Monday 8 October 2012

Cleo "Marcie" Review

You may remember from this post that I have had my eye on the Cleo Marcie for awhile. Cleo is my favorite brand, the brand that I trust most to give a great shape, and the brand that works best for my particular boobs. So I was really excited to see that they were doing a red bra, especially one with all the cute bells and whistles and bows and buttons and polka dots. So I went ahead and ordered it, without even waiting for it to go on sale, from Figleaves. Their price was extremely reasonable, and I figured I didn't want to miss out on it.

In fact, the size I wanted to order (30H) was already sold out. Fortunately, I have a stockpile of two-hook bra extenders in a variety of colors, so I decided to order the sister size of 28HH and use my red extender. (If you want bra extenders, just head over to eBay and search "two hook bra extender" or "three hook bra extender", sort by price, and look for the color you want. They are VERY cheap.)

The 28HH with the extender was a perfect fit. Although I need a 30HH in Curvy Kate and some Freya, I can just about always fit a 30H in Cleo.

The Marcie is similar in cup shape to the Lucy (see my review here), but the structure is different. The Marcie has a full band that extends underneath the cups--this part:

Full band
The Lucy, on the other hand, doesn't have a band that continues under the cups, but rather the underwires form the bottom of the band, like so:

Partial band
The purpose of the full band on the Marcie is to stop the underwires from stretching and distorting with the band. Although I personally don't really care if this full band is present or not, those people who prefer narrower underwires will appreciate it.

The Marcie is also, for related reasons, a lot narrower in the center gore than the Lucy. I take in the center gore on my Lucy, and with a taken-in center gore, the Lucy is the same as the Marcie. But if you have a Lucy and haven't taken in the gore, keep in mind that the Marcie is narrower there. Pull the cups closer together, and you'll get a good idea of how the Marcie would fit on you.

Because of the closer center gore and the lack of a tight lace detail on the top edge of the cup, the Marcie also runs a little bigger than the Lucy. Those with boobs that are fuller on the bottom and less full on top may want to consider sizing down in this bra to avoid gaping at the top edge. You can see here that even I had some gaping if I pushed my shoulders way forward.

Normally, I'm fighting to avoid quadraboob, which is the opposite of gaping. So my point is that this bra is extremely open on the top, even more so than most of Cleo's bras. Although I haven't tried the floral Cleo Chloe, I  am convinced that this bra was equally open on top, which is why I heard a lot of people saying they needed to size down in it.

The straps have an interesting texture.

The shape from the side is very round:

 It's also a little bit strange, though. You can see that the front of my boob looks almost flattened, like it is pushed against a window. This isn't very noticeable under clothing, but was part of the reason why I was just a little bit underwhelmed by the Marcie, especially after having waited so long to buy it. Don't get me wrong, it's still a much better fit on me than the red Freya Antoinette, reviewed here, which I was replacing, and which is better suited for boobs that are fuller on the bottom than mine. Yet, I was expecting the Marcie to become my new favorite bra, one that I would continue to buy in every available color. But because of the slightly flattened shape, I have to say that I still prefer the Lucy for its perfectly round shape, even though the Marcie has a narrower center gore and the full band in front. It would be great to have some sort of hybrid of the two.

In general, though, I continue to be really impressed by Cleo's progress as a brand and I have very high hopes for what they bring out in future seasons. I'm never afraid of getting a pointy shape in Cleo bras, which is such a relief. When I was first fitted into the right size bra, Cleo didn't even exist yet. My first Cleo bra, the Frances, was a revelation, and I've loved and trusted their bras ever since. I really recommend Cleo bras, especially for those with a full-on-top shape.


  1. I like the new blog name ;)

  2. That's a really lovely bra on you. In the photo with the slight flattening (which is the effect I get from all CK showgirl bras too but more extreme)it also looks like it cuts in very slightly on top, but not enough to make it show clothed.

    Some day I'll have to try more cleo bras. The one I tried was ridiculous on me -- I need a full band for my high-set boobs and a narrower center gore than the one I tried has. The cups fit and were nice and round but the overall shape it gave me (and the fact that it lifted away from my ribs on the outside when I raised my arms) made it a bad fit on me.

  3. I'm glad you reviewed the Marcie, I've been looking at getting it because I fell in love with it too! I was iffy about what size to get so that has helped me immensely. I had to take in the centre gore of my Lucy too so it's good to hear with Marcie I wouldn't have to touch it. The only problem I've had with Lucy (aside from the wide centre gore) is the tops of the cups being ever so slightly restrictive and I've been wondering if going up to an H would better. As you've shown the cups on Marcie are quite big up top, I'm guessing the 28GG would still be good for me. It is still a beauty so I guess I shall only know for myself by trying it out. Thanks again for the review!


  4. I get that pressed-against-a-glass-door flattened look in my Fantasie 4520, too! It's so odd, and almost like a minimizer w/o being minimizer.
    I really need to try a Cleo soon! And nice name--still tongue in cheek w/o being misleading. I'll update my blogroll now.

  5. I consider myself to have pretty full-on-bottom, but very 'high' boobs (aka. even though it is shallow, my boob seems to start way higher than any bra expects), and this bra also seems very promising on me! (I have reordered it in 34J after trying it in 32J, as it was a smudge too small in the cup). So I think this bra could work very well for a variety of breast shapes. I don't get the same shape as you in it, obviously, but still very rounded and uplifted. I think the Lucy bra is more shallow, where this one allows more forward projection. Or maybe that is just because of the full band, as you say, prevents the cups from being stretched flat.

  6. I have pretty full-on-bottom boobs and this fit pretty awesome on me. Gave me amazing shape. I didn't notice any of the pressed-against-a-glass-door flattening, I'll have to take a second look.

    To me, I thought it fit similar to the Sasha, which I also love.

  7. Interesting... I found that the Masquerade Rhea you raved about gave you a bit more of a squashed, up-against-the-window shape than the Marcie, though I see your point with the latter and acknowledge that the padded v. unpadded style has something to do with it. Great review, and thanks! I own the Marcie and it doesn't give me that effect, but I was also able to get it in my normal size (32H) instead of having to go the sister size route.

  8. I get a little bit of a "square" effect from the Marcie, too, and I get the same effect, but much worse, from pretty much all padded half cups (Cleo Juna, Ewa Michalak HP, etc.). I suspect it comes from wearing a cup that's a bit (or a lot, in the case of the Juna) too shallow for my shape, and therefore flattens.

  9. Can I ask if the lace at the top is stretchy? I love this bra, and I love the shape of it, but fuller cup bras often tend to cut into my (very soft) breast tissue, regardless of the size I get. So I've found stretchy lace works better for me (e.g. bras like Panache Jasmine, or Panache Andorra).

    Just also want to say keep up the good work on this blog! This is my favourite lingerie blog to read due to its complete honesty; so refreshing!

  10. This fits weird for a cleo... Its not as round and uplifted as usual. And it seems like theres some sideboob going on...
    Have you tried cleo alexa or meg? I think they would be a much better fit on you.

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  13. I really wanted to love this bra, but the shape was all wrong for me. I couldn't seem to fill out the bottom of the cup completely and the very tippity top of the cup would gape when I moved my arms/shoulders certain ways. In the middle, I felt like I was really pressing hard against the cup and was being flattened. The straps and underwires also felt way too wide set for me, so I couldn't keep it. I was a bit sad because I love the red, and the design is cute. However, the style looks much better on you!

  14. I just bought this in a 36g (I'm still working my way forward finding my best size, after two professional fitters gave me current answers, the larger of which, 36g us was often sliiiiightly too small in my larger breast), and I loved it in the store, fit was great, but by the end of the day it seemed the tips of the underwire were painfully digging in banks my underarm -into fat, not breast tissue, as far as I could tell. Most sites seem to say this is a symptom of too small a cup, but I'm fairly sure that's not the case, as I'm allllllmost too small for it. Any ideas?

  15. The underwire tip near your armpit on Marcie will soften up und feel more comfortable as you wear it in. Mine took a couple of weeks of wearing and washing to soften up ( same for Lucy ). I buy my bras from A Cup Above which is in Perth, but they do online sales too I love the Marcie, it has become my absolute fave and can't wait for more colours. Lucy is my second fave.

  16. Hi I just wanted to know if the 2 hook bras give enough lift and support. .i love the Andorra for that but it has 3 hooks and I wanna try cleo..I have had 3 kids so I need the lift and support but I dont like full coverage as im full on top as well... Please reply
    Thank you.

  17. Thanks a lot for sharing this great review. But what kind of fabric was used in the Cleo bras? And what was their price range?

  18. Very nice review.
    I have tried on every unpadded Cleo bras I can get my hands on (which so far has been 8 different styles including the Lucy) and I have found that the Marcie is the only one that fits my full on bottom, splayed, breasts. I wear a 32D so I'm thinking that since it's such a small bra that that is why I'm not getting any smashing in the front and also no gaping.