Originally, I tested the Cleo Millie shortly before I left for the Curves Expo in New York, which was only four months ago. *casts a sheepish look at the rest of the Internet* Between managing the store, catching up from Curves, and a few personal health hiccups, I accrued a lengthy backlog of items to review, but I am determined to post information on everything. Interestingly, when I first recorded the video review for the Millie, I had not heard from Comexim or Anna Pardal about their desire to export to the US; as a result, I will pretend Cleo is still my favorite brand and judge accordingly.
Size & Fit: I ordered my standard 30H in the Millie, and the fit was not as perfect as with the other Cleo bras I owned. The band felt firm but comfortable on the loosest set of hooks; however, I struggled with the cup size. One side fit fairly well, but the other had slight overflow without a full scoop. However, the more bothersome issue was a strange indention where the flimsy mesh fabric met the patterned lower cup and created lumps under my tops. Upon further inspection, I think the issue results from the significantly lighter mesh contrasting sharply with the firmer fabric on the lower cup. My breast tissue is what I’d call “average” in terms of firmness, and I think women with really firm tissue would not experience this problem.
Furthermore, the underwires are comparable to other Cleo unpadded styles like Marcie or Lily, meaning they are narrow in the center and on the sides. Women with close-set breasts will certainly appreciate the narrowness and added depth to the cup. Likewise, the silhouette is rounded, lifted, and forward—perhaps a little too forward. Thus far, I have never worn a bra with such extreme forward projection, bordering on the old 1950s bullet bras, and I was not as enthusiastic about the profile. I wavered on keeping Millie because I wondered if washing the stiffer lower cup would ease some of the projection, but given the issues with the top of the cup, I thought it was best to pass on the style.
Finally, I have received several questions asking if the Millie is similar to this season’s Minnie, and the answer is a resounding “No!” I plan on reviewing Minnie too, but suffice it to say, the Minnie reminds me more of the earlier Zia in terms of shape and fit. However, Millie does look like predecessor to the upcoming Izzy bra for fall, and anyone interested in this style should watch the way the top cup fits.
Materials & Design: I originally ordered the Millie because of the bold, bright geometric pattern, but the product was not exactly as advertised. The print contains more brown and less purple than anticipated, but overall, I am still a fan of the aesthetic. Lately, I am drawn more to geometric, sport, and/or minimalistic designs, and Millie fits the bill perfectly. The use of circular embroidery over the common and overdone floral was inspired, and the mix of colors was fun and unique.
As I mentioned above, the mesh top cup is extremely lightweight and sheer while the printed lower and side cup is quite firm and stiff. I think the combination creates certain fit issues, but the contrast between opaque and sheer is stunning. Fully-adjustable straps are always a bonus for me, but once again, Cleo utilizes only two hook-and-eye closures in the back. Muscular Hourglass wrote an impassioned plea to them about this design decision, and I couldn’t agree with her more. It’s so frustrating to wear a larger cup and only have a thin strip of material in the back for support. Even if they only introduced three hooks in one or two styles per season, it would be a lovely alternative.
Overall Grade: B
For more information, check out the video below: