Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Freya Freestyle Crop Top

This week I’m reviewing the new Freya Freestyle soft crop top. The Freya Fancies bralette (my review here) gives enough support for what it is, but it’s so difficult to get over my shoulders that I barely ever use it. So I’m still on the hunt for a bralette that gives enough support that I’m comfortable walking the dog or going to the corner store in it, yet it’s easy to get on and off.

The Freestyle crop top is the answer to my prayers! It’s super soft and comfy, gives slightly better support than the Fancies bralette, and has a hook and eye band closure that makes it a breeze to get on and off.

Now that the weather has turned warm and I no longer need a jacket in the morning, I’ve been putting this top on every day under a tee shirt to walk the dog. There are always tons of people out and about in my building and on the sidewalk early in the morning, so I’m just not comfortable going bra-less.

On the front side, the Freestyle top is made of one large piece of mesh that’s gathered on the side seams (instead of at the band), to give three-dimensional volume. Then there are stretchy, somewhat firm panels that cross over and provide additional support.

The back side is a racerback lined in your standard micro-mesh, with a single layer of fabric over top. The shoulders and sides are the same grey stretchy fabric as the front panels, and the center of the back is mesh for breathability.

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I’m wearing a size medium. The Freestyle top uses the same sizing scheme as the Fancies bralettes, so my 28G/GG puts me perfectly in size medium.

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However, I find the neckline awfully low, and the band, which when laid flat stretches from 13” to 19”, a little on the loose side. When I first put it on, I have to aggressively swoop and scoop to make sure my boobs don’t fall under the band (which of course creates more cleavage and makes it look even lower-cut).

That being said, while I wouldn’t go running in this bra (and probably wouldn’t even do yoga in it for fear of falling out), it is sooooooo comfy, and just perfect for walking around the neighborhood early in the morning, or lounging at home on a hot day. It gives enough lift that I don’t have underboob sweat, it breathes beautifully—and it’s just plain cool-looking! Seriously, I’m obsessed with this heather grey-turquoise combination.

A-plus, Freya!!

 

Not Just Another Pretty Lace: Fantasie Rebecca Lace

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Just hanging out talking about bras over brunch on Saturday!

As you know, my company, Campbell & Kate, hosted Bras & Brunch at its pop up shop last Saturday, and Eveden contributed some gorgeous samples for attendees to check out.

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One that you don’t see in the photo above is the Fantasie Rebecca Lace.

fantasie rebecca lace (2)At first glance, the Rebecca lace looks like your typical seamless T-shirt bra, except it has lace along the wings, straps and bridge. In ivory, it’s almost bridal, but it didn’t strike me as very special when I unpacked it. Basically, it seemed like a nice concession to our less adventurous guests.

Velaire Elliot and Jennifer Baker, the two co-founders of My Bra Concierge (more about their start up on our blog soon), had an entirely different reaction. They immediately recognized what was so special about the Rebecca Lace: it has a back-smoothing lace panel. Here’s what that detail looked like in a UK 32E on one of our visitors.

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Whether the lace panel is powerful enough to offer true back smoothing remains to be seen, but it’s a nice idea and makes for a pretty back view.

The shape of the Rebecca isn’t for me, and it didn’t win Leah over either when she compared it to the Fantasie 4510. However, it turns out that this bra is Jennifer Baker’s favorite! She says:

The Rebecca has been a life changing bra for me since it’s one of the first properly fitting bras I was able wear at 30GG. I prefer slight padding, and this bra does the trick. I also love the soft fabric and the slightly fuller coverage provided. The underwire is comfortable, and I get no rubbing from the side support panels like in many other bras, so this is my go-to for an everyday t-shirt bra. Having slightly more breast tissue on top, I find this bra suits my shape very well. I’ve recommended it to many friends, and it appears to fit many shapes and sizes well. But, for ladies who have more projected tissue or more narrow roots (liking Polish brands), you might look elsewhere! I’m looking forward to trying the Rebecca Lace in my size soon!

How about you, readers? Who’s a Rebecca fan, and who has a different go-to seamless bra and why?

Finally, it was wonderful to have Shari Deutsch from The Strap Saver with us as well.

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Spring break and swim season are upon us, so I must highlight the reason that co-founder Beth Lieberman started the company. As a super petite woman, Beth could never find a swimsuit with short enough straps. The Strap Saver solves that problem! If you’ve run into this problem, this is a great solution.

Lynx Love for a Large Chest: Cross Back and Ladder Back Sports Bra Reviews

Here’s a sports bra look I admire. In the past I would have lamented how off limits it is to women with large chests.

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But here’s a change. I took this photo of a woman at the airport simply to show you my style twin!

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Thanks to Lynx Sportswear, women with large chests can now add back interest to their athleisure. Today I review the Lynx ladder back sports bra and the Lynx cross back sports bra that I teased you with in December.

Disclosure: Lynx gave me the cross back sports bra as a review sample, and I purchased the ladder back bra with my own money. All opinions are my own.

Quick Summary:

Both are great for wearing under wide armholes and low or cut-in backs. The cross back is a high impact wonder.  The ladder back is good for low impact sports.

The Concept:

Lynx bras support from the sides–just like hands holding you up. In fact, that’s exactly where founder Cynthia Smith got the idea. I’m going to write more about her inspiration on the Campbell & Kate blog soon. [If you wonder where I’ve been for the last two months, the C&K blog posts show that I’ve been pretty busy over there. I have more great posts planned, so why not subscribe to the C&K newsletter? That way I can alert you when I post new content.] There are no underwires, and the only thing hard is the hook in back. The ladder back doesn’t even have a hook, which makes it especially nice for floor work. You know what else is great? Being able to throw these bras in the washing machine.

One of the tenets of bra design is that the bridge between the two breasts must be stable. It’s never supposed to stretch. Cynthia reversed this by using rigid side panels for support (the hands) and a stretchy center panel that lets you move and breathe. It’s not an encapsulation bra, but it’s not a compression bra either.

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The purple arrow points to the stretchy center panel. The yellow arrow points to the princess seam going down the middle of the rigid side panels. You may also notice that the seams are finished in a way to prevent any chafing.

I was a complete skeptic as I listened to her explanation, but when I put the bras on, it didn’t even feel like I had breasts anymore. They felt weightless. More on why below . . . . [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Freya “Hero” Bra

It has been an awfully long time since my last wired bra review. This week I’m discussing the Freya “Hero” bra. And what a hero it is!

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Disclosure: This item was received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

I haven’t bought a new Freya bra in quite a while. I own so many of them in prints I adore that I just keep wearing my old ones over and over, refusing to replace them even though they’re pathetically worn out. But after trying the Hero bra, I’m ready to throw out all my old Freyas and start fresh! [Read more…]