Sunday 12 February 2012

Cleo "Frances" Review

I got a comment the other day asking about the fit of Cleo’s Frances bra. This bra isn’t current-season, but there are still plenty of them floating around out there so I figured doing a full review would be helpful for the person who commented and hopefully for others too. If there’s a bra I’ve mentioned that you’d like more information on, mention it in the comments—I will do a review if I can!

It is not too full-coverage from the front, and I even get a nice separated but visible cleavage.

My Frances is actually a size 30GG, since I bought it a couple of years ago when that was my size. I wear a 28J in most bras now, but I think I could wear a 28HH in the Frances. It's very open on top, like Panache’s Confetti and Harmony bras. So if your boobs are full on top, you may be able to size down because the bra doesn’t go up high enough to have to deal with that full part. If your boobs are more full on the bottom, or if you don’t want to worry at all about it being too small, I’d stick to your normal size.

The shape is nice and round--similar to the shape I get in Panache Confetti and Cleo Brooke and Lucy. There is one problem, a slight indentation near the top edge of the bra, which you can see in this photo: 

I think it would be less visible in a big enough cup size--I never noticed the indentation when my Frances was the correct size for me. When it comes down to it I think this is just a strange incarnation of quadraboob from a too-small cup, and would be corrected with a size or two up. 

I personally think the Frances is very pretty with its floral details. My boyfriend, however, once casually described this bra's pattern as “baby vomit.” Perhaps other people’s partners would be less petulant, but I’d say this is a bra to buy for you, not for your significant other.

My dislikes with this bra include the two-hook fastening (I personally prefer three) and the straps. The straps are nice and a good medium width, but are made of a firm double layer which tends to bunch up in the front. This can cause a little pinching throughout the day. They are also unfortunately only partially adjustable. I don’t think of this as a bra with especially long straps, but for those who struggle with straps that are too long, these straps can be shortened to a length of 11 inches, for reference.

Since this bra is too small for me now, I don’t wear it much, but I keep it around for one surprising function it serves—under white shirts, it works like a nude bra for my skin tone. I never expected this, because after all, it’s purple, and patterned. But I think something about the subtleness of the colors makes it just blend in.

Overall I think this a pretty nice bra. I bought it in a shop (the wonderful Zoe and Co., happiest place on earth, in Concord, New Hampshire) and my fitter told me that it was a popular bra and that a lot of people were getting a great fit in it, so I think it must also be relatively versatile.


  1. OK, I bought this bra (I loved the colour way) and was SO disappointed as it felt totally flimsy on me. I do have dense breasts but Panache bras usually fit me well (well, the Tango does). I returned it, sadly.

  2. What a nice shape it offers, wow! Welcome to visit my new blog in

    It's in Finnish but I do have English sections at the bottom of each post. :-=

  3. Is there a follow up style on this bra?

    1. Cleo's Marcie bra is pretty similar in terms of shape. Try also the Chloe that was out a couple seasons ago!