Bra Review: Freya Deco Charm Plunge, 30FF

I’ve been wanting to try the Freya Deco Charm Molded Plunge Bra since finding out that some Decos work for me. It’s one of the more prettified Decos with a wide lace trim along the tops of the cups and wings, a lustrous finish to the material, and a crystal gore decoration. I didn’t end up purchasing the Deco Charm, so this is going to be a brief review from a recent shopping trip where I was excited to find the 2016 spring season colorway: a shimmering magenta with bright orange accents.

Appearance

This Deco Charm is very Freya. The color is vibrant with a super girly feel bordering on Barbie doll inspired. I surprisingly like the combination of the orange and magenta, even if it’s not the most practical for my wardrobe. Admittedly, I own a lot of Freya bras at the point. There is a vibrancy threshold that gets crossed after a while. My Freya collection has enough purple, pink and orange for one lifetime. It’s a great spring/summer punch of color, though, if you’re bored of neutrals!

There aren’t that many candid (non-stock) photos of this new colorway around the web. I wish I had better photos to share, but I could only take them in the poorly lit dressing room using my phone.

The cup material is a slightly lustrous magenta that is satiny to the touch. The lace trim, in contrast, is a rather rough. The interior of the cup is standard Deco molded foam with an indented line about half an inch below the cup edge where the lace has been attached (not visible from the exterior). There are flat bow accents at the strap joins and a looser double ribbon bow and charm on the gore. I love the tiny orange teardrop gem dangling from the gore. None of my Decos have any gore adornment. I have come to like gore decorations because they are a fun touch that can range from girly to elegant, and – unlike giant bows on straps – they don’t show through clothes. Only I know they’re there.

The Deco Charm also has a j-hook attachment for converting the straps, an addition which can be useful, especially for summer outfits. However, without the straps converted, the j-hook sits at the front of my shoulders once I adjust the straps tight enough for my short roots. I also get this problem with my Deco Vibe. It’s annoying because the j-hook is quite a hefty piece of hardware. It’s visible through some of my shirts and my wider neckline t-shirts get caught on it without me noticing so a metal hook ends up sticking out of my collar sometimes. I’m reluctant to put a backpack on when I wear it as it will probably destroy my clothes. I consider this a design error that neglects a lot of body types.

Size and Fit

As an experiment, I thought that the lace edge might put the Deco Charm in a similar class to the Deco styles that have a tight, narrow binding along the cup edge which makes them more closed on top, such as the Vibe or Delight. Since the latter work okay for me, I was hopeful the Charm might be a good option.

The only size I could try at Nordstrom was a 30FF because they don’t carry 28-bands in store (28G being my best fit in other Decos). I had to start minimally on the second hook for reasonable support, so I’d say the Charm band runs true with other Decos and indeed other Freyas. I tend to run into some fit issues with being between band sizes in my Decos. A 28 would have been better for me, but that could have also realistically been one set of hooks too tight, so it’s worth keeping my own size anomalies in mind for the rest of this review.

deco-charm-sideThe 30FF felt fine and the cups themselves were more comfortable and slightly less encroaching in my armpits than my Decos in 28G. I couldn’t measure it in the dressing room, so I am not sure if the cups are really any shorter between sister sizes – which I doubt – or if this is an effect of the 30FF sitting a little low due to being too shallow in the cup (shape mismatch), or too loose in the band. Based on my other Decos, I can guess that the 28G is overall a better size for me even though the cup edge would sit higher into my armpits than the 30FF. As with other Decos, then, the cup height is not especially short root/torso friendly and the depth not great if you need a lot of projection.

The Charm is potentially in between the cut of the original Deco and the newer model Decos with the fabric binding along the edge, but in my opinion, it is definitely closer to the original Deco Plunge. It is perhaps not as open on top, yet it remains prone to gaping on me, so it is still better for full-on-top shapes than those with the fabric-trimmed edge.

More specifically, the lace trim on the Charm appears to have no discernible effect on closing the top of the cup as it has no structural impact on the cup edge itself. The result is that, within seconds in the dressing room, the top of the cup began curling outwards a little. To be honest, I thought Freya might have figured out a way to prevent the cup rolling outwards by now since this is a known problem with the Deco.

On the plus side, it does give that classic, rounded and uplifted Deco shape that many know and love. The j-hook will give compatible shapes some extra cleavage on top of that. One last note is that the lace trim can show through thinner knits.

Comfort

deco-charmIn general, the bra was comfortable. I can probably do with just a little more depth than any of the Deco cups provide and about an inch less cup height at the strap. The trim on some Deco styles is what saves me by pulling the cup edge more towards my chest and holding everything in place. I have short roots as well as some slight upper fullness making my boobs functionally full on bottom these days. But even when I was very full on top, the original Deco didn’t work for me because my soft tissue would spill out above the gore.

Although outwardly the lace makes the Charm look different, it is in most ways a classic Deco. This is good news if the original works for you and you want something other than a solid, unadorned basic. Unfortunately, the classic Deco doesn’t cooperate with my very soft tissue and inner fullness and neither does the Charm.

Quality

My first impression on quality was that the Charm is not as well made as my other Decos. I wouldn’t call it a poorly made bra; there are just some things that I didn’t like. The cup edge curling outwards is, in my opinion, a design defect. It also gives the bra an unfinished feel and cheapens it overall. The strap material felt scratchy on my skin. Why do they have to be so industrial? Similarly, the orange lace was a little on the rough side and also felt cheap. In both cases, I would have preferred to see more delicate or softer choices of material that would have better complemented the aesthetics of the bra. There are also careless design problems with the j-hook for shorter torsos or higher set breasts. I haven’t found a convertible Freya Deco that this doesn’t apply to, but I still consider it worth mentioning.

Fit Summary

It should work fine for wearers of the classic Deco Plunge. And it’s certainly worth trying if you have semi-firm to firm tissue and/or if you are even to slightly full on top in shape and find that the original Deco Plunge is too open on top, but the trimmed version(s) too closed. It should play well with taller roots. The wires are medium to slightly narrow width for a molded cup in this size range. I would not recommend it for 1. very soft tissue with center fullness due to the loose/curling cup edge and low gore; 2. very short roots due to cup height; or 3. short torsos/shoulders/high-set breasts due to j-hook incompatibility.

***

Related information

High quality photos of the Deco Charm and more Freya styles for SS16 can be found in this post at Stanikomania: Summer Zen, or Freya Spring-Summer 2016 [Polish]

Freya Deco Charm stock images via Nordstrom.com.

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