The Cleo Piper longline bra in cobalt blue was a huge blogger favorite at the autumn/winter 2016 lingerie trade shows. I’ve certainly been waiting patiently for its release, and many online retailers are already sold out of lots of sizes, if not the entire run.
I was lucky enough to find it in my size, but after trying my regular Cleo size and two other sizes, this bra absolutely does not work for me at all…which is really unfortunate since it’s so gorgeous! I mean, look at it!
I started off with size 28GG. This is the size I wear in most Cleo bras, though occasionally I need to size down in the cup or up in the band. To compare to a few other Cleo models: the 28GG Marcie fits my bigger boob perfectly and runs big on my smaller boob, enough that I need a cookie, and the band is perfect; Meg/Lily/Erin fits both boobs perfectly in 30FF and the band is perfect; and Hettie fits both boobs perfectly in 28GG, but the band is a little loose. I also recently tried the Blake in 28GG and found it too small in the cups (I’m debating whether to try exchanging for a size up or deciding the issue is actually that it’s just too closed on top).
So obviously Cleo is not the most consistent fit for me. However, the Piper goes above and beyond inconsistent into nonsensical. First up, what’s up with the band shape? Laid flat, it seems shorter on the top edge and longer on the bottom edge. But aren’t most people narrower at the waist and get wider as you travel up the back (like an upside-down triangle)? I’m actually not shaped like a triangle, but rather a rectangle, with my waist and my underbust being the same measurement. But to be bigger at the waist and smaller at the shoulder blades? That’s not how humans are generally shaped…
Back to the sizing…28GG was woefully small in the cups, to the point that I almost couldn’t get it on. The band seemed fine, but the straps were excessively short. I had to loosen them all the way and they were still too tight.
Next I ordered 28H and 30H (since the store was sold out of 28HH). I hadn’t taken any photos of the 28GG on me, but it turns out I didn’t need to—because the 28H cups were barely any bigger! I still had major quad-boob on both sides:
Looks okay from the front, but don’t be fooled…
The straps were pretty wide-set, but not unwearably so. They were closer to my armpit than I prefer, but there wasn’t any immediately noticeable rubbing.
As for the 30H, the band still felt fine. Since it’s a longline, there’s not much threat of it riding up. And the cups finally fit for the most part. There’s enough space, but I’m still not thrilled with the shape. And I’m really not happy with the fact that it has a slight plunge shape on the model, but it goes straight across my chest in real life. How is this the same bra??
The straps, though! They’re so wide-set in the front. The wires come up way, way too high on the sides, and the straps grow out from under my armpit. Look at this:
And that’s my bigger boob side, so it’s not as bad since there’s more tissue outside the fabric. My smaller boob side is completely ridiculous:
It’s absolutely unwearable. With straps so wide-set, I don’t get great support and the spot where the straps are attached is all folded over and wonky. Not to mention the fact that it’s physically painful to have rough bra edging rubbing and digging in with even the slightest arm movement. You can actually see red marks from this bra from just the five minutes I put it on to photograph it:
I usually get on really well with Cleo bras, but this one is unequivocally not for me! Characteristics that might make it work for someone else (maybe?) would be wider shoulders and breasts that are shallow on top but full on bottom and/or with short roots. Good luck!