Review: ‘Fran’ by Adina Reay
I love discovering independent lingerie brands, especially when they make beautiful bras that fit me! Launched in 2015, Adina Reay is a UK-based luxury full bust brand which offers delicate looking yet wonderfully supportive bras in UK sizes 28DD to 36G. As I now own a complete set of Adina Reay lingerie, I thought I’d write a review for Rarely Wears Lipstick. However, it may be a while before I manage to take any decent images of myself wearing it, so you’ll have to put up with low light shots snapped on my iPhone for now.
Designed in London, Adina Reay challenges the bigger bust stereotype with luxurious intimates crafted from the silkiest satin, whisper fine tulle and soft delicate lace. Offering a wide selection of bras for the voluptuous bossom, Adina Reay is devoted to celebrating the fuller figure without neglecting the importance of structure. Through meticulous construction, the modern fits are supportive and highly wearable to make every day feel a little more exciting. Alluring and romantic, our lingerie should never be left in the drawer waiting for a ‘special occasion’. Designed to be minimal, less – when done beautifully – is always more.
I first discovered Adina Reay back in April 2016 when Selfridges launched The Body Studio. I tried on several of their styles during my visit – including the silk and lace ‘Jean’ racer-back style, in mink and magenta – and ended up treating myself to the gorgeous sheer ‘Fran’ bra in black. However, I didn’t buy the matching briefs that day because my budget was rather limited. When I started receiving emails about Black Friday sales this year, I decided to take a step back from the lure of an impulse purchase and think about what I really wanted. Was there anything that was genuinely missing from my wardrobe that I would love to snap up at a discount price? I thought back to that bra and my lack of coordinating briefs.
Selfridges sadly no longer stock the brand, and the Adina Reay site had sold out of the black briefs in my size, but I found a large selection of Adina Reay available at Harvey Nichols. I was also thrilled to discover that the ‘Fran’ suspender brief in black was in their Black Friday sale! Size wise, I went for the L (which the brand’s size guide reckons equates to a UK 14) and hoped for the best, as it’s the largest size they offer. I’m usually a UK 16, but it depends on how stretchy the fabric is as some briefs fit just fine in a 14. I went for the ‘collect in store’ option, stupidly forgetting that Knightsbridge isn’t all that easy for me to get to during the store’s opening hours, so it was a while before I found time to go and collect my purchase… hence the December review!
The bra is such a wonderful fit that I had no hesitation at all in spending £90 on it when I first tried it on (and this is from someone who had never impulse-bought a bra over £35 before). The 32F fit me very well indeed – the wires sit perfectly against my rib cage, the straps are comfortable and easily adjusted to the ideal length, and the clever cup construction gives amazing support without looking overly uplifted or pointy. Obviously, the sheer fabric used in this style means that you’ll need to be reasonably happy with how you look before trying it on, but it really does showcase just how brilliantly Adina Reay deals with delicate fabrics. It’s a supportive full bust bra that gives a ‘natural’ shape and such a beautiful silhouette under clothes. In addition, the softness of the tulle means that I have never been as distracted by my own boobs as I am while wearing this bra. Seriously, if groping your own chest isn’t something you usually do, this bra will change your mind!
The peep hole detail at the centre front is nice, and the side slings are turned into a beautifully simple design detail, while the stretch powermesh of the wings ties in well to the overall look of the bra rather than just appearing functional. I love how unfussy the design is, with no bows, flowers, or embroidery. The findings are all a lovely gold colour and the front section of the shoulder straps has a soft fabric covering that adds a pretty detail over the standard stretch strapping. It was extremely comfortable to wear all day too, which is something I rarely get to say about bras.
The briefs are made from a super soft mesh that coordinates perfectly with the tulle on the bra, and is stretchy enough that the L comfortably fits my size 16 bum. The waistband is made from two layers of the same stretch mesh folded over so there’s no way it’ll dig in, yet the cleverly hidden elastic is sturdy enough to keep the briefs in place. There are four detachable suspender straps – again, with gold findings – and an extremely soft cotton gusset. The angles around the top of the leg are all extremely flattering and they also work well with the angles across the top of the bra cups, plus the seam details are beautiful. Every time I look at this set, I see new details that I love about it and I still can’t get over how comfortable it is!
Fran is one of Adina Reay’s core styles and so is available in five colours: black, orchid, peacock, scarlet and toast. The bra costs £90 and the suspender briefs £60, with shorts, a Brazilian brief, a thong, suspenders and a slip also available (although not in all colours).