Saturday, 19 November 2011

Why Doesn't Freya Think We're Sexy?

Have you ever been looking at a cute bra for sale online and noticed these words: “Additional lining in GG-J cups for extra support”?

The phrase seems harmless, but beware those words if you’re hoping to purchase the bra you actually see in the pictures. Check out the difference the additional lining makes in the appearance of the Freya Arabella, a bra practically mythologized for its sexy sheerness:


It’s still a cute bra with the extra lining, but the fact is that the lined version looks JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER BRA made for GG-J. It loses the one feature that makes the Arabella distinct: its sheerness.

The same is true of Freya’s Eleanor bra of a few seasons back...


...and the Lyla, which I already decried here for its inadequate size range. Bravissimo is kind enough to feature a picture of the double-lined version in their catalogue, but there is NO photo of it on their website, so I dug one up.

Looks like a totally different bra, doesn't it?
I know what they’d say in their defense: the extra lining is necessary to provide the support needed by GG+ cups. Here’s why that’s bullshit:

        1. Since cup sizes change proportionally to band sizes, a 30GG (which would get the extra lining) is the SAME CUP SIZE as the 32G (which would not get the extra lining). The ONLY DIFFERENCE between those sizes is the band. If the unlined version can support a 38G, it would also be able to support up to a 28JJ. I keep waiting for bra manufacturers to pay some attention to this fact. Do they just not know about it?
        2.  Even more significantly, the extra lining does not give extra support. Want to know how I know that? Back in the day, I was the proud owner of a 30GG Arabella that had the extra lining. It bothered me that I couldn’t wear the bra as it was designed (sheer) so I simply cut out the opaque inner lining. It wasn’t too hard, I just had to cut carefully to avoid puncturing the outer mesh. When I was done, the bra looked just like the D-G sheer version--AND it still gave the exact same level of shape and support. The outer see-through mesh on the Arabella has NO STRETCH WHATSOEVER, so it can support the structure of the bra all on its own. The inner lining, on the other hand, has slight 2-directional stretch; the only function it serves is visual.

So if the additional lining doesn’t provide any extra support in GG-J cups, why do they put it in? Well, I suspect it’s because Freya thinks women with GG-J cup boobs wouldn’t want a sheer bra—for the same reason they refuse to make longline bras, padded plunges, and most of their cuter designs in those cup sizes even though every other similar company does. They just seem to think that boobs that big wouldn’t look nice in their fancier designs—that boobs that big shouldn’t need anything other than the basics. Well, I think they’re wrong. As a J-cup, I do want a sheer bra; I think it would look just as good on me as it would on an F-cup. The upper cup sizes really do deserve to have the same cute options as the lower cup sizes, even if there is a slightly smaller group of customers that needs those sizes.  Shouldn’t we all get to be a little impractical with our lingerie once in a while?

10 comments:

  1. Ooh, I hadn't thought of cutting out the lining before! You're such a rebel ;-) I have an Eleanor sitting here waiting to be listed on eBay...maybe I'll take my sewing scissors to it instead and see what happens.

    Seriously though, you make a fair point. If the inner lining is not required for additional support, why on earth do they add it? It costs them more to buy the extra material so surely they must think it serves some sort of purpose? Like you say, it must be because they think we do not want sheer bras...but as with anything, if you can't get it then of course you want it in the worst way!!

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  2. Definitely noticed this too. I really wonder why that is - I'm sure it's been brought to their attention before?

    It really bugs me that GG+ bras look different than the ones G and under. Really throws me off when trying to order.

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  3. I was just told by a Bratabase user how Panache also does this with some models (Eliza), although they don't list them as a different model which Freya does.

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  4. Since cup sizes change proportionally to band sizes, a 30GG (which would get the extra lining) is the SAME CUP SIZE as the 32G (which would not get the extra lining). The ONLY DIFFERENCE between those sizes is the band. If the unlined version can support a 38G, it would also be able to support up to a 28JJ. I keep waiting for bra manufacturers to pay some attention to this fact. Do they just not know about it?

    This kind of thing mystifies me. Whilst I'm guessing that 28JJ and 38G might require different construction (the 28JJ bra has to give the same amount of support, distributed across a much shorter band), is there really a significant difference between 30GG and 32G/34FF?

    I didn't know that the Arabella's extra lining was stretchy... that's bizarre.

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  5. @CurvyWordy, if you decide to do it, I'd be curious to know how it works out! I wish I'd taken photos of the bra so I could do a tutorial thingy, as I've seen people asking online if it's possible to do.

    @Christine, from what I can tell Freya isn't always willing to change their ways based on customer comments. From their response to disappointment over the Nieve longline on Facebook etc, it seemed like they were committed to sticking to their guns... Hopefully if more people bring this stuff up they will pay more attention.

    @Bratabase--that's true, Panache is also guilty of double-lining their bigger cup sizes, as I mentioned in my post on the Eliza bra. To my knowledge, though, they usually add the lining just to the sheer upper section--I don't know of any completely sheer bras they've produced (though I could be wrong). It's still totally unfair, though.

    @En Bouton--it's not SUPER stretchy, but it has a little give in it. As far as I can tell, most bras that have a double lining have one layer of the lining with a little stretch. I guess it's possible it does serve some function that I'm not aware of. One possibility is that it increases comfort, being softer/less itchy than mesh alone...

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  6. Huh, the only reason I can think of is possibly it's because of sweat? They assume the larger cup sizes need that extra lining because women tend to have underboob sweat? I thought of it because one of my sports bras has an extra bit of lining underneath the breast...

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  7. Regarding the 30GG/32G example, actually the 30GG cups' project more forward than the 32G, and more than a 34FF, and more than a 36F, and so on.

    They probably add the lining to support cups that project forward more, which may be needed in some heavier breasts.

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  8. June, interesting thought.... Although I have to say, planning for boob sweat wouldn't convince me that Freya thinks big boobs can be sexy, haha.

    Bratabase, that may be true (I think different boobs take on different shapes and how far forward they project depends on a lot more than just the band size) but as I mentioned in my post, the support in my Arabella didn't change when I removed the lining, so even if that if is their intention, I don't think it's especially effective or necessary.

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  10. Yuck, I can't believe how much worse some of the lined bras look. For pity's sake. Ewa Michalak manages to use strong enough mesh to support all cup sizes... Check out the HP emerald, lovely and sheer in a 26HH: http://www.thinandcurvy.com/2011/05/where-to-find-26-and-24-band-bras-and.html

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