Curves Expo: Cleo by Panache

Hello Everyone,

In past blogs, my references to Cleo by Panache read like a fan girl’s gushing letters of adoration, and I’m not ashamed to admit I was to Cleo what Beliebers are to . . . well, you get the idea.  However, in the interim, I discovered Comexim, and let’s just say that love in lingerie is a fickle thing.  Nevertheless, Cleo still ranks as one of my favorite brands, and I love seeing where each season takes them creatively.  While spring focused on neon brights and eye-popping prints, fall shifts to rich colors, quirky patterns, and even minimalist touches.

Kali

Kali_2 Kali_1

  • Style:  Three-Section Bandless Balcony Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38D-J
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $53
  • Panty Price(s):  $28
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  July 2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  Kali features a similar design construction to the steadfast Lucy, but the cup embroidery now uses little hearts instead of flowers.

Lily

Lily

  • Style:  Three-Section Fabric Balcony Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38B-J (No B or C cups in 28 bands) (Size 30B Cancelled!)
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  $29
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  August 2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  Lily first debuted for AW13 with a parrot print, and this season, they have returned to its origins with kissing swans forming hearts.  Fans of Marcie should consider this style.

Minnie

Minnie

  • Style:  Three-Section Balcony Bra with Embroidered Top Cup
  • Sizes Available:  28-38B-J
  • Panty Options:  Brief and Thong
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  Brief — $29, Thong — $28
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:   2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  Minnie reminds me of the earlier, much-loved Cleo Zia and features a forward, rounded shape.

Nyla

Nyla_2 Nyla_1

  • Style:  Three-Section Balcony Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38B-J (No B or C cups in 28 bands)
  • Panty Options:  Brief and Thong
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  Brief — $29, Thong — $28
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  July 2014

Neve in Blue

Neve

  • Style:  Molded Plunge T-Shirt Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38D-H
  • Panty Options:  Brief and Thong (Available in Nude and Black Only)
  • Bra Price(s):  $49
  • Panty Price(s):  $25
  • Basic Colors: Black and Beige
  • Release Date:  2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  Neve suffered from defects during its initial run where the cup would crease outward near the center; however, I have been assured that the problem has been rectified.  The design is based on the earlier Jude model but the foam cups are softer and more flexible.

Neve Excite (CANCELLED!)

  • Style:  Molded Plunge T-Shirt Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38D-H
  • Panty Options:  Brazilian Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  $29
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  July 2014

Neve Strapless in Black Magenta

Neve_Strapless

  • Style:  Molded Plunge Strapless Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38D-G
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $70
  • Panty Price(s):  $28
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  2014

Marcie in Raspberry

Marcie_4 Marcie_3 Marcie_2 Marcie_1

  • Style:  Three-Section Mesh Balcony Bra, Underwired Babydoll
  • Sizes Available:  28-38B-J  (28D, 30B, 30C, 32B, 36B, 38B Cancelled!)
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  Bra — $55, Babydoll — $70
  • Panty Price(s):  $29
  • Basic Colors: None at the moment, but I cannot confirm nor deny that basics are on the horizon for SS15
  • Release Date:  September 2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  Marcie is fantastic for women wanting a bra with narrow underwires and deep cups that gives superb lift, forward projection, and shaping.  It’s incredibly comfortable and fairly discreet under knits!

Jolie

Jolie_2 Jolie_1

  • Style:  Padded Balcony Bra (B and C cups not available in 28 Bands)
  • Sizes Available:  28-38B-G (All B Cups Cancelled!)
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  $29
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  September 2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  Jolie is reminiscent of the earlier Leila bra and is a great option for women wanting a style similar to padded half-cups.

Izzy

Izzy

  • Style:  Three-section Balcony Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38B-J  (B and C cups not available in 28 Bands)
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  $29
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  August 2014

Maddie in

Maddie

  • Style:  Molded Balcony T-Shirt Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38D-H
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  $28
  • Basic Colors: Beige and Black
  • Release Date:  2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  While the bra claims to be a t-shirt friendly style, some of my customers experienced issues with the top of the cup creating a line underneath thinner knits

Maddie Pop

Maddie_Animal_2 Maddie_Animal_1

  • Style:  Molded Balcony T-Shirt Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38B-H (B and C cups not available in 28 Bands)
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $55
  • Panty Price(s):  $28
  • Basic Colors: None
  • Release Date:  September 2014

Juna Animal

June_Animal

  • Style:  Padded Balcony Bra
  • Sizes Available:  28-38C-H (C cup not available in 28 Bands)
  • Panty Options:  Brief
  • Bra Price(s):  $53
  • Panty Price(s):  $28
  • Basic Colors: Black, Beige, and White in Regular Juna
  • Release Date:  July 2014
  • Sophisticated Pair Comments:  While Juna creates a rounded profile under tops, the lace at the top of the cup does not always sit flush against the chest and can create unsightly lines.

It must be said that even though the Lucy has never been my favorite of the Cleo unpadded styles, I was smitten with the offshoot Kali because of the gorgeous green.  Green is my favorite color, and while you can often find darker greens in the lingerie market, like emerald or olive, it’s rarer to find something bordering on neon.  While the high wattage shade is certainly not for everyone, the color made me pine with unrequited love—Lucy’s underwires liked to bite me after a long day.  Of course, the kissing swans print on the Lily is darling but at the same time reminds me of a pirate ship flag.  Instead of white cross bones on a black background, all of the lingerie lovers can unite under white kissing swans with lime green accents.  It’s also refreshing to see Marcie in a more wearable shade for my skin tone, and the Izzy star print pops a lot more in person too even if the top cup feels flimsy.   The molded cup collection came back with some respectable shades, and while a Juna revival will please fans, I have seen too many fit issues in the shop on account of the lace.  I wasn’t overly fond of the Nyla either.  It reminds me of Freya’s Doodle, another print and color/combo which didn’t press my lingerie lust button.  However, in the Cleo spring collection, only two styles stirred my excitement, but for fall, I see more than a few which could find a home in the store.  What do you think?  Am I way off track on liking the fall better than spring?

Erica

P.S.  I received an email last week that mentioned some size cancellations for Cleo.  Most of them were in the B/C cup range, so if anyone wants to know if their size is cancelled, post below.

Curves Expo: Cleo by Panache
Erica
Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.
Tagged on:                                                     

23 thoughts on “Curves Expo: Cleo by Panache

  • May 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm
    Permalink

    Kaliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii !… Wow..such a beautiful tone!
    Marcie and Jolie. and Minnie which is a nice classic.
    Personally I never owe a panache bra, the one i have is a swimwear. I will get off a good start 🙂

    Neve vs Deco?…

    Reply
    • Erica
      May 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm
      Permalink

      Maissa, Deco is more popular in our store because of the rounded shape, but there are definitely some women who suit Neve better. I think the big problems we saw were that the cup can be high under the arm and the underwires can sit lower on the ribcage. The price point is cheaper though, and the plunge dips a little lower. Deco can be terrible for shallow breasts though whereas Neve isn’t too bad.

      Reply
  • May 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm
    Permalink

    I am actually glad to see that the models fit many of the Cleo bras the same way I do, with a lot of overhang under the arms and around the back of the band. I’ve recently stopped wearing my Marcie and had to send back a Lily for this reason. I don’t think it’s “unflattering” or anything (though I don’t like the look on me personally), but it gets uncomfortable and can make clothes bunch a bit oddly around the arms and back. I know that Cleo is geared to a younger audience and wants their bras to look more delicate and fun–though I know people of all ages wear them–but it’s still a brand that sells up to J cups, and I so wish that they would consider higher wings and three-hook closures on just *some* of them.

    Reply
    • May 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm
      Permalink

      I agree. And, I am still waiting for some better colours and less patterns – still not spot on for my taste.

      Reply
    • Erica
      May 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm
      Permalink

      I think I comment at least once per Cleo review that I hate how they have such narrow wings with only two hook-and-eye closures on EVERY SINGLE BRA! It’s so frustrating, and as much as I liked the shape, I felt like it was definitely less flattering in the back underneath clothes. Even though I know I have natural back fat going on, it doesn’t mean I want to exacerbate it with my bra!! Muscular Hourglass wrote a plea to them as well, so we’re not alone!

      Reply
  • May 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    Permalink

    The Maddie Pop reminds me of candy (not at all a bad thing).

    Reply
  • May 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm
    Permalink

    I love Cleo – especially this season’s Kali (though I don’t think that Lucy-style would work on my breasts). Mind you, this isn’t the most thrilling collection I’ve seen… I guess not every season can be a hit for every wearer!

    Reply
    • Erica
      May 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm
      Permalink

      K-Line, very true! I know some of the bras I hated from spring were popular here on the blog. It makes me appreciate how hard it is for a lingerie brand to choose and channel the direction of their line for the collection!

      Reply
  • May 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve lusted after the Kali since I first saw pictures of it, as well. That green is Claudette-esque, but in a more attainable price range as well as in my actual size. I also love the fit of the Lucy (albeit with bent wires), so I’m quite excited about it. I have one question: In person, did it seem as though the embroidery of the Kali would be as confounding as the raised polka-dots on the Lucy? I still want to wear the latter constantly, but won’t because the high-rise embroidery makes it look as though I’ve got a rather strange rash.

    Reply
    • Erica
      May 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm
      Permalink

      Hi K! It *looked* a little flatter than the Lucy, but it’s hard to tell without having anyone put on a shirt underneath of it. The green does remind me a bit of Claudette, and I may look into bending the wires on a Lucy to see if helped the digging. That color is just perfection!

      Reply
  • May 6, 2014 at 11:50 am
    Permalink

    Can’t wait for that Marcie! I’m also a big fan of the design of the jolie. I rarely find myself reaching for bras that are padded though, so I may have to pass even though it’s beautiful 🙁

    Reply
    • Erica
      May 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm
      Permalink

      I like the mix of charcoal and orange with the Jolie especially, but it’s always nice to see the Marcie in a new color. 🙂

      Reply
  • May 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    Permalink

    I’d like to know more about the size cancellations please. Back when I heard of the size expansion, I was surprised to see how many models would be available in the new sizes from the get go, did Cleo think they made a mistake to introduce all those sizes so soon?

    Still, I’m most surprised to see that they cancelled 28 B-C for models like the Juna, Maddie and Jolie, and not models like the Minnie. The padded models have a much higher success rate in the smaller size range, so the choice is almost illogical to me.

    Love,
    Mariëlle
    http://www.petiteplentiful.com

    Reply
    • Erica
      May 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm
      Permalink

      Marielle, I updated all the posts to reflect the size cancellations, and it’s a good thing too. I totally forgot that entire styles were cancelled. 🙁 Honestly, while I was excited to see a size expansion in Cleo, I was a bit disappointed they chose to expand to B and C cups (except for 28/30 bands) because that market is pretty competitive here anyway. A lot of the other companies have more experience designing for that size range too, so I wondered how they would capture customer attention.

      Reply
  • March 31, 2015 at 4:58 pm
    Permalink

    If the Kali fits really well and the Lucy parrots pretty well which other bras would you recomend that look more sophicated or wear under lighter clothes well? Also are there any molded bras with similar shapes? I didn’t find Neve, Maddie or Juna to work well for me. Thanks

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Shesha! Cleo definitely loves their neon colors, so you may want to consider trying the Superbra line with Jasmine or Envy (available in basics). Another line I recommend if you need narrower underwires is Comexim and Anna Pardal, the latter is particularly sophisticated and gorgeous. I’m not a huge fan of Panache’s molded cups, so you may do better with a different brand. What size do you typically wear? I could give a few specific recommendations.

      Reply
  • April 6, 2015 at 11:59 am
    Permalink

    Hi Erica! I am an absolute fan of Marcie, at this point it is the only bra that fits me perfectly in every way. I really want to branch out into other Cleo styles – could you please recommend a style that is cut exactly like Marcie? Is there such a bra? I am more or less evenly full on top and bottom, need good forward projection in a cup (shallow styles do not fit me at all), and love how Marcie has that bit of more space in the top section, anything tighter at the top will probably cut into my flesh, even if it fits everywhere else. Also, love Marcie for how it brings my breasts together up front, instead of letting them sit wider apart, makes me look slimmer from the front.

    I used to have a few Lucy bras, but I think they got progressively tighter in the top, and it became too much of a gamble to purchase them online. I do not have access to these bras offline, so need to really narrow it down before buying.

    I only wear three styles now, in a variety of colors, all in 30gg – Marcie, Freya’s Deco and CK’s Starlet (Starlets and Smoothie are my comfort bras, love them too). If you could recommend any styles that I can more or less safely purchase based on the 3 above styles I wear – I will really, really appreciate it, Marcie being my most beloved one.

    Thank you, I realize I am asking a lot of questions here, so please do not worry if you do not have the time 🙂

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 8, 2015 at 11:31 am
      Permalink

      Hi Naira! Marcie is a pretty exceptional bra in the Cleo line, and there’s nothing exactly like it. I would consider looking at their Lily/Erin bras as they are still fairly open at the top although not quite as much as Marcie. I would avoid Minnie because the top on this definitely cuts tighter. If you’re upper tissue is pretty firm, you can check out styles which have the looser lace at the top, but I find these are a bit more hit or miss fit-wise than Marcie is. Jasmine is a little wider than Marcie, but it does offer great forward projection. The stretch lace is pretty forgiving too. You may also want to check out Polish brand Comexim and its partner Anna Pardal. They stole my heart away from Marcie because they have forward shape, lower underwires/center gores, and super comfy fabrics. If you go to the Reviews tab, you can see a few examples, but I found them to be exceptional alternatives to anyone who likes the Cleo Marcie. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • April 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for the response, Erica! Currently, I am buying every color of Marcie I can find under the sun :D. I tried Jasmine before, and liked it, however I find that I need firmer fabric to properly shape and contain my tissue. I found that it looks great on its own on me, but not as good under clothes.

    Would love to check out the Polish brands, but worried about the trial and error with sizes turning out to be too costly.

    Thank you so much!
    Naira

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm
      Permalink

      Naira, I went through the same issue, going so far as to nearly acquire the bright yellow which is not exactly skin-tone friendly for me, until I found the allure of Comexim and Anna Pardal. I found their sizing is about 1 cup and 1 band up from whatever you wear in Panache Envy/Jasmine. So if you took a 30GG, I would try a 32GG (70J) to start. 🙂

      Reply
  • April 19, 2015 at 6:03 pm
    Permalink

    Do you know of any cuts similar to the Cleo George? I bought the Cleo George, and it fit really well. Can’t seem to find anything else that fits as similarly

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 21, 2015 at 4:32 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Katie! I can’t think of anything that’s completely similar to George, but have you tried the Lily/Erin bras? They look the closest and come up as an alternative to it. What about Cleo Marcie? I’m not sure what size you wear, but the Tutti Rouge Nichole is also pretty Cleo-esque and could be worth considering. However, in higher cup sizes, I find it pulls painfully into the arm, so it’s better for G cups and under.

      Reply

What are your thoughts?