Product Review: Cleo Minnie

Hello Everyone,

File this review under my “Better Late than Never” category as it was recorded pre-Fall illness; however, since the Minnie is now an ongoing style for Cleo, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the bra remain relevant and possibly helpful for anyone interested in exploring what Cleo has to offer.  For me, I was drawn to Minnie because it reminded me of an earlier Cleo polka-dot bra called Zia—a personal favorite, and I hoped Minnie would live up to my expectations.

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Sizing & Fit:  When I ordered Minnie, my body was in the throws of both breast and weight fluctuations, and my usual UK 30H did not fit.  The band was comfortably snug on the loosest set of hooks, but I had overflow at the top of the cup as well as the dreaded “quadboob.”  At the time, I could not determine if the fit issue originated with my body changes, inconsistent sizing, or shape incompatibility.  Having had time to reflect on everything, I think the issue was the shape of the cup and my changing size/tissue.  In addition to increasing in size, my breast tissue became fuller toward the top, and Minnie works better for balanced or lower-fullness breasts on account of how the cup darts inward.  In contrast to another Cleo best-seller, the Marcie, Minnie has a closed in shape toward the top, meaning some people may need to size up to ensure a proper fit.  Sadly, others with very full-on-top breasts may not be able to wear the style at all.  I would have loved to test a 30HH for comparison, but with my size changing, I didn’t want to order bras that may not fit for long.

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As with other Cleo unpadded bras, Minnie utilizes narrower underwires and deeper cups with a moderate center gore.  On the side, the underwires do not extend too far back, but they are not as narrow or low as my Comexim/Anna Pardal styles.  Minnie provides a flattering, uplifted, and rounded profile, and the cups feel secure.  Furthermore, Cleo continues to use 2 hook-and-eye closures in the back although I personally prefer at least three and continue to urge Cleo to offer this option in one of their future styles.  Finally, the straps on Minnie, as with other Cleo bras, are wider set, and customers with narrow or sloping shoulders have reported issues with strap slippage and fit.  I would love to see Cleo move the straps inward by 2-3cm on one of their models to fix this issue. 

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Materials & Design:  The lower cup is made from a heavier, firmer fabric with less flexibility that provides incredible lift and hold while the top cup is an embroidered mesh.  Stiff embroidery on the mesh contributes to tailoring the top inward, and the sweetheart neckline is flattering under most tops.  Earlier, I mentioned how Minnie reminded me of Zia, and after trying it out, I think Minnie is a pretty worthy inheritor to the once popular style.  The variation used for the review is the original fresh red/white combination for Spring 2014, and I loved it!  The true red background with modernized white polka dots felt seasonally appropriate for spring and summer, and the contrasting yellow and white polka dot pattern on the bow was a cute touch.  For Fall, the black and white version was a popular alternative to plain black, and for spring 2015, they are releasing a light, Carolina blue colorway.  Then, later this year, there will be a dark Navy version with yellow contrasting straps which I am excited to bring into the shop.  Throughout all of the various colors, I think Minnie has achieved a balance between Cleo’s traditionally brighter and quirkier aesthetic and designs accessible to people of all ages.

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Overall Grade:  A

For more information, please check out the video below:

Product Review: Cleo Minnie
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.
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9 thoughts on “Product Review: Cleo Minnie

  • March 20, 2015 at 5:26 pm
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    Hi Erica,

    thanks for this interesting review, I think an interesting review will never come to late. I tried it also and share your impression. I wrote my review on my blog last year and actually be curious if the blue one in Spring summer collection will come out even the red. The uplift of this bra is softer as other Cleo’s. I’m excited from dots – we name it the fly agaric bra. I personally love this bra.

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 25, 2015 at 11:11 am
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      You’re most welcome! Since Minnie is still going strong, I thought my observations would be relevant. I think the lift here is fantastic, and I love the way they did the polka dots. The light blue color is pretty in person, but I really like the look of the navy one for fall!

      Reply
  • March 20, 2015 at 7:39 pm
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    Haven’t had a chance to listen to the video yet – but I really appreciate this review. I have this on its way to me now. I sized up in band and cup – based on Bratabase entries – glad I did that having read this. Do you know, is the fit of the black colourway the same as that for the red one? You know how dye can affect these things…

    BTW, since I’ve been dealing with semi-regular pain of the myofascial variety, I have really had to manage band fit CAREFULLY. The best bands on the planet are designed by Empreinte BTW – snug and supportive even as they are angled for comfort. And the material is spectacular. I am almost at the point that I won’t order a bra if it doesn’t come with 3 hooks. Just wrote about it in my post today. For heavy, mature breasts this can make the difference between pain and comfort, lift and droop.

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 25, 2015 at 11:14 am
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      Hi K-Line! From what I have seen, the red and black versions ran pretty comparable. I think the black starts off a little firmer in the band because of the dye, but I didn’t see anyone sizing up in the band. It was more the cup where we needed extra space for some women, but that was true of all the colorways.

      I have heard great things about Empreinte actually! If only they weren’t so pricey. 🙁 I am hoping that the longer we are in business the more we can develop a customer base interested in some of the higher end lines like Empreinte or Prima Donna. R

      Reply
  • April 10, 2015 at 10:16 pm
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    Hi Erica,
    Will Cleo continue to offer B/C cups in anything? I am upset to see most of the unpadded B/Cs going away when they only just started offering them! I wear a 30C and am slowly being sized out of all my options.

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 11, 2015 at 10:38 am
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      Hi Sara! According to my Fall 2015 line sheets, there are no unpadded bras available in size 30C. The only ones are Maddie, Mimi (a padded half-cup), Koko Mode, and Koko Belle. Have you looked into US brands? b.tempt’d, Natori, Calvin Klein, and Claudette all offer this size. You may also want to check out Gossard, and if your budget is higher, Chantelle, Simone Le Perle, or Prima Donna. We carry Natori and b.tempt’d in the store for this customer and have received a lot of positive feedback. You can usually find these companies as well as Calvin Klein in department stores if there is no boutique nearby. I know how disappointing it is to have a brand cut your size down so sharply, but I hope this helps!

      Reply
  • April 16, 2015 at 10:32 am
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    Thank you for your advice Erica (and for your tireless work in this field btw!!). The problem with the U.S. and French brands is, I would need a 28 in them. I wear a 30 in Cleo only because they make their bands so firm. :-/

    B.tempt’d and Calvin Klein do work for me generally, and I own a bunch of bras by those makers, but their unpadded models are few and far between. For now I am snapping up the discontinued Cleos on ebay! And I may have to get more comfortable with doing bra alterations. Yuck.

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 16, 2015 at 11:02 am
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      Ah, so you would need more of a 28D if the bands are not firm. That is a tough size range because the companies that make it are often D+ and do not scale the bras as well. I’ve heard Gossard runs pretty tight in the band, so you may want to try that one. Also, Anna Pardal and Comexim both make 28D and 30C (their bands are tighter than Cleo though) although I admittedly haven’t fit anyone with them in that range yet. It could be worth checking Bratabase to see if anyone has though!

      Reply

What are your thoughts?