Cleo Marcie Review (38HH)

Note: As I’m now a 36L, this bra does not fit me anymore. The pictures were taken last May and unfortunately I can’t get better pictures than the ones shown here. That being said, I figured this bra was popular enough to write a full review of because Panache has been using the Marcie cut in dozens of styles across three brands. I paid for this bra with my own money, and I was not compensated for this review. My Marcie was purchased “very well loved”, so there is some visible signs of wear. 

The Cleo Marcie is an extremely successful model for the lingerie superpower, Panache. According to Bratabase, the Cleo Bella, Melissa, Minnie, Zia, Ellis, Natasha, Millie, George, Maya, Chloe, Lana, Izzy, Nyla, Pixie, Lizzie, George, Eleanor, Kira, Lottie, and Blake are all sister cuts of the Marcie. The George is considered the first iteration of the Marcie cut, being released in 2009 when the Cleo brand was created.

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The Panache Floris, Colette, Georgia, and Thea are some Marcie clones from the Panache Superbra label that go up to a K cup, and the Sculptresse Deedee rounds out the collection for plus sizes. In addition to these bras there’s also the Marcie babydoll. I don’t need to tell you that’s a lot of pieces centered around the same cut. I think it’s amazing that Panache keeps using the cut in different colors, designs, fabric choices, and size ranges throughout their brands. While some may see it as lazy, I see it as an opportunity to reach an even wider variety of customers.

The Marcie is made with a 3-section mesh cup, the bottom split into two vertical parts and the top section coming in at a horizontal curve from the strap. Mine is the yellow colorway, and it’s a very bright yellow color with an adorable scalloped mesh design, complete with little bows at the top edge of the cups. The gore is adorned with a magenta bow that has a button in the center. The design features polka dots on the bottom two sections. All in all, this bra is extremely cute and I’d recommend it for someone that wants a really youthful bra in larger sizes. The only bras I’ve seen cuter than this are some Tutti Rogue cuts.

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I found this bra on eBay in the yellow color for a really good price, so I snatched it up even though it wasn’t my ideal size. At the time I was comfortable in a 36J, so this is the sister size to that at 38HH. I really love the way the bra looks on me, although now that I’ve learned a lot more about bras I am finding some small fit issues that didn’t necessarily affect how I feel about the bra as a whole. Despite having some issues, it was a very comfortable and supportive bra and was a fixture of my rotation until I had another growth spurt and grew out of Cleo altogether.

I’ll break the fit up into sections for simplicity.

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Cup: My breasts are full on top, short rooted, and very soft. What this means is that my boobs have a lot of upper fullness, but they’re too short and soft to reach the top of most cups. This tends to make cups gape on me unless they’re elasticized at the top in some way. While I had a pretty flawless fit on my left breast, the right cup did cause some gaping at the very top edge. It didn’t show under clothing, and it was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. I did notice that when I’d wear this bra for a few hours, my breast tissue would start to settle and the cup would conform to my right breast. I wouldn’t say these cups could be considered “stretchy”, but they do have some give.

I got a really rounded shape in this bra, and my boobs were literally a few inches down from my neck. If I looked down, my boobs were right in my face. I remarked in my original Bratabase review that the Marcie gave me the same shape and appearance that I used to wear padded bras to achieve. I still agree with that statement. It’s worth noting that it’s not a “fake” look by any means, and it’s definitely more natural looking than a Lane Bryant padded push up bra. I never had to worry about my nipples showing through the thin and breathable mesh.

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Straps: The straps were really widely spaced on me, and would fall off my shoulders unless I tightened them to the shortest setting. Because of the fact that the straps are textured (which is cute, by the way) and the top half of the strap is padded with felt, I had to force the felt into the strap adjuster. It was actually pretty hard on my fingers and I’d end up with bruises from having to force it. After shortening them all the way, I couldn’t slide them back down. If I was having a bloated boob day, I couldn’t wear the Marcie because I couldn’t lengthen the straps at all. If you need your straps shortened to the max, I’d skip the Marcie altogether.

Band: The band is obviously too big for me, but even though I bought it very well used the band stretches to 38 inches. I’d say that’s pretty true to size, if not a little tight. As with all Cleo bras, this one only has 2 hooks which does decrease the overall stability of this bra. I wore this bra on the tightest hooks because it made the bra feel more stable, and it fit better on my 36 inch ribcage. While I felt comfortable wearing this in public, I wouldn’t wear it on days that I had to do any kind of physical activity. When I was lifting totes to stock the shelves at my job, one of my hooks came undone and I had to run to the bathroom to fix it before the other one came undone.

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I really do think that Cleo should listen to their customers and use a 3 hook band construction, at least in the upper end of the size range. I understand that Cleo is supposed to be “youthful”, but I don’t think that aesthetic would be shattered by an extra hook. The only bras I’ve ever had that came unhooked were Cleos.

On the bright side, the band fabric under the gore did not do that annoying fold-up thing, so the band didn’t rub me raw under the gore like some bras have in the past.

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Underwires: At the time I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the underwires, but looking at my photos now I do see some things that would be considered fit issues by others. From an angle you can see I get a little bit of orange in a glass, indicating that the wire isn’t wide enough for my wide rooted breasts. Like the gaping cups, this issue would correct itself over time as my breasts settled in the cups. The underwires don’t go right to the edge of the channels, so there’s some visible folding going on under my armpit. Neither of these issues were uncomfortable for me personally, even though folding like that has driven me crazy on other bras.

The gore is reasonably low and is the ideal width for me. It wasn’t so wide that it was pushing my boobs into an east-west shape, but it wasn’t so narrow that my splayed breasts were struggling to reach it. It tacked, but I’d say it was more of a soft tack than a nice firm tack. It was comfortable for me, but I know some people prefer a really hard tack.

I noticed I could wear this under endless outfits and was able to wear slightly low cut shirts without the bra or gore showing through. If I wore something low cut enough to show the top of the cups, the gore stayed hidden.

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Appearance: 9 out of 10

Fit: 6 out of 10

Comfort:7 out of 10

Quality: 7 out of 10

Shape: 9 out of 10

Overall: 7.6 out of 10

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4 thoughts on “Cleo Marcie Review (38HH)

  1. Painter April 13, 2016 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Nice review. I love the color of this. I’m also discovering that I’m fuller on top than I thought I was, and I need a GG in the bottom half of Marcie and an H in the top (the H is too full/deep and the GG causes bubbling in the top of the cup).

    Like

    • RollsAndCurves April 14, 2016 at 4:05 am Reply

      This is one of the bras that helped me realize that I am actually full on top. I always thought I was full on bottom just because my boobs are so pendulous.

      Like

  2. photogbrog April 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm Reply

    I think this looks really good on you despite the
    minor fit issues!

    Like

    • RollsAndCurves April 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm Reply

      Thank you! I’m considering trying the 38J just to see if it’s wearable enough. My 38HH is retired and will be recycled soon. 😦

      I hate growing out of bras.

      Like

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