It’s not everyday I find a strapless bra that I really love, let alone a strapless bikini. Enter Cleo’s strapless ‘Hattie’!
I’ve had my eye on ‘Hattie’ ever since we were given an exclusive sneak peak at the (at the time totally secret) Cleo Swimwear at the Panache blogger event way back in June of last year. I have to given myself credit: I’ve had the patience of the saint to wait this long for it, even though (let’s face it) here in the UK the need for bikinis is pretty abysmal and I’ve not had the need for it since I’ve not been on holiday since (boo!)
I was delighted when the lovely peeps at Simply Beach got in touch offering me the change to try her for myself, and as a bit of a bikini hoarder, I decided to go for something that I didn’t actually own yet: a holy grail strapless bikini.
It’s no secret that Panache bikinis are one of my utmost favourites (I may have accidentally bought their ‘Page’ set in both the halter bikini and the swimsuit version…), and Hattie certainly didn’t let me down. I was, as will all new releases, a little curious and dubious about the Cleo Swimwear, but – in true Cleo fashion, she’s the perfect mix of fashion and function.
The main appeal of this set for me (apart from the delicious, good enough to eat candy colour scheme and cute as hell floral print), is the promise of Panache’s knockout strapless fit thrown in with previously mentioned pretty pattern. I have to say; the world of DD+ swimwear has been pretty uninspiring in the past, and anything strapless in larger cup sizes that wasn’t black and boring was rarer than hen’s teeth. It seems like only in the past few years have strapless options really started to see some attention, and thankfully Cleo has rocked up in 2013 with not one but SIX bright and beautiful strapless swimwear options to choose from. And now they’re here, I wonder what my beach wardrobe ever did without them.
In true British Summer fashion, at the first sign of PROPER sun we all dashed out (yes, apparently the entire population of the UK) to Bournemouth beach. When my gal pals and I finally came across a more secluded spot, we slathered on our factor 50, opened up the picnic basket, rolled out our beach towels and whipped off our sun dresses. When I threw off mine (yes, that violently – we rarely get Vitamin D here!), my two friends were so complimentary about Hattie, it really made me feel like I looked great. I noticed that lots of other lady swimmers were checking her out, and her bright colour-way certainly caught some attention.
I managed to force my girlfriends into the sea for a swim a whole five times throughout the day, and not once during my paddles or running around on the beach did I feel the need to ‘hoick’ myself up or even readjust that much (quite a mean feat for a FF strapless bikini gallivanting around for seven hours). Hattie actually comes with a detachable halter strap, but I had no qualms leaving it in my beach bag where it belonged (halter tan lines are so not cute!).
Fit wise I opted for the size I ‘usually’ pick up in Panache – 30FF. As I’ve got my much-loved Melissa and Marcie sets in 30F I wasn’t sure if this would be right, but I found the 30FF fitted like a glove, and as I mentioned above, I had no problems wearing it all day long in fairly active conditions… this isn’t a bikini just for lying around in for fear of exposing oneself!
I chose the tie side briefs as I find them to be fairly flattering and classic, but I have to admit that quite a few times I found myself screaming in the waves – not because the tie sides had come undone, but because the ties were floating around my legs and I was convinced that I was being attacked by killer eels or something. For the sake of my dignity, I’m probably going to try to get hold of the skirted brief below as I now think they’re a bit cuter, plus thy would also probably be a bit better for sun bathing.
All in all, I’m thoroughly impressed with my Hattie Bandeau. So much so that I’m determined to get hold of some of the other Cleo swimwear sets to review for you guys. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t review nearly enough swimwear on here, and it’s something that us full-busted ladies struggle with just as much as shopping for lingerie. Fear not, lovelies; I really feel like I’ve unearthed a gem here this weekend!
Price vs. Quality: 10/10
Invest In Your Chest Rating: 10/10
The Hattie Bandeau is available in sizes 30 – 38 D to G, with an equally pretty balconette version up to a J cup. Get hold of yours and peruse the other Cleo Swimwear sets now at Simply Beach!
Have you tried Cleo Swimwear? Which sets have you tried and which would you recommend I try next?
** This bra was gifted by Simply Beach for review purposes. This does not affect my opinion or my write up in any way. All views expressed are my own. **