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My Thoughts on Cleo Blake

As I previously mentioned in my post about Cleo Hettie, Cleo and I have not always been best of friends at least not when it came to unlined bras.  It wasn't that they didn't fit, but I was unsure of the look under clothes (I'm not sure if the bras changed or my opinion changed).  However after my success with Hettie, I decided to try Blake.

I had read some reviews on Blake, and I was attracted to the design (a bit bond girl esque), and the vibrant color options Cerise (kind of a raspberry/ pink) and Turquoise.  I was able to find the Cerise on Amazon in 32DD for around $15 and decided to give it a try.  I knew Blake was a sister cut to Marcie, which had worked well for me fit wise, but again had been a bra I was unsure about the appearance it gave under clothes.

The Blake arrived and the color was somewhat different than I had expected, I guess I thought it would be a brighter pink, but it is a more deep, but still somewhat bright pink.  Regardless of what I expected I am still happy with the color.  I think my photos are fairly close to the true color.

In my reviews of Cleo Hettie and Mimi I had mentioned that the bands were quite stretchy and ran large.  This had been the opposite of my prior Cleo experience of bands that ran quite firm and smaller than their labeled sizes.  I am pleased to say that Blake does have a band that seems to be fairly TTS (stretches to 32.25).  I'm about 30.5 underbust, so I could have probably went with a 30 band and used it with an extender for while, but the 32 is perfectly comfortable for me.

Band is mostly level
With Hettie I found the stretch lace to be quite open on top which is a bit odd since it is a Lily clone which means it's designed for more even shapes, and I do get very slight in cup quad in Hettie.  However Blake is more closed on top primarily at the edging where the pale trim is located.  I don't seem to notice any in cup quad at all but I do get some slight pressing in at the trim.   In  Minnie, another Marcie clone, I got a lot more in cup quad. This is mostly likely caused by my somewhat tallish roots (thanks to Hugs for your Jugs for helping me realize this).

Here you can see the bit of pressing in I get from the trim.

Despite the pressing in the cups are otherwise a very good fit.  The wires are nice and narrow (about 5.2in)  and the cups are nicely projected with a good amount of immediate depth.  The wires follow my roots well, and stay in my IMF all day.  

Blake is made out of two layers of mesh fabric, which is surprisingly very soft.  I do find Blake to feel a bit more supportive than Hettie, probably because the top is more closed off than Hettie.  With Hettie the lace section was just a bit too open for me, still a great fit, but if it were a bit more closed off it would feel a bit more supportive.  I went hiking in Blake and had very little movement, not that I'm running or anything, but it did a great job.

The straps on Blake attach in more of a triangle shape, this attachment type can cause a bit of irritation for me, especially in brands with already wide set straps (Ewa Michalak SF Trapez comes to mind).  While I don't think the straps are wide set the attachment point is a kind of wide.  For the most part I'm not really bothered by it, but I did have some prominent marks after the first wear from it.  After several wears, I no longer get any marks from the strap attachment area, so for me at least it went away with just a couple wears.

I have the straps angled a bit, but you can see where they come in fairly close to armpits
Blake also seems to give a rather full round shape under a shirt, I don't feel the least bit minimized. Looking at photos of Blake under a shirt, it's almost hard to believe I 'm wearing an unlined bra.

Overall I would highly recommend Blake, though if you are very FOT or have very tall roots you might want to size up.  I don't think I could size up and get a better fit, in a larger cup I would probably have a lot of gaping.  Since I only get some slight pressing in I think I'm better off in 32DD.

Also if you want to see more of "My Thoughts"  I have started another blog for topics other than bras.  My Thoughts on More... Than Just Bras!!!


My Thoughts on Cleo Hettie, and Lily Comparison

cleo lily, cleo hettie, cleo, panache, my thoughts on bras, bra review, bra comparison

So when I first began my "ABTF" journey Cleo was constantly recommended as a diagnostic bra for fit to help determine shape since Cleo offers a variety of styles for different shapes.  Marcie for FOT, Lucy for FOB, and Lilly for even.  Being new to unlined bras I was unsure of the profile those bras under a shirt.  Most of Cleo's unlined offerings give a very round shape (which I liked), but also a very front and center profile.

Here's a quick photo guide for the different cuts:

cleo minnie, marcie, cleo
Minnie a Marcie Clone for FOT 32DD
cleo lily, cleo
Lily for Even Shapes 34D
cleo lucy,cleo kali
Kali a Lucy Clone for FOB 32DD

The front and center made me a bit unsure if I actually liked the way the bras fit, I felt it brought my breasts too much into the center of my body and made me a look a bit less balanced in shape since they moved outer fullness to the center.  However, I have fallen in love with some of their newer designs and decided to give Cleo's unlined offerings another try.  A bit of a spoiler alert, I am very happy I decided to give unlined Cleos another chance.

Cleo had offered to send me a couple bras to review and I already reviewed Mimi a 3 part half cup, which I loved, and they also sent me Hettie.  Hettie unlike Mimi is an unlined balcony with stretch lace at the top.  The Hettie is also a clone of a discontinued favorite Lily.  Lily was best for a mostly even breast shape, and was a bit closed off on top, so the stretch lace on Hettie may make it an option for those who are also more FOT.

Hettie is absolutely gorgeous, although how the color appears can vary a lot based on lighting, fortunately my photos are close to accurate in color.  In many photos Hettie seems to come across as more navy all over, and while the stretch lace is navy the rest of the bra is a more of turquoise with teal dots. This color combo makes for a great contrast, and Hettie is also available in burgundy (I found one at Nordstrom Rack, but it wasn't my size).

cleo hettie, cleo, bras for even shape, stretch lace, blue bra

Compared to Lily, which I have tried in the past and still have one in a sister size of 34D the Hettie gives a nice round shape, but doesn't seem to pull breasts inside your frame as much (photos in shirt at bottom of post).  The cups actually have a bit of excess fabric on me on the outer section of the bra by the wire,  but I don't think I could size down as I get a touch of in cup quad where the fabric meets the lace, but really only right after scoop and swoop.  This isn't nearly as bad the in cup quad I've gotten in other Cleo's such as the Minnie (a Marcie clone), and isn't noticeable at all under a shirt.

cleo hettie, blue bra, stretch lace
You can kind of see the little bit of in cup quad as well as the wrinkling on the outer section of the cup.

I get a lot moe quadding in Lily, it's also a bit too closed off on top.
Even though I get a tiny bit of in cup quad in Hettie, the stretch lace does gape a little bit, at least after the initial scoop and swoop, but it's mostly near the gore and not bothersome.  Because of this I think Hettie could still accommodate someone who is a bit full on top.  I believe I'm mostly even with some slight FOT tendencies (possibly from being high set).  By contrast, in Lily I have to reverse scoop a bit to get the gore to tack.  The cups on Lily (9in) aren't as deep as Hettie (9.5in) and both bras have a cup width of 5.25in.

cleo hettie, blue bra, stretch lace
Here you can see the little bit of gaping near the gore on one breast.

When the Cleo rep asked me what size I wanted to try I chose 32DD, because I remember a lot of their older models running small, and being between sizes I chose the larger.  I had heard that some of the newer Cleo's were quite stretchy and ran big, but despite knowing that I went with the larger band based on my experience with the older models.  The band on the Hettie does run quite large and it will actually ride up on me on the loosest setting, and still a bit on the tightest.  Hettie stretches to almost 33in, and Lily in 34D stretches to about 32.5, unstretched Hettie is 29.5in, and Lily 28in.  I would definitely suggest sister sizing down for this one.

cleo hettie, blue bra, stretch lace
Band rides up on the loosest hooks, problem is solved by wearing on tightest hooks.

For a comparison this is Lily in 34D and it doesn't seem to ride up as much as Hettie in 32DD.

Despite the big band I do find Hettie to be quite comfortable.  In older Cleo's when I would try to wear them I remember the gore being incredibly stabby especially while sitting.  I've worn Hettie many times now including on a road trip (lots of sitting) and today while finishing my taxes (more sitting, and yes I know I'm cutting it close to the filing deadline, but they are all finished now), and the gore while being a firm tack is still comfortable.  I am more aware of the gore in Hettie than I am in a Comexim or a Curvy Kate, but by no means am I uncomfortable.

I would definitely recommend Hettie especially for those who need a lot of projection and immediate depth.  Also great for an even shape and possibly those who are a bit FOT.  As I mentioned when I reviewed Mimi, I would love to see Cleo try out some lower and narrower gores on their unlined and non moulded cup offerings.

Here's how Hettie and Lily compare in profile under a shirt.

32DD Hettie under a shirt, you can't even notice the in cup quad. (I have no idea what is up with the weird streak of light).
34D Lily under a shirt, I'm getting both in cup and regular quad.


My Thoughts on Tutti Rouge Jessica with SuperBoost

Tutti Rouge, Jessica, Superboost, cleavage, illegal cleavage, bra fit. push up bra

I got the Tutti Rouge Jessica in 30E from a swap on Bratabase.  For some reason I really like black and "nude" bras, I'm not sure what it is, but they really catch my attention.  Forgive me for the excessive amount of photos, but I really love the aesthetics of this set.

Without Boosters
I had been interested in the Jessica since I first found out what the concept was.  In case anyone isn't familiar with Jessica, it is an unlined bra but it comes with cookie pockets and 2 different cookies a smaller one and a larger one (Tutti Booster (large) and Super Booster)small one inside larger one).  The larger cookie has a pocket in it to put the smaller one in.  This gives you 2 levels of boost, and the option to wear it just unlined.

I hadn't seen many reviews on the Jessica, but from what I've seen it seems like wearing it completely unlined is the more popular choice.  As an unlined bra it fits nicely and gives a somewhat natural shape.

Without Boosters

The boosters do give boost and more cleavage, but personally I'm not quite sold on them.  I like the cleavage, but I don't like the appearance the the "Boosters" give.  The boosters only go into the outer section of the cup.  I find this gives a bit of an odd squarish shape and makes them too visible.

With just the large set worn alone you get a subtle more "soft hills" style cleavage.

With 1 Set of Boosters

With the Boosters worn together you get full blown cleavage, no subtlety here.
With Both Boosters, here you can really see the out line of the boosters.
As an unlined bra the Jessica is pretty nice although the wires aren't narrow (5.8in), but the cups are deep (nearly 10in on a 30E).  The Jessica fits much nicer on me than the Nichole which I had issues with in several sizes.  Without the cookies, the Jessica provides subtle lift and a somewhat round shape, but also slightly minimized and wideset.  It doesn't offer as much forward projection as a Cleo.

I have only really given Jessica try as an unlined bra as I don't care for the shape I get with the boosters.  Since hearing that they can conform to your shape over time, I may give it another shot.  As an unlined bra it fits fairly well for me.  I did notice it felt like the underwires were sitting low, but when I took the bra off the marks were perfectly in my IMF, so not sure if it was how I was sitting or just a strange feeling, I may try wearing it with the band on tighter hooks. Also despite having wider wires, they weren't too far off despite measure a good half inch wider than most my really good fitting unlined bras.

Without Boosters.
With 1 set of Boosters, you can see the outline of the boosters at the vertical seam.

With Both Boosters.
The gore is nice and low, but it is a bit on the wide side.  However the gore has the ability to tip into itself some (perhaps to allow for  use of the Tutti Boosters).  I did not have any wire marks on tissue from the gore. The gore is tacking nicely and is very comfortable as well.  With the gore relaxed it is about 1in wide, but tipped inward it is .8 which isn't bad since it's not even 2in tall.

The gore has some fabric between the wires, so the wires can tip inwards allowing some flexibility.

Overall the Tutti Rouge Jessica is a very pretty bra, and makes for a stunning set.  However, you may find yourself surprised to buy this bra for the boosting benefits only to end up wearing it as an unlined.  In a thin shirt the boosters are fairly noticeable, so it might be better to wear under a thicker shirt. Before seeing the photos, I really thought that the Booster outline was a lot more noticeable, but after seeing the photos it doesn't seem as bad as I thought.  Based on the photos I'm honestly thinking it might just be more of a self awareness thing and other people might not notice, especially if you take the time to see if the Boosters will conform to your shape.

Without Boosters

With Both Boosters.

Without Boosters

With Boosters

I did get this with the matching panties as well. Unfortunately the panties are a size XS and run fairly TTS, so they are a bit too small for me, I think a small would fit pretty well.   Regardless the set is absolutely stunning (thanks to my boyfriend for assisting with photos).


Foxers Sexy and Comfy Lougewear, Bralette and Boxers

After reading another review (My Fashion Insider) on Foxers I was intrigued and wanted to try them out for myself.  Foxers sets from what I had seen look absolutely amazing.  I got in touch with Foxers and they were kind enough to gift me a set to review, I was not told what to say, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Foxers White Lace


Bra-Ventures, Bras and Road Trips, Part 2

Bras, adventure, road trip, bra-venture, a bra that fits

If you haven't seen Bra-Ventures, Bras and Roadtrips Part 1, be sure to read it first.
<Back to Part 1

Day 4:

Since it had been a bit chilly the day before, I decided to wear my Comexim 3HC Sonia.  Now my Sonia is a bit special in that i believe it has been mislabeled.  I bought it secondhand off Bratabase and the measurements matched up to my other 3HC's.  My Sonia is a 75G, I would say it fits like an in between of 75F and 70G.  The band is a bit loose and I wear it on the tightest setting, it doesn't seem to ride up any.  Again I did get a bit of the wires resting on my  ribs but not as bad as in Irish Coffee.  I think when I have taken measurements of all my 3HC's I did notice Irish Coffee to be a bit wider than my others, making it most likely shallower so that might be the issue with that.

comexim, comexim sonia, polish bra, bras, my thoughts on bras, bra-venture, road trip
Comexim Sonia

Bra-Ventures, Bras and Roadtrips, Part 1

Adventure, bras, road trips, bra venture, a bra that fits

This is going to be a bit different from my usual blog posts.  I do mention the bras I packed and my thoughts on them for the day, but it will be heavily focused on our trip.  I hope you enjoy reading this, and let me know your thoughts. This is a 2 part series, click here for Part 2.

So my boyfriend and I live in Ohio and they salt the roads like crazy during the winter, this causes tons of rust especially on older vehicles.  Both of us being car enthusiasts,we tend to have a fondness for older cars.  My boyfriend had owned 29 cars (all used and usually a purchase price under $1000 or he made trades), for vehicle number 30 he wanted to get something he really wanted.  However what he wanted was an early 80's Toyota Pickup, most of which in our area have horrible frame rust (so if not currently structurally unsafe could happen) in addition to body rust.  He scoured craigslist all over the country in regions that don't salt their roads.  He found one in Washington state, despite all their rain, the vehicles there tend to be in good condition.  We planned to fly there and drive the truck home (extensive photos, videos and questions were taken and answered about the truck before purchasing plane tickets).

We both work as independent contractors and didn't have any jobs lined up anytime too soon, so we would be making a vacation out of road trip home.  I wasn't sure how long we would be gone, but I wanted to bring a few bra options.  We were traveling light since we didn't want to deal with any checked bags (I always fear something will get lost and can't justify the cost nor do either of us need that much).  We were able to bring a personal item and carry on bag (we both chose back packs for the personal item). I chose to bring 6 bras with me 3 padded and 3 unlined (unlined are great for not taking up space).

Day 1:

I've been loving my newly acquired Cleo Mimi recently and decided to give it a try for our flight from Ohio to Seattle with a connection in Chicago.  I was very pleased with my decision on that one, it remained comfortable the whole time.  I also partially chose this one for the flight since the band is a bit on the looser side, although I chose not to pack any of my tighter fitting bras that would require an extender.  I was very pleased with the Mimi, it remained comfortable all day and didn't get irritating while being cooped up on the flight (some bras get a bit uncomfortable while sitting especially if you you sitting backwardly).  I put Mimi on at 4am EST and didn't take it off until probably 8pm PST (11pm EST), so that was a long day.  If you haven't read my review on the Cleo Mimi be sure to check it out, I found it to be a good alternative to a Polish half cup and did a comparison.

journey, plane, sunrise, morning
Sunrise in flight to Seattle