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.


  1. Oh no! What a shame! That longline has such potential, if ONLY it went bigger! I always assume that longline would be more supportive for a fuller chest as you can add more hooks and put more engineering into the long bit – I guess I was mistaken!xx

    • Oh I know! With 7 hooks you’d think that would be perfect support for a bigger bust! Such a shame. xxx

  2. I really don’t understand why Freya does not follow the “Curvy Kate Showgirl Principle” and offer at least the largest cup with smaller band sizes. If you already bothered to construct a bra in 38G, you could also produce the sizes 36GG, 34H, 32HH, 30J and 28JJ.

    If you’re looking for a longline bra, the new Cleo Sadie might be an option. It’s available between 28 and 38 D-H:

    • Thank you so much for that link; what a lovely bra, I haven’t actually seen it before, and I do own some of the Cleo range already. I agree, if they can make a 38G then they can also make 28JJ – they are the same cup volume, and they should really be finding a way to make it work.

  3. Maybe if they used a different cup shape, but kept the long band it would work? They don’t make the other padded bras in bigger sizes, so I think that must be the part of the design that isn’t working. I would love to see a longline bra in my size, I really really would. I too think Panache gives the impression of not only asking and listening more to their customers, but acting on it too. I know many have asked them to make their bras with shorter wires under the arms, as Panache has been extremely high there in the bigger sizes, and in the previews that have been popping up for the next season, they have made the wires shorter. I really want to see Freya learn something from them.

    • Yeah I agree, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense, other companies seem to be capable of making padded bras, even half cup styles that fit over a G cup. If I worked for Freya and my design team said “sorry we can’t make this style for any bigger sizes”, I’d tell them to get on with it and create one then, either that or hire in a new design team. It’s not even good business to alienate such a large customer base that they would otherwise have.

  4. Arg, another beautiful bra that doesn’t come below a 30 band or above a G cup! And that’s pretty shocking that the band was so loose on the balcony bra.
    I’m tempted to try the longline bra, though… I’m usually a 28GG, but if the longline band doesn’t run loose, then it still could work for me in a 30G… I still don’t understand why they can’t make more of their bras with 28bands/G+ cups, though (especially since the models seem to be 28/26 bands, as you pointed out)

    • I know, you’d think they’d be getting better, not worse! If I were you, I would try a longline in store if that’s a possibility. I find the 30 band quite firm, but then I am a 30 anyway, so not sure how good/bad it would be for 28. It’s definitely worth a try anyway, just because it’s such a lovely bra!
      Hopefully if enough people point out that they need more 28’s and G+ bras, they might eventually listen.

  5. Hi Sophia, just wanted to sympathise… as a long standing Freya fan I just don’t know what has gone wrong with their bra sizing this season! I have always worn a 32G, all my previous bras still fit but after waiting for Lauren to come on sale, I immediately bought my size and after wearing found the back riding up – and it is also much smaller in the cup. Tried 32GG but not much better, and have ended up with a 30HH! Lyla & Erin (Erin having a very similar construction to Lauren) fit in a 32G?! Had also been craving the Faye… but same problems as Lauren 😦 (my Pollyanna in 32G is still perfect!)
    I have always found the padded half cups a cup size smaller so don’t think I will be even trying the Nieve! Shame to see my favourite brand become so much less reliable. Methinks Freya will see less of my wages this year!! Best wishes x

    • Hi Vicky, thanks for your comments. That’s really interesting to hear you’ve been having similar problems. I haven’t tried much of their new range, they are so off putting with their sizing problems despite having some lovely choices. Thanks for the info, I’ll have to try some of them and see what they’re like! x

  6. I think that the real reason that Freya and some other companies stop a the G cup size is they don’t know how many women with larger cups are out there. I wish there was a way that all women could state what size they are and get the size they need and style they want.

    Anything a smaller cup woman can wear a larger cup woman can wear to. It might take more time to design a fit women in this wild west of bras sizes, but It could be done and the pay off would huge.

    Any company with half a brain(companies are deemed people in US laws) would make bras from 24-50 Cups A-LL and beyond perhaps.

    While like you say Freya offers some bras up to a G or H, some other bras are up to a K. I think it’s a way for hedging their bets, If more women knew their size and didn’t feel the need to get reduction surgery, There would be more Buyers of large cup bras.

    Btw Sophia you look great. Sorry to b*tch and moan and not offer a compliment.

    • I know what you mean, but I kinda think that if Panache, Curvy Kate, Ewa Michalak and many other companies can do it, that they could do it too. In my opinion there’s getting to be quite a big market out there for larger cups, and it will only continue growing, and I can see you’re of the same opinion too. There are so many of us who think this, and feel this way, I’m really surprised at them that they are missing such a big customer base. And thank you for the compliment 😛 I like a good rant anyway! x

  7. Hi Sophia,

    We wanted to get in touch to provide our sincerest apologies for the experience you have received with the Freya Nieve bra. We believe it is vital to listen and take onboard customer feedback.

    We constantly strive to develop our products and are extremely proud to now provide lingerie up to a K cup. Since 2008, we have increased our product offering for small back/large cup size customers and as a result we now offer 40% more bras in a GG cup or larger.

    Unlike many of our competitors we design, develop and fit all of our collections here in the UK. For us the standard of support and fit is paramount and we never like to compromise this, we work incredibly hard to source fabrics and styles which can suit all and will continue to develop this in the future.

    Nieve is a brand new style for us, and is our first ever long line bra. Over the next 12 months we will look develop the Nieve range, according to customer feedback, sales and reviews. We are committed to providing customers with the products they want.

    Here at Freya, we enjoy reading your blog and especially to hear your love of Deco. We have some bright and beautiful new styles for AW11 also available in 30GG which we hope you will like. We hope you continue to be a Freya fan.

    Freya x

    • Dear Freya,

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.
      I hope you understand the concerns I had, and know that’s it’s not an attack on Freya as a whole, but rather the difficulty faced when looking for padded bras that go beyond G/GG and smaller than 28. Be assured I am still a fan of your gorgeous lingerie; it’s just very frustrating to get excited about a new product coming out, then realise it doesn’t come in your size – but I will keep trying them all anyway 🙂
      All the best,


  8. It’s really a shame. I love the longline look, especially, and would’ve loved to try one out. Here’s hoping they come out with an H cup (and smaller band sizes too!) in the future. It’s very encouraging that they’re responding to you, though!

  9. That longline is great…but how do you get the bra on and hook all 7 hooks?

    • Well, I’m really naughty and put bras on backwards. Try as I might, I just always fail to put bras on the correct way round. Some day I’ll work it out! 😛

      • Well with the amount of hooks that are probably on your bras, I can understand that 🙂

  10. The models are a big part of what’s problematic! You’ve got 26-28 backed women modeling bras that only come in 30 or larger, so I do wonder, how do they make that work? Cuz they’re photographed in the front? And it seems that almost all brands do that–how many models you see with broad backs? It goes to show that smaller backs are considered more attractive, but in reality there aren’t enough bras out there for their back sizes…and if people look at those models and conclude that they’re wearing the right size, they’d think, “there’s no way I’m a 30 or lower! I’m not super skinny!” The models should be properly fitted. Even better, it’d be great if they could tell us what size the models are wearing.

    • I used to think that too – I always thought I was a 34 because all the models were so slim and saying they were 32, or the bras only went as low as a 30, making me think if that’s their smallest size, I’m nowhere close! It’s very bad advertising – well maybe good for them, but bad for women’s comfort and health!

      • Oh, it also got me thinking–perhaps the model herself was photoshopped to make her look thinner and maybe she really did have a bigger ribcage…who knows…

      • That would be an awful lot of work for them though, having someone photoshop her size in every picture :S

  11. Sorry this is a bit late. I was looking for reviews for the longline and found yours. I’m normally a 28F in the Deco but obviously could only try this (Edina version) in a 30E. I’m unsure of the cups though. They almost seem too low cut, or perhaps I need a bigger cup? I am mildly bloated, lol, but I rarely go up an entire cup durring this time so it’s got to be the bra. Should your nipples be just below the detailing, or should they be more in the center of the cup, like the half-way point between bottom and top? I realize yours is too small for you, but maybe if anyone else on here was able to try it, what is your opinion on the cup size? Is it true to size or do you feel like you could go up a cup? I’m worried if I do it will make the band feel looser (my ribs are holding it in place since they stick out a bit in front, haha!)

    Also…even though I’m a 28 (and some say I could really go as small as 26), most of the models for Freya and like companies do look a lot bigger than me, more like a 30. It could be just perspective. The only one I can think of for Freya that looks around my frame size is the one that models the swimsuits, long brown hair…kinda sorta looks like a porn star (no offense to that look, but if you see her you’ll know what I mean). The others look about a 30, especially the blond model you pictured in question up above. Her shoulders are very broad for her frame (plus she’s really tall so that can make anyone appear thinner than they are) so it’s entirely possible she is larger than what she looks like. For example, I don’t think Brittany from T&C looks like a 26, but I have a feeling it’s because she’s much larger breasted. If you cover up your boobs you look like a 28/30. I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff in the world of photoshop too, they can knock off a few sizes.

    • Well the thing is, it’s a half-cup bra rather than a plunge like the deco. I would say it did feel like a 30G to me (i.e. one cup size too small) so pretty true to Freya sizing. It’s hard to estimate about nipple position, because it depends exactly where they are positioned on your breasts anyway. The best way to tell if the cup is too small, is to try lifting up your arms, then bringing them back behind you, and see whether your breasts have shifted much. If they are still in the cups, not spilling over hugely or anything and not lots of sideboob, then it’s probably the right cup size. However, I have a feeling if you are between a 26-28 band size, that it won’t support you enough. You may also find you shift around in it simply because the band isn’t tight enough.
      As for the models, I don’t know whether the pictures are photoshopped or not, but in my opinion, that particular girl has a 28 back, but even if it was nearer 30, they often have very loose bands on their models – which again wouldn’t show a true indication of sizing.

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