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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.

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