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.
That's a very cute bra, I like the ribbons on the cenral gore! What does the breaking in actually mean, do the wires somehow become more bendy or do the cups soften or what? I have no experience in that as all my bras have always been uncomfortable as I've been sold such crappy fitting bras. :-(ReplyDelete
By the way, love your blog!
Thank you! I will check out your blog too, I hadn't seen it before.Delete
By breaking in, I don't mean the wires themselves soften, but the fabric around the wires. In a lot of bras (especially ones from a few years back) the fabric around the wires is often very stiff and has sharp edges. After wearing it for awhile, those sharp edges get worn down and no longer cut in. Fuller Figure Fuller Bust had a post awhile back comparing bras to shoes, how they are often stiff at first and need to be broken in a bit before they are comfortable. I think that's really the best comparison!
I see, it makes sense! I was hoping that the pain and discomfort would stop once I find my correct size. We'll see what happens if I ever do find it. :DDelete
I think that the wires in some bras soften a bit with the breaking-in process too.ReplyDelete
Would you be willing to compare the fits in Frances, Lucy, and Brooke? I see that you haven't altered the Brooke like you have the others. I am interested to know how it fits differently.
Oh and I meant to say, I agree that you could go down a cup size. You have a lot of room in that cup. BUt it is really nice to see that the wires are not wrapping around to your back, they appear pretty narrow compared to most Panache bras.Delete
I am not 100% sure about the Frances, as the one I have no longer fits me properly, but I think the Frances and Brooke are quite similar in shape and size. I would fit a 28HH in both, I think, but could also wear a 28J if that was all I could find. I have altered my Frances, but only because it is only a 30GG so it was much too small in the cup--altering it helped me fit in it when I do wear it. However, it is very open on top, like the Brooke.Delete
The Lucy, on the other hand, has a top section that curves back in and is tighter along the top edge with the lace detail. That means I definitely have to alter it so it doesn't cut in. The cup itself doesn't hold less volume, but it is shaped in a tighter way right at the point where my shape needs it to be looser. The alteration is good for fixing that. I think for those with boobs that aren't too full on the top, you could potentially wear the same size in Lucy or Brooke, but Brooke will still be a bit of an easier fit.
That brassiere is lovely. That view from an angle of the size of the right side of her bosom looks niceReplyDelete