Undressed to Impress

Made in a 28…and then sent to a far away galaxy?

Since finding out I should wear a 28 back I don’t like to ‘make do’ with any bra that doesn’t give me as much support as a good 28 will. I’m very grateful that there are so many great UK lingerie companies that make 28 backs, such as Curvy Kate, Freya and Panache. I particularly love Masquerade by Panache, a collection of slightly more expensive, but utterly beautiful and wearable lingerie which does terrible things to my bank balance. Every season they bring out a bra I’ve previously adored in another gorgeous colourway, and this season it was the Rhea in a Mulberry colour which looks perfect for winter.

Stunning, right? So it’s great to know it starts at a 28 back. Theoretically.

I don’t earn a lot and have just finished university with all of the debts that come with that. I’m fairly resigned to having to pay a lot for underwear in my size, but I always try to find discounts where I can, especially with this set coming in around the £50 mark at full price. I often try sites like Amazon and eBay to get discounts on newer styles which Brastop (another cheap favourite) don’t yet stock. However, finding this style in my size proved a whole lot harder than usual, with size ranges on many sites starting from a 30 or even a 32.

I’ve taken these examples from Asos and Amazon, who both stock the Rhea in sizes starting at a 30. Both these sites stock other styles starting at a 28 back, so why not this one? I very much appreciate the free returns offered by both these sites, and often make use of this to determine my size in a particular style, but since they often offer great discounts on the styles it would be nice to be able to make my final purchase from them. These two are by no means the only culprits, with a quick search on the internet bringing up only the likes of Bravissimo and Figleaves (both stocking the style at full price) if you want one in a 28, but plenty more options if you’re a 32 or bigger.

I eventually got my Rhea from Figleaves with their recent site-wide 20% discount and a £10 discount voucher I got hold of from MoneySupermarket Local Deals, bringing it down to the much more affordable price of £16.40! A happy ending in this case, but this is by no means the only time I’ve noticed the problem, and not just with Masquerade but other brands too. It’s great that these bras are being produced in 28 backs, and hopefully one day even smaller, but without a larger range of stockists women will continue to buy the wrong size and make do with a bra that isn’t supporting them the way it should.

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Going dotty over Crystal

My decision to finally start this blog a few weeks ago couldn’t have come at a worse time: my laptop decided to give up and head to computer heaven. I knew this moment was coming but I had hoped it wouldn’t be during this year I’m in France surrounded by laptops with the wrong keyboards. Luckily, I’ve borrowed one from my kind landlord and have spent the past two weeks practising not typing a Q whenever I want an A until mine can (hopefully) be fixed by my computer genius father at Christmas.

To make myself feel a bit better about this unfortunate incident I decided to treat myself to some new lingerie. OK, I would have done anyway but it’s nice to have an excuse for once! I’ve had my eye on the gorgeous Freya Crystal, a teal, spotted version of the wonderful Deco, for a while now and, as much as I love my nude Deco, I was excited to own a more attractive version.

The Crystal absolutely did not disappoint on looks. Teal is my favourite colour, featuring heavily in my wardrobe, bed linen, towels and, lately, shoe collection, so this bra fits right in! The base colour is teal, accentuated with pale blue spots. The trim is the reverse of this colourway and adds a bit more interest compared to the regular Deco.

I ordered the bra in my usual 28FF, the same size I wear in the Deco, with the matching brief in XS. The bra is a perfect fit and gives a lovely rounded shape under clothing. Just like the Deco, it is the perfect t-shirt bra: moulded, seamfree cups lined with a thin layer of nipple-concealing foam. The knickers are also seamfree and slightly tight on me, but I always find the S too large in Freya bottoms so this is my preferred option.


The fit of the Crystal feels almost identical to the Deco. Indeed, comparing it next to my Deco showed me that the measurements are exactly the same. The only slight difference I noticed was that the piping on the top of the cup makes the Crystal sit better against the line of my breasts than the Deco does: I often find the Deco sits slightly away from my body. This is partly because my breasts aren’t very full on top, so I prefer the way the Crystal sits. The only negatives I noticed with the fit are the same two slight complaints I have with the Deco. Firstly, the band runs about a size too large so I would advise prospective purchasers to size down in the band and up in the cup accordingly. Unfortunately, I can’t take this advice myself as there is no 26 band. For now it fits fine on the tightest hook, but I will probably sew the band tighter as it loosens. The second slight issue I have noticed is that the wires don’t come up quite as high at the sides as they do on many other plunge bras, so my breast tissue can sometimes escape out the sides. A little rearrangement quickly fixes this and it doesn’t cause me a big problem.

Full marks go to Freya for the fully adjustable straps, but they are very easy to adjust and will undoubtedly slip when washing. A couple of stitches could easily fix this if it bothered you, otherwise just remember to re-adjust after washing! I also like the fact that this bra has two hooks, instead of the three I often find in my size. I know many people would disagree with me on this, but I personally prefer two as I don’t feel I need the extra support three gives and I find doing up three hooks can sometimes be a bit fiddly.

Overall, a great update to the Deco style and I can’t wait to try out the Taylor! Bring on payday…