Cleo Lily 30HH + 30J

The 30J Review is further down - after the 30HH.

The Cleo Lily is a bra I've had in a few different sizes. Aside from the Cleo Marcie, it's the only other UK branded bra that has "fit" me.

30HH Cleo Lily

When I bought this on braswap, I knew it would be too small but thought it would be a decent idea to have as I shrank in size - especially as it was very inexpensive. I've also owned this in a 28H, 28HH and it's sister cut in a 30G and 28H. I also have it coming in a 30J, which I bought from the same person more recently. I intend to give a short review of that size, once it arrives.

Lily is said to be the narrowest and most projected bra from the UK, though I don't know how true that is across all sizes. This bra was released in a number of different colors and a couple different prints, but unfortunately, was recently discontinued and will be replaced with something that more closely resembles it's slightly wonky sister, Meg. 
Not only that, but it's no longer being made in 28 bands; nor will it come in 30D/DD or 30HH/J. It's not the only bra that has had sizes cut. Marcie, the only other UK bra that fits me (as I mentioned), has had 28D/DD and 28HH/J cut from it's size range. This is incredibly disappointing, to say the least. Granted, I find their wires tack mostly because of brute force, which also means they are pretty uncomfortable under the arms... That doesn't mean I'd be ok with them taking away instead of adding sizes. 

One can assume the reason the sizes were cut is because they don't sell -  at least not at full price. I bought two 30G Alexas at full boutique price of $69 despite the style being several seasons old and discontinued,but every other Cleo I've purchased was on sale via Amazon or via secondhand sites. 
There are a of couple reasons for that. One is that full price, they're $60. They simply aren't worth that much to me when I don't find them as comfortable or attractive as Polish bras that are cheaper even when you consider shipping from Poland. Sure, the gores on Lily and Marcie tend to tack on me (when they're the right size), but if I'm going to be wearing a bra for a significant amount of time, I'm going to pick one that's more comfortable those are always Polish. Ewa's bras only rub me raw under the arms when I've worn them for a long day that consisted of large amounts of movement.

The other reason is that I haven't been able to wear one size for longer than like 3 months. I'm not spending $60+ on a bra that I'll grow out of before it's worn out. Especially when the fact that it "fits" is the only plus it has over bras from Poland. Not to mention that the resale value of British bras plummets significantly because the supply outweighs the demand. Polish bras may be cheaper, but they maintain their value. I've sold used Ewa's for twice and even three times as much as I've purchased Cleos that are new with tags. 


I was going to type up a big ole spiel about how I feel about what Panache is doing, but it's probably best I don't. What I will say is that if you're at either end of a size range, you might consider buying a bra full price once in a while. At least that seems to be the suggestion, if you don't want your size to be discontinued.

Anyway, this 30HH is too small for me. The band is even a bit tighter than I'd like, but I've grown to prefer a looser band (usually only when there are 3 hooks instead of 2) and this does feel similarly to how Cleo's 28 bands felt on me when I could wear them. The gore floats quite a ways so I'm curious if the 30J that's on the way will be big enough - at least until I start shrinking. Then again, comparing the measurements of the two, the 30J is almost 2" deeper than this HH, so it could even be too big if they're correct. We'll find out soon enough!

You can see the quadding in the side picture. If the gore were able to force it's way against my sternum, you'd see a lot more than this. As for the shape; when this bra fits, it gives a very round, forward and uplifted appearance.

The wings are very high up under my arms and it will only get worse in the next cup up. In fact, according to measurements, the J is .5" higher, bringing it to 5". That's pretty ridiculous to me. I mean, I'm sure there are exceptions, but I feel like the shape this bra is meant for (more or less mine), that person doesn't need wings that are 5" inches tall. They're not far off from being level with the top of my root! Couple that with the very firm wires that are anywhere between .5-1" wider than I need and it's no wonder I don't reach for my Cleos when I need to wear a bra for longer than an hour or two. 
It's unfortunate because the firm wires create very stable support that is necessary and appreciated, but I'd rather not wear one on days that I need to move my arms a lot. sigh

It's also unfortunate that even in an HH/J cup (the biggest cup they make), they still don't expand to three hooks. Two hooks isn't the end of the world, and sure it looks less industrial, but I feel like three hooks cancels out moderate looseness and so I can comfortably wear a looser band without compromising support and stability. 

The materials are pretty smooth and the design is decent. I can think of a couple things I would have done differently, but it's a huge improvement over the bras I used to wear before finding out the truth about bras. 
For added information, Lily is suited for even fullness with narrow-average roots and lots of projection. 

Again, I intend to review the fit of the 30J once that arrives. Curious to see if it will fit and I wonder if I'll still fit into Marcie and Lily when I hit my goal weight.



The 30J Lily arrived today. I'm not sure what to make of the fit because it's vastly different from the 30HH.

30J Cleo Lily
There's a bunch of wrinkling and gaping at the top of the cup. I think it's more because my root isn't tall enough for the cup than because it's too big.

If you compare the above two (and next two) photos, you might be able to see what I'm talking about. When I take into account the fact that the wings/wires are literally in my armpits and incredibly uncomfortable, I'm lead to believe that the scaling is just broken in this bra. Either that, or it's intended for someone much taller in both overall height and root height than the 30HH because this bra is just way too tall for me in just about every aspect that matters.

Even though I have ample room in the cups, the gore still doesn't tack. I'm not sure why that is because I never had a problem with the gores on the 28H/HH Lily's or the 28H Alexa until they were clearly too small. It's possible my shape has changed as I've grown, but I can't say for sure.

I might revisit Cleo when I'm "done" shrinking, but I don't know if their bras will even work for me again. Hell, I don't even know if I want to support them after they cut sizes - and that's assuming I even fit into their range, whether they work or not.
This 30J is definitely being sold but I can't decide if I want to keep the 30HH. It might not hurt to hold on to it and see what happens, but the comfort just isn't there for me to fully justify it.
As of right now, I still don't have any bras that fit me, even though I've obtained nearly 10 bras since my growth. Polish brands aren't faring much better for me than Cleo, at the moment, but at least they're more attractive, more comfortable, are increasing their size ranges and have excellent customer service (for the most part). 

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