Off the Rack ~ Freya “Pinup” Longline Bustier Reviewed

I’ve mentioned the Freya “Pinup” set twice before, most recently when I attended an Eveden marketing event a year ago. In that post, I called it the “standout” piece of the season. Then I sort of forgot about it…until it appeared in a Zulily sale a month ago! I snagged the longline strapless bustier and the high-waisted panties for a steal.

Lately, I’ve been wearing a 28GG or 30G pretty consistently. In fact, Freya is the lone holdout among brands that still fit me in 28G, but even then, it depends on the cut. For example, my Freya Hero and the Deco still fit at 28G, but the Deco strapless requires a cup size up. For the Pinup, I went with 30G (it doesn’t come in 28GG, and I often size up in the band with strapless bras anyway since they tend to run tighter to stay up). Luckily, 30G was the right size.

I originally purchased this set thinking it would be more of a “boudoir” piece, but after I got a nasty sunburn on my first beach day of the season (despite reapplying sunblock!), I couldn’t bear bra straps, and ended up wearing the Pinup bustier several times in one week. It turns out to be the most comfortable strapless bra I’ve ever tried!

The bustier features relatively stiff molded cups, mesh band and wings, semi-shiny black trim, side-stays, two pieces of boning on the front, two strips of silicon at the top of the band, removable straps with two attachment positions on cup and band, and five rows of two columns of hook-and-eyes.

On my long torso, the high-waisted panties (which I bought in size medium) just barely reach my belly button, so they’re not terribly vintage-looking. They’re more like granny-panties, but of course that wouldn’t be the case for a more petite wearer. Additionally, they don’t fully cover my backside, which is another common feature for me. However, for once in my life they don’t ride up into my buttcrack with every step, so they’re still pretty comfy.

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Off the Rack ~ Kinga “Nati I” Bra Reviewed

US flash sale site Zulily.com often has sales on British and Polish big-bust brands, including Panache, Cleo, Freya, Fantasie, Kris Line, and Kinga.

I tried two Kris Line bras from the site a while back, and was not successful. But I wasn’t deterred, so I recently tried another Polish brand through the site, Kinga.

Kinga starts at band size 30/65, uses European cup scheme (so no double-letters), and goes up to K-cups depending on the model.

Zulily had two cage bras available, the Nati I and Nati II. Nati I has less coverage and stops at cup size H, which is about a UK FF (Polish D = UK D, E = DD, F = E, G = F, H = FF). These days, I mostly wear UK 28GG or 30G, which would be a Euro 30I. But Nati II was already sold out of that size, so I gambled and tried the Nati I in 30H (30FF), since I can still get away with 28G/30FF in some brands.

Sadly, the Nati I is too small in the cup for me. When you look at the manufacturer photo, the cage straps on my cleavage are located where the cup edge rests on the model. There’s also plenty of escaping tissue on the sides. It’s very clearly too small all over. Though, impressively, there’s no quad-boob! The band stretches from 23″ to 30″, so I’d say it’s a little small compared to most 30 bands, but not by much. It certainly works well for my 29″ underbust.

I think I would fit quite nicely into the Nati II in 30I, but there don’t seem to be any US retailers carrying the brand other than Zulily. So hopefully Zulily will restock sizes and have another Kinga sale at some point because I really want this bra in my life!

The Nati I bra

The Nati I bra

The Nati II bra

The Nati II bra

Aside from the fact that this bra is not my size, I have lots of positive things to note. [Read more…]

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.