2011 felt like a year that promised many innovations but didn’t quite deliver. The long awaited Panache sports bra was met with conflicting reviews – including from this blogger who is waiting for another size to appear before I can decide if my problem is fit or that it is a torture implement sent to punish me for changing my mind about hating exercise. Boux Avenue promised high street size diversity, but launched with a limited size range for F+ cups (it is creeping up, but there’s a long way to go…28 cups anyone?) Oh, and I still don’t have my rocket pack or teleport – both of which I’m fairly sure are overdue.
So hurrah for the first review of 2012 then, for Freya Lingerie’s newest addition to their Active range: sports swimwear.
Last year, the thing I was asked most for by readers was advice on finding good, made-for-sports bra size swimwear. And the truth is, there just hasn’t been any. Freya’s newest Active arrives to fill a long unplugged gap in the market. And as I strongly believe Freya’s underwired sports bra to be the best out there, my expectations were perhaps unfairly high.
So could it meet them? Incredibly, yes. I wore a 30G (I usually wear 28GG in Active, and indeed in most Freya of late), but 30G was perfect (given the nature of the support, you can probably play around with sizing more than you can with normal swimwear). The swimsuit itself is comfortable, and the cut and style make it both attractive and indeed flattering – when was the last time any DD+ girl could say that about a sports swimming costume? The support is soft, but actually very good both in and out of the pool. (In the interest of experimentation I cycled to the gym in it to test this, and – with the exception of big jolts off kerbs – it was supportive enough to get me there without mishap. The things I do for science…)
And it’s even better in the water. Firstly, it’s chlorine resistant (which your bog standard bikini won’t be), so that helps extend its life in the very harsh environment of a swimming pool. Secondly, the soft support gently separates and lifts – meaning you don’t get that horrific, smooshed together and awkward to swim with “buoy” effect when you’re swimming on your front. Plus the soft support gives you much more freedom of movement than you would have in an underwired bikini – meaning you can work as hard as you can without restriction.
My only reservation about the swimsuit itself is that cup sizes are pretty arbitrary, and in the 30G I don’t think you could be much wider or much longer in the body than I am and wear it comfortably. So it’s good then, that the swimsuit comes alongside a tankini swimwear style that will be more flexible in the amount of people it fits.
And if all that wasn’t enough, not only will every Freya swimsuit made help another woman get in to the water, but it also saves 1/2 a metre of Atlantic rainforest with the World Land Trust. What better reason could you have to dive in?
The Freya Swim suit comes in sizes 30-40 C-H, (30-38 C-H in the tankini), and is available in two colours from retailers online, including Leia Lingerie, Simply Swim, Bras and Honey. Hurrah!
Did you try the one-piece or the tankini+shorts? If it was the one-piece how did you find the torso length (as in is it comparable to other Freya/Fantasie one-pieces)? If you got the tankini+shorts did you have any issues with the mid-section area rolling up during serious swimming? I’m really interested in the suits after lots of success with Freya Active in general but have had problems with both of those styles in the past. However, after posting that on my blog Freya responded saying that they’re actually planning on coming out with new styles of these suits in the future. 🙂
Oh, and what type of swimming did you try with it (water aerobics or laps)? Did it do well with a lot of jumping or more intense swim strokes?
Sorry for all the questions but you’re the first I’ve heard of who has had a chance to try it and I swim at least 3x/ week so a supportive suit is a must!!!
Hi June! I only tried the one piece – as I said, you probably couldn’t have fit any more girl (I’m 164cm, long in the body and a size 10) in my 30G suit (well, not without a perilous wedgie). It fits much closer than a normal swimsuit – the back fastening means you’re tucked up tightly, and gives a great shape. I will ask if anyone knows about the roll up issue with tankinis (I think this tends to be a hip-to-waist ratio thing rather than a suit thing, but that’s just my theory!). I tried swimming with all strokes (front, breast, back, butterfly) and all were perfectly supported – and while I didn’t try aerobics (sorry!) I did have a bit of a jump around out of the water and while there’s movement it certainly takes the shock out of the bounce. Will you give it a go? You must let me know if you do! xx
Thanks! That really helps a lot. I would love to try the one-piece but being that I just bought the Fantasie Zante a few weeks ago, I know there’s no way I can justify the expense. 😦 However, once I wear through that one out (and that seems to happen fairly quickly so I’m guessing in a couple of months?) then the Freya Active is next up. I’m hoping by then they’ll have a bikini version out so that would definitely be my preference but if not I’ll get the one-piece. I’ll let you know what I think!!!
I’ve never had a tankini/shorts that works well for me. My stomach either sticks out or has a relatively tube shape (never the nipped in waist like you see in the model’s picture above) so that definitely could be the issue. I also have a big butt and thighs (although relatively no hips to speak of), so maybe that’s the issue with the shorts?
Oh, I forgot to ask, how what exactly is the back fastener like? It’s hard to see in the picture but is it the type with hooks or is it that black sort of fastener thing (what in the world is that called?).
It’s like a standard bikini clasp (plastic, clip in sort of thing) but because it sits low it really nips in around the waist. Makes a huge difference to the security you feel I think. A bikini version would be fantastic for catering for more body shapes – I wonder if there’s a timeline for it? xx
(Hello btw 🙂 )
It is not true that before this Freya there was no bra-sized sports swimwear. Panache had a swimsuit and a tankini a while ago, and Shock Absorber has had a full range ever since I remember (swimsuit, tankini and even bikini) – check Brastop! – and Bravissimo always has a couple of Zogg’s or something like that, of which I know nothing about.
Have fun doing sports, it’s something that definitely should not be hated 🙂
Hmm, happy to stand corrected! Although Shock Absorber are no good for G+ ers (like their bras, I have to say), and the Zoggs one I have read horrible things about in the past. Interesting that the Panache ones seem to have died a death – I wonder why and if they’ll come back?
I’m sure that given the strong competition from Freya, Panache won’t stop after this one sports bra. Which is a nice perspective.
Hello, thrilled to come across this on Twitter as just yesterday I was looking at the Zoggs cossies on the Bravissimo web page and wasn’t exactly spurred on by the customer reviews. So am ordering this right now in the tankini version!
And am very impressed you can do butterfly, another string to your bow!
Let me know how you get on! I used to be a big swimmer when I was younger (before G-Unit) and I have to say it’s been amazing getting back in to the swing of things again. Not sure I’m the most elegant butterfly in the pool though! 😀
I heard that the bands from Boux Avenue are very tight. I came across 2 women who normally wear 28/30 bands in Panache/Freya and they went both for 32 bands in Boux Avenue. So if you normally wear a 30G you could give Boux Avenue’s 32F/34F a try.
Hmm, I heard that the bands were fairly standard but the cups came up small! I wonder how much their sizing varies from style to style?
Well, both women usually wear 28DD/E, so they do not need that much support. 😉 Also their breasts are sort of shallow and wideset, they cannot fill out bras like Panache Tango Balc. or most Freya bras (except the padded halfcups). Boux Avenue is a brand that works wonderfully for women like this. Considering your love for Freya I suppose you are shaped differently. As a consequence it might seem to you that the cups run small, but you won’t know until you try. 🙂
It’s true! I’ll def give it ago at some point. Seems I have an awful lot of Internet ordering to do…..
Finally got round to ordering but the prices had gone up – bah! Am back in the UK next week (for Moda!) so can pick up from my ma and pa’s pad, sending to Spain from Simply Swim was a possibility but was going to cost 10 quid on top of the swimsuit. Will let you all know about the sizing and support once I’ve got my mitts on the goods! x
Have now road (swimming lane?)-tested the swimsuit for 3 months and am thrilled. True to my bra size and snug but not obscene on my size 12 bottom. Good length in the body, I’m 5’7″ and find the length fine. A bit of a struggle to get on the first time but fine once you’ve got used to it and looks really neat on the the back with a mid-back clasp. Looks neat on the front too – uplift in a swim-suit means hello waist! Very comfortable for my non-adventurous swim strokes and doesn’t lose its shape in the water, nor over the 3-months of fortnightly use. Quite a happy customer!
So glad to hear it! x
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Hey!!! Not sure if any of you have tried the Tankini and Short…. If anybody has do let me know how it fits… and i have bigger hips… so will the Tankini top ride up?
Make swimsuits for girls ages 5-15 that come with shorts and skirts