Review: new lingerie brand Closely

I’m always on the lookout for new lingerie brands and there have been quite a few popping up in my Instagram adverts lately. One of those is Closely, whose dedication to freedom of movement and sustainability caught my eye. Also, they were looking for women to sign up to test their products ahead of the launch, which intrigued me. The website says:

We’re a new Swedish brand, founded in 2019 by Tove Langseth and Filip Nilsson. We create underwear and sportswear and we’ve set out to raise the bar in both these worlds. We enter the scene without old dusty ideas about women, bodies and underwear design. We go to extremes to deliver superior function and a sense of freedom and we try hard, very hard, to minimise the impact this effort has on our planet.

They are a carbon neutral company and have supply chain information clearly on their website, which is something more brands should do. Interestingly, their sustainability report also says, “a typical woman in Europe owns at least a dozen different bras but uses only a handful of them. The other poor bras are hiding in a drawer and never see the daylight. […] The single most sustainable thing we can do is to change all that and never, ever produce a drawer sleeper.” I wasn’t sure that the sort of underwear they make is the type that I would wear every day (as they don’t currently offer an underwired bra), but I was interested to see what the quality and comfort would be like. Once I’d filled in the Test Pilot form, I waited to see what I’d get sent.

Unwrapping the No. 6 Everyday Top in size M, from Closely

I was sent the Everyday Top in a size M, for free in return for filling out a feedback form on the site to let Closely know what I thought of the garment. It’s a basic racerback style pull-on bra, made from a very smooth breathable mircofibre fabric with minimal seams and internal pockets for some light padding, which is easily removed if you don’t want it. Personally, I quite like it as it means that my nipples won’t show through my clothing if it’s cold, but I also like that it’s optional. I’m not usually a fan of bras that don’t use band and cup sizing because I find that the fit is never quite right on me. Either the band isn’t firm enough or the cups just don’t have enough room in them, but somehow the Closely Everyday Top seems to work on me (I usually wear a 32F).

Due to the lack of underwires and seams, this bra doesn’t have the projection I like (I look rather ‘flat’ when I wear this bra under clothes), but it does the job really well for the type of bra it is – a comfortable everyday style that is ideal for lockdown days at home! Another reason I wouldn’t have chosen this particular style to buy myself is that it doesn’t have fastenings, which means I have to wrestle it off over my head at the end of the day. Thankfully, the super stretchy fabric means that this is an easier task compared to some similar styles that I have tried.

The Everyday Top flattens more than I’d like, but is comfortable.
The fabric is smooth and stretchy, very comfy to wear.
The racer back is not a style I’d usually go for, but it does make it secure and easy to move in.

I really liked the soft breathable fabric of this bra (which also washes really well and dries quickly) and so decided to use the discount code that Test Pilots were provided with to buy myself a pair of briefs. I went for Freedom High Waist briefs to see if they were just as comfortable as the Everyday Top and I was not disappointed! The fabric is slightly different to the top, with an almost brushed cotton feel to its softness, but it works perfectly for these briefs which are so comfortable that you really do forget you’re wearing them. The side seams are bonded rather than stitched, which means they lie really flat, and every other part of them is completely smooth.

They’re a really great fit too. I went for the size L (I usually wear a UK size 16 on my bottom half) and they were snug without being tight. Overall, I can definitely recommend Closely’s underwear if you’re in the market for basic everyday bras, briefs and activewear. They’re going to expand their bra styles soon, so I’m hoping they’ll do an underwired bra in my size as I’d be really keen to test it based on what I’ve seen of the quality and fit so far. The Closely shop is now open, and if you want to become a Closely Test Pilot, you can still sign up on their website.

The briefs have bonded side seams and are made from extremely soft fabric.

UPDATE: I now wear the bra when I exercise. It’s not supportive enough for high impact activities, but is comfortable enough for indoor cycling, weights and stretching. It still washes well (I pop it into the machine on a low temperature in a lingerie bag) and it’s so handy that it dries quickly. The briefs really are my new best friend though! I’ve bought three more pairs since and am hoping that they might offer more colours soon (hopefully brights!).

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