Friday, 13 January 2012

Cleo "Lucy" Review

I’m planning to do more reviews of bras in the new year. I’ll focus, of course, on bras available in small band sizes and up to the highest cup sizes, since that’s what I have to wear. I’ll start with one of the few bras I like enough to own in multiple colors, the Cleo Lucy. It's a bra that I really appreciate while still having some grievances with it. I still consider the Cleo Lucy to be the closest I’ve come to that elusive "perfect bra", but I also want to draw attention to its flaws.

The Lucy is a bit of a hybrid shape-wise. It has the wider underwires typical of Panache and Cleo bras, but the fabric structure of the cup bears more similarities to Bravissimo’s Alana bra. While many Panache and Cleo bras have a softer upper section that isn’t meant to do any shaping, the Lucy’s upper section is tighter and has stiff lace along the top. Because of this, I had to take in the center gore to avoid major quadraboob. Fortunately, the Lucy has a rather wide center gore to start with, so there is lots of room for this alteration. As you can see, on my older-season coral Lucy in 28HH, the alteration I had to do was so severe that it made the bra look a little ridiculous from the front:




However, I didn’t have to take in as much of the center gore on my white or black Lucy bras. The newer ones seem to not be as tight at the top as the older coral version.



I have the pink and the white in 28HH, and the black in a 28J. I normally wear a 28J, but I feel a bit like I’m swimming in this 28J—the cup fits perfectly, but the underwire goes back MUCH further, which is totally unnecessary and obnoxious. Plus, I still needed to alter the center gore. The 28HH versions fit better and have much narrower underwires, but I would prefer if they were a bit bigger in the cup, so I think I’m between sizes in this bra. If you’re between cup sizes normally, I would recommend choosing the smaller size to avoid the underwires of Doom. However, as you can see, the Lucy gives a very round shape in either size. The black 28J is clearly giving less uplift in the middle photo, but since the cup is bigger, I can tighten the straps to improve the shape without cutting in.




The Lucy also only has two hooks in the back, which bothers me. 


I find that this tends to cause the back band to cut in more because it is so narrow. If you like two-hook fastenings, you’ll be pleased to know that the Lucy has just two hooks all the way up to a J cup. Personally, I think it’s a stupid design choice because the back band is supposed to be providing so much support, and I wish they would update the design to have three hooks.

I'm not the world's hugest fan of the flower embroidery on the top of the cups. I do, however, love the little dots along the top of the cup, and I think they look really cute peeking out from under a loose, low-cut top. 


One more flaw I want to highlight is that the Lucy is a tough bra to break in. My pink one was pretty uncomfortable for the first month or so that I had it—the section of band right where it meets the bottom of the cup has a sharp edging that tends to rub a lot. After owning it for a few months, though, it’s become one of my most comfortable bras and the back band hasn’t loosened up much, unlike most bras I have. I’m assuming my newer Lucy bras will undergo a similar process but I’m bummed at the thought of the discomfort I’ll have to go through until then. No matter what you believe about breaking in bras, I still don’t think it’s necessary to make them with materials that can cause pain.

I think if you’re used to the shape Panache and Cleo bras give, you will probably have to alter this bra to get that same shape, but once you do, it’s one of the best. And if you’re suited to the shape the Lucy gives without alteration—a shape more common with certain Freya and Bravissimo bras—you probably won’t like the Lucy’s wider underwires. That said, it’s still a bit of a compromise between the purple and green types of shapes I talked about in my last post, so for people between the extremes, this could definitely be a crowd-pleaser. I would recommend this bra to a friend, but only with several stipulations.

17 comments:

  1. The fit looks great on you and I like that the shape is round, but not "too" round. As you said, it's a good compromise.

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  2. Hi there, I have the Cleo Bonnie (which is pretty much the same as Cleo Lucy) in 28J but the band is so loose I'm considering taking in the centre gore. I just wondered if you take it in on the inside of the bra or the front?

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    Replies
    1. I take it in so the fabric fold is on the inside--that way it doesn't show from the outside. However, the original tutorial that gave me the idea showed the alteration done so the fold was on the outside, most likely for reasons of comfort. Personally I haven't had any discomfort from the extra folded fabric against my skin except for one bra, where the fold got pushed upwards instead of simply folded to one side. I think you could really do either way, depending on how much you care what it looks like from the front.

      Good luck!

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    2. Unless you're an A or B cup, the dart is not going to show through your shirts at all, even with very close fitting tops. I've done this alteration to some of my bras as well and I'm much smaller than you. But before I found the tutorial online I was doing them on the inside instead. The fabric rubbed against my skin and because the fabric was on the inside, that little fold about 3/16" thick caused the band to sit away from my chest. The gore was not properly tacked. Also, the bigger the dart, the more of a chance of it sitting underneath the underwire, unless you've pressed and stitched it flat, in which case it will still cause the gore to stand away.

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    3. Thanks for your comment! To clarify, I didn't mean the dart would show when wearing a shirt. I meant it would simply be visible from the front of the bra when I'm just wearing a bra. I've actually never found that the dart makes my center gore sit away from my chest, but that does seem like an issue that would make it better to do the dart on the outside. Since I don't have an issue with it, I simply go for what I'm used to doing, but it seems like doing it on the outside is the best choice for you.

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  3. Thank you for analyzing the Cleo Lucy, a bra which I have ignored in the past, thinking it wouldn't be supportive enough. I have now tried and bought 3 Lucys and it is my new favourite, good support, great shape and comfort and looks lovely. I really like your careful and considered approach to bras and shape, love your blog generally.

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  4. I really appreciate these reviews. This particular one taught me several points I should be considering. I'm actually kind of new to buying bras. When you narrate the story--how you found the right band/cup size, analyzed flaws, fixed problems--it makes it easier for me to learn what I should be thinking about. So, thanks!

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  5. Thanks for all of your attention to detail..... I purchased the Lucy bra in lime green, and love the fit. I am now looking to purchase other colors because the fit is the closest I have come to a natural fit for my 34G chest. Thanks again!!

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    Replies
    1. Where did you find this bra in lime green??
      I have been scouring the Internet for exactly this type of bra, and have had absolutely no luck. :( I wish it were easier to find the sort of looks I want in my 30FF size... *sigh*

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    2. It's in lime green through Bravissimo. Very bright highlighter pen colour!!

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  6. I love your reviews! Congratulations for the blog :)!
    I love lucy in yellow, do you know where I can buy online? I'm from Portugal and the shop that sells Panache don't have lucy anymore... Thanks!
    xoxo**

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  7. Thanks a lot for the detailed reviews, they're so useful and fun! I love your site! <3

    I just bought this bra online, and unfortunately I got one cup size smaller than I ordered, and I'm guessing two sizes smaller than what I should have ordered.. So far, I've never had/tried on any Panache bras and I wasn't familiar with the fit/sizing.

    To be honest, I find it quite strange shape-wise - it gives a pointy shape to the boobs if you look at them from above. It brings them together from the sides, but still keeps them quite wide apart at the center. That probably works better for boobs that are not naturally wide-set. From a side, the shape is quite nice, it looks exactly like you describe it - somewhere between round and slightly pointy.

    But one thing I noticed is that the stiffness of the upper lace makes it hard to get it right if you have uneven boobs. There's no give in the fabric to make it work for slightly different sizes :( Oh well, not the perfect match for me...must keep searching :)

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  8. I just got this bra from Bravissimo (in neon lime, it's cute!) and I like it very much but unfortunately I bought the wrong cup size (32E instead of 32F), it is really really bulgy :/ it's like half my boobs are outside the cups O.O

    Do you think the cups are true to size? Do you think I should get the 32F (that is my size in Freya) or try the 32FF ?

    It's bugging me because :
    it's my first "true" bra (I was putting on 36F bras from the beginning!!);
    it's my first online purchase for a bra;
    I never had a Cleo or Panache bra before (I only tried a Freya in 32F that fitted me very well, but I do not own one);
    I don't live in a country that sells these brands in shops;
    I'm on a tight budget so I have to be really careful with what I purchase...

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  9. Hi! (I wish I could add your name after 'Hi' but I searched and searched and couldn't find your name on your blog! :O)

    First of all, your blog is the only one where I found a guide (and a visual one!) to the shapes bras give AND different 'types' of breasts.

    I learned a lot about how seams and stitches can make a difference and what bra shapes suits what type of breast.

    It's been less than a year since I've been properly fitted and I mostly purchased padded bras (because it was winter? I don't know). I always thought underwired (soft cup/sheer cup?) bras wouldn't give my breasts a nice shape and they will look pointy...but then I saw Bravissimo Tanzania Stripe and fell in love. I tried it on at a Bravissimo store, it gave me a wonderful shape, it felt very light and wasn't obvious under the thin shirt.

    But in the meantime, I moved out of the UK so I don't have the opportunity to try on bras from brands like Freya, Cleo, Panache, Curvy Kate, Fantasie, Bravissimo etc., so I will have to buy bras online.

    Summer is coming and I really need to get a light bra but am afraid of ordering online without trying on. International returns are a pain...:(

    I saw your reviews on Cleo Lucy and Meg and I like the design, colourways and the shape it gives! I was wondering if you could advise me on the matter?

    I am 36G (38FF in Freya Deco), have full-on-bottom breasts, that face east-west a bit.

    Do you think Cleo Lucy and Meg (or if you have some other suggestions) would suit me? I'm looking for a round shape, without too much lace or 'decorations' like bows etc, and for summer, I think balconette, plunge or half-cup bra would be the best - full cup would be visible.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    Tamara

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi! (I wish I could add your name after 'Hi' but I searched and searched and couldn't find your name on your blog! :O )

    First of all, your blog is the only one where I found a guide (and a visual one!) to the shapes bras give AND different 'types' of breasts.

    I learned a lot about how seams and stitches can make a difference and what bra shapes suits what type of breast.

    It's been less than a year since I've been properly fitted and I mostly purchased padded bras (because it was winter? I don't know). I always thought underwired (soft cup/sheer cup?) bras wouldn't give my breasts a nice shape and they will look pointy...but then I saw Bravissimo Tanzania Stripe and fell in love. I tried it on at a Bravissimo store, it gave me a wonderful shape, it felt very light and wasn't obvious under the thin shirt.

    But in the meantime, I moved out of the UK so I don't have the opportunity to try on bras from brands like Freya, Cleo, Panache, Curvy Kate, Fantasie, Bravissimo etc., so I will have to buy bras online.

    Summer is coming and I really need to get a light bra but am afraid of ordering online without trying on. International returns are a pain...:(

    I saw your reviews on Cleo Lucy and Meg and I like the design, colourways and the shape it gives! I was wondering if you could advise me on the matter?

    I am 36G (38FF in Freya Deco), have full-on-bottom breasts, that face east-west a bit.

    Do you think Cleo Lucy and Meg (or if you have some other suggestions) would suit me? I'm looking for a round shape, without too much lace or 'decorations' like bows etc, and for summer, I think balconette, plunge or half-cup bra would be the best - full cup would be visible.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    Tamara

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post! Helped me decide on a bra to buy :)

    ReplyDelete