Cleo Maddie Review

Cleo Maddie. Prey, isn't it That's what I thought to. UNTIL I PUT IT ON.
Cleo Maddie. Pretty, isn’t it?
That’s what I thought to. UNTIL I PUT IT ON.

Being a girl who likes non-padded bras, I’m always hesitant about buying padded ones (even though they tend to fit me better). Padded bras make me feel a bit like I’m wearing armor, or like I’m an athlete about to go out into the playing field. Yet when the weather gets cold and the heavy jackets start to come out,  sometimes your boobs need to follow suit with a bit of extra insulation. So when I saw the blue animal print on the Maddie bra, I knew I had to try it. The bra itself IS very cute, with a funky animal print covering the cups and continuing on the band. And when I first tried it on, I thought it was a great bra. Unfortunately, after wearing it for a few hours, I started to notice some things that no amount of cuteness could excuse. Like the fact that it TRIED TO KILL ME.

Before I get into that, let’s point out that this bra is very, very wide. Everything about it is, in my opinion, excessively wide. The strap placement, the wires, and most critically, the band. Note that the band on Maddie isn’t the leotard-back that I’ve come to expect from big-busted brands and associate with added support, but a linear band that’s really stretchy.

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     I think because of the shape of the band, it’s so much longer than a lot of other 28 bands, and if you’re between band sizes, I fully recommend you size down. It’s also a lot stretchier than most bands (including Curvy Kate, and for me that’s really saying something). Unstretched, the band measures a respectable 22 inches. Pulled taught, it measures 31. I was on the last hook immediately, and after wearing it for only a few hours, it’s already at least one size too big. It was hard to properly review this bra, because it’s difficult to gauge the fit when it’s constantly sliding around your body (not to mention very uncomfortable, which only makes me more scathing as I express my passive-aggressive rage via a scathing review).

Second, the gore doesn’t actually tack to my sternum any place besides the top. The very top of the gore is the only place that’s actually making contact with skin. After some detective work (i.e. standing in front of a mirror with my brow heavily furrowed), I’ve decided that this is either because  bottoms of the cups are quite shallow, or the wires are so wide that rather than cupping my boobs, they rest atop them. But to be fair, since the band is so loose, it’s hard to tell for sure if it’s really the wires.

The cups themselves are closed on top, and boy oh boy do they run small. If you’re relatively full on top, you’ll likely need to size up. They’re also fairly padded, which occupies more room in the cups than other padded bras.

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     But I could’ve put up with these things. Any bra that’s this cute will always has a place in my wardrobe, I said to myself. Keep it, because all those delightful pink accents paired with some mild alterations will make it great, I told myself. Ah, how naive I was. After wearing the demon bra around for a little while, I discovered something that CANNOT BE FORGIVEN.

     The straps on this bra are from Hell. There’s no other way to explain it. Tacked on like an afterthought, they barely pass for half an inch thick. They’ve been placed at the very edge of the cup, and after a few hours of wearing, I thought they were going to have to be surgically removed from my underarms. Never before this have I lost feeling in both my arms because a bra’s straps were cutting off the circulation, nor have I ever had to fear that my arms were going to fall off because of how deep the straps were into my underarms.

WHO'S IDEA WAS THIS?
WHO’S IDEA WAS THIS?

I don’t know who’s idea it was to put them there; it’s as though right before it was about to go into production, somebody said “Oh, wait! Isn’t this bra supposed to have straps?” and then quickly grabbed the nearest pieces of string and hastily stitched them on. Due to the placement of them being so wide, the lift Maddie gives is minimal at best. It gives one hell of a nice rounded shape, and I wouldn’t quite call it minimizing, but I’m fairly certain that if I tied to pieces of cloth together and slung it under my boobs, it’d do a better job at lifting.

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     All in all, if you’ve got wide roots, are somewhat shallow, and have underarms of steel, then go for it. But if you find yourself easily spilling out of cups, or don’t have the luxury of going down a band size (to all my fellow sub-28s, a tear is shed), then I’d skip this bra. A real shame, too, considering they just released it in a basic nude color, which is what I’d love to have. Alas, the search continues…

Let me know your thoughts, experiences, and recommendations. Until next time, dear reader!

-AFILAL

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