Lingerie Month Review: Cleo by Panache 'Chloe' balconette bra
Cleo is the younger, cooler sister of the ever-reliable Panache, and concentrates on making stylish, pretty bras in DD+ cup sizes. Their Spring / Summer 2012 collection is full of bold colours, pretty prints and great fresh styles, and 'Chloe', a purple and pink floral, was my favourite from the range.
This is another balconette bra (if you've been reading my reviews through the month you'll know it's my style of choice) with unpadded cups in quite a soft, thin mesh. It's trimmed with a white and pink floral lace, with a blue bow in the middle.
I'm between two band sizes, but knowing that the Panache Carmel I'd tried earlier in the month fit so well in a 32E, I tried the same size in the Cleo Chloe, and have to say the first thing I discovered is that the cut of Cleo in the band is a lot less generous than Panache. I know that for good support in larger cup sizes you need that tight, supportive fit around the band, but the 32 was definitely pushing it for me - by the end of the day the bra had started to itch quite a lot around the sides, I had to readjust a couple of times during the day and when I took it off I could see it had been digging in. I would definitely opt for a 34 if I tried this again.
That said, despite having thin cups, it did provide lots of support and kept everything where it was supposed to be. There was a bit of strain on the straps but nothing major - the band took most of the weight as it should do.
Cup-wise, it was quite generous too, and I would say that this bra is probably better for those who're fuller at the top of the bust, rather than the sides / bottom. When I put it on and checked in the mirror, it seemed to fit - there was no spillage but also it didn't look too big. But during the day when I looked down I could see that the lace at the top was puckering up a tiny bit. So I would recommend going down a cup size if you're between two, or definitely trying this on to see if the shape works for your bust.
Where this bra failed in comfort and fit for me (which I think would be fixed if I tried a 34DD) it did more than make up for it in style. The Cleo range has a really fresh, young feel which I like, and the print of this bra is pretty without being too over the top. Looks-wise, it's my favourite of all the ones I've tried so far. I really, really wanted this to be comfy and lovely so I was annoyed I picked the wrong size!