Abstract: The Freya Edina is an absolutely gorgeous longline bra that gives an amazing shape. Just watch out for the band, which likes to fold up at the front all the time.
Background: This bra was part of Freya’s spring/summer 2012 collection. It has padded cups and a very wide ‘longline’ style band. The size range is 30-38 C-G (but not 30C). Earlier this year, I purchased it online for the normal retail price in two different sizes, 32FF and 34F. I kept the latter and returned the former, when I really should have done it the other way round.
Sizing: I think it’s true to size in both the band and the cups, but a good number of other reviews and retailers’ descriptions say that the band runs large. The reason I kept the 34 instead of the 32, as mentioned above, is that when I tried them on, I couldn’t do up the 32 at all. In retrospect, this probably had more to do with the fiddly six-hook closure than the size of the band; if I’d done up the bra in front and then turned it around, it would have given a more accurate indication of which size fit better.
The 34F that I wound up keeping fits correctly in the cups, but the band, as one would expect, is too big for my 32″ ribcage. This causes slipping and riding up and all the general discomfort that a too-big bra band entails. I decided to take in the band, following this tutorial on Hourglassy. This improved the fit and eliminated the slippage, but it had the unintended effect of pulling the cups further around the sides towards the back. Aesthetically, this didn’t make much difference in this particular case, but it made the bra fit very, very oddly. When I wear it now, it feels both too big and too small at the same time, with the base of the underwires (not the ends; the part that sits under the boobs) digging into my ribcage and the band requiring constant readjustment. In the future, I might make another attempt at altering the bra to stop the cup distortion, as shown in this post on Venusian Glow.
The fit issues I described in the above paragraph were entirely caused by me choosing the wrong size; I thought I would share the results of the alteration in case anyone has some use for that information. As far as I can tell, if you’re wearing the right size in the Edina longline bra, you won’t have any problems with the fit. If you buy it, go with your usual UK size, or, on the advice of other reviews, go down once in the band and up once in the cup.
Comfort: Undetermined, but I can confirm that wearing the wrong size bra is very uncomfortable indeed. One thing I’d like to note is that the longline band constantly folds up at the front because it isn’t wide enough to stay down on its own. It’s quite annoying. I speculate that wearing a 32 would diminish the issue, but not eliminate it entirely, since many other reviewers have mentioned it too.
Shape: Perfect. This bra gives me exactly the shape that I consider ideal. It centers my boobs and makes them look lifted and rounded, with no hint of pointiness. If the shape in the wrong size looks this amazing, I can only imagine it would be even better in the correct size.
(An aside: Freya is currently selling a bra called the Patsy that looks like it has the same cup construction and could offer the same shape without the folding up problem, but I haven’t tried it because, well, it’s green. There are, however, a few more longlines and vertically seamed half cup bras in their autumn/winter 2012 collection that I’m definitely interested in.)
Support: The bra has a camisole back, which means the band has the same width all the way around instead of tapering in towards the hook-and-eye closure and then out again like a leotard back does. The camisole back lends itself well to alterations, but in general it’s less supportive because it concentrates strain in a small area, whereas a leotard back distributes strain more evenly. That aside, I found the support of the bra to be quite good, which is attributable to the wide longline band, high sides, wide straps, and super-strong underwires. I’d expect the support would be excellent if I were wearing a 32FF, my correct size.
Quality: Very, very good. The wings on this bra are longer than usual; they reach nearly all the way around my sides, instead of stopping just behind the cups of the bra. The band, therefore, contains a higher ratio of non-elastic to elastic material, so the Edina isn’t as hopelessly stretchy as some of Freya’s other bras can be. Overall, I’m very impressed with the quality.
Appearance: As is the case with quite a lot of Freya’s products, it looks gorgeous in photos and even better in real life. The monochrome print is so striking and would work great with any skin tone. If I had the chutzpah, I would totally wear this bra out in public under a sheer blouse to show it off. Final note: the vertical seams on the cups and the little rosettes on the straps do show up under tight tops.
Conclusions: The Edina is a bra that ticks all the boxes — it’s pretty, well-made, supportive, gives a great shape, and is (hypothetically) comfortable and supportive. The issue with the uncooperative band folding up is the only thing that gives me pause when I think about buying another in my proper size. I’m very excited that Freya is making more padded longlines and half cup bras, and I hope those cuts will eventually become available as continuity styles.