And while I’ve been tight lipped so far about my own nominations, on the subject of sports bras Freya Active deserve for me to make an exception.
My huge red underwired Freya Active isn’t the most beautiful bra I own. In 28G (please make me a 28GG! Pretty please!), it isn’t even the most perfectly fitting. But it is my favourite piece of lingerie, and the one I would be most loathe to be without. When I wear it – with Nike trainers and running Lycra (complete with zips) matched to its pillarbox red and black – I feel invincible.
I gave up sports at a D cup, and in spite of all the cycling, football and swimming I’d done before I grew to not think of myself as a ‘sporty’ person. But with the support of my Freya Active (and the enthusiasm of triathlon-mad Mr B4J), I discovered that not only did I love running and how it made me feel – I was actually pretty good at it.
I can’t imagine running not being part of my life now, which is why I’m so evangelical about this bra. How many other women could feel freer, fitter and stronger if they discovered it? Compared to the brands and styles I road tested, it simply is best for big boobs. Even at a slightly imperfect size, it encapsulates them totally, separates, uplifts and supports them without smooshing them down. And it works: when I go for a run, the only part of my body swinging wildly is my ponytail.
I can’t say if it’s a love that will last forever: innovations in the field will rise to rival them, and Panache’s long-awaited new sports bra already threatens to hit the Freya Active underwired bra at its weakest point: size range. But even if my 28GG never comes, or if Panache’s (or another company’s) product usurps its place in my running gear, my red Freya Active will always be my first love. Ahead of its game, it was the pioneering innovation that empowered and enabled me to discover a passion I never dreamed of having. I can’t help thinking if more women discovered Freya Active, they too could feel this empowered too. For that reason alone, I believe they deserve Sportswear Brand of the Year.