Friday, 15 November 2013

Freya "Marvel" Review

The long-awaited Freya Marvel finally arrived on my doorstep today. Ever since I saw this bra previewed on Stanikomania many months ago, I knew it was going to be great. Despite Freya's nervousness about the design, I wasn't nervous. I could see that this was a first step at bringing the innovation and genius of Freya Swim constructions into their bra collection. Well, I was right. It's great. You may all go back to your homes now, there is nothing more to see. Just kidding--here is the bra:


You may notice that this bra is slightly different from the bra that was marketed:


In this photo, the purple mesh at the top of the cups is transparent. In real life, it's sitting on top of the cups themselves. Some companies' product photos reflect this change, others don't. I like it better with the transparent mesh, but that's okay, Freya. It's a minor detail.

What really matters is the most important photo, the side view!


YUP, THOUGHT SO! This bra gets a solid gold A+ for shape. It combines a few features of 'good shape' that are rarely found together: it is simultaneously

a. very rounded and slightly minimizing
b. very uplifting
c. 'perky' in shape (that tiniest touch of elf shoe)

Most bras that are very rounded and slightly minimizing tend to sit a little lower on the chest, while most bras that have extreme uplift tend to give a different, more projected shape. The elusive but delightful 'perky' shape is hardly ever found on a bra that is also slightly minimizing. The subtle mix (elements of each) is enchanting.

This bra is very open on the top, which makes it well suited for full-on-top ladies who need space there. I am convinced that it will also work well for full-on-bottom boobs. The shape is not stiff or tight/closed in any area, which is a good sign of potential versatility. The fact that it has that little hint of a 'green shape'--the perkiness--is another clue that it may be FOB-friendly as well as FOT-friendly. I really encourage anyone with that shape who tries it to comment and let me know if this is the case.

I got the Marvel in a 32H, which is pretty much my size in everything right now.

The band on this bra is great. It has a healthy level of stretch, which means it won't feel too stiff for those of us who like looser bands, and it won't feel too loose for those who like firmness. It's made of a lovely thick material, not the crappy mesh you find in most bra bands.

Who is this bra NOT suited for? Anyone who hates wide wires. The patterned part is ALL cup, so you can see that the wires do go pretty far around. (That's what bending them is for.) It will also not work for ladies who need a lot of projection and depth in the cup. It's not as shallow as the padded half-cups, though. A mid-level of projection should still be okay to try this bra.


In the photo above, you can see the feature that makes this construction a little unusual: a side-sling, typically found on some full-cup bras to add uplifted. I know these photos suck, but the feature I'm referring to is the seam that goes straight down the side of the cup. It's my professional opinion that this seam functions fairly similarly to the vertical seams in a half-cup and, as such, doesn't put this bra in a separate category from your standard half-cup construction. I don't mean that as an insult, though. There is very little selection in the unpadded half-cup category, and this is a really strong contribution to it--likely the best that currently exists. 

I want to note that I am aware this review is more 'gushing' than what is typical for this blog. That tone comes from a place of long-standing frustration with Freya's nervousness regarding newer, better styles. They always tread carefully with innovative, exciting designs, while continuing to thoughtlessly produce their generally weak GG-K balconies with flimsy wires, weird bands, extremely full coverage, and disappointing appearances. They have no fear about releasing something that is known to be not-great, but they always tremble with terror at the release of something that is practically guaranteed to work better. Their expansion of the padded half-cups to H ended up taking on the tone of some sort of cover-up, it was so little marketed. The Marvel also doesn't go above an H, though it would work well past that. There have been times recently when I've gotten the sense that Freya is being run by the underpants gnomes:

...that or they have just grown too big and bureaucratic to allow new ideas to have their moment in the sun. To be fair, I feel the same way about Panache (though the Jasmine was a big breakthrough for them). It seems like there is a lot of red tape to get through and playing it safe has become the norm. That's why I'm writing such a gushing review of this new, excellent design. I want people to be able to benefit from bras like this--first because I think a lot of people will like it, and second because I want THIS kind of design to become the norm.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now. Please, anyone who tries this, comment to let us all know how it goes--whether good or bad. Every piece of information helps!

40 comments:

  1. I saw this bra also and I wanted it to work so bad but I have strayed away from Freya in favour of Fantasie and Panache for the last while because of all of the problems you described above. Maybe when tempestra, starts carrying Freya again next year I will have to try it.

    Great review

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review! You're making me want this bra when i otherwise I had overlooked it. I also loved the "elf shoe" comment ;) haha so true. Looks like it provides great shape and lift, as you said, which is always something I look for since I have a full bust that is also heavy with soft breast tissue. So I usually go for a lot of lift and support. Thanks so much for the thorough review! :) Very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Really encouraging news for those of us who are GG, full on top, & get our most comfy fit - though not our best shape (at all!) - from Freya.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What size did you get this in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh, I never put that in the post! It's a 32H. Editing to add that in. Thanks!

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm thinking about trying this design, especially because it has wide wires, but I'm worried because apparently I need a lot of immediate projection :( Does anyone know if sizing up in the cup would help? I don't usually have a lot of luck with that.

    I wish bra cups came in half sizes for some bras. I know one mainstream company (Playtex?) did that a few years ago, probably to cover up how terrible +4 is, but I still thought it was a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think sizing up would only work if you're okay with wide wires. A need for projection often comes hand-in-hand with a need for narrow wires, so though the cup volume can be improved with sizing up, the narrow wire issue unfortunately won't be fixed by doing that.

      Delete
  7. Even though I like narrow wires and deep cups, I am going to try this style because I love the side profile! It's so lifted and rounded that I am willing to give it a try. Thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried this model in my 38GG. It was my size, but the shape did not work for me at all. This bra has narrow wires but I think this would work better for girls with full-on-top breasts. Me, having full-on-bottom, the shape does not work at all...

      Delete
  8. I loved this bra when I saw it in the promo pictures, but when I tried it on in store, it didn't fit me. I was a sad bunny :( There was so much space near the armpits, it just didn't hug my boobs and the fitting lady told me the model simply doesn't suit me, and she didn't bring me any other size to try. :(

    ReplyDelete
  9. I loved this bra in promo pics but when I tried it on in store, it didn't fit me. I had so much space near the armpits, it didn't cup my boobs properly. The fitting lady told me this model doesn't suit me and so she didn't offer me any other size to try on :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, sad :( Wish she would have given you more sizes so you could pinpoint the issues. Like another commenter below this, I wonder if you have a lot of center fullness? I can see that being an issue in this bra.

      Delete
    2. I had this exact same experience! My fitting lady put me in a 32G and insisted it fit correctly but that it wasn't a good shape for me. It looked terrible, flattened me in side profile and I had space at the top of the cup where I have lost fullness in my breasts from weight loss so my boobs just looked sad. I still had the image of how good this bra can look in my head so, I waited until she went on her break and tried on a bunch of other sizes. The 30G is absolutely perfect for me and I couldn't be happier. I suggest giving it another go and trying it in a whole range of sizes around your usual size.

      Delete
  10. Would you mind adding Marvel numbers to bratabase? :)
    I think that would be really helpful to those who are considering trying it.
    I also have a question about the gore.
    This is where i always have a problem with freya - too weak wires, too wide gore that wont sit flat because cups lack projection arround the gore.
    Does this one fix that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I will try to put measurements on Bratabase as soon as I can find my tape measure.

      The gore on this one is relatively narrow, though I don't have any wider Freya gores to compare. I've had a few other commenters indicating that center fullness isn't accommodated by this bra, so unfortunately you may find is still an issue. Maybe you could find somewhere with a good return policy so you can try it to be sure?

      Delete
  11. I like that design a lot more than their half fabric-half lace designs. Also, nice use of South Park.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I think it is more visually flattering.

      Delete
  12. I am not sure that this works for FOB. I tried a 32H - my Freya normal is 32G padded, 32GG unpadded - and it was too small in the bottom, and I have squishy tissue that happily moves up. Hideous upside down 7 mixed with Dotty Spot cone of ugly (on me) shape. The side support is not my friend, any version looks bad on me. Which may relate to being centrally full - as in plunge always falls. So side support either doesn't work because nothing is there, or it pushes too much central, so then I spill even in bras that are clearly too big. Straight FOB without the central fullness might work as it didn't gap on the outside at all.

    Sigh. Because I do find this bra cute, and the wires were comfortable as all get out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, sad! Thanks for commenting. What you say about center fullness does seem like it could be a major cause of the problems with this bra--I find that half-cup bras with vertical seams tend to push everything into the center, which can be bad for those who are already full there, especially when there is no extra room in that part of the cups. And as you say, side support panels tend to have that effect as well.
      Sorry it didn't work for you :( I hope you're right that other FOB people would have better luck.

      Delete
    2. Vertical seams actually typically work nicely for me. Curvy Kate Showgirl versions were perfection on me. I miss them now, but I'll wear an ugly as sin (on me) Dotty Spot daily before I wear CK again. The bull manure treatment I got in relation to my medically needed, life saving reduction for a contest to be "diverse" just went too far. Bloggers can dog me, but a company who claims being so diverse isn't getting away with it. But Himare still thinks I'll buy their line again. Ha.

      Molded t shirt bras are iffy. Most are plunge, or act like a plunge. Tight ribbon on top looks great except for center where it cuts in.

      Panache really doesn't work either, despite repeated tries. Freya wires with EM cup depth would be perfect. I'm actually hoping the VS rumor of going to G cup is true. I am not sure, but they'd most likely do the Lane Bryant brand size (DDD -> F -> G) vs Soma (DDD ->G) since a VS 36DDD is perfect in the cups once it's pulled tight enough, so 34F or a 32G should work. Heck, I'm tempted to get a 36DDD and take in the sides because the foam encased bit of wonderful is calling my name.

      Delete
  13. It's not FOB with center fullness friendly. Cone of doom and ugly shape - worse than Dottie Spot - with spillage centrally, even in a cup that was too big.

    Doesn't shock me as the side support is my fit demon. The Panache versions are equally bad, but Panache is generally less than nice on me. There's no room in the cups to push everything to the center unless I go 5-6 cups too big, then I can nearly stuff both boobs into one cup with the gapping.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just purchased this bra based on your review. Fingers crossed I love it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I rushed out to try this bra as soon as I saw your review as it looks absolutely phenomenal on you! I've recently lost a lot of weight after having my babies and my boobs have lost a lot of fullness on top. All the shapes that used to suit me (ie half cups) no longer work as I end up with a flat "shelf" of boob at the top of the cup. Anyway, the Freya lady was in the store and was "helping" me. She fitted me into a 32G (I think my regular size now is 32FF) in the Marvel but it didn't look good (flat on top). She said it wouldn't work for me as you need fuller on top breasts. I waited until she went for her break and grabbed a few other sizes as I was determined to see if I could make it work. I tried the 30G and...BINGO! Amazing! I am so happy, I feel like I have got my lovely full boobs back again :D I thought I would share this as I think this is a really good bra for other women like me; women who've lost fullness in the upper part of their breasts from losing weight or pregnancy/breastfeeding. Give it a try and don't just stick to your usual size, give a few sizes a try. It gives a lovely shape, feels very secure, looks great under clothes... can you tell I LOVE it?! Thank you for your review, if it weren't for that I wouldn't have persevered with it and would still be miserably hunting for a bra I didn't think existed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi! I bought this in 28ff. I'll probably buy more than one. It's the only bra I've found that fits me near perfect (my boobs are not identical so perfect fit isn't really possible). The combination of 28 band, fairly narrow centrecore, wide wires and half-cup style is a Marvel ;) I often have a problem with the upper section of the cup near the armpit, apparently many women need space there, I really don't.

    Does anyone know any other bras that fit similarly to Marvel?

    -Tiu

    ReplyDelete
  19. I found your blog about a month ago and I love it! It definitely increased my knowledge on bras and breast shapes. I love bras and it sucks that I could never find any that are right for me. I have one bra that sort of fits; a 30H Cleo 'Lucy' in black. It's actually the only bra I ever bought and that was a couple years ago (all my bras are very ill-fitting 38D hand-me-downs). Because I don't have a lot of income, I really can't afford to buy great quality bras. Not even at Walmart lol. I haven't bought a bra since my Lucy. It's actually kind of depressing. But, coming across your blog has helped me a lot with my self-esteem. You inspired me to invest in sewing which helps SO much. Luckily my Mom gave me an old sewing machine :D I love your blog and you have amazing breasts. My body is a very similar shape and it's really great to get advice on bras from somebody who knows exactly what you go through everyday. Sorry this comment was so long and sentimental but I felt like it needed to be said :/. Keep up the great reviews! You are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I received this bra in a 32H also from figleaves.com. I am sad to say that I get the empty space at the bottom due to the cups being too wide and shallow. It does give a wonderful shape and it is a very comfy bra. The band seemed large to me like the Freya Deco though. I can easily wear it on the tighest hooks and I'm only 31" under snug. I'm debating on whether to keep it as the shape is great or send it back due to it being too shallow for me. I'm pretty bummed.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I rushed out and tried this shortly after your review. Sadly, it doesn't work for me. I'm a very FOB 32GG or 34G. I tried both of those sizes, and the cups just weren't deep enough. I had nip popping above the top line of the cup and gaping under the arms. Sadly, this is true of almost all balconette styles, which is why I generally avoid them, but I was hopeful about this one. I'll be sticking with my Fantasie Rebecca.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just got this bra in a 30GG, and I love it! I'm fairly FOB, so just commenting to say that it does, in fact, work well for my shape.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I had my fingers crossed for a hit with the Marvel and I was so happy when it came true. My fullness is all in the bottom and the sides, so side support is great for helping me feel held in place! Congrats to Freya for making a 34 band that fits like a 34 band, it is lovely and snug. I was a little surprised at how minimised the shape is, but I feel that everything gets held UP rather than smooshed down or out. So depending on the depth of neckline you wear, it could either be very demure, or reveal a good wench-ly bosom. I love the fabric of the cups, I want more cups of that thickness please Freya! If the Marvel is the sign of things to come, I have hope for you yet!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This looks amazing on you! I am having trouble finding Freya Marvel in the J-K range...I checked brastop.com but they don't have anything larger than 38GG :( I am from the US so I don't think I have a lot of options. I am full on top and the Curvy Kate bras I've tried (I just started wearing these new bras beginning last month) just aren't working right now! I thought they were but they give me very pointed boobs and spillage at the top but I was so excited that I kept them (and seeing as I had to return them and such it was just a long process I didn't want to deal with!!) I think I may be between 36JJ to 36K? Initially I thought I was a 36HH but the Curvy Kate bra I got was way too small, and looking at your boobs, I think mine is much bigger so even though you are smaller in band, I think I am definitely in the JJ-K range. Its so difficult to find large bras in that range!!

    Any ideas/advice??

    Thank you! I just discovered your blog and I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This looks amazing on you! I am having trouble finding Freya Marvel in the J-K range...I checked brastop.com but they don't have anything larger than 38GG :( I am from the US so I don't think I have a lot of options. I am full on top and the Curvy Kate bras I've tried (I just started wearing these new bras beginning last month) just aren't working right now! I thought they were but they give me very pointed boobs and spillage at the top but I was so excited that I kept them (and seeing as I had to return them and such it was just a long process I didn't want to deal with!!) I think I may be between 36JJ to 36K? Initially I thought I was a 36HH but the Curvy Kate bra I got was way too small, and looking at your boobs, I think mine is much bigger so even though you are smaller in band, I think I am definitely in the JJ-K range. Its so difficult to find large bras in that range!!

    Any ideas/advice??

    Thank you! I just discovered your blog and I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Any idea where I could find this bra in the JJ-K range? I've only ever tried Curvy Kate and they all give me pointed boobs :( but I kept them because I was just so excited..

    I love your blog! So informative!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love your blog! Tried the Marvel in 30G and 30GG - cup size too small in G and whilst GG fits my boobs are all pushed to the centre which results in too much jiggle on the top. I feel like I'm spilling out but I'm not - it seems like if the cups were deeper and higher all would be good....am gutted it doesn't work well for me.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This was a total disaster for me, I didn't realise how much depth I needed in a bra until I tried this, I could barely get all my boobage in the cups and then if I moved even slightly I was flying out of the top, not sure a different size would have helped, I'm very FOB and obviously have wild amount of projection, so sadly this was not for me.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I bought this bra, after trying many bras, in a 32G. It is the closest thing I have found to a perfect bra (it's not perfect though) so I'm keeping it. I need like a 32G.5 or something, it is a tad bit small on my larger breast, I'm going to order a GG just to try but I'm afraid it will be too big on my smaller one. I'm breastfeeding, and my breasts are very soft with a lot of skin. It doesn't look perfect, but it feels so freaking good to have a real lift and underwire and it is soooo nice. I've been living in wire-free-no-support nursing monstrosities for too long. I think I'm one of those tricky FOT girls that my FOT is just saggy so it looks FOB, but it's actually a FOT that's streeettched through pregnancy and breastfeeding.

    ...And as soon as I have time, I'm going to convert to a custom nursing bra. I'm pretty excited. :D

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey
    i have this bra as well and indeed it great bra, my fav. Can you recommend bras with the same desgin?
    most of my bras are freya, but many of them really differ in support and fit.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete