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!