Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Bra Adventures: The Cleos

You may know that I recently bought 2 Cleo bras: the Meg and the Melissa. Well, here's the scoop (or should I call it the scoop and swoop :-)). Note: I do realize that bra humour is lame. Keep in mind that both of these bras have a similar shape and cut.

Up first - the Meg:

I know, I know - The photo is horrid in its infantalism...
I actually purchased this bra twice (as the post I've linked to mentions). The first time, I bought it in my standard size online. Though I reviewed the cup depth and other details on Bratabase before doing so, it was fractionally too small.

The second online purchase - same back size (32), but one cup size larger, just arrived today. OMG - it's like a totally different animal. It fits at least 2 cup sizes larger than the original one, though equally firm in the band. This makes it much too large.

Let me say, it's rare for me to find a cup too deep. Very rare. This one gapes at the top. On my larger breast it's (maybe?) passably too loose. My smaller breast is so mis-sized in this thing that it actually looks dessicated?! How disappointing cuz I love the design and - unless one of these is mistakenly tagged - there is no right size for me. (I'm done trying, btw, so even if there is a right size for me, I'm unlikely ever to discover it.) Note: I suspect the larger of the 2 sizes that I purchased is the outlier.

Were it to fit, it would be delightful in shape: The style pulls the breasts forward, projecting them as it lifts. It's very "boobs on a plate" but English-style - not in a half-cup way. There's enough top-cup support and coverage that it's very wearable under lots of things and there's apt to be no jiggle.

I'll return one Meg and keep the other (NWT) plus the undies (also NWT) to sell at a later date - when they're no longer around and the demand is up. (Note: I don't intend to sell them for profit, of course, just to recoup my expenses.) Two bras of the same style, neither of which fits, is just depressing - even if the style is gorgeous.

The final word on this: Sigh.

But then there's the Melissa:

Some people I work with (you know who you are :-)) have called this design "hideous". That is SO wrong. It's adorable, whimsical, cheerful, sassy.

And happily, this one fits perfectly!

You may recall that I first tried it on at a Toronto boutique, in my standard size, and it was too small. I'm very pleased to say that one cup size up (same back size - a 32, as this bra fits snugly) is a great fit. Thereby reinforcing my perspective that the upsized Meg is wrong.

The Melissa is deceptively supportive and yet it has the same "boobs on a plate" shape noted above. It looks gentle, but it's a workhorse.

I'm not sure if you can see, in the photos, how the Meg (top bra) is higher cut in the cups than the Melissa, but it really is. I'd say, though I love its abstract bird design and the ribbon feature on the top cup, it's verging on too full. By contrast, the Melissa has just the right amount of top-cup support.

In both of these bras, the under wires are neither narrow nor wide but the centre gore is close-set.

I think that both of these fuller, front-and-centre Cleo styles will work for a number of different shapes, though the sizing is a bit strange: narrow or wide (though not excessively either), top-full or bottom-full (though more for the full on top), dense breast or buoyant and a reasonably wide range of sizes.

Today's questions: Have you tried either (or both) of these and, if so, what's your perspective? Do you like the designs or do you find them hideous. Note: I agree that the styling is horrible, try to ignore it. Let's talk!


  1. I've only tried one Cleo, and I found the back too big and the cup too small! I wouldn't rule out the whole brand based on that though.

    I don't love these particular colourways, but the styles don't bother me. Once upon a time I thought it was awesome to have colourful bras in my size, but now my favourites are black or white (or beige, for utility).

    1. That's exactly what I found with the Frances. Either the brand has really changed in the last few years or a certain part of the range is in more substantive cup sizes and shapes (and more true to size). I don't have enough experience of the old or new Cleo to say.

  2. I've tried the Melissa (and I agree the print+cloud lace are adorable), which was a complete fail for me. I have a bit more volume uptop and I'm dying to try the Meg and Marcy. The Chloe worked well for me.

    1. Oh, that sucks! The clouds are the most fun - and novel - thing I've seen in any garment for a long time. Email me if you want to talk more about the fit of the Meg. Furthermore, I have the set - unworn - in 2 sizes and I'm willing to re-sell them to recoup my costs. Not suggesting that will appeal to you, of course...

  3. I have the Meg, and it's the most uplifting non-padded bra I've ever tried. The shape is a bit odd, though.

    1. Isn't it! I really love that element of it. The Melissa is also quite uplifting, but not as much. The cut and fabric are slightly less high and firm with the Melissa, though it provides nearly the same kind of support.