(Note: all opinions in this post are Leah’s own. This post contains affiliate links that may result in commissions to Hourglassy.)
After years of wearing an ill-fitting Victoria’s Secret strapless bra, it was a relief when the Freya Deco strapless came out. They’ve seen more wear than all my other bras during the last three summers. However, they’re far from perfect, so I’m still looking for another strapless to supplement the Deco.
The first problem I have is that the Deco cups are slightly too shallow for me at the base of the cup. That, combined with the relatively flexible cups, results in my boobs pushing the cups down. While I’m still held up pretty well and the bra doesn’t fall down my torso at all, it’s not the most attractive or comfortable look, and I end up with a lot of jiggling. This is, of course, largely ameliorated by using straps as a halter, single strap, or cross-back, which luckily is how I usually wear it. But it would still be nice if I had a strapless that’s equally plungey yet stiffer in order to really hold me in place.
The other problem with the Deco strapless is that the band is much tighter along the top and lower edge where it’s got the heavier elastic, resulting in itchy, red marks where it cuts in and what I affectionately call “phantom back fat” (i.e. there isn’t much fat there, but the way the fabric pinches in makes it look like rolls).
After a couple seasons of hemming and hawing about trying the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless, I finally ordered it in two sizes when Figleaves had a coupon recently. I was hesitant to try the bra since it starts at a 30 back and I wear 28. Additionally, the last time I tried a Wonderbra was years ago and it wasn’t the best shape for me, nor was it the best quality.
But at about $50 (plus a coupon), the Ultimate Strapless is actually not horribly expensive, so I finally decided it was time to give it a try. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work out and I sent back both sizes, but it’s definitely a high-quality bra with amazing structure so I still recommend it for those who are the right shape.
First off, one of the features you may have read about is the “finger-like” structure inside the bra. The creators figured that since you get the best cleavage when you hold up your boobs with your hands, the construction should mimic hands. For some reason, I thought it would just be three strips of horizontal padding on the outer side of each cup’s interior. But it’s actually a hard piece of plastic that’s embedded within the bra. It’s like wide, flat, vertical boning on the outer side, with three flat, horizontal fingers connected to it perpendicularly, going toward the center of the cup.
It’s a real feat of engineering. It truly does feel like I’m holding my boobs up with my hands, and the cleavage is crazy, as if I were pushing my boobs up and together with my hands. Also, since it’s got all this construction inside the bra, it’s smooth and you can’t feel any underwire. I’m not even sure there’s actual wire in it, but it’s definitely just as strong and supportive as underwire, if not more so. After all the complaining about wanting internal padded wires (like Victoria’s Secret does so well), here it is!
As for the band, it’s wonderful. It’s much wider than a typical bra, almost a longline. And it’s evenly heavy and thick all over, so no phantom back fat. At first it seems odd that it only has two hooks in the back. You’d think that would provide less stability. But I actually liked this aspect, because it sits lower, you could definitely wear it with low-backed garments. Yet it still felt totally stable and didn’t move even when I jumped around.
So now we come to the problems. First off, while the 30 band was fine, my usual sister size of 30FF was too small in the cups and gave me quad-boob. The 30G seemed to be the appropriate volume, but then there was simply too much bra. The cups came up far too high under my arms. Not only was there tons of visible side-bra in a sleeveless top, but the cups were so tall that they were actually in my armpit and the meat of my arms was folding over the cups. Since I prefer not to post photos of myself in my skivvies, here’s a crude drawing I made to illustrate how it looked on me:
Note that the cleavage I have drawn here is totally accurate. I literally had that magical Y-shaped cleavage and my boobs were practically lifted up to my chin. It was amazing! I looked like a comic book character. I’m not even sure I want that much cleavage if I’m wearing a garment that’s skimpy enough to require a strapless bra, but that seems to be the only choice if it’s a plunge.
Lastly, from a three-quarter angle, I thought it looked a little funny. This was a minor complaint, not a deal-breaker, but it didn’t seem like there was enough of a sharp angle under my boobs. It was more like a graduated slope from the crest of my boob down to the band.
Aside from the cups being too much, there was just something off about the fit in general. With all the heavy construction, I couldn’t really tell what exactly the problem was, so unfortunately I can’t recommend a specific breast shape for this garment. You’ll just have to try it for yourself!
After the Ultimate Strapless failed to work out, I found Gossard’s Super EgoBoost strapless bra, which has a nice, thick band but more traditional underwire. Amazon UK sells some sizes for as low as 20GBP, which is about $31, or less than half the retail price of $69. I’ll follow up with its review when it arrives.