Bra Review: Cleo Piper longline, 30F

Cleo Piper is one of those bras that absolutely stole my heart from the second it was previewed in the AW16 collection.  Cobalt blue?  An unlined longline?  A 4 part cup design?  YES to all, please!!  I told myself as soon as I could find one for sale I was snapping it up and cost wasn’t a problem.

So when I got lucky and saw a tweet from Poinsettia Lingerie about how they had a limited stock of Pipers up for grabs, I had my credit card whipped out and the transaction completed in no more than 60 seconds.  I sister sized into a 30F for this, because it was the only size Poinsettia had that was in the realm of possibility for me.  Given that I’m a 26-28 band these days, I prayed the 30 band wasn’t stretchy and that the longline aspect would provide enough support.

Let’s check out the results:


Holy. Crap.  To say I’m enamored by the aesthetics is an understatement.  That color.  That lace.  I just can’t even.


This bra is top of the line when it comes to visual appeal.  Cobalt blue is possibly the only color that truly looks good on everyone, no matter the skin tone.  I absolutely adore Cleos decision to extend the lace down past the bottom of the band – it gives the entire piece a very finished, special touch.  The front section of the longline under the cups is not stretchy, it’s very stable and anchors the cups so the underwires don’t float.  I could go on and on and on about the aesthetics of this bra, but unfortunately there are a couple of fit issues that I absolutely have to address, because they will affect almost everybody who has the shape and desire for a bra like Piper.


The 4 part cup design is brilliant.  The bottom half of the cup is 3 parts, with 2 vertical seams, and this provides tons of immediate depth.  Seriously.  If you’re pendulous and/or in need of all the room ever at the bottom of the cup, this is the bra for you.  The underwires are too wide for me, but only just so.  On my 30F, they measure 5.3″ wide while my ideal is about 5.0.”  The cups are 9.625″ deep.  The band stretches to 29″ – which is good because that means it’s TTS and many of Cleos newer bras have been oversized – but it’s too loose on me and can easily be fastened on the tightest hooks.  It’s on the tightest hooks in all of these pictures.  The top section of the cup is short and closed off, therefore Piper is best for FOB shapes and/or short roots.  If you’re FOT – move along, this isn’t the bra you’re looking for.


Here is where I have to address the Two Major Fit Problems.  The gore is wide.  I’d say it’s comparable to Cleo’s Lucy/Kali cut.  But the underwires…. oh man.  It’s not that the wires themselves are too tall on the sides, but the channels are way too long for the underwires.  The underwires are 10.25″ long.  The channels are 11.25″ long.  There is literally a half an inch of extra space in the channels at both the sides and the gore.  On top of that, the side boning actually does fill up the entire channel, so I’m having a hard time coming up with an alteration that might fix this problem, and it’s a Very Glaring Problem.


My thumb is marking the end of the underwires in each of those pictures.  To me, this is an incredibly maddening oversight.  There is no reason for the channels to be so long.  The gore doesn’t bother me – despite it tacking onto breast tissue, I guess my breasts aren’t that sensitive plus the top 0.5″ of the gore doesn’t have wires so it’s soft.  It’s the outer edges of the wires that’s the absolute killer for me.  I’m low set on my chest and rarely have a problem with too tall underwires and side wings.  You got a bra with too tall wires for you?  Send it my way.  Unfortunately, I put this bra on and it was Instant Armpit Chafing.

I’ve debated unpicking the elastic on the outside edges of the cups down to the side boning and repositioning it lower while getting rid of the excess outer wire channel.  I’m not sure I can do this cleanly, given that the side boning channel has no extra space in it.  To be honest, I’m borderline pissed this is a problem to begin with.  It really feels like a rookie mistake on the part of Cleo, and I hope somebody reads this and rethinks the design.  I am so sad for the majority of the lingerie community lusting after Piper because if I have this problem, that I never have, I know it’s going to affect basically everybody.  I’m always the oddball out in the community that needs my straps as long as they’ll go and never have problems my with armpits or the top of cups peeking out of shirts, and I was 100% floored to find this bra to be so freaking tall on the sides 🙁


In typical Cleo fashion, there has to be neon accents somewhere.  Thankfully it’s only the lime green bow and closure hooks instead of a lime green trim all over the place.  All of this said… I can’t help but still have a soft spot for Piper.  I really want to try to make her work, so if I find a way to fix the tall sides I’ll let everybody know.  Until then, I’ll try to wear her without poking holes in my skin, because she is so unique and beautiful it’s hard to let her sit.

That’s all for today lovelies, thank you for stopping by!!

3 thoughts on “Bra Review: Cleo Piper longline, 30F

  1. I suspect that the channels being too long for the wires is a function of size. I think they have fewer sizes of wire than bra; my Natasha and Ellis (which I think are supposed to be the same in different fabrics) are one cup size off. There’s TONS more channel on the smaller one, and the wire fits perfectly in the bigger one.

    This gave me exactly the problem you had with getting poked at the sides. I noticed that the bra would start out ok but then become unbearable, and what was happening was the wire was getting pushed out of the armpit into the gore; this meant that I had the end poking me in the wrong place instead of resting in a relatively flat part of my rib. So I pushed the wires all the way to the outside, and put a bunch of tiny stitches into the channels of the gore to hold them there. (I considered folding it over, but it hasn’t been necessary so far and I wasn’t sure if that would make it wear through.)

    It might not solve your problem, but it’s really easy to do and reverse, so may be worth a try.

  2. I was thrilled to find the Piper–agree totally with your review: great for FOB/pendulous/short roots. With great shaping and relief from neck stress to boot.

    Wondering if you know what other Cleos (or other makes, esp. longlines?–Freya Fancies did nothing for me) are cut similarly. Would love to know.


    1. I actually think the Piper is based off the Panache Tango, which I always heard fit almost nobody very well and I’ve heard that Piper is a hard fit too. I’ve never tried the Tango but if Piper really is based on it, I may be one of the very few Tango would fit well.

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