This was one of my very lucky finds, along with my Pixie Balconnet from Cleo. Size 28:4 non-padded bras from Cleo , are incredibly difficult to find. So, I scooped this one up the second I saw it. I LOVE this bra. I love how it fits. It's awesome. This one appears to have a stretchier band and less firm band then the Pixie had, but that may be just because this one was actually worn very lightly unlike the Pixie bra that was not worn at all. I only got to wear this bra around the house but I had to write ... about it, so I'll of course update this review after it's run at a ten hour shift.
First off, I really love the fabric of this bra. I'm not a huge fan of polka dots, but you can't always get it all. It is a very smooth, stiff, probably polyester fabric. There's no stretch, which makes this bra very good at shaping the breast. There is a small mesh section that is embroidered along the top edge. This mesh also does not stretch. The cup is also lined with what appears to be a non-stretch black mesh. I really can't say the fabric is soft and welcoming, but it's not scratchy, abrasive or uncomfortable in any way. This bra seems to be expecting short roots with a breast that projects out from the ribcage with no sloping. I have tall-ish roots. So, the mesh just sort of slides down my roots and the mesh part wrinkles. The embroidered edge lays flat. I find I can tuck the wrinkled mesh section under the cup and just have the pretty embroidered section showing. There is a picture that shows what happens when I try to force the mesh section to lay flat and sit the way it was originally intended to sit. Cuts into my like WOAH. The bra is a three section, cut and sew, non-padded balconnet bra. Very low-coverage and has really good projection. There is soft elastic along the outer edge of the cup. It starts where the straps connect to the cup and continues down to the underwire. Where it them becomes the top binding of the band. This bra does an excellent job at gathering the breast and projecting it forward, something polish bras a renowned for. I do not have a lot of outer fullness on my breasts and this bra does not seem to ask for it unlike the Pixie bra where you can obviously see (especially on my smaller side) that I do not have much outer fullness to fill the cup correctly. I am centre full (behind the nipple, not inner fullness), with some projection and a good bit of projection needed at the apex. This bra seems to fit me like a glove!
The straps are a bit larger than average straps. They have unnecessary detailing on the edges and down the middle of the strap. They feel like soft, fold over elastic. They are extremely hard to adjust because of all the detailing but can be fully adjusted. I have them fully let out. I am extremely fortunate that they are long enough because I could not get the Pixie bra straps to be as long as I needed them to be and it really messed up the fit of the bra.
This is the most narrow gore base I have come across thus far. The wires at touching at the top of the gore and remains fairly narrow all the way down the gore. This is amazing for me because it never seems to matter how narrow the gore is at the top they always get way to wide as the gore progresses and it forces the wires to sit on my larger breast tissue. I try to finagle the bra over towards my smaller side, but my smaller side is more projected than my larger side and no matter what I do, it forces the bra to sit correctly on my smaller side. Which always results in the wires sitting on my larger breast. I only have about a centimeters worth of space between my breasts when they are being properly supported. So, this may or may not be the first bra ever to not just have the left wire sitting on breast tissue (at least out of the bras that have actual gores).
The wires are about average I'd say and they fit me well. Others may call them narrow (see measurements). They are, of course it's a Cleo/Panache bra, pretty firm. They don't feel quite as firm as the Pixie bra, but the Pixie bra was never worn either. They have a bit of flex to them but are nothing like Comexim or other flexible wired bras. They're really comfortable to me, but I am not particularly sensitive when it comes to firm wires. They also seem to be padded some what, though that might be because the wire channels could be made of a thick cotton. The under wire channels are stitched with the words: "Crafted for fit. Styled for fun."
The band is really smooth and silky/satiny fabric. I quite like it, but it is not as firm as others. It will also stretch out faster than the soft, plush elastic binding the bra on the top and the bottom of the band. It definitely seems stretchier than the other Cleo bras I have tried, but still measures just as firm at under 28".
All in all, I'm so glad I got this bra. It's comfortable, the quality is high and I love that it's made mostly of smooth fabric and not mesh. I seem to prefer most fabrics over mesh. Even though I love the look of mesh bras. There's a slight shape mis-match here with the mesh panel expecting very short projected top roots, but this is not bothersome to me. It doesn't affect the fit or the style of the bra. The closed top just slides down my roots causes the mesh to crumple up. Fortunately it is half the size of the mesh panel on the Pixie bra so it is no where near as visible as it is with the Pixie bra. I don't seem to get this "side boob flattening" that others have mentioned in their reviews. But then again, I don't have a lot of outer fullness to begin with; especially on my smaller breast. The shape is gives me is pretty darn awesome too! When I wear it under a shirt and to work I'll post an update covering those topics. I look forward to hunting down more Cleo gems like this one!
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B/W Polka Dot w/embroidered lace colorway
Updated on Feb 09, 2018 Flag this