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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Freya Marvel


Even if the Marvel was uncomfortable to wear (it's not) or a poor fit (again, it's not), this bra represents a giant step forward for the brand who has been timid -- if not terrified! -- of stepping outside their technical safe space. Freya delayed the release of it's first soft halfcup multiple times and seemed oddly hesitant to discuss it in any depth. This once game-changing company has clung to it's successes lately, stubbornly committed to mining every profit from their bestsellers rather than exploring new territory. The Marvel is a break from that pattern which offers longtime Freya fans a glimmer of hope that the company's confidence is slowly returning. If the Marvel is any indication, I can't wait for what surprises    the brand has in store for us.




Freya's cautiously planned two colorways for the Marvel's debut, the black with purple trim and a beige version which are both out now. The beige was originally a deep caramel which eventually morphed into an ecru and finally was stripped of it's polka dots. It makes for a slightly uneven choice and I preferred the darker tan, but Freya received feedback that the most basic option would sell the best. However, if you have a hankering for something bolder, there's a white and light turquoise Marvel scheduled for March.

I'm impervious to the irregularly placed bubble-like polka dot pattern, but the Marvel has a lot of design potential: color blocking, any number of novelty prints, and I'm not-so-secretly holding out on a Marvel with the scalloped details of the Cupcake line from Huit.


The Marvel runs true to size and my usual 28G fit well. The band was firmer than I was expecting from Freya, but it opened up nicely since the first wear. If you're sensitive to the shape or profile a bra provides, rest assured -- the cups provide a rounded and minimized look from the sides. The bra is also marvelously (I couldn't resist!) comfortable, even after a day of sitting on my bum blogging/Netflix bingeing/online window shopping. While the cups' material is sturdier than I usually go for, I loved the combination of comfort and coverage it gave me (less peek-a-boo nipples).

When I wrote about Freya in the Autumn, the technical aspects of their products came up and I received comments with varied requests that the brand change it's wires. I disagreed; the shorter and narrower wires that Freya currently uses suit me well. I also like the depth of the cups, especially on the bras with stretchy material through the top cup. In this respect, the Marvel changes everything: the wires are wider, the cups are shallower, and the center gore has been lengthened. These modifications ensure that Freya catches a new demographic of women who couldn't wear their products in the past. If you have breasts with a wider root, less firm tissue, or are further apart, Freya's Marvel has been engineered with you in mind. :)


Although it isn't the ideal shape for me, the Marvel is comfortable, dependable, and a good fit. I'm also glad to see Freya branch out and design for a different type of bust. The brand has been criticized in the past for the silhouette their bras give so the rounded profile is an added bonus. And for a full bust bra, the Marvel's suggested retail price is a modest $60...but I'm a picky lingerie customer. Since the Marvel is only a good fit (not a great one) on my bust and I'm indifferent to the bubble dots, I'm unlikely to buy another. However, if the design became more interesting, I'd sacrifice my high fit standards in a hot second. Unusual colors? Eye catching prints? Big scalloped details? Then we'd be in business, Frey Frey!

16 Comments

  1. Great review! Just a small addition: The Gem Half Cup that was released a while ago is also a soft Half Cup. Unfortunately, it goes only up to a F-Cup so the Marvel has a more interesting size range.

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    1. Oh god, thank you for reminding me Anja! I always forget that they make that bra since I rarely see it reviewed and I've heard the fit can be a bit wonky.

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  2. I was reading through this thinking I must add Marvel to my shopping list, until I got to the bit about wider wires and shallower cups. Oh no! Why does Freya have to join nearly all the other UK manufacturers in doing this? I can't wear Panache, Cleo, Curvy Kate etc etc because they are too wide and shallow for me. OK I haven't tried every design in every make because life's too short but generally I'm really struggling. And Freya are only just narrow and deep enough for me. (Right now, I'm wearing a 28F Gem whose wires come way further back than I really need but it's a nice colour and comfortable.) If Freya is going for the wider/shallower demographic, any sign the others are going to try to capture the narrower/deeper demographic?
    Su

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    1. That's a really great question! I think that the ones covering the deeper/narrower demographic are the Polish full bust brands, like Ewa Michalak, Avocado and in the extreme, Comexim. They're harder to find and it's riskier to order from overseas/internationally, but if you're running out of options from the big British companies, I'd definitely recommend you give Polish bras a try. Also, if you have firmer or firm-ish tissue, these companies will work well since the necklines tend to be on the open side.

      Like you, the Gem is comfortable for me AND the wires are slightly wider than I need so I feel your pain. Staying with the British market, I've had good luck with Miss Mandalay (especially the Amelie) and Mimi Holliday's maxi bras.

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    2. Hi there,

      I am the MD of Made In Preston (www.madeinpreston.com ) and I may be able to answer your query on why so many UK brands have the same shaped wire. This is because there are no longer ANY wire manufacturers in the UK, there is one in France and one in Germany and that is it! Therefore most UK lingerie brands will be buying the same wire from the same supplier.

      We also use the French/German supplier, but we also have a type of wire which was custom made in China to our own shape specification and is a lot deeper and narrower than the off-the-peg ones offered in France/Germany - as a result we have found a lot of people really like our lingerie shape!

      I hope this helps explain why CK/Freya/Panache... all have the same shape, because they are all buying the same wire from the same supplier. Ewa Michalak have probably identified a Polish wire supplier that the rest of us are not aware of (Polish suppliers tend not to have a very strong online presence, and it is rarely in English, so unless you have Polish connections they are difficult to locate).

      I hope this helps!!

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    3. Nikki
      Thank you so much for this response. Sorry I've only just picked it up. Yes, that would explain it. Not very good news for me.

      PS I love the look of your lingerie and the fact that you do 26 bands (which is what I really need) but any chance you could do some paler colours?? I'm just not a 'brights' kind of a person!.

      Su

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  3. I like Freya, but their weird size restrictions on random bras is so annoying.

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    1. I agree, Chiharu. I'd like them to offer their padded half cups in 28" bands, but they're restricting that size addition to the Patsy line which I'm not enthused by.

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  4. I was so excited about the Marvel, and this black print seemed like a good basic in my sea of the gaudiest and most colorful bras I can find. And my breasts fit this description exactly:

    "breasts with a wider root, less firm tissue, or are further apart"

    But holy cow. I got it, and it was MINIMIZING. I have a decent amount of projection despite the wide root, and between my softer tissue and the really sturdy material, it just completely squished them in. I don't always want to look like I'm wearing a Deco, of course, but I'm also well-endowed from many angles. I've got a belly and a bubble butt and this bra contained my boobs so much that my proportions were all off; my stomach just looked huge relative to them. I am so confused--I wear a 34FF and it made me look at least 2-3 cup sizes smaller.

    The support is amazing, and it's so comfortable, so I kept putting it on and trying to make a go of it, but I'd just pass by my mirror and feel insecure. I wish I could make it work! Maybe I will hang onto it just for doing stuff around the house...

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    1. Daphne, I'm fascinated by your comment because I think it captures what the company was going for and why it might've missed the mark. I'm guessing they were targeting the body type of an Elomi customer who isn't necessarily plus size or a Fantasie customer who wants something more fun. Both of those sister brands produce constructions with bigger side support panels and/or wider wires than your average Freya.

      My youngest sister is 21 and she has a similar bust type (wider, further apart) so she'd be the Marvel's target customer, but just like you, she wouldn't feel confident in a bra that was as minimizing as this one is. I've been wearing it as a "Sunday morning bra" when I want to wear a bra, but only something super comfy (like you mentioned). I suppose the question will be, will this bra's comfort and shape sell it and/or will the women who will fit it best be interested?

      Thank you for weighing in! It's stellar to get an opinion from someone who fits the body Freya was designing for AND has worn the Marvel.

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    2. Glad it was helpful! I just wanted to vent a little bit because I think your review is super spot-on, and it's one of the best *quality* bras (in terms of support, solid construction, etc) I've had from Freya. I've had so many bras that weren't perfect in fit, or had this or that issue but looked so good I dealt with them anyway. I should try to flip that mindset ;)

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  5. I really wanted to love this, as I'm desperate for a bra with a shorter gore, shallow underwires, and a cup deep enough to fit my not overly bottom heavy shape (apparently, if you need a wide wire, you're only allowed a shallow cup, and if you're a +G cup, you're not allowed a shorter gore), but I found the cups to be so very shallow that the wires just won't stay put - they end up 1/2" too low, no matter how hard I try to keep them in place. I thought about trying a larger cup, but as it is, this gaps a bit on the top. I'm sad to say I'm going to return it, as it really is a lovely bra in person. I

    I do encourage those who find it particularly minimizing to try it on with a T - I found that it looks quite different and flattering under clothing.

    And Cecily, this looks lovely on you - thank you for both your in depth reviews and your wonderful blog.

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    1. "apparently, if you need a wide wire, you're only allowed a shallow cup"

      Such a huge pet peeve of mine.
      (Alas, I didn't feel any more confident under clothing in the Marvel. It was like shapewear in how it compressed me.)

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    2. Daphne, you're right - it does compress like shape wear, but it doesn't give the sense of a cup that's just too small (as noted below, I decided to keep it, as I don't own anything else at the moment that isn't misery at the gore).

      Of course, I've only had it on for an hour - we'll see if I'm ready to fling it to the bin by dinner time!

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  6. While the wires didn't move on me, they were definitely wider than I'd ever need. The side panel lies somewhat flat on my sides because I really don't have anything over there. It wasn't the worst offender I've seen and it didn't disrupt it's comfiness, but I had that moment of "Ahhhh, this bra hasn't been designed for me!".

    Thank you for the tip! It's good to remember that bras can look so different depending on what you put on top of them.

    And wow, your comments mean so much to me. In the last few months, I've had to take a break from blogging because of a health crisis so to return and see your words has really, really made my day. Thank YOU for reading! :)

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    1. There are a lot of wonderful bra bloggers, but in particular, I find that you do a particularly good job of showing well-fitted bras and with offering a solid fit analysis of different bras. I hope your health is improving, and I'm glad you've returned to more frequent blogging.

      Even though this isn't a perfect fit, I've kept this bra for two reasons - though it is high on the sides, it doesn't cut into my armpits (the material seems a bit softer?), and the gore isn't so high as to stab me (an issue that wasn't a problem when I wore a FF, but one that is a constant problem now that I find myself in the GG/H/HH range). The shallow cups do feel somewhat compressing, but not in a "this bra is flat out too small" sort of way.

      If the cups were cut deeper, and the wires narrowed just a touch on the sides (but allowed to remain a shallow U at the bottom), I do think this would be a perfect bra for me. And for reference, I'm wearing a 32H.

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