Thursday, March 1, 2012

I've Got Mail

The thing I love most about online shopping - and I do love many things about it - is getting a package delivered to my door. Or two, as the case may be, today.

I got home to find two lingerie sets waiting on my porch.

To remind you, they are the Freya Nina (purchased from Figleaves) and the Miss Mandalay Paris Moulin (purchased from Large Cup Lingerie). And they both fit perfectly.

Ah, a good day is one where you buy a bra, sight unseen, in a totally unknown brand and it fits like a fucking dream.

At any rate, here are my reviews, to assist you perhaps, in deciding whether these would work for you.

Miss Mandalay Paris Moulin in red with animal print trim. I got the ruched brief undies to match. Many have written that this bra fits small but I'm here to tell you that I disagree. I fins it entirely true to size. I got the 32 band but I wish it were tighter. I'm seriously considering going down a back size (and up a corollary cup size to maintain the same volume) the next time I order a bra, in any brand. I'm entirely underwhelmed by the tightness of new-bra bands lately. I feel as if, 5 times after I wear them, they're too loose. Note: I haven't worn the Paris Moulin 5 times (obvs), and currently the loosest hook is snug, but I sense the band material isn't the strongest. Also, keep in mind if you're thinking of buying, the band doesn't fit particularly loosely on the Miss Mandalay. I just like a very tight fit.

A propos of this, it's an elegant and structured bra but I don't find it outrageously sexy and it's def not the most supportive bra I've ever put on. Don't get me wrong. It's entirely supportive enough for the vast majority of people. But I don't like even the slightest hint of movement. As the bra fits perfectly in the cups, materials (which is to say, pretty ones) and construction are the reasons for that movement. In truth, regardless of your size, if your breasts are heavy this may not be the best bra for you. On the other hand, I'm dissecting this thing to extremes, so don't take it all too seriously. My breasts are dense. I'm 41. It fits me perfectly.

OK, let's talk fabric. It's not as sleek or soft as every reviewer has led me to believe it would be, given how everyone goes on about those elements. Every Freya bra I've ever bought has been as sleek or sleeker and as soft or softer. Not that the Miss Mandalay comes up inadequate in those ways.

The colour is great. It's a very cherry red. One might say cerise, which is the shade of red, bordering on pink, I love.

On balance, I'm very happy with it and I'm particularly pleased that I got it on sale. True, I would likely not purchase it again. (There are better bras out there for less money.) But I do recommend the brand.

Now, let's talk for a second about the vendor. I can barely stomach the name of the boutique but I have to say that the service was excellent. The set arrived in 5 days (2 of those were a weekend). It was nicely presented with a card. The shipping was free. Did I mention that?!? The shipping is always free to any place in the world. I found the set priced for less than I've ever seen it listed on sale anywhere else before. The selection on the site is very good; the site itself is lovely and well organized. One pays via Pay Pal (and prob other methods, but that's how I paid) so I won't see the purchase on my credit card in 2 weeks. This retailer will be getting my business again - but I think I'm going to have to find some nice way to suggest that they revisit the name.

Freya Nina: I got this balconette in its only colour way (Rosewater) with the boy short undies. As per usual, the delivery via Figleaves took a fairly long (but not unreasonable amount of) time - 9 days. I have noticed that, while it ships as quickly as other UK retailers, the product takes longer to arrive at my door. BTW, you can get this set - in a wide range of size options - at Large Cup Lingerie for less than I paid on Figleaves. And I also paid for shipping on Figleaves, which you wouldn't have to do...

OK, onto the deets. I freakin' love this bra. Fits perfectly. Has that standard-Freya level of support that is belied by its gorgeousness. It's pinker than the photo shows it to be. It's a full on baby pink, animal print (yeah, it's bizarre). So don't imagine it's beige-ish. There's none of that. Oh, and he of "men don't like patterned fabric in lingerie" prefers it to the mono-toned Miss Mandalay. So, whatevs. The shape it gives is superior. That's why, though it all seems to get a bit same-y same-y after a while, Freya is in no danger of being supplanted by any other brand, IMO. That shit really works and it looks great at the same time.

I know that many reviewers are down on Freya these days for failing to offer adequately small band sizes (28s are hard to come by and 26s are non-existent). They refer to the endless replay, as they see it, of the same 5 styles. Maybe it's because this is the first brand I discovered that actually made a bra that fit well and looked awesome. (I do feel that Freya facilitated a changed sense of self and refined my identity.) Maybe it's because I'm not in a cusp size, either in band or cup so - when a particular style doesn't fit in my regular cup or back size - I can size up or down in each (not that I have had to do that more than once or twice). Obviously, we all have the brands that really work for us. I see many extol the virtues of Curvy Kate, Ewa Michalak, Panache, Cleo etc. Call me the cheerleader for Freya, at least so far.

And seriously, Freya, if you're reading this - please comp me something already :-)


  1. Ooh! I'm totally going to copy you and do reviews on the bras that I got the other day. I'm actually pretty excited about them.

  2. I haven't worn either brand, but it's nice to know exactly what you think of them, in case I ever want to.

  3. That is very useful information, thanks so much for the reviews! I'm still getting up the courage to dip my toes in the world of self-lingerie-ing.... :)

  4. B: You should totally do that!

    E: I know - reviews are kind of meaningless till you need something :-)

    Carolyn: Have fun with it. It's great when you crack the code of sizing in a particular brand and you can order with confidence that the sizing will be right.

  5. I bought a Freya bra from LCL - thanks for this post! Looking forward to receiving it.

    I was wondering how you deal with back fat with a tight band. Do you get any??

    1. I hope you enjoy your purchase! Do let us know.

      I don't worry too much about back fat. As long as the band isn't too narrow (I don't tend to go for those), and it isn't insanely tight, I don't notice it.

      OK, it's not that there is utterly nothing in all instances, but it's very minimal (to the extent that I don't feel it's observable under clothing).