Friday, July 10, 2015

Bra Review: Cleo Kali (The Cobalt Blue One)

I alluded to a complete bra review when I first bought the Cleo Kali in the neon yellow colourway. I had to return it for a 34 band (and corresponding smaller letter cup size) because Cleo fits very tight in the band (the yellow 32 stretches to a max of 28 inches). The 34 is a much better size for me given that too-tight bands are not my friend these days.

Here's what it looks like:

Here's half the band unstretched. You can see it's compact, even in the larger band size - the blue 34 stretches to 31.5 inches, max:

This bra is super pretty - but also sassy:

I like it so much that I've just ordered the Cleo Lucy (same general shape as the Kali) - a bra I've avoided since the beginning because I've always heard it is best for shallower and full on bottom breasts and mine are neither shallow nor bottom-full. I suppose my shape is less top-full as I move through my 40s, but I think peeps have underestimated how it can for more balanced or full on top shapes. If you have very young, self-supporting breasts (the kind that are in no way soft), then I concur. But if your breasts are even a bit soft, the style/shape can work.

At any rate, I'll be reviewing the Lucy when it arrives. I bought it in black because, in the same way I had that "beige bra crisis" a couple of years ago, I find myself in a similar black bra drought over the last year. Who knows how these things happen? One thing's for sure, I've never been understocked in crazy-patterned bras.

What I can tell you is this:
  • The fabric for the Kali (in both yellow and blue) is softer than that used in all of the Marcie-clones (the most projected of the Cleo styles). As mentioned, less firm fabric provides less cantilevered uplift (that boobs on a plate thing that the projected Cleos have going on) than what you might associated with other brand offerings. Nonetheless, this gives a really round, but gentle shape. It's not melon-round, rather it's spherical in a more natural way that is quite appealing to me. Note: The fabric is not stretchy (not even the lace upper cup), but it's less thick and industrial than that of the Marcie-ilk.
  • The partial-band (lack of fabric lip under the cup underwire) is very good for those with short torsos or upper abdominal protrusion. This one is as good as the Lori, from that vantage point.
  • The gore is lower than that of many of my other bras. It's no plunge, but it does give a bit more cleavage than a true balconette.
  • The cups are quite projected, particularly at the centre. I don't care what anyone says. If I can wear it, it fits that description. 
  • I do think that the Kali is almost exactly the same, shape as the Lori and, I hope, the Lucy.
  • The straps are standard-issue 0.7" width. This is how it always is with Cleo bras. These seem more comfortable than those on some of the more lifted offerings, perhaps because of strap placement and how the seamed Kali/Lori cup is shaped.
  • The band comes with 2x3 hooks and eyes, which isn't my preferred 3x3, but it's comfortable in the 34 (sized-up) size.
  • I love the pink bow at the centre gore with that cute blue heart on it. I'm not a heart fan, but the heart-patterned lace is subtle.
  • I'd prefer a thong bottom but it appears that the flutter brief is currently the only option. Mind you, the undies comfy and flattering. Just not great under an outfit that skims closely.
If you've tried the Kali, I'd love to know your take on it. Do you feel it's like the Lori and or Lucy? Let's talk.


  1. I have the Kali flutter bottoms bookmarked because of the color, sauciness of the subtle heart embroidery and ruffles, and the ruched seam up the center of the mesh back. The last quality always makes my tush look fab. However, I've held off buying because I have roughly 75 pairs of panties. About half of those are relegated for sleeping in because they are too low rise. I much prefer the coverage of your typical Fantasie panty in small. For some reason, anything lower tends to slide down. When you wear skirts daily, that is a drawback.

    I hesitate to ask a woman who touts her love of thongs, high is the rise in the Kali panties? Have you tried Fantasie briefs? If so, how do they compare?

    1. You know, in the scheme of things, hoarding undies isn't such a problem - they're little and they fold up small :-) These are def low rise by comparison to the average Fantasie brief. I don't find that the flutter undies slide down, for me, cuz they're already below the bump of my lower abdomen (where I store fat). I do think that Cleo undies tend to run small because the fabric used doesn't stretch like Fantasie fabric. They don't feel as luxe, frankly. This brand is marketed at young people - as thin and toned as they'll likely ever be - who want sassy without spending too much.

      I don't think these undies will work with skirts - not fitted ones, anyway. They're pants undies. They're really cute though and they look terrific with the bra when you're hanging around in your lingerie.

  2. I really appreciate your replying to my comment. You've answered my question definitively and saved me $28USD plus 8.75% tax, so $30.45 USD total. I'm thinking of spending it instead on a new Ewa Michalak 3D bra. Maybe I could dye the ecru colored Malibu bra bright blue. I envy you being able to wear the Cleo Kali. I want a bright blue bra! [Whine] I'm off to ask a German friend to send me polyester dye.

    Since you're doing a lot of crafts these days, maybe you could do a few posts on dyeing lingerie? :)

    1. Hey - the one thing I have really not embraced (at least, so far) is dying fabric. It seems way too messy! But you know I'll write about it if I ever change my ways :-)

  3. "...they're already below the bump of my lower abdomen (where I store fat)..."

    Oh, right, your "pillowy" lower belly. I forgot the epic, pillowy lower belly you decried and showed photographic evidence of. HAHAHAHAHA

    I suppose since the weather is warming up in Toronto, you'll be spending less time indoors doing crafts, huh? Oh, well. I'll just have to wait to see what else you do in the bra world. I always appreciate your reviews!

    1. OK, I don't even remember when I last had the nerve to show evidence of the lower belly but I'm pretty sure it wasn't in the last 2 years! I should check that out...