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Full Bust Bra Review: Freya "Ashlee"

A little back story: I'm into pink and I have been for a long time. When I was a kid, the human-size Barbie was on my Christmas list and I owned normal-sized Barbie, her outfits, her car, her house, etc. Just like my love of sequined fabric and huge honking floral prints, my love of pink hasn't changed as the years have gone by.


Enter the Freya Ashlee. The Ashlee is based on one of Freya's bestselling bras, the Deco, which comes in several continuity basics (black, grey, nude) and seasonal "fashion" colors (there's a sizzlin' red available right now). Currently, Freya has two 'enhanced' Deco ranges out: the Ashlee and the Taylor. Both bras feature the same shape, a padded plunge, and the same design details, including double bows at the center gore, smooth velvet-y trim on the the top of the cups and a subtle pinstripe fabric. However, the bras couldn't be more different from one another in their "vibe". Where the Taylor reminds me of menswear and this Toulouse-Lautrec painting, the Ashlee is decidedly more youthful and Barbie-chic. To me, that unrealistically svelte blonde will never go out of style.


                                                  Freya "Ashlee" Moulded Plunge, 30G

When I first saw the catalog for the Spring/Summer Freya collection, I looked at the Ashlee range and knew Ashlee and I would be besties. The shade of pink was boldly flirtatious and the line included the most adorable high-waisted briefs. There's also something about the fabric, on both the Taylor and the Ashlee, which is super comfortable against the skin. I realize that more moulded or padded bras aren't everyone's cup of tea, but the interior side of the cups work well for me. In person, the pink tone really pops too! Below, it's pictured on my boyfriend's piano, which helped to bring out the juicy color.


                                                      Technically it's called "Sorbet"

In terms of size, I've compromised a little for the gorgeous bra above. I am now 100% sure that my best fit is a 28GG and I'd prefer the Ashlee in that size. Unfortunately, Freya has yet to debut any Deco or Deco-relatives in that cup/band combination so the 'next best thing' is a 30G. Since my breasts are naturally more close-set and top-heavy, I've found that plunges can be troublesome anyway. With the Taylor, I often "roll together" during the day; my boobs don't stay as "anchored" as they could. I don't think this is any sort of design issue, rather it's a result of my shape combined with my own decision to go for the size-up-in-band/down-in-cup compromise. This may be controversial, but I actually don't mind the "roll phenomenon" for nights out on the town. It gives me an extra va-va-voom quality.

This set has definitely gotten me excited for warmer weather! I'm considering the idea of wearing this bra under a semi-sheer white t-shirt. I've always wanted to try the 'visible bra' trend, but haven't had the guts until now. The Ashlee is too pretty to stay under big, baggy sweaters for long...

5 Comments

  1. I may be wrong, but I thought the Crystal was also part of the Deco style bra collection. And I am totally with you on the need for a 28GG. I'm currently in a Freya 28H, but I'd buy any form of the Deco in a 28GG in less then two seconds. The styling of the bra in general is gorgeous, plus the color availability, stripes on the Taylor, dots on the Crystal, pink on the Ashlee. I NEED on of these bras!
    Now, a few questions for you if you do not mind. I have read recently that the newer additions of the Deco and Deco like bras are not as large in the band as what the early bras were, meaning no need to size down any more. Do you find this to be true? Is the 30G like a normal Freya 30 band? And only one more, I promise. How do you like the shape under clothes in a "sister size" instead of your normal size? Does wearing the band on tighter hook cause you to have any distortion with the cup shape? I'm running into the issue with some Freya bras I currently own.

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  2. Awww, I love questions! Ask as many as you'd like! Here are my (very long-winded) answers:

    With 30 bands, I have a little experience. I'd say that at one end of the spectrum, there's Affinitas and Ewa Michalak, whose 30 bands run closer (in some cases) to 28s or maybe even lower. They're firm-to-tight 30 bands. On the other side of the spectrum, there's Chantelle and Freya, whose 30 bands run looser. I'd say the two Deco-styles I've worn are somewhere in between. They're by no means the loosest I've tried, but they are not ultra firm either. I am a "true 28" so I'd prefer that band across the board (or, when I'm not desperate to try a particular style!).

    Sister sizing is problematic, for sure. I've had both tremendous success (Midnight Grace swimwear on Figleaves, for example) and laughable failure, if the G cup is more like a small G/FF. In terms of the look of the fit, I've seen that the Freya sister size can look both too big and too small simultaneously. I pucker out of the bottom, making it look too small, but then the cups gape at the top, making it look too big. I don't know if that's the band distorting the cup. I think it might be that the 28 is designed to fit my frame better and 'capture' my breast tissue where I actually have it. When I adjust the hooks to a tighter setting, I also need to readjust the straps, since the entire bra will be sitting lower. And yes, in some shirts, you could definitely tell I'm popping out a little. :| ...but the Deco cousins are so beautiful, I can't resist them!

    I hope this helps! :)

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  3. Very helpful! You describe exactly what I am facing. I really need a 26, but I am kind of stuck in the realm of 28 bands. I'm facing the problem of a band being too large, pulling it to a tighter set of hooks distorts the fit of the cup more. I just did a review of the Freya Lauren in a 28H where the cups look too small and too large at the same time. I really think it may be the band fit causing my issues. But until some 26s come around it looks like I'll have to work with things.
    Thanks for your help!

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  4. Wanted your advice if you have a sec. Just getting into finding my real size was fitted at a 32G-34F. So I'm new at this getting away from VS. I ordered my first trial size a 34F Freya Ashlee bra. When I raise my arms the left side underwire comes off my ribs a touch maybe quarter inch or so. Do you think I should try a 34FF or go down to a 32ff or 32G? Thanks a million- Liz

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  5. Hey Liz - Congratulations on your new size! But, oh gosh, online ordering! It's so tough, here are my recommendations:

    First off, the original Deco itself ran a half cup large (so a G was a G1/2 on me) and it's notorious, with fitters, of either 1. running large in the band or 2. REALLY "opening up"/loosening after a few wears. On that fact alone, I'd suggest ordering your smaller band size.

    The cups are different on my two Deco spin offs. While the 28G Nude Deco fit, the 28G Taylor was too small. I'd advise ordering your larger cup size. If the current size is only troublesome in the band (the wire "coming off") and fits in the cups, I'd suggest the sister size (32FF), but if you're also getting some spill over, I'd also size up in the cup.

    In terms of fitting via the Internet, I'm rubbish. These are my recommendations based on what I know of these two bras. However, bra fitting can also depend on personal fitting preferences, the consistency of your tissue and the shape of your breasts.

    I hope I've helped. I know bras can be mysterious! Good luck, Liz! :)

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