It’s no secret that Freya’s discontinuation of their stalwart style Jolie in colours – in the colours I have come to depend on as my very favourite, very high rotation bras – has left me crushed (or rather, standing over a precipice without a non-boring comfort bra to rely on).
At the time, Freya themselves recommended Gem as the girl who could win my heart once Jolie had left – but then a denial discount website splurge enabled me to track down enough back-ups to delay facing the inevitable. 8 months later, it’s time to face reality. Luckily sometimes, reality isn’t so hard to face at all. In fact, sometimes reality is a surprising treat…
Gem was not based on Jolie (actually she’s based on Rio, which I haven’t tried) but she is similar to Jolie in a number of ways: it’s a basic, lightweight non-padded bra with a full, rounded, no-messing shape. Like Jolie, the wires in the center run close together, which is great for narrower girls and girls with close set breasts – and the reason I love Jolie so much.
She is simple like Jolie, yet more ornate. With a pretty polka dot cup lined lace with floral trim, she’s like Jolie’s smarter older sister. She has wider side straps for a firmer support, and gives the same great shape and comfort I’ve come to depend upon from my long loved favourites. In fact, Gem is as close to a diamond in this everyday basics category as I’ve been able to find.
Fit wise, she’s less straightforward than her predecessor. I tried my usual test size of 30G – the size I always wear in Jolie – and though the back was firm and the support itself comfortable the cup was significantly bigger than I tend to expect from a (non-Deco) Freya bra. Cup to cup, Gem has a good extra inch of underwire on Jolie – I’d suggest trying a size down in the cup at least one size to find the perfect fit.
I will miss Jolie and the candy bright colours she has brought to my lingerie drawer (especially the part of my lingerie drawer reserved for comfort days), but with Gem I sense I’ll be okay. The colours may be more muted, but I don’t need to miss that subtle shape, that lightweight feel, that perfect center gore I know and love and reach for so often. Gem’s elegant simplicity can add a secret sexiness to my everyday days: a cracking, comfortable but interesting bra destined to be a favourite basic.
Plus, check out these high waisted pants coming with the set (that will run to a K cup) in January. Le squeee!
Gem by Freya Lingerie is available in sizes 28-38 D-G*.
Thank you to the lovely peeps from Bras & Honey for sending Gem to help me out of my denial and in to life after Jolie. Keep up the good work! x
*edit: it’s been brought to my attention that the Freya website is wrong and Gem does indeed go up to a J cup. Joy!
Gem goes up to a J in the unpadded balconette. In the padded bra it only goes up to G.
I love this bra but disappointed it changes so much in style going from a G to GG. The cups are a little bit bigger then my other freyas so I managed to fit into a 28G because the 28GG is so different and cut into top of my breast and 28H was too big. Beautiful bra and beautiful sexy set without being OTT.
Weird – I was referencing the Freya website itself! http://www.freyalingerie.com/lingerie/gem/essentials/balcony_bra.aspx?colour=black. Oo but I just saw this peach beaut coming in January to a K cup. Check out the high waisted pants! http://www.freyalingerie.com/lingerie/gem/ss13/balcony_bra.aspx?colour=nude
I cannot see how the 28GG has to be re-enginered and yet the 30G/32FF/34F/36E can all still be pretty. On things style its not even added a bit more fabrice like the piper but the cup is so different and straps are so wide – freya have no picture anywhere of the GG+. I found the 28G a better fit because of the change in style the GG was so high in the cup it cut into my breast and really not good fit.
It looks like Freya have split it up on the website in some weird way. The half cup bra is up to a G but the unpadded version is definately up to K in some bands.
It comes in blue and black at the minute and a nude and white version is coming soon.
Not worn mine yet as I bought it just before I got a very bad case of pneumonia and now I can only wear my loosest bras. But cannot wait as its so sexy the shorts and brazil thong – not tried the high rise pants as they were not being stocked by bravissimo.
The Gem actually goes all the way up to a K cup now in the 30-36 band sizes, but that’s in the “extended sizes” version. Like Nicola, I do wish Freya wouldn’t re-engineer the bra for the GG+ cup sizes, but I do like my 28HH Gem quite a bit!
Do the ‘re-engineered’ ones size up large in the cup too?
I find them to be true to Freya’s standard sizing, but I have noticed that on the GG+ versions, the bands are a little stretchier so you often need to size down if you’re a “true” band size (i.e., you measure 30″ around the ribs and might need the 28 band).
My understanding is that there are 2 versions – one that stops at an F cup and one that goes up higher. I didn’t think the “smaller” version is padded, but it is a different (and better, IMO) shape. For my own part. I bought this bra in blue (32FF), when first it came out. I was desperately waiting for it (even though I didn’t much love the Rio, which I own, the straps were way too wide set) and couldn’t wait to get the first shipment. It was WAY too big in both cup and back. In the end, after speaking with Figleaves and reordering, I ended up with a 30FF. Unfortunately, while it fits, it’s not the most comfortable bra I’ve ever had – and it’s definitely not the most gorgeous. I love the blue version on the model. In real life, it seems sturdier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it will be a lovely set in spring and the undies are excellent and flattering, so the set is pretty good. But I was so hopeful and, as such, kind of disappointed.
I’ve been wearing 36H for a while and have lost a bit of weight. Got into a 34H in a Bravissimo style lately, and when I tried this Freya style on, ended up purchasing the 32H. It’s firm on me, but the 34 was much too loose.
Really should have followed your advice, B4J! Currently sending my 30FF back for a 30F… so much larger in the cup compared to say, my Ada (which is the same size from the same season). Alas, but she is as gorgeous in the flesh as she is in pictures. xx
Actually glad you reviewed this, I went for all the same size in a big Freya order and this is far and away my favourite. Fits like a dream and is so comfortable and supportive. Makes my boobs look great. Wondering if it really does run big and I am indeed a G and not a FF! Now I might head into a brick & mortar store and try on some G sizes Freya’s for reference, the FF are a bit small bit was worried I’d swim in the G! Helpful as ever, truly!
it’s also worth noting (according to figleaves) that this comes in “china blue”!
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