Review: Freya Rio Balcony bra in 30FF

To continue my summary of my rendez-vous with Nordstrom last week, I have a quick review of the Freya Rio balcony bra. I have been wanting to try this bra for a long time! Freya offers many of their padded half cup and balcony plunge styles each season, but it seems like the plain ol’ balcony is a rare breed. 

This balcony has a classic shape – it is an unlined 3 part cup with some vertical seaming. It is also a classic bra for Freya – it has been a best-seller for many years, and is available in continuity colors black, beige, and white. 

I was really excited about the Jade fashion colorway when I saw the Autumn/Winter previews. It’s such a pretty shade!

Here’s Rio, in 30FF:


Rio is really cool looking. “They” describe it as having a “modern mesh look with chain link detail.” I guess? Haha. Anyway, it is not lacy, no flowers, no print – but it’s a good looking bra on its own terms!


My first impression when I put on this bra was that it seemed a teeny bit constrictive at the tops of the cups. This surprised me because I had heard this bra is good for a full on top shape. However, after I settled in, it’s really not bad at all, and I do think the tops would probably loosen over time. It’s totally workable. Because the cups aren’t very open, it’s not going to allow your full on top boobs to do what they do best – give super cleavage! – but it’s still a good fit, albeit more subtle and natural. 


I’m such a big fan of this color with my fair skin tone, and I love the hardware and cup edges!


I didn’t get a good photo of the wires, but I do not recall them being narrow. They were probably medium in length. There is some room for immediate projection at the bottom of the cup as well. This bra at this size definitely requires some overall projection. Shape is nice: a very subtle and rounded point. Probably very flattering under a top, though I didn’t try it!


The bra felt comfortable all around, though comfort is, frankly, hard to tell after wearing it for only five minutes. The 30 band felt fairly firm, but I have never owned a Freya 30 band and do not know how easily they stretch out firsthand (I have heard they get pretty stretchy). This bra does come in a 28 band, however, and goes up to a 38 band and an H cup.

I like this bra, and to be honest, I miss it! 😉

Anyone else have an opinion on Rio? How does it hold up to wear?


7 thoughts on “Review: Freya Rio Balcony bra in 30FF

  1. Rio isn’t as popular now as it once was. I own this bra (have done at different times over the years) and I think it’s a very good choice for full all over breasts – it’s got good lower projection and good upper projection (though I have less of this as I move into my mid-forties). It does give a pointy-natural shape (one of the reasons I think it’s fallen out of favour). Its band is firm (like Freya bands all used to be) and it’s quite supportive. Pretty comfortable too. Mind you, I don’t think this is one of the nicer looking bras I own. I also tried it on in that blue colourway (I currently own a black one) and it was awful on me.


    • Your assessment seems spot on, as far as I can tell. Definitely good for all around projection and not shallow, firmer band than usual, and comfy. I actually didn’t mind the shape though, though I can see why others wouldn’t idealize it – especially when compared to Cleo’s magical balconettes!


    • Haha Nadia – way to be an enabler! Seriously though, your thoughts pretty much mirror my thoughts exactly. Not as open as I usually like, but there’s still something about it that makes me want it! Lol. Maybe in the future, and with a discount….


  2. I’ve written about my black 32F Rio recently and really like it. I’m not in love with my profile in it, but I’m happy to find it in my lingerie drawer when I need something basic that fits. It’s been a no-worry bra that always performs.


    • Darlene, I’ve noticed you referring to your Rio, and that is one of the reasons I wanted to try it! Your assessment of it seems quite right. I like how this colorway juices it up a bit though!


  3. I love the Rio. Projection and support is great for a small frame with big breasts. I’ve gained a little weight and need to go up a cup size as my current one gives me quad-boob. 😦


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