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!!

 

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.

big bust sports bra dream

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

big bust sports bra envy

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.

lynx sports bra up to a J cup

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…]

Book Review: The Bra Zone

I recently finished another book that Hourglassy readers will be interested in: The Bra Zone by Elizabeth Dale of The Breast Life. More than a how-to-fit instructional, this book promises to delve into all the different styles and shopping experiences that could work for a woman–hence the “zone”–and I was excited to receive a review copy.

Even though I was already familiar with most of the content, I love having all of this information in one place. It’s become a handy reference book for me.

Other than a personal reference book, would I recommend this book to a less knowledgeable friend who needs a well-fitting bra? My answer is yes–if it’s a friend who learns best by reading and I could highlight the points most relevant to her ahead of time. The book is only 142 pages with appendices, but Elizabeth covers enough scenarios in it to make it applicable to a variety of friends with a combination of different issues. It originated from the kind of conversations that you and I have all the time: “During conversations with fellow bra wearers, I suddenly realized that despite years of bra wearing, no one felt confident about their own bra shopping skills. Everyone knew what they liked, but no one seemed to know quite how to find it.”

Here are the things I especially like about this book: [Read more…]

Full Bust Finds from France

Somehow there’s always something new, different or better to tell you about after our visits to CurvExpo. Here are my favorite SS2017 finds from the French companies that we visited.

Aubade is finally offering a G cup!

On a pre-wedding shopping trip with my best friend in 2008, I discovered the Aubade Bahia in black. It was the prettiest bra I’d ever seen, and I had to own it even if it meant sister sizing into a 38F. However, by the end of the year I learned more about bra fit and never tried Aubade again. Until last Thursday.

Thanks to a surprise conversation with an Aubade rep, I discovered that Saks Fifth Avenue (oh how I wish that were an affiliate link) is the one store in New York City to carry the one Aubade style that currently comes in a G cup . It’s called the “Bahia Couture Comfort Demi Cup for Full Cup Sizes“. The 32G fit me perfectly.

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Let me know if you’ve found otherwise, but from my experience with French demi cups, it is necessary to size up in the cup. I mildly quadraboobed in the 32F that I tried, and the band was very stretchy, so I didn’t want to try the 34F. However, if Aubade comes out with 3/4 and full cup styles for G cups, I will try the 32F again. [Read more…]