Once again, this is an older bra that isn’t being produced anymore, but I consider it one of the “oldie but goodies”, so I’m doing a review to help anyone who is considering picking up the Cleo Brooke on sale or on eBay.
I find this bra very similar in shape to Panache’s Sienna and Confetti bras, and Cleo’s Frances. It’s very open on top, which is perfect for my full-on-top boobs. I wear a 28J in this bra, which is a good fit but a tiny bit roomy; I could potentially also fit a 28HH because it is so open at the part where I have the most volume.
The shape from the side is stellar, placing this in the short-list for Best Bra Ever in terms of how it looks under clothes. I also think it’s cute without clothes, especially the bow in the middle of the cups.
I also like the fact that the color and fabric (mesh) are the same all over--I find that sheer or color-blocked upper sections can often be unflattering in higher cup sizes.
To get to the bad points, though, this bra suffers from a few annoying problems. The straps are only half adjustable—not a problem for me as I have pretty average-height shoulders, but for anyone petite who normally needs to shorten straps a lot, this one is a miss. The back band has only 2 hooks rather than 3, which I find annoying, but which I know can be a plus for those preferring the more delicate appearance of a thinner band. My final annoyance with the Brooke is that it’s been VERY difficult to break in. I know, from my experience with my Lucy, that once Cleo bras soften up they are very comfy, but it can be a long road to get to that point. Right now, my Brooke feels very rough in the center of the underwires, even though I bent it to fit my body like I do with all my bras. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle—because it’s not broken in yet, I don’t often wear it, but because I don’t often wear it, it’s not broken in yet. Hopefully I can get past the discomfort at some point. A brand-new Brooke is not for the faint of heart—or at least requires the purchase of some Band-Aids for the first five wears.