So, I finally had a chance to take my Freya Active Underwired Sports bra on a test drive. This bra has recently been made available up to a K cup. Thank you, Freya! It ended up having two issues for me, but I decided to keep it anyway, because it still has a lot going for it.
First, the not so great:
1) I usually settle on a 36K in sports bras to get the cup volume of a 34KK. That means, they don’t last me as long as they could, but because sports bras tend to be really tight, I can generally get away with starting them on the second hook. While this compromise proved a good strategy for my Royce Impact Free and Bravissimo Inspire, it was not as successful with the Freya, which is more true to size/generous, as you can see from the comparison picture below.
Thankfully, just like the Royce, the Freya Active has four rows of hooks. I first wore it on a regular day on the third row and then a few days later for a one hour boxing class, I had to move to the fourth row. Hopefully, I’ll be able to wear it on the third row again after a wash, but I think I’ll have to use the tightest row more often than not for anything high impact. With that in mind, I’m not sure how long this bra is gonna last before I have to retire it as a lounge bra. When I replace it, I’ll probably go for a 34K and take the risk of some minor quadboobing.
2) The wires at the centre gore of all the Freya bras I’ve tried have always pulled away from my sternum. This bra is no exception. I think it is partly due to the narrow wires/wide centre gore combo. As you can see from the pic, the centre gore is much wider on the Freya than the Bravissimo. In this particular case, I think the long band is making the problem worse (other Freya bras I’ve tried were all fairly tight 34 band), even if I wear it tightened.
Now, onto the good stuff:
1) Considering the issues mentionned above, the bra is still fairly supportive. As it is, I find it suitable for medium impact activities. Every sports bra I’ve tried so far has failed at The Jumping Jack Test*, but I must say it did better at reducing bounce than both the Royce and the Bravissimo. It also did OK at The Handstand Test**, but not better than the other two. The Royce is probably the best at that because it comes up so high in the front. In the right size, the Freya Active might be suitable for high impact sports like running, or horse riding. Not that you would catch me engaging in either!
2) It is really comfortable. The wires are cushioned in a similar fashion to the Bravissimo Inspire (or maybe the other way around since the Freya existed first), which feels like you’re not wearing a wire bra and completely eliminates any risk of poking. Considering that all my sports bras get recycled as lounging bras, this is a big plus.
3) The fabric it is made of is very breathable. Unlike the Royce that I wash after each wear, I can easily get away with wearing it twice before washing, even with intensive sessions during which I sweat heavily.
4) I keep comparing it to the Bravissimo Inspire, because they seem so similar to me. They’re both encapsulation bras, as opposed to the Royce which is a compression bra. They both have (comfy) wires, which I never had in a sports bra before. The wires in both bras stops a bit lower than the centre gore itself. And the fabric is somewhat similar as well (except the Freya has more breathable sides). So with this in mind, it doesn’t have the main problem for which the Bravissimo was temporarily discontinued. The straps of the Freya stay put, once adjusted. They might not be as soft and cushioned, but they don’t stretch much and look durable. They’re only partially adjustable tough, so bear that in mind if you have a short torso.
All in all, I would recommend this bra, but would definitely advise to size down if you’re between sizes. That goes both for the band and for the cup. Also keep in mind that if you’ve had trouble with the centre gore lying flat in other Freya bras, that might be the case with this bra as well.
*Does it stop bounce when I’m performing jumping jacks? Yes=Success, No=failure
**Do I need to reajust after doing a handstand? Yes=failure, No=succes