Continuing my theme of red balconette bras, I bring you the Cleo Marcie!
I’ve never been a big fan of Cleo bras – the colours and prints have never really appealed to me. However, their new Autumn/Winter collection has changed all that. The mix of reds, blues and cute designs has really lured me in.
(Apologies for the knickers in this pic – I couldn’t find my usual plain flesh-coloured ones to wear underneath so went for what I thought was the next best thing – my Masquerade Delphi knickers in a sort-of flesh colour with very obvious embroidery!)
The Marcie set was not one I expected to love. It’s a combination of two things I don’t like in a bra: unpadded and a balconette shape. But it’s so pretty I couldn’t resist keeping it! The bra gave me a surprisingly rounded shape, which is what I prefer. As in most Panache bras, the wires are too wide for me, so there is empty fabric on the sides, but it’s not a big problem and I don’t feel it’s as minimising as other Panache bras can be on me.
I’ve got this in a 28G with the matching knickers in size 8, and it fits me absolutely perfectly. The band is pretty snug, stretching up to a maximum of 27″, so it might be worth sizing up if you are on the larger side of a 28. For me, the band fits really well on the middle hook at the moment, which gives me slightly longer than usual before I’ll have to tighten it.
As with any balconette, the wires in the centre do start to hurt me after a while, but the centre gore is quite narrow so it’s not as bad as it could be. There was also a little extra space in the underwire channel, which I made use of to position the wire slightly lower in the centre. I think I will experiment with bending the wires and perhaps sewing some padding into the centre to make it more comfortable.
Apart from the fun, young and bright designs, another great thing about Cleo bras is the price. Full price, this one is £25 for the bra and £12.50 for the knickers. £37.50 for the whole set is really not bad, and I got an extra 20% off it from Figleaves a couple of weeks ago – making it a real bargain!
I won’t say I’ve been entirely converted to the unpadded way of life, but I’ll definitely consider unpadded Cleo bras in the future – especially as some styles will be available in a 26 band next year. I’m really excited that a major UK brand has decided to do this, and I’m keen to buy the products to support this. I really hope it’s the start of something great in the small-busted market!