Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quick Note on Long Line and A Reconsideration

Hey peeps: Just back from Ottawa (which was so warm, btw, I didn't need gloves?! No skating for us...). I did receive my Figleaves package, the Freya Nieve long line and boy short undies and I must share a quick review.

For starters, the bra does fit small. Not seriously small, like that Curvy Kate Criss Cross bra, but you will probably want to go a cup size up from your norm. The construction is very kind to a bust that is full on top. It's quite low cut, almost demi as opposed to balconette, and the effect is full-on renaissance wench. The undies, on the other hand, are totally true to size and extremely flattering (as I find most Freya underwear to be).

I am happy to say that it's a rather short long line bra, so it doesn't cut into the abdomen or visually shorten an already short torso. There's only about an inch or inch and a half of "line" below the under wire.

The fabric is GORGEOUS. It's the most beautiful floral (doesn't actually look much like the photo), totally Liberty-print - but not in a twee way. Let's face it, it's hard to be twee when your tits are heaving.

On account of the low-cutness, I can't say it's the most supportive bra ever, but things are very secure from below the chest. The combo of underwire and construction (intriguingly, there is NO boning) are quite effective. It would be great, for example, peeking out from beneath a classic white button down. However, it's not a t shirt bra. There's too much embellishment, the cut is quite low, and the padding is quite observable to my eye.

On the topic of padding: There will be no nipple-shows (not that I care about that, particularly), but I think it's an utter stupidity. That's the only thing about this bra I can criticize. I understand that it's part of the design. It contributes to a very structured, very round, bust shape (hence the wench-look), but I don't appreciate the addition of any volume.

In short, this bra is an observably modern riff on an old-school style. I like it a lot and, while I debate its day-to-day practicality, it will definitely have place in my wardrobe. In truth, I prefer the flat top / pointed silhouette of the vintage long lines - I particularly love their supportiveness, but they are not widely appealing (nor are they any more flattering to the majority of breast shapes than the modern, sphere shape bras). I cannot wait for Freya to come out with a long line that is unpadded. Till then, I haven't got much negative to say about this one.

And, while I'm waxing on at length, I have to admit that I remeasured my under bust and it's actually more like 30.5 or 31 inches, not the 32 I have led you all to believe. Why is this relevant? Well, it casts some aspersions on my theory that one should wear (approximately) the same size band and one's under bust measurement in light of modern, textile improvements and construction methods. So, while I've been espousing that my (purported) 32 inch under bust is happily contained within a 32 inch band, I've actually got about an inch to an inch and a half of ease I haven't been accounting for.

How can I have made this stupid mistake? I mean, I take measurements all the time. Well, I've generally worn a bra when I measure - which is recommended - but I think the wires and under bands of the bra I've been using for this purpose have actually been adding bulk. My point - try taking the measurement both ways and see if you get different results.

I do have some 30 bands (though I'm a bit out of that range at the moment) so it's not like, case by case, a band and under bust size can't correlate exactly. But I have to rethink things. Any way you slice it, I am totally not - as a general rule - in favour of wearing a band that is more than 2 inches larger than your under bust measurement. But I'm reconsidering that those of you who describe the need for a +2 band / under bust correlation are likely onto something and not simply inculturated to wear a band that "should" be tighter. I'll certainly return to this topic when I have more perspective.


  1. Glad to hear your review of this longline bra, since I was lusting after the bra after your previous mention, but wasn't sure how the fit would be. As a 28J I usually have to buy 30Gs and take the band in 2", but I wasn't sure if that would work with a longline. I could have sworn that I saw this bra in something close to my size, but when I went to look again just now, Figleaves at least seems to not carry it in 30G/28J. Ah well, my search for a good longline bra in my size continues.

    I'm with you on the +2" for the band, fwiw. My underbust measurement is 26.5" (and my full bust is 37", so roughly J cup, but you know how inconsistent the sizes are above DD), and a 28 band fits me best. Some bra brands I can get away with a 30 band, at least for a few weeks before the elastic breaks in, but I almost always end up taking 2" out of the band by hand (yay sewing skills!). The way modern bras are sized is pretty ridiculous all around, but I think a lot of women, even those of us with large cup sizes, end up in a band size that's 2" bigger than our actual underbust measurement. I can't figure out the logic there, especially given vanity sizing in every other area of women's fashion, but I'll just go with the size that supports me without carving divots into my shoulders. :P

    1. You know the band is quite snug on the 32. Not sure if a 30G would be snug enough but given the 6 hooks, it might be ok? They do carry that size (I checked Freya's direct site) but I think the style is pretty picked over at most online shops.

      A number of lingerie advocates with 28 backs have been lobbying Freya hard to get the long line (and other) style(s) made in back sizes smaller than a 30. I think it's on the horizon, to be honest. They're going to have to produce or other brands will out do them.