Cleo by Panache is one of my favorite brands. Every time I get a new Cleo I feel like I’m meeting a new best friend. Their beautiful colors and excellent design are second to none in my book and I often feel like they were made for me. The Alexa and the Zia are my most frequently worn bras because of their amazing shape and lift.
When I saw the Marcie in aquamarine I was instantly drawn in. Its beautiful color and shape were just what I was looking for to spice up my wardrobe. I ordered mine in a 34J and patiently (or not so patiently…) waited for it to arrive.
The color on this bra is absolutely gorgeous. It feels platitudinous to say it, but pictures really can’t do this beauty justice. The aqua color is so rich and vibrant. It reminds me a pools and the beach and a hot, Kentucky summer sky. The cups and wings have polka dots on them and the lace on the top of the cups is a nice scalloped pattern. There’s a hot pink bow on the gore and it’s made of a light canvas, which is a nice touch, and I’ve never really been one for bows on my lingerie. The quality of the fabric is superb. The cups are power-mesh and feel incredibly strong and supportive. The wings and back are also a breathable mesh and I never felt like this band rolled on me like I experienced with Curvy Kate. The band runs true to size and it stayed put all day. It feels incredibly firm, without being constrictive. The gore on the Marcie is very narrow, which I love, since I have such close-set breasts. It is also quite tall. I often find myself pulling it away from my sternum as it is pressing a little higher than I like. This bra is definitely more practical and less sexy. I find I can’t wear it under low cut tops but for work it’s a good choice because it stays in place all day. The shape is fantastically round and gives a beautiful profile.
Ok. Now for my complaints.
The band on the Marcie gets very thin quickly across the back and while I don’t feel like it lessens the support, it doesn’t look so great on those of us who have a little extra padding. The Marcie, like the rest of the Cleo line, only has two hook and eye clasps and I desperately want a third clasp for more spread-out support.
My boobs were drowning in the cups on the Marcie and for a long time I couldn’t decide if it was too big or the wrong shape for me. After weeks of wearing it I finally decided – it’s both. I really need a 34HH in Cleo and the J was clearly too big. My left breast is larger than my right by half a cup and while it is recommended to fit to the larger I often find a better fit if I fit to the smaller. The Marcie almost fit the left, but drowned the right.
|Look how large it is on my right boob.|
The fabric slips down and gathers at the bottom of the cup and the lace at the top gaps significantly, despite the fact that I consider myself fuller on top. It gave me a very spread-out look and I think it lessened the support. I really don’t see this bra working for full-on-the-bottom breasts or breasts with soft tissue. This bra is definitely a better fit on someone with very full-on-top breasts. I think if I took the lace almost completely off and sewed it back on tighter and smaller I may be able to make the Marcie work for me. Since I know so many women have had the same problem with the Marcie I’ll post an alteration how-to with photos this week.
|See how much space I have?|
According to Bratabase the wires are the same width as my Cleo Zia - which I own in 32J and wear with an extender that I sewed on. However, Marcie’s wires are too wide for me and arch out, stabbing me under the arms. After doing some math and recalculating the averages of all the measurements, I found that my Marcie’s wires were almost a inch longer than my Zia’s. It might be an issue of band length as well. I sewed an extender to my Zia which may be the reason that the Zia’s wires stay in nice U shapes while the Marcie’s arch out. I also found that the too-wide wires pulled my close-set breasts apart in an east-west way that I wasn’t really fond of. I like my bras to put me front-and-center as I find this the most comfortable fit for me, and Marcie didn’t quite do it for me. I’m hoping that a cup alteration will help pull the sides in and give a little more front and center lift instead of the unflattering splayed look I’m getting with it right now. Here's a photo that shows the wires.
Unfortunately, I don’t think my issues with the Marcie would be solved by sizing down. I might find it to work if I got it in 32J and added an extender, but since I’ve spent so much on bras lately and there are other bras I have my eye on, I’m just going to try to alter the cups to make the one I have work for me. I’m so saddened that it didn’t work as well for me as I had hoped, but at the same time there are so many things about Marcie that I like, so I’m going to keep it and I would still recommend it to anyone full on top. If you have been eyeing the Marcie and you know your size in Cleo/Panache I’d highly recommend you give it a go. The color and construction are stunning and the support is wonderful.
This definitely doesn’t affect Cleo’s place in my books; I still love Cleo just as much as ever. I think I’m just a better candidate for the Lucy or Meg instead (and the Lucy comes in purple!) Although I'm already drooling over the new Jessie that isn't out yet.