to reading more about your thoughts on the Deco :-)

  2. The sizing on the Deco is definitely wonky but I'll be honest--I LOVE the fact that it runs big, as I couldn't fit into it otherwise!

    I missed out on the Freya Millie, it seemed like it was already getting phased out by the time I got properly fitted, but I remember thinking the pink one was really cute. It's always rough when a product you lean on gets discontinued, I feel the same about the Panache Confetti.

  3. Haha - true about the Deco's big sizing! When I ordered the 36GG I truly believed I would be returning it immediately as it was too small; little did I know that it would in fact be too big!

    I ordered (inadvertently) the strapless/multiway Deco from eBay. I wonder if this comes up bigger in the cups than the standard Decos. Any ideas?

    Freya Eleanor was another winner. Sadly also discontinued. Why do they do that??

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  5. CurvyWordy--in my experience the Deco strapless fit much differently than the regular Deco. I was surprised, because when I pull the straps off my shoulders on the regular one, everything stays up normally. Sadly I didn't have any success with the actual strapless one though.

    Lillefix--Regarding molded cups, I actually agree and personally feel more supported in a non-molded bra, which is why I usually don't go for molded bras. I was merely surprised that Freya would totally give up on using the molded material at all for bigger boobs, since Curvy Kate, Ewa Michalak etc seem to have great success with it. Besides, if they're making something in a 36G for instance, that would be the same cup size as a 34GG and 32H and 30HH and 28J, so not sure why the support would be any different. As for the straps I do prefer a thinner strap myself but I totally agree about straps showing--it doesn't bother me at all if mine show. Love me, love my bra straps!

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  7. I get the impression from blogs, forums and so on that most Freya fans are in the F to G cup range... I'm a 28D/DD and find Freyas fit really awkwardly, but it's disappointing to hear that there are proportion issues in the larger cup sizes as well. A broad size range is not much use if the designers assume 28D, 30G and 36J are all the same shape!

    I fully agree about those straps - having a wide strap is one thing, but the criss-cross texture makes them very hard to adjust - and the limited range of models. It does put me off trying new Freyas even if I love the design, because the standard Freya cut just doesn't work for me.

  8. I'm really interested to hear that Freya falls short on other areas of the size range too. I haven't had much change to talk to someone in the 28D/DD range (I do have a couple friends who *SHOULD* be around that size, but are stuck in 34B and so on). What brands do you prefer--do you find some cater better than others to your size?

    The Freya straps are incredibly hard to adjust! I remember a few times in high school having to ask my best friend to help me wrestle with shortening them and people in the restroom looking at us like we were nuts :)

  9. The Panache Tango II is okay on me - not great, but better than any of the Freyas. Cleo seems to be very popular in my size range, and although the one Cleo bra I ordered ran too small in the cup, I liked the general shape and construction so I'd try them again.

    My size isn't too hard to buy, just awkwardly placed because the lingerie industry tends to treat any D cup as large, and so many women who would fit 28/30 D/DD are getting by in 32-34 A-C... it seems like 90% of women in my dress size range claim to be 32As.

  10. Dude, so I got sent here by another large chested community but I have to tell you THIS SAVED MY FREAKING LIFE.

    I have one of the misnamed Decos and I was freaking out because I love, love, love the Lydia. Yeah, now that I know it's a Deco with a stupid name, GUESS WHO'S BUYING A DECO?!

    Otherwise, everything else you write is truth. Why is it that a company selling to "large chested women" would make an already difficult thing EVEN MORE DIFFICULT?!


    Anyway, I appreciate this so hard.

  11. En Bouton--sorry I just saw this comment! It's awesome to hear that Cleo works well for your size range. They are definitely one of the best for my size range too, so my respect for the brand has increased knowing they're good all-around!

    thehobbit--Haha, glad to have been of assistance! The new Taylor bra (which is really pretty) is also the same as the Deco... in fact a lot of people have been reviewing it as the "Taylor Deco" on their blogs even though I don't think Freya has ever called it that.

  12. I disagree about contour cups. Yes, a contour cup will offer more support than flimsy fabric, but a good bra isn't made of flimsy fabric, it's made of tough stuff.

    A contour bra will just not ever be as supportive as a seamed cup, because the seams help to distribute force. A molded cup has no way to distribute force evenly. And molded cups deteriorate. What keeps them popular is their cheapness and the fact that when you have one on, you can't really see if it fits poorly.

    I think seamed, lightly padded cups are a good compromise for people who want a molded, padded cup but also need a lot of support. Curvy Kate, Ewa Michalak, and I think Kris Line are all making such bras.

    WRT Freya: I've never found a Freya bra that really fit me. The cups are typically too wide and I get the "Freya pucker". I tried on a bunch of Freya bras awhile back and they were all just awful on me. They work for a lot of people, and sometimes I look at them and think "Oh, how pretty!" (On the other hand Fantasie side support bras do well for me, and I love the jewel-like embroidery on so many Fantasie designs.)

  13. You are very correct about the contour cups; I meant to phrase it more clearly in my post. When I said that molded cups could offer more support, I was specifically thinking of seamed, lightly padded cups that are then covered with firm fabric, as you mention. I think the combination can be more supportive than just one or the other--the fabric providing lift and the padding providing shape.

    My major issue was Freya's reaction concerning the Nieve (the longline with padded cups only went up to a G, I think). They basically stated that they would not make the longline in bigger cup sizes because anything with padding could not support a larger bust. To me, that simply doesn't make sense for the reasons I've just stated. It looked like the Nieve did have some firm fabric over the padding, but even if it didn't, it doesn't seem that difficult to add some instead of relegating bigger cup sizes to the same balconettes they've bee giving us for years.

    Freya also doesn't seem to realize that a cup size is not absolute. So when they state that they cannot make the Deco, for instance, above a GG cup because it will not be supportive, they forget that a 30H or 28HH are both the same cup size as a 32GG. So they are already making cups that big which do give good support-- I think Deco fans who wear 32GG or 34GG would agree.

    You are correct in your comment though, I should have clarified my wording :)

  14. This makes a lot of good points! I can't wear most Panache bras, and I've been in despair about why Freya bras look so good on the models, but never seem quite right for me. To add to that, I wear a 28GG, which often doesn't "make the cut" for Freya bras, since they seem to like to stop at a G cup.

    Maybe it's time for me to move on from thinking that Freya bras in general will work for me. But with Panache wires being too wide and Fantasie bras' cups running big, not offering a lot of 28 bands, and not having many styles I like anyway, what's a girl to do?

  15. Christine, have you tried any Curvy Kate bras? The wires aren't super narrow but they aren't as wide as Panache. I know several people who swear by Ewa Michalak bras for their narrower underwires, but I am personally very confused by the sizing, and for some reason you have to get a 28 band custom-made (nonreturnable) so that's sort of useless in my opinion.

    I agree about moving on from Freya. I think they serve the middle ranges of cup sizes well but they are just not as successful for small backs/very big boobs.

  16. I have tried on one or two Curvy Kate bras (at Bravissimo), but I found the bands to be too loose. Maybe I need to try more Curvy Kates, since I think the one I tried is known for having a looser band?

    I plan to try Ewa Michalak sometime soon, and I'll be sure to write a post about it when I do!

  17. I love Freya, but I also am a 30D to a 32E/F(depends on my weight, I tend to lose it and gain it in the bust, so a 10 pound difference means a huge range of cup sizes.), so not super busty, but still too large for a typical store. I find Freya offers great support.

    As far as looks of the boobs, I don't need much help as I haven't had children etc, but they don't make my boobs look worse, unlike a lot of the minimizers that are popular for my size. The straps need to be wide to avoid digging in, because a band can only do so much. I am extremely athletic, and find I can actually run in a regular bra from them, and their sports bras are my favorite(natori is the next best). My biggest issue is that they show through everything. They don't make a plain nude color. They also tend to separate too much for my liking and seem a bit pricey for what they are.

  18. Aren't I the lucky one? Most Freyas fit me perfectly, which is why I keep buying them online, since there is nowhere here to buy anything over a d-cup. So I am very happy to hear that they are all about the same (in various patterns) b/c that makes the gamble that ordering online with no return policy less of a gamble. Thank you! 32/34g.

  19. The only Freya bra I own is a Deco. Which is so-so. Whenever I get to try bras on, the Freyas always land in the "No" pile. I think I have an issue with their ratio of cup depth to back size... (My favourite brand for unpadded bras is Pour Moi, with them I wear a 34E... otherwise with most Panache-brand bras I wear a 34F.) With Freya, if I try a 34E, the band is huge, the top of the cup cuts in and the underwires are too narrow. 34F cups would fit better, but I'd need a 32 or maybe even a 30... but obviously the FF or G cups are deeper, so I get a weird pointy shape and no uplift, even though the underwires are the right width. Oddly I get exactly the same problem in the Panache Tango. Now, you'd think that I could just try different styles to see what worked... but like you say, all their bras are the same few styles regurgitated in seasonal colours. And, if they made their underbands the right size to begin with, I wouldn't have an issue. And yeah, what is up with their straps? Grr. Freya isn't my friend.

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  25. I may be in the UK, but equally disappointed with 38DD due to some of the issues above, and more. Having mistakenly thought their styles would fit me as flatteringly as Fantasie (same stable, vastly different horse, though!) I have given up after 3 tries, and gone back to Fantasie with one exception Bestform, which turned out a lot larger than expected in a 38 that was a mistake, too.
    Better the devil you know; I now have some NWT lingerie to sell.

  26. I can't seem to find a bra that fits correctly. I currently wear a Chantelle 32DDD/E, but the band is WAY to big (I need a 28) and the cups are about a size too small. I fit into a standard 34DD, but with a much smaller band.I ordered the Panache Masquerade Rhea bra in a 28H, but when I got it, the cups were WAY too big, so I returned it and decided to go down 2 cup sizes. Then, I ordered a Panache Cleo Jude bra in a 28G and it was WAY too small and had the same volume as the 32DDD I currently own. So, I figured I must be between a 28G and 28H, which would be a 28GG. I am only 17 and really need a molded bra for shape, so I don't look pointy and weird. I also REALLY like having good cleavage, but my breasts are a little wide-set. I can't tell if they are full on top or full on bottom, even after looking at your guides, but the Deco is so pretty, and they have it in a 28GG, if you look hard enough. I tried to get my mother, who has implants and wears a 34D bra size, to try a bra in a correct size, which according to my calculations should have been a 30FF. She ordered the Deco, but when it got here, immediately upon trying it on, actually started SCREAMING because it gave her "back fat"--she's extremely, unhealthily, body-image obsessed and has panic attacks at the thought of being anything resembling fat. She packed up that bra so fast, I couldn't even truly examine how the cups fit or how it would look on me. My point here is, should I try the Deco? Should I order it in the 28GG or will that be too big? I'm so confused!

    1. So far i've found the cleos fit totally differnt than the regular panache, but I haven't tried masquarades yet myself. I wear a 32GG in cleo, and 32GG in freya unlined i've tried, but the 32GG fantasie i'd ordered was still cutting in despite being what looked like fine cupsize. I think it was just the style.
      I've always disliked the look/idea of padded/moulded cups but looking around at sides I said to heck with it and while returning fantasie I tried on a deco in 32G and it was actually too small. I assumed with the "cups run huuuggge" thing i wouldn't need a GG. I'm going to order a 32GG and see how she goes.
      a 32DDD = 28G but every style/brand will run a little different. since all the reviews say it runs big, and several women who wear much larger sizes still cram themselves into GGs for the love of the bra....personally i'd probably order a 28G and cross my fingers.
      I could have gotten away with a 32G myself, but only if I reverted back to my "i'm wearing a 34DD" style of stuff-it-down vs swoop-n-scoop ;)
      I may find the 32GG is too big or doesn't fit right, but the 32G would have been wearable for me, but was too small IMHO.
      when I went to nordstroms (i'd guessed i needed 32G for years....and I was pretty close!) to try on a few bigger bras 32GG fit me really well in chantelle bras, I just didn't like any of them. If that helps any!

  27. Hi, please help! I am loving this freya Copacabana bikini, but there is no store for me to try them. Last time I ordered 34F (which I am in Panache) it was way too small and I had to give it away. Have anyone tried these? What size to order? I dont want to exchange it.
    Thank you!

  28. Love Freya 34F - the only style in Bravissimo store that fits & plenty tried on.