Hey everyone! And so sorry for the long gap in bra reviews lately! Char and I have been really busy lately with holidays and work, so blogging took a bit of backseat for a little while, but we’ve been stocking up on bras and lingerie to review and will have plenty to show you over the next few weeks. Some of our favourite AW16 pieces have launched recently and we’ve managed to get our hands on a few.
As I’m sure you all remember, my pick of the season was Cleo’s Piper Longline in cobalt and I, of course, managed to forget that the launch date was while I was on holiday. I returned worried that I might have missed it and my size range would be out of stock everywhere but – phew! – Large Cup Lingerie came to the rescue with it available in the exact size I wanted, a 30GG for £30. LCL is one of my go-to sites when I want to buy my favourite pieces so I went straight there to purchase the Piper. Fortunately, several other places still have it in stock or are just getting in stock too including Bravissimo and Brastop, so make sure to check them out!
Shape & Appearance
Isn’t this bra just swoonworthy? You can really see why all the bloggers went mad over it like I did! The royal cobalt blue is just as true in person as it is in the pictures, the lace alongside the very lightly polka dotted mesh (I hadn’t realised this until someone mentioned it) is gorgeous. And then of course you’ve got the tiny accents that are typical of Cleo bras that just give it that young fun element – here that’s the lime green bow on the gore and the hooks and eyes. The tiny details that make all the difference to me.
The cup shape and style is very different to most others out there from the mainstream fuller busted brands currently as it is an unlined longline with a cup in four parts: a three piece lower cup with vertical seams with a larger single piece upper cup. I love that they’ve branched out a bit from their usual construction style of bras and I feel it’s been very successful. The lower cup being split into 3 with vertical seams means it has a lot of bottom projection, giving a more rounded and slightly vintage appearance, at least in my eyes. The coverage of the cup is quite high and the gore is fairly high.
The Cleo Piper has fully adjustable straps and 3 sets of 6 hooks and eyes to fasten at the back.
Size, fit & comfort
I chose the Cleo Piper in a 30GG, and it’s a pretty good fit for me. My “standard” size is a 28GG, my reasoning behind going up a band and cup size was:
1. My Cleo Minnie bra (my only other Cleo longline) is a 30GG and an excellent fit in band and cup.
2. I find longlines more difficult to fit because I have a flared rib cage, so generally size up in the band in them just in case.
3. I suspected that the upper cup was fairly closed on top, so going up a cup size might give me a bit of leeway on that.
And I think I chose the perfect size for me in this bra in the end! The band is slightly too big down towards the bottom, but it’s nice and snug at the top. The cups, meanwhile, are absolutely perfect sizewise – not gaping in sight, and only the very tiniest hint of digging along the top edge.
As I thought might be the case, the top edge of the cup is fairly closed on top, and while this might not be recommended for tall roots or full on top shapes (as Dreams and Underthings suggests in her review), weirdly it actually works for me, despite me having slightly tall roots and being more full on top. My shape is between even and full on top, so I can often get away with bras that veer slightly on either end of the spectrum, so I’m lucky! The depth in the lower cup means that full on bottom shapes will be really happy with this bra though as it has loads of immediate projection.
As is usual with Cleo and Panache bras for me, the wires were slightly too wide, but not hugely so. I did find I had one slight comfort issue with the bra in that the wires are quite firm, and the boning in the side of the bra band, that stops the longline part flipping up, does dig a little under my arms. It comes up quite high and is quite firm, so this may be an issue for you if you experience bras digging under the arms.
One of my big problems with longlines is band-flippage – my flared ribcage is notorious for causing the bottom of the band to flip up, but I persevere because I LOVE longlines. Luckily, this one doesn’t suffer with this issue, mostly because of the boning, but also because the band is a pretty good to start with. It only seems to flip up if I slouch a lot (…which should really remind me not to do it!).
Overall, I find the bra comfortable to wear on a daily basis and have already shown it off to various friends and family members – I think it’s possibly my prettiest mainstream brand bra I currently own and a definite new favourite in my bradrobe (don’t I say this about every bra?!).
PS: The briefs aren’t actually the matching pair – they’re an old season pair of Cleo (that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of, anyone know?!) that I bought at the Factory sale. I actually had meant to buy the matching bra to them but somehow lost it before I got to the till (NO idea how!), but the colour match for the Piper is pretty close!