EDIT: It was pointed out that House of Fraser actually have this listed wrongly as a balcony bra when it is the half cup version, so the post wording has been changed to reflect that.
A new review, finally! I think we’ve got a bit of explaining to do after disappearing for a little while – as you might know, I was away in Florida last month and we’d planned some posts for when I got back. But as you know, things get hectic and it just never happened! And now, Charley is away working on a play (woop, go her!) so she’ll be a bit absent for a while, but I thought I’d better get a move on and get some posts up here again since I’ve got plenty of bras photographed and none reviewed (oops!).
House of Fraser contacted us recently to see if we were interested in reviewing any of their bras, and of course we were! I decided to go a bit different for me and pick some fairly plain but practical, while still being pretty: the Freya Lauren Padded Half Cup Bra*.
The first thing I do when searching for bras is look at the sidebar of the website and tick the boxes for my usual size (28G) and any sister sizes and ones around it that sometimes fit me (28FF, 28GG, 30F, 30FF). I did my usual 28G and found that only 2 bras came up in the search, both Decos. As we know, I have too many Decos after winning their 365 Days of Deco contest last year and getting the full season’s Deco range, so I decided not to go for one of those. Instead I tried a 30FF search, usually my best size after a 28G, since there were no 28FFs available, and up popped the Lauren. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, especially it being a good beginner and basic bra for a collection, so thought I might as well give it a go.
To be honest here, I didn’t really think about the shape when I was buying this bra. What I hadn’t realised was that, like many Freya bras, there are several styles, including balcony, half cup and plunge, all lightly padded. I’ve picked up the Lauren in a shop before and noticed a really gorgeous back band which reminds me of the trademark Gossard band (for example, like this one with the cut outs). Unfortunately what I hadn’t realised when I ordered this one that it doesn’t have that, so that was a little disappointing when it came – but I should do my research better!
The cups are very lightly padded, not moulded enough that they hold their shape without anything in them, but not so flimsy to call them unpadded or a soft cup. This is nice because it’s uplifting but allows for a little natural shape. It’s a three part cup with two vertical seams and one horizontal (diagonal?!) which again helps to get that uplifted but fairly natural shape that’s pretty rounded on me.
The material is soft and matte with very faint pinstriping on the bottom half of the cup. It has a small bit of lace along the top of cups and straps with bows on the gore and straps. If you’re looking for something without all the frills, it would be easy enough to remove the bows and have a more basic bra.
I didn’t already own a plain white bra, so I’m pleased that I finally have one for days when I just want something fairly basic and plain to go under whatever I’m wearing.
Sizing, fit and comfort
As I said, I ordered this bra in a 30FF because the size I normally wear in Freya, 28G, wasn’t available. I was a bit concerned about having to order this in a 30 band because the only Freya I have in a 30FF, the Patsy Soft Cup Plunge, is way too big in the band and has a sort of mismatch in the shape, appearing to be too big in the cup and slightly pointy (there is a review coming up on that at some point!).
This bra though, despite being a bit too big in the band isn’t uncomfortably big – I am straight onto the tightest hooks, which is a shame because it’ll wear out more quickly, but it’s still very comfortable and perfect for days when my costochondritis is bad. The cups are just about right on me. As you can see in the first few pictures, it gives me a pretty pushed up shape, but isn’t actually too small. The only issue I have is that after a few hours’ wear, the cups (and band) seem to slide down a bit causing the quadding you can see in the last picture (I recreated this with a lot of jumping around!!). I think that’s because the cups are slightly too shallow for my more projected shape, but I think a 30G would be too big, so I’m a little bit inbetween cup sizes with this one. A 28G would definitely be better for me, but as I said, this was all that was available.
As I’ve already said though, it’s very comfortable for everyday wear, doesn’t tend to show under clothes too much and is a good basic to have. I’ve already worn it several times (despite my huuuuge collection and only owning it for a few weeks), so it’s definitely a keeper, although I would have like to have the one with the pretty band!
This bra is available to buy in several places including House of Fraser for £23.20 (various styles including plunge, balcony and half cup as well as black and white here), Next (in black) for £32, Figleaves (in black and white) for £29 and Leia for £29.
You can view how it fitted others and measurements on Bratabase here and you can also find reviews from other bloggers here:
Lingerie Abstracts: 30G
By Baby’s Rules: 28H
Fuller Figure Fuller Bust: 34J
Curvy Wordy: 30K