Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mini-Bra Review: Cleo Kali

I decided to take the plunge and buy the Cleo Kali - which I heard fits very similarly to my increasingly-appreciated Lori (scroll down in that link). I chose the crazy-ass neon-yellow version cuz, why not? I'm looking for ways to expand my lingerie personality.

It really is that fluorescent - and I dig it! Pale ladies can wear this. Trust me.

I got it in the 32 band - because the Lori fit perfectly (recent tight band issues notwithstanding) in that band size. Um, that was a mistake. The Kali band is a full 2.5 inches shorter (unstretched) - at the same size - than the Lori. Apparently the Lori is a true-to-size-fitting 32 but the Kali is standard-issue Cleo one-size-small. Update: Before sending it back, I measured the "32" band. It was 24 inches unstretched and 28 inches stretched. That's really not on, IMO.

I'm sending it back for a version that's one band size larger and one cup size smaller (remember, this equation will yield the same cup volume as the one I just bought and I'll do a proper review then. I've just purchased the Cobalt colourway cuz the neon is entirely gone, everywhere, in my size. They just put it on mega-sale (after I bought it of course) and the stock is gone. On the plus side - I do love the blue version and I got it for 20 per cent off at Figleaves. That's still pricier than the yellow set I found on eBay but whatcha gonna do? (For reference - Neon set was 50.00 all in, from eBay. Cobalt set (newer colourway) was 70.00 all in, from Figleaves UK.)

Let me just say for now:
  • I really like this Cleo style shape and material. It's not as industrial-feeling as most of the very deep cup, boobs-on-a-plate offerings they do (Melissa, Ellis, Lily) and, given that this is a partial-band bra (not fabric under the underwires), it's great for those of us with short waists.
  • It gives a very different shape than the boobs-on-a-plate offerings. It's not as useful for very deep, full-on-top, heavy breasts because it doesn't have the underband, the fabric is less firm and the shape is different.
  • I've never tried the Lucy - it doesn't appeal to me and it's know to be best for full-on-bottom shapes (I'm even with some upper fullness and high set roots). I'm starting to think it might actually work for me, having now tried 2 similar (if slightly more "open on top") Cleo styles. Interestingly, I have tried the Marcie - the other Cleo offering that's recommended as a fitting bra for all newbies trying to determine the correct size. It was awful. So I suppose I fall into the Lucy fit-category which is quite surprising to me. Note: The deeper Cleo offerings model the Marcie and I wear many of those quite well.
  • Size up in the band. Really. Even if you're between sizes. Unless this one's an outlier, the band fits super small.
  • The undies are less saccharine - and more wearable - than I thought they'd be:
That ruffle, which always looks serious in photos, is fairly discreet. I do wish this bra came with a thong though...


  1. Fabric makes a huge difference to the Marcie clones. Zia and Ellis are barely recognisable as the same frame. I'm not sure what accounts for the clones fitting slightly deeper than the Marcie (which I agree, they do), unless it's all down to how the more flexible fabric of the Marcie distributes the boob forces. Or maybe Cleo are using the clones to play around with the cut, the way Alexa is different from Lily is different from Erin?

    1. It's so true about how the fabrics impact the final fit. To some extent, that's why the Melissa fits me awesomely and the Ellis is just adequate (on days when I need a bit more upper cup fullness). I think there's something about wire position on the Marcie - I've read it's good for tall roots. I have very high-set roots but they're on the shorter size (hence mega projection). I also think there are subtle differences in the upper cup lace portions of all the clones, which impacts fit more than I would imagine...