Note: I no longer own this bra because I now need 36KK/Ls. The images are all from when I was a 38J and could wear this bra.
The Cleo Minnie was the first Cleo bra that I tried out and kept and wore for a while. (The first Cleo I tried was the Lucy that was in the mail to be returned that day.) At the time I had this bra, I was definitely a 38J in most bras. I chose this bra because the appearance of it was everything I’d ever dreamed of when it came to bras. It was red with polka dots, which made it the first bra I tried in full bust brands that wasn’t mature and frumpy. I wanted to try a bra with a youthful appearance because I didn’t know they existed in my size range until then.
I found it on Amazon brand new with tag for only $12 including shipping, so you can believe that I snatched it up the second I saw it. I was on the fence when I first tried it on, because the shape it gave me wasn’t extremely round, and I had slight gaping at the top of the bra, but I kept it because I loved it so much that I couldn’t bear to part with it. After a few hours of wear, my breast tissue would settle into the cups and fill the tiny gap most of the way. The pointy shape was also easily hidden by wearing a simple T-shirt.
The Minnie is a 3 section unpadded balconette. The top section is made of a mesh like material with adorable embrodiery. The bottom section is a very sturdy fabric, and I feel like the majority of the support came from this strong bottom section. I wish there were more bras with this stiff material, because in my opinion it supports a heavy bust better than other materials. The wires were almost spot on for me, although I feel like they could have been a little wider and taller. The short wires tended to dig into my underarms (like the Panache Andorra).
I would have kept this bra much longer than I did, however the band quickly became too large for me when I lost weight and ended up wearing 36J/JJ bras. Even when I first got this bra, I was wearing it on the middle set of hooks. I probably could have done better in a 36J right off the bat, but I couldn’t find the 36J for that cheap so I just kept the 38J Minnie. This was the first bra I tried where the straps were absolutely unbearable after a full day of wear. They were way too wide spaced for me, and they’d rub on my armpits all day long because I had to tighten them all the way. I would have a tiny gap between the cup and the strap because the strap was so far away and my breasts are so short. The band also curled up under the cups, but it didn’t cause me any problems.
The band was also more narrow than I was used to (Lane Bryant 40Hs have 4-5 hooks, and the Goddess Keira had 3. All Cleo bras only have 2 hooks). It took a lot of time to get used to the 2 hook band because I felt like it was cutting into my back and causing back rolls. A ton of bloggers (including myself) think that Cleo should start implementing 3 hooks in their larger sizes because it’s more comfortable for a larger busted woman.
Those issues aside, this was the bra that made me realize I was actually full on top with short roots, and for that I’m happy. I don’t know how many more bras I would have tried and sent back if I didn’t figure out my shape so early on.
Since the Minnie is considered a “Marcie Clone” AKA, bra based on the same pattern as the Cleo Marcie, I feel like I should compare it to a few other Marcie clones (as well as similar bras).
Minnie vs Marcie: I tried the Marcie in a 38HH, but the Marcie gives me a much rounder silhouette and is more comfortable all around. The straps aren’t as far apart, the band isn’t as loose, and the material conforms to my breast shape easier because it has a bit of stretch. Due to the stretch, I don’t get AS much support as the Minnie, but it’s not enough of a difference to care either way. I only got rid of this bra becasue I grew out of it, and I wore it so much that I completely wore it out.
Minnie vs Panache Floris: I tried the Floris in a 36J. Very similar to the Minnie in terms of fit. I got the pointy shape in both, and both of them had the strap problem. The Floris conformed to my breast shape better because the material was softer and thinner, but the material was not as supportive. The band was amazing because it has 3 hooks. I sold this bra because I grew out of it and needed 36Ks, and the wires were digging and bruising.
Minnie vs Lily: I tried the Lily in a 38J. While the Lily isn’t a Marcie clone, they’re both extremely popular Cleo models. The straps were the widest on this bra, and I couldn’t keep them on my shoulders even on the tighest setting. The Lily provided the most lift out of all the above bras (it’s made entirely of the stiffer material). The band was way too large, and I wore it on the tighest hooks right away. I have the same fit problems with the Lily and Minnie, meaning I get a little gap of fabric right at the top of the bra and by the strap. I got orange in a glass in the Lily despite not getting it in any other bras above. I sold this bra because it wasn’t comfortable for me.
Minnie vs Meg: I tried the Meg in a 38HH. The Meg is supposed to be the same cut as the Lily, but I loved the Meg much more than any of the bras listed in this review. The cups on this bra are the slightest bit too small, but since the bra is so open on top it doesn’t really cause any quadboob. The Meg is said to run large, and someone on Bratabase told me that the Meg was closer to a 36JJ in cup volume (which seems accurate). I get a super round shape, but not as round as the Marcie when I was a little smaller. The fabric gives the same lift as the Lily and Minnie, but the cups are a much better shape for me. The wires don’t dig or pinch, the straps aren’t as bad as most Cleos I’ve tried (but they’re super thin, so I wear a bra strap holder), and the band feels the most supportive out of all the Cleos (Floris is more supportive because it has three hooks). I am absolutely obsessed with this bra, and even though it doesn’t fit me anymore I still wear it.
Overall, the Minnie is an adorable bra that can fit well, but there’s other Cleo and Panache models that may be better. I’d definitely try it along with other Cleos to compare fit. Reviews of all mentioned models will be on the blog soon.
Appearance: 10 out of 10
Fit: 6 out of 10
Comfort: 7 out of 10
Quality: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10