I have a lot of reviews to do as I’ve had a bit of a bra shopping spree. I’ll be leaving the UK to go back to the US in three weeks, and of course it will be more difficult to access good bargains, so I’ve been taking them where I can find them over the past month. I’ll try to space out the posts a bit, but I do want to try to get them all up soon to help others who are trying to order online.
Freya’s Antoinette bra is an older style that they don’t make any more. I used to own it in these pink patterned and blue/black patterned colorways, but those are very rare and difficult to find anymore.
However, there is pretty good availability of the black, red, and nude Antoinettes on Brastop and eBay at really good prices.
I got the red Antoinette in 30H. As you may remember, I’ve started wearing 30 bands recently because my 28s were aggravating me. The band on the Antoinette is very firm and feels a lot tighter than other 30 bands, especially compared to Freya’s more recent styles. (I’ve found it is more or less true in general that Freya’s older styles had much tighter bands than the new ones, but not across the board. For instance Freya’s older Arabella and Jolie bras always had bands that ran looser.)
The shape I get in the Antoinette is quite good. It’s not mind-blowingly round like the shape I get from my Panache Sienna or the Masquerade Rhea I tried a few weeks ago, but it is fairly round and actually make my boobs look smaller than the Panache bras I've clung to for years. In addition, it gives more support from the top without totally squashing my full-on-top boobs so it reduces bounce a lot more than the Panache Sienna/Confetti and is therefore a better everyday bra in the long run. (Yes, I admit it.)
I also got this bra in black, again in 30H.
Obviously these bras are both somewhat plain, but in a pleasant minimalist way, I think. They are well-suited to being T-shirt bras due to the lack of any decorations sticking off them. The Antoinette doesn’t work very well with sleeveless or strappy tops though. I’m accustomed to wearing my bras with thin camisole tops, and I don’t mind having my straps showing, but the straps on the Antoinette are not only extremely thick, but really ugly. They have the criss-crossed rope detail I mocked in this old-school post and, although they are very comfortable on my shoulders, I do really wish they were thinner or at least prettier.
I also picked up Freya’s Amy bra in a 30HH.
For all intents and purposes, this is the exact same bra as the Antoinette (as opposed to bras like the Clarissa, Pippa, etc that are very similar but have tiny differences). The obvious difference here is that I got it in a size up from my Antoinettes simply because that’s what was available in this long-discontinued style. I’m including it in this review mostly to show the difference between the two cup sizes, not because I expect many people will stumble upon this older style for sale. Because I’m between sizes in the Antoinette/Amy, both sizes fit. In the 30H it is just almost cutting in at the top edge, while the 30HH Amy is a better fit and gives a slightly nicer shape but covers too much skin, making it more difficult to wear under tops. If I was choosing which size to get, I’d probably go with the 30H. I’m finding that in most cases where I am between sizes, I do prefer to go with the smaller possible size because in the larger size it often seems as though the whole frame of the bra is just slightly out of scale for my body.
The pattern on the Amy is pretty ugly, let’s be honest. I always had thought from product photos that it was a feather pattern, but up close it’s a tacky, dated floral:
However, the shape I get in the Amy is really superb so I am willing to overlook this...
Similarly, I am willing to overlook the clunky straps on the Amy and Antoinette bras just because I find this bra a really easy fit. It’s one of the few styles of bras that I haven’t had any need to alter at all, and I’ve found myself reaching for these bras over and over in the morning. The Antoinette is a really simple choice and a great bra. It’s also versatile. My best friend has boobs with the opposite shape to mine and the Antoinette is her favorite bra. It’s one of my favorites too.
I have a bundle of Freyas on their way to me from the Bravissimo sale. It includes an Antoinette sp hope it suits me as well as it does youReplyDelete
I hope it works for you!Delete
That looks really great on you. I love the way the Antoinette looks, but I am so afraid of buying one because I've never had good luck with Freya. You are the only person I've seen in it whose boobs aren't pointing way out to the sides.ReplyDelete
I do get a bit of a pointy look in some Freya bras, but this one works really well for me. The cups have more depth and the underwires are narrower than Panache, so it's sort of a compromise--Freya puts boobs more in front, but then they do end up sticking out more.
Perhaps it would be worth trying an Antoinette off eBay if a cheap one pops up in your size? It's pretty different from other Freya bras, especially from the newer styles.
A nude Antoinette was my first well-fitting bra, and I was in love with the color (perfect nude match!) and rounded shape. My first one was a 34G, but after a while I realized I needed a different cup size. I ordered a nude 30J Antoinette recently and I'm kind of mad at Freya for the extreme changes they make between what should be just two measures cup volume (34G = 30H) The wires are much higher and wider, the straps are a centimeter wider, the bra covers more breast so it's difficult to hide in low tops... I think it's ridiculous, because the 34G supported me just fine, I just needed more space in the cup. Why would you construct a bra for a smaller woman (smaller band size) with such huge proportions? It feels like astraightjacket and I'm rather displeased. I can show you pictures if you like.ReplyDelete
Anyway, end rant. Sorry.
Sorry that happened to you :( That is definitely frustrating, and it's something I've noticed as well. Sometimes I'll try on a 34G or whatever I can find in a store just to get the proper cup size, then when I order my real size online, the fit, shape, and cut will be totally different! It drives me crazy because in that case, the cups should be the exact SAME size. I really wish they would figure this out and stop making bras in this way....Delete
Sometimes I think even the big bra manufacturers have a mental block against sizes over G as huge, or needing a bridge to support them or something. That's not the case! Maybe they don't fit the larger sizes on real women to see if they create the same shape? Frustrating to say the least.Delete
One thing I've found recently is that Freya bras (the newer ones, aside from Deco) are running a little bigger in the band AND cup than I'm used to. In Deco, a 32GG is the correct size, maybe even being a smidge small for my left boob (I call it the "more social" of my boobs, haha). A 32GG is also pretty perfect for me in the Lacey, which I ordered in the winter. However, I recently ordered the Edina and the Daphne, both of which seemed unsupportive and bigger in the cup than any other Freya I've owned. I think lack of consistency in their sizing is something that has always been a problem with the brand. However, I am overall loyal to Freya and will continue to give them a chance.ReplyDelete
One thing I've noticed as a pleasant surprise, however, is how supportive Fantasies seem to be getting. I know they're sister brands and all, but every Fantasie bra I've gotten recently AND in the past (Ava, Karina, Sharon, and most recently Florence) give me a ton of support and overall good shape, despite being different styles. If you want a good, rounded shape, I highly recommend the Florence and the Ava bras in particular.
The Florence is really tight on the top of the cup, though, so I do not think it would fit the Hater very well. I tried it in several sizes, and even in a cup too large, it still dug into the top of my boobs. On my good friend, who is full on bottom, it looked GREAT, though.Delete
Maybe I just have "averagely full all over" boobs, because I've definitely had the problem where a cup is too tight on top, but I'm not struggling with that at all on this bra. The lace in the top part of the cup on mine is pretty stretchy and even the strip of fabric that edges the cups isn't super tight. Who knows? For reference, I'm wearing the cafe latte color, not the black, and I ordered it online as opposed to getting it from a store.Delete
Yes, the Antoinette is a great bra and it it isn't a plunge which is pretty much what all current Freya 'balconettes' are.ReplyDelete
Good luck on your return to the US and thanks again for a great blog
This is a little bit off topic, but I'm having a weird fit issue with some bras and I can't figure out what's happening or how to avoid it in the future. :/ A couple bras I tried have had tons of extra space in the bottom and outside of the cup, but they don't tack in the center of the chest and there's not too much space at the top of the cup (sometimes there's even too little space there, oddly enough). If I go up a cup size, I just get the same problem, but worse - still doesn't touch my sternum in the center, and even more space on the outsides and bottom of the cup. If I go down a cup size, it still doesn't touch in the center, there's still too much space on the outside and bottom of the cups, and I wind up with quadraboob. I'm pretty sure it isn't a size issue because I have other bras in the same size range that work (Cleo Juna in particular fits very well), so I think it might be a style issue. But I have no idea what styles to avoid. Do you have any thoughts on the matter? Thanks so much.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you have boobs that are very full on top while having very little volume in the bottom. That will cause you to end up with extra space in the lower sections of the cup even if it is still too small on top. It comes down to avoiding bras that are cut with space in the wrong places. So the best bras for you will be ones that are lower-cut and very open in the top section--that way you can size them for the lower part of your boobs and avoid the issue with the top parts because the bra won't cover you there. This theory is confirmed by you mentioning that the Cleo Juna fits well, as that is exactly the kind of low-cut, open-on-top bra I would have suggested for you.Delete
So the best styles for you would be things like Cleo Juna, Ellie, Sadie; Panache Harmony, Confetti, Sienna; Masquerade Rhea and Delphi; Bravissimo's half cups--Demi Diva, Parisian Plume, Rococo Charm (the Moulin Rose one seems to run a lot smaller but other than that could also work); Curvy Kate Tease Me and Thrill Me; Freya Deco (maybe). You can also try bras that are stretchy in the top section, like Panache Andorra or Curvy Kate Emily, but these are not quite as ideal.
The worst styles for you will probably be the ones that are tightest in the top section, bras that try to hold you in and support you from the top as well--these will just be cut wrong for your shape. So you should avoid bras like Bravissimo's Alana, Bubbles, Primrose, Starlet, etc etc etc; Panache's full-cup bras; and many of the Freya balconettes.
Good luck, hope this helps!
Thanks!! I actually have a Panache harmony that fits well now that I bent the wires (super tip of yours, by the way) and a Curvy Kate tease me that also fits pretty well, which lends further credence to the theory. I will definitely look into these other styles. :)Delete
I got the barely there antoinette after this review and I must say - this may be the ideal everyday work bra. It is boring to look at, but is MUCH more comfortable than any panache i own. I love the tight band and dont mind the ugly straps because they are sooo comfy. The shape is flawless.ReplyDelete
Now, i got the cleo lizzie that is still my favourite, and the lucy that is nice but is too wide set and not as mindblowingly uplifting as the lizzie.
Im still looking for something as in-your-face uplifting fir my close set full on top 32 h's, but im affraid to order rhea or tease me cause theye are so open in top - i fear to walk is to jiggle. Any thoughts?
Also, could you compaire band and cup size of the antoinette with the shok absorber and panache sport bra? I havent decided yet which one to get. Thanks,
I am not sure what size I should get in the Antoinette?ReplyDelete
I am between 28g/gg. But some gg's are way too big and some g's are way too small.
Anyone that have a guess?
It's usually the full cup bra styles that end up being to big in the gg cup and the halfcup bras that are too small in only g cup.
Please help me:/
I'd say the Antoinette is closer to a full cup than not so try it out in a G cup?Delete
Dudette, you have no idea how helpful your blog has been in my quest to get bras that fit! So thanks for that :)ReplyDelete
I was wondering if you could help me figure out a problem I got with the Antoinette.
I got myself a bikini (a first!) the Fantasie Barcelona in 36H (instead of the 38G I used to wear) and it fit great. My second buy was the Antoinette and despite the size being correct and I can't get the underwire to sit on my breast bone. Or it does when I put it on, but it doesn't last, and it always ends up sitting an inch from my chest, and then ends up resting on my tummy where it leaves an angry red line.
Bending the wires has made the bra more comfortable, and so did sewing the center gore but now I'm wondering if the shape just isn't suited to my boobs, which are fullest on top and pretty close together.
I wanted to buy the Masquerade Delphi on ebay next but your review said it brought the boobs close together and unfortunately I don't know of any shops here in Paris where I could try out big size bras and figure out what suits...
So glad the blog has been helpful!Delete
If your boobs are close-set, it could be that the gore on some bras is just too wide for you and therefore ends up sitting on breast tissue and getting pushed outward. I know someone else who has very close-set boobs and she favors plunge bras, like the Cleo Molly, Ewa Michalak PL cuts, etc.
The Delphi does sort of bring the boobs toward the center, but in terms of the center gore, that is pretty narrow. So you might find that it works well for you because of that--it could end up matching your natural shape and not fighting against it.
Hmm, never thought about giving plunge bras a try... I might do just that. Thanks for the answer! (:Delete
Your blog is extremely helpful. Every time I'm considering buying a new bra I check out your blog to see if you have a review. Your descriptions are very detailed and accurate. I've also learned about new bras thanks to your blog.
I was wondering if you could advise me on something. The Antoinette is the Freya bra that fits me the best (I also really like the the Cleo Lucy, but I find the Antoinette better for certain clothes) however, I can't find it in my size (30DD) on Ebay anymore. From your experience, what other bra (any brand) has a similar fit to the Antoinette?