Cleo by Panache ‘Melissa’: Bra Review

Since the sun is shining and it’s SUCH a beautiful day here in the UK (that’s right folks, not a cloudy in the sky here in Blighty!), I was rummaging around in my ‘to review’ pile (some delights and some disasters in there let’s put it that way) and thought – now’s not the time to get negative – it’s time to share my latest lingerie love with you.

So forgive me, I’m about to sip some Pimms in my suntrap back garden and wax lyrical about the lovely Melissa by Cleo.

Cleo and my boobs are like bread and butter – they just go together. For years I was a truly loyal Freya fan, and whilst I still am, it’s Cleo which gives me that ‘ahh’ moment every time I put them on.

Of course, there are exceptions – Cleo’s ‘Meg’ being one – but, like the Marcie (best bra of all time ever!), the ‘Melissa’ is well and truly sensational on me fit-wise.

Beautifully cut in a way which moulds, lifts and shapes as if it’s made for me, Melissa works wonders on my wider-set, lower fullness. The lift comes from the root of the bust (the most flattering and comfortable in my opinion), lifting the ‘girls’ forward and perfectly contouring them into the most perfect, natural rounded shape.

It’s worth mentioning (all day to all my friends and anyone who will listen), the print is just lovely – fun, flirty and PERFECT for Summer. It’s the most stunning true, bright blue with a cutesy, almost cartoon-like floral design. I am smitten with it, and whilst it’s not to everyone’s taste to have such loud lingerie, I regularly team this with a Summer dress, even though half the time in England you have to wear leggings and are probably more likely to team a ‘Summer’ dress with an umbrella than a pair of sunglasses. The thin(ish!) straps are great, particularly at this time of year as no one wants to see hefty straps on show.

I adore the contrasting red embroidered mesh section in the upper half of the cup – it continues the fun-yet-sexy vibe of the set.

Cleo are a brand that I really associate with attention to detail, not only with their usually flawless fit, but in the way they have – especially in the past few seasons – really thought about every detail, from the bows, buttons, to themes, trends and prints. It’s all here in Melissa, that perfect blend of fashion and function.

Sizing wise, I picked this set up in a 30FF at first, but have since down-sized to a 30F and found it much better on me. Whilst I have lost a few pounds recently, most of my other bras still fit me pretty perfectly, and my beloved Cleo Marcie also fits be best in 30F, pre and post my slight weight loss. The band is that satisfyingly firm and sturdy fit that you’d expect from a Cleo bra, and whilst it’s firmer than many of my Freya, Curvy Kate bras for example (or other Panache lines for that matter!), I always reach for my Cleo sets when I know I’m going to have an extra active day and need that extra bit of secure support.

I bought this little beauty from Very, however I’ve since seen it added to the Figleaves sale, with 40% off, and on My Curves and Me for about £17. Woohoo!

Attractiveness: 10/10

Fit: 10/10

Comfort: 10/10

Styling: 10/10

Support: 10/10

Shape: 10/10

Price vs. Quality: 10/10

Re-purchasability: 10/10

Invest In Your Chest Rating: 10/10

Ding ding ding! Literally can’t think of any way Melissa can be improved. True love.

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7 Replies to “Cleo by Panache ‘Melissa’: Bra Review”

  1. Hi,

    fit-wise, do you think it’s similar to Lucy? I fell in love with the design when I saw it the first time but I wonder which size to order, as international returns are a pain so I’d love to get it right!

  2. I live in the U.S. where pretty much every bra (especially for average to smaller sized women) is molded. When I first started ordering bras from the U.K, I was surprised when a few that arrived were just limp fabric like this one here. I’ve been a little disappointed that there isn’t a huge selection of molded bras because the fabric ones give me a droopy, pointy shape that I can’t get used to.
    I was wondering if you could shed some light on this. Are bras in the U.K. more likely to be molded or fabric? Or is because these are for larger busted women and this is supposed to be more supportive? The briefs also seem to come up a lot higher.
    Just curious!

    1. Hi Julie,

      I live in the US too and I was also surprised by the lack of molded bras. I also tried several cloth ones (Freya Gem, Rio, Beau, Lacey; Curvy Kate Portia, Princess, Emily; probably several others I’m forgetting, as there’s been so many!) in multiple sizes, and always got the pointy, droopy, highly separated shape that just looked horrible. The only bra I’ve had success with so far is the Curvy Kate Tease Me, but it just can’t be worn under all clothing.

      However, just tonight I went to Nordstrom Rack & found this bra, the Melissa, in my size, and it looks fantastic on! As she mentions in this post it gives a great, natural round shape. You might try it if you haven’t yet. I also got the Freya Ivy Longline and it gives a great rounded shape as well. I also tried the Cleo Lucy, and it gave great shape & fit but was just a tad small, so I have a size up on it’s way. Just wanted to offer my thoughts since it sounds like we’ve had similar issues, and I hope you can find some that work well for you!

    2. I totally agree with Keri. Cleo’s fabric bras are not your granny’s seamed bra. They give beautiful shaping and uplift! I loooooooooooooove them!

  3. Another unusual bright and creative sexy lingerie design by panache, this bra certainly stands out and i love the extra effect the red mesh has at eccentuating the cleavage and what a lift the bra itself gives, very impressive, looking forward to more reviews!

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