A super Saturday fitting with Leia Lingerie and a review of the Freya Ellie Bra

A couple of weeks ago I had the great fortune of spending a Saturday afternoon and evening in the fabulous company of the beautiful Hanna of The Wardrobe Challenge.  We went shopping to Bluewater, Kent, and had a lovely time.

One of the places we spent a great deal of time at was Leia Lingerie.  I have blogged before about how much I love Leia and their friendly, welcoming atmosphere, along with the distinct lack of pressure to buy – so important!  I love how passionate all the staff are about their jobs and how they ensure that every customer gets the best possible fit in the lingerie available.  I have never seen a grumpy member of staff in Leia and the amiable and professional team are always ready to help anyone who requires assistance.

It was a pleasure to see the wonderful store manager Leigh again and she made sure we had plenty of time to browse the store before introducing us to our fitter, Julie.  We were taken into the changing rooms and Julie patiently and diligently ran back and forth to bring us a variety of different bras and lingerie for us to try.  You can read all about Hanna’s exciting Leia experience here.

I started off by trying the Freya Strapless Deco.  

No image available for Deco - Deco Black Strapless Bra

I am so desperate to find one that fits me.  The vast majority of my properly fitted friends swear by the Deco and I want in on their party!  The strapless version runs large in the cups so I crossed everything that it might work for me, even though it only goes up to a GG cup.  

I started with a 32GG but of course it was too small for my 30KK/L boobs.  Julie recommended going up to a 34GG (the equivalent of a 30HH in terms of cup volume) so I gave it a try and it was much better but even so it was no good.  Boo hoo!  Freya, please please please PLEASE make the Deco in larger cup sizes – I know there are so many women out there like me who would love to have an entire drawer full of these bras, if only they came in larger cups!

Moving on, Julie was determined to find something that worked for me so we investigated the unpadded Freyas available instore.  One that particularly caught my eye was the Freya Ellie.

No image available for Ellie - Ellie Pink Balcony Bra

I love the combination of colours – the pink floral print on the off-white background is set off beautifully by the zesty lime green lace edging and print on the fabric.  Leigh very kindly offered this bra to me free of charge so I gave the 30K a try, as this size had suited me well in the Lauren and Lacey previously.

It’s a really lovely bra.  The unpadded cups feel supportive and comfortable, and the little details like the pretty lime green bows on the central gore and on the straps at the tops of the cups add to its feminine feel.  

The straps are fully adjustable and being a little wider than normal they are really comfortable.  However I did find it odd that even though they had embellishments along the edges, the adjusters still slipped very easily with wear, making the straps longer than I wanted, which was frustrating.

The cups are rather shallower than I would personally like and the wires too wide.  I know this is a personal preference and that many women wouldn’t have this issue but because my boobs are very ‘up front’ it means that I need bras with narrow wires but very deep cups, otherwise I find the wires dig in and my boobs get a funny sort of ‘spread’ shape from the cups.

You can see from some of the pics above that the Ellie gives me an almost minimising look from the side, which isn’t what I want at all!  I love having big boobs and certainly don’t want to make them look any smaller.  I think the combination of large cups and a small (ish) band doesn’t help – the cups take up the majority of the length of the band and therefore the wires can’t help but be wide.  However if brands like Ewa Michalak have cracked the issue of making bras with narrow wires and deep cups I have every confidence that Freya will also do so at some point in the future.  I really do hope it’s soon as they make such pretty lingerie!

The band is fairly firm and I was pleased to see great attention to detail was paid at the point of designing the Ellie as the patterned fabric is used all the way along the band, even at the back.  So often bra manufacturers use a plain, unpatterned fabric in this area but Freya have, in my opinion, made an excellent decision to do the opposite.  The band fastens with three rows of three hooks and eyes and is perhaps slightly wider than some other three hook bras I’ve had before, adding to the comfort and secure feeling of the Ellie.

The Ellie gives me a great uplifted shape without being too pointy or east/west.  However you can clearly see that the cups are too small for me – something that was not apparent when I tried the bra on instore.  I also found – as I have done with pretty much all Freyas I’ve tried on in a K cup – that the central gore won’t lie evenly.  Either one side stands away from my chest or the other, no matter how many times I readjust myself.  I think that it is partly because the cups are too small and partly because the central gore is a little wider than suits me best.  

I wish that this bra came in a 30KK as I think it would be a great fit on me and would solve some of the issues I have with this bra.  As it is I may take this one back to store to try a 32K instead as I can always adjust the band if it’s too loose.

So, if you are looking for a comfortable and supportive bra that is fairly neutral then I think the Ellie would be a great option for you.  What do you think of it?



  1. Emily Jane Carpenter
    18 September 2012 / 20:36

    Wow I had a totally different experience at the blue water store! They didn't have any 28fs and tried to hard sell me a 30e and 32f, when I was very clear that the 28 is even too large on me really. What a different experience!

    • CurvyWordy
      18 September 2012 / 23:58

      Oh dear, I am sorry to read this. I have always found the staff there to be first class and super helpful x

  2. Nicola
    18 September 2012 / 20:51

    I had to go down to a 28GG as I just could not get a 30 to work as 30G to small and 30GG to big but a 28GG was just right. Band was fairly tight but by wearing a little I had stretched the band. I love the colour of this and just wish freya made their bottoms cheaper so I could have a matching set!

    • CurvyWordy
      19 September 2012 / 00:03

      I am wondering if the 32K will be wrong in the band, which is what I found with Lauren and Lacey. I think I'd ultimately need a 30KK or L in Freyas but sadly they do not exist. Hopefully one day though!

  3. Nicole
    18 September 2012 / 21:40

    So pretty! I love the look of this bra. It almost makes it look as though your breasts are curved up at the apex. Is this so? I would love to try this bra if they made it in a 38JJ, but the range stops at a 38J 🙁

    • CurvyWordy
      19 September 2012 / 00:04

      It definitely makes it looks as though this is the case, although when I have clothes on top it is not apparent at all.Sounds like you have the same issue as me – you need just another cup or two beyond the current size range. We'll have to lobby Freya to extend their sizes!

  4. Anonymous
    18 September 2012 / 22:22

    I have the same problem with Freya bras, I can't get the gore to lie flat either.

    • CurvyWordy
      19 September 2012 / 00:05

      I have heard other women say the same, so it's not just us either. I wonder why it is – maybe those wider central gores are not right for us…? Easy fixed though 😉

  5. Anonymous
    19 September 2012 / 01:19

    I think the problem is that the under wires are weak/flimsy and don't work well for women near the end of the size range.

    • CurvyWordy
      19 September 2012 / 07:35

      Hmm that could well be the case. I wonder if Freya ate aware of this issue.

  6. ola_na_plazy
    19 September 2012 / 02:59

    I will be selfish and will say – Freya please don't change your wires, they are perfect for me! Ewa's are too narrow:(

    • CurvyWordy
      19 September 2012 / 07:38

      Hehe aww Ola I'm sorry to hear that. It's a shame all bras don't work for all women :-/

  7. Sophisticated Pair
    19 September 2012 / 18:08

    Facebook never wants to let me know you have a new post, and I'm glad I stumbled upon this one! I love my Ellie bra, but I have it in the 30H (now a smidge small in the cup) so our sizes are different. Like you, I want bras with deeper cups, and I feel like the Ellie isn't a bad option. The pattern is gorgeous, and I like the vintage silhouette of the cup. Very fun! However, I love hearing feedback from others who tried the bra, and your review is fantastic, per usual. 🙂

    • CurvyWordy
      19 September 2012 / 21:42

      Oh, it's so frustrating. I have the very same thing with several pages I follow 🙁 The Ellie is so pretty and I'm glad it's one you like too.

  8. Windie Gardie
    21 September 2012 / 03:09

    I didn't have such a great experience with Ellie either! I found the band too loose in a 28, and while the cups were completely filled out, I had this perma-wrinkling at the sides of the cups. The gore was also wider than my others Freyas and sat on my breast tissue uncomfortably. Unfortunate since it's very pretty!

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