Archive for August, 2011


My Search for a Nieve that Fits

August 27, 2011

I have long been a fan of Freya and their beautiful selection of bras, so when I heard about the new Nieve bra, I could barely control my excitement!
It has a beautiful floral pattern which is both feminine and sexy, and there was a longline version – it sounded too good to be true…
I’d been waiting with baited breath for them to arrive in stores. Leia lingerie was my first choice to purchase the Nieve bra from, as they have always been both friendly and reliable, not to mention they come highly recommended by my good friend and fellow blogger Georgina Horne.

Freya Nieve Bra

Sadly, the longline Nieve bra (which was my favourite of the two) starts at a 30 band, and only goes up to a G cup. This is no good for me, as I usually wear 30GG in Freya, and occasionally 30H. So, I went for my second choice, the balcony Nieve unpadded – this version both starts at a 28 back, and goes up to a K cup.

A few days later, I was overjoyed to see the package waiting for me after work, but my happiness was short lived.

Freya Nieve Balcony Version - 30GG

I am of course used to Freya bras being slightly looser in the band than other brands, but I found this bra to be the loosest 30 band I have ever tried. It felt like a 34 band – even on the tightest hook I could pull it at least an inch away from my chest. Not only that, but I really felt the shape of the bra let me down, it both separated and barely gave any lift, so unfortunately I sent it back, and didn’t bother exchanging for a 28.

I was really quite miffed about all of this, and I felt cheated out of the beautiful supportive longline version of the Nieve that I had been dreaming about purchasing for so long. I decided that I would buy one anyway, just to at least try it and see what I was missing.

Nieve Longline Bra

Leia speedily sent me the longline bra in a 30G, a cup size down from my usual. Well, I have to say, this bra is beautiful! It is the polar opposite of the balcony version. It’s sleek, lightly padded, lifting, and with a very firm supportive band (it has 7 hooks!) I loved it the moment I put it on. Not only is it a great bra, but it looks a little like a crop top too. I felt it could even be worn under a loose shirt, so long as you don’t mind a bit of cleavage!

Freya Nieve Longline Version - 30G

Of course, the only blindingly obvious downside, is that it was too small in the cup for me, if ONLY I could have it a cup size up, then I wouldn’t have breast tissue bursting over the top and out the sides.

So why is it that Freya can make such a stunning bra, yet leave us bigger busted girls with a useless unsupportive balcony version? Well, I headed straight over to Freya’s facebook page to ask them for myself.

Before I even wrote anything, I was quite surprised to note that the model in their profile picture, was in fact wearing the balconette Nieve, and I can safely say it didn’t look anything like that on me! Not only that, but this model is at the very most a 28 band girl – there is no way it could have fitted her or given the support she appears to have in the photo.

Freya Fan Page Profile Photo

Here is what I asked Freya on their page:

“Dear Freya, I’m a 30GG and have been in love with the Nieve bra long before it was available. First I tried the balcony version in 30GG, and I couldn’t believe how loose the band was, it felt like a 34! Just for the hell of it I decided to try the longline version in a 30G – it is a stunning bra, with a much more realistic fit than the balcony version. Of course, it is too small for me, so I’m debating whether or not to keep it. Can you please tell me why the longline bra starts only at 30, and doesn’t go above a G cup? It’s such a shame for bigger busted or smaller-backed girls.”

Here is Freya’s reply:

“Hi Sophia, I am glad that you love Nieve. Regrading the sizes, the Freya design team found that the longline doesn’t give enough support above a G cup as the cups are based on our padded half cup shape so less covering than a balcony bra. Freya are always working on extending size ranges and collections. Love Freya”

However, they neglected to respond to my query about a smaller band size.

Following that, another girl commented on my post asking this:

“Will you perhaps be getting the Nieve longline bra in 28 sizes? I simply adored the style when I saw it online, but saw you only start from a 30. Is there a reason why you can’t make the longline in a 28? Would you perhaps consider making the style in that size?”

Again, Freya neglected to respond to her.

I have received an explanation now for why they don’t go above a G cup in the longline bra, but I’m not really satisfied with the answer. If the ‘design team’ found it doesn’t give enough support, then why haven’t they created one that does? Why not have another version of a longline bra specifically made for G cup and over? And why do they imply all G+ bras have to be balcony style? I have plenty of GG-H bras from Ewa Michalak in the half cup style!

In this day and age, with women continually finding out their correct bra size, and realising they need something entirely different to what is easily available on the high street, Freya should at least have the decency to give their customers an explanation. If your back size equals a UK size 8 or below, you will most likely need a 28 band or smaller, some need 26 bands or even 24. Not only are there plenty of women around of that size, but teenagers who need them too.
What are we to think when Freya are alienating big cups and small backs, but still using these 28/26 backed models to advertise bras that we know don’t fit them?

Freya have a lot to answer for, especially when other companies are continually advancing and trying to listen to their customer’s wants and needs.

On Panache Lingerie’s facebook page, a girl commented asking if they will be offering size 26 bands in the future.

Panache responded with the following status question for their customers:

“With the focus now being on fuller figure ranges and an increase in back sizes, is there also a need for smaller back sizes as per Izabela’s comment below?”

I was really impressed that they actually listened to one of their customers, then took the initiative to ask the rest of their fans and find out! That’s a sign of a lingerie company that really cares about the products they make, and the customers who buy them.


Top Bikini Picks for Summer

August 6, 2011

During my very short and sweet holiday, away from cloudy England and on to beautiful higher climates, I got a chance to test out my new bikinis.

The First bikini on my list, is the Freya Zodiac. Unfortunately, since I bought it earlier this year, my size has increased, and it is now to small for me. So, the only picture I have to show you, is one I took after I first bought it. Sadly, on holiday I couldn’t bring myself to wear something that was too small (not in front of others anyway!)

Freya 'Zodiac' Bikini

However, I did go for a quick dip in the pool with it very early one morning, while no one else was around. I can safely say that it water tested very well; it didn’t try to slip off and was comfy to swim in. Not only that, but it has a lovely pattern with bunnies and cats on it, which I love. The bikini briefs also have a flap that you can fold down, or pull up to cover your tummy if you so choose. I found it quite true to size, I tend to wear my bikinis in 32 rather than 30, as I don’t want too much squidgy-ness when in public.

The one down side that I find with most Freya bikinis, and in fact, most bikinis in general, is that there is a very limited size choice for briefs. They come in XS, S, M, L and XL. Knowing how unlikely I am to fit into most bikini briefs, I always opt for XL. I can tell you that these are the equivalent of a size 14-16..which is not very big at all for an XL. I really wish companies would expand their swimwear, not only in the brief department, but over G cups as well! I have many frustrated H, J and K cup friends who really struggle to find decent swimwear. Fantasie is one of the few brands that do – good on them!

This however, this is a small downside for a very lovely bikini. I would definitely recommend it.

My next review is for the Pour Moi Azure bikini. As  beautiful as I find it with its striking cobalt colour, and as much as I want to give it a good review, I just can’t. When I first bought this bikini, I found it huge in the cup. I immediately sent it back for a smaller size because it swamped me. On getting the correct size, it was a better fit…in the cup at least. The problem is, the back does not give any support whatsoever. I ordered a 32, which near enough makes no difference, as it is a tie back bikini, and even the 32 didn’t have that much extra tie -up material. No matter how tight I tied the back (and I had help from someone tie-ing it as tight as possible), I could still, every time, manage to pull the front of the band inches from my chest. I took a good look at the design of this bikini, and saw that the tie back straps and the band were separate pieces of fabric feebly stitched together. Because of this join, the back half cannot pull the front half any tighter.

Pour Moi 'Azure' Cobalt - Unsupportive Band

What a shame to have such a huge design flaw in what would otherwise be a fabulous bikini. I went in the sea with this on, swam for about 5 minutes; on my way out, my other half had to run over and adjust me, because everything had already fallen out underneath!

Pour Moi 'Azure' Cobalt

The top appears fine in the picture, before you start to move around or swim in it. If you plan to stay completely still the entire time, then that is the only time I would recommend this bikini.
I really did like having the option of tie-side briefs though, 
because that can work for so many different sizes. 

Next, is one I wouldn’t normally go for, but I took a risk anyway. A La Senza bikini. Generally I’m not a fan of La Senza bras, their sizing is usually off, and anything above a DD cup appears to be badly designed, or designed by someone who does not have a larger chest. They also incorrectly measured me; never a good sign.

However, I’m more open in terms of their swimwear, and spied a very pretty bikini, the Marbella, which I was pleased to discover came in a GG. I actually really liked it, and even though it had a similar build to the badly designed Azure bikini, because this time it had a clip-up band and not a tie back, it wasn’t a problem. It’s lightly padded which I liked as it gave me a little added support. It was also very uplifting, but without huge amounts of in-your-face cleavage.

La Senza 'Marbella' Bikini

At the time I couldn’t afford the briefs as well, so I made do with a pair of white tie side briefs that I found on ebay for £2. I quite like mixing and matching bikinis, I’m not really a person who tries to match their underwear either, so for me, anything with a complimentary colour will do.

La Senza 'Marbella' Bikini - Ebay Briefs

Last but definitely not least my favourite bikini of all; Freya’s Pier bikini. For a while it only came in red, green and black, all very lovely colours. However, I opted for the new pink pier! I have trouble resisting something sparkly and new to the lingerie/swimwear scene, so I pre-ordered it as soon as I could. It has not let me down. I love the way it’s made; it gives a little bit of cleavage, whilst being very supportive and comfortable. It has a clip back, which is always my preference, and the cutest ruffles on the edge of the bikini top, and on the sides of the bikini briefs. Again, the only downside is that I need to order XL briefs again, and they didn’t have my preferential tie-sides. I actually wore my Slinky Dip bikini bottoms (mentioned in a previous post) with it, just so I could feel a bit more relaxed in the briefs.

Freya 'Pier' Pink

I spent most of my holiday in this bikini, and I found it very comfortable to swim in. Not only that, but because of the wonderful support, I found that even though it lacks padding, when I untied the neck straps and wore it as a bandeau bikini, it worked perfectly!  The one thing I cannot quite understand though, is why Freya can’t make this in bigger sizes. I’ve been looking at the design of it, and it seems more than feasible. I tell you Freya, the sales you would get if you brought this out in something bigger than a GG!

Freya 'Pier' Pink

This is a thoroughly worthy bikini, and a staple swimwear item for any larger cupped woman. If you don’t already own this bikini, you should go get one now!

One other bikini that I tried on in store, and loved, but couldn’t get in my size, is the Freya Waves bikini. It is really bright blue and beautiful, but in store I couldn’t find anything bigger than a G. I felt that bikini ran small as the 32G was so tight on me in the cup; in the correct size, I have no doubt it will be fabulous.

Freya 'Waves' Bikini

Hopefully this will be useful to anyone searching for a good bikini this summer, and if you are looking for some entertaining summer reading, I very much recommend Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’. Beckie over at Busts for Justice recommended it to me, and it had me laughing out loud for a great deal of my holiday!


Sophia xxx